War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book II: Chapters 1–8

In the passage Denisov, with a pipe, was squatting on the threshold facing the quartermaster who was reporting to him. On seeing Rostov, Denisov screwed up his face and pointing over his shoulder with his thumb to the room where Telyanin was sitting, he frowned and gave a shudder of disgust.

"Ugh! I don't like that fellow," he said, regardless of the quartermaster's presence.

Rostov shrugged his shoulders as much as to say:"Nor do I, but what's one to do?" and, having given his order, he returned to Telyanin.

Telyanin was sitting in the same indolent pose in which Rostov had left him, rubbing his small white hands.

"Well there certainly are disgusting people," thought Rostov as he entered.

"Have you told them to bring the horse?" asked Telyanin, getting up and looking carelessly about him.

"I have."

"Let us go ourselves. I only came round to ask Denisov about yesterday's order. Have you got it, Denisov?"

"Not yet. But where are you off to?"

"I want to teach this young man how to shoe a horse," said Telyanin.

They went through the porch and into the stable. The lieutenant explained how to rivet the hoof and went away to his own quarters.

When Rostov went back there was a bottle of vodka and a sausage on the table. Denisov was sitting there scratching with his pen on a sheet of paper. He looked gloomily in Rostov's face and said:"I am witing to her."

He leaned his elbows on the table with his pen in his hand and, evidently glad of a chance to say quicker in words what he wanted to write, told Rostov the contents of his letter.

"You see, my fwiend," he said,"we sleep when we don't love. We are childwen of the dust . . . but one falls in love and one is a God, one is pua' as on the first day of cweation . . . Who's that now? Send him to the devil, I'm busy!" he shouted to Lavrushka, who went up to him not in the least abashed.

"Who should it be? You yourself told him to come. It's the quartermaster for the money."

Denisov frowned and was about to shout some reply but stopped.

"Wetched business," he muttered to himself."How much is left in the puhse?" he asked, turning to Rostov.

"Seven new and three old imperials."

"Oh, it's wetched! Well, what are you standing there for, you sca'cwow? Call the quahtehmasteh," he shouted to Lavrushka.

"Please, Denisov, let me lend you some: I have some, you know," said Rostov, blushing.

"Don't like bowwowing from my own fellows, I don't," growled Denisov.

"But if you won't accept money from me like a comrade, you will offend me. Really I have some," Rostov repeated.

"No, I tell you."

And Denisov went to the bed to get the purse from under the pillow.

"Where have you put it, Wostov?"

"Under the lower pillow."

"It's not there."

Denisov threw both pillows on the floor. The purse was not there.

"That's a miwacle."

"Wait, haven't you dropped it?" said Rostov, picking up the pillows one at a time and shaking them.

He pulled off the quilt and shook it. The purse was not there.

"Dear me, can I have forgotten? No, I remember thinking that you kept it under your head like a treasure," said Rostov."I put it just here. Where is it?" he asked, turning to Lavrushka.

"I haven't been in the room. It must be where you put it."

"But it isn't? . . ."

"You're always like that; you thwow a thing down anywhere and forget it. Feel in your pockets."

"No, if I hadn't thought of it being a treasure," said Rostov,"but I remember putting it there."

Lavrushka turned all the bedding over, looked under the bed and under the table, searched everywhere, and stood still in the middle of the room. Denisov silently watched Lavrushka's movements, and when the latter threw up his arms in surprise saying it was nowhere to be found Denisov glanced at Rostov.

"Wostov, you've not been playing schoolboy twicks . . ."

Rostov felt Denisov's gaze fixed on him, raised his eyes, and instantly dropped them again. All the blood which had seemed congested somewhere below his throat rushed to his face and eyes. He could not draw breath.

"And there hasn't been anyone in the room except the lieutenant and yourselves. It must be here somewhere," said Lavrushka.

"Now then, you devil's puppet, look alive and hunt for it!" shouted Denisov, suddenly, turning purple and rushing at the man with a threatening gesture."If the purse isn't found I'll flog you, I'll flog you all."

Rostov, his eyes avoiding Denisov, began buttoning his coat, buckled on his saber, and put on his cap.

"I must have that purse, I tell you," shouted Denisov, shaking his orderly by the shoulders and knocking him against the wall.

"Denisov, let him alone, I know who has taken it," said Rostov, going toward the door without raising his eyes. Denisov paused, thought a moment, and, evidently understanding what Rostov hinted at, seized his arm.

"Nonsense!" he cried, and the veins on his forehead and neck stood out like cords."You are mad, I tell you. I won't allow it. The purse is here! I'll flay this scoundwel alive, and it will be found."

"I know who has taken it," repeated Rostov in an unsteady voice, and went to the door.

"And I tell you, don't you dahe to do it!" shouted Denisov, rushing at the cadet to restrain him.

But Rostov pulled away his arm and, with as much anger as though Denisov were his worst enemy, firmly fixed his eyes directly on his face.

"Do you understand what you're saying?" he said in a trembling voice."There was no one else in the room except myself. So that if it is not so, then . . ."

He could not finish, and ran out of the room.

"Ah, may the devil take you and evewybody," were the last words Rostov heard.

Rostov went to Telyanin's quarters.

"The master is not in, he's gone to headquarters," said Telyanin's orderly."Has something happened?" he added, surprised at the cadet's troubled face.

"No, nothing."

"You've only just missed him," said the orderly.

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