War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book VIII: Chapters 6–22

Natasha became thoughtful.

"Oh, Sonya, if you knew him as I do! He said . . . He asked me what I had promised Bolkonski. He was glad I was free to refuse him."

Sonya sighed sorrowfully.

"But you haven't refused Bolkonski?" said she.

"Perhaps I have. Perhaps all is over between me and Bolkonski. Why do you think so badly of me?"

"I don't think anything, only I don't understand this . . ."

"Wait a bit, Sonya, you'll understand everything. You'll see what a man he is! Now don't think badly of me or of him. I don't think badly of anyone: I love and pity everybody. But what am I to do?"

Sonya did not succumb to the tender tone Natasha used toward her. The more emotional and ingratiating the expression of Natasha's face became, the more serious and stern grew Sonya's.

"Natasha," said she,"you asked me not to speak to you, and I haven't spoken, but now you yourself have begun. I don't trust him, Natasha. Why this secrecy?"

"Again, again!" interrupted Natasha.

"Natasha, I am afraid for you!"

"Afraid of what?"

"I am afraid you're going to your ruin," said Sonya resolutely, and was herself horrified at what she had said.

Anger again showed in Natasha's face.

"And I'll go to my ruin, I will, as soon as possible! It's not your business! It won't be you, but I, who'll suffer. Leave me alone, leave me alone! I hate you!"

"Natasha!" moaned Sonya, aghast.

"I hate you, I hate you! You're my enemy forever!" And Natasha ran out of the room.

Natasha did not speak to Sonya again and avoided her. With the same expression of agitated surprise and guilt she went about the house, taking up now one occupation, now another, and at once abandoning them.

Hard as it was for Sonya, she watched her friend and did not let her out of her sight.

The day before the count was to return, Sonya noticed that Natasha sat by the drawingroom window all the morning as if expecting something and that she made a sign to an officer who drove past, whom Sonya took to be Anatole.

Sonya began watching her friend still more attentively and noticed that at dinner and all that evening Natasha was in a strange and unnatural state. She answered questions at random, began sentences she did not finish, and laughed at everything.

After tea Sonya noticed a housemaid at Natasha's door timidly waiting to let her pass. She let the girl go in, and then listening at the door learned that another letter had been delivered.

Then suddenly it became clear to Sonya that Natasha had some dreadful plan for that evening. Sonya knocked at her door. Natasha did not let her in.

"She will run away with him!" thought Sonya."She is capable of anything. There was something particularly pathetic and resolute in her face today. She cried as she said good-by to Uncle," Sonya remembered."Yes, that's it, she means to elope with him, but what am I to do?" thought she, recalling all the signs that clearly indicated that Natasha had some terrible intention."The count is away. What am I to do? Write to Kuragin demanding an explanation? But what is there to oblige him to reply? Write to Pierre, as Prince Andrew asked me to in case of some misfortune? . . . But perhaps she really has already refused Bolkonski — she sent a letter to Princess Mary yesterday. And Uncle is away . . . ." To tell Marya Dmitrievna who had such faith in Natasha seemed to Sonya terrible."Well, anyway," thought Sonya as she stood in the dark passage,"now or never I must prove that I remember the family's goodness to me and that I love Nicholas. Yes! If I don't sleep for three nights I'll not leave this passage and will hold her back by force and will and not let the family be disgraced," thought she.

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