Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter XVII
Anatole went out of the room and returned a few minutes later wearing a fur coat girt with a silver belt, and a sable cap jauntily set on one side and very becoming to his handsome face. Having looked in a mirror, and standing before Dolokhov in the same pose he had assumed before it, he lifted a glass of wine.
"Well, good-by, Theodore. Thank you for everything and farewell!" said Anatole. "Well, comrades and friends..." he considered for a moment "...of my youth, farewell!" he said, turning to Makarin and the others.
Though they were all going with him, Anatole evidently wished to make something touching and solemn out of this address to his comrades. He spoke slowly in a loud voice and throwing out his chest slightly swayed one leg.
"All take glasses; you too, Balaga. Well, comrades and friends of my youth, we've had our fling and lived and reveled. Eh? And now, when shall we meet again? I am going abroad. We have had a good time- now farewell, lads! To our health! Hurrah!..." he cried, and emptying his glass flung it on the floor.
"To your health!" said Balaga who also emptied his glass, and wiped his mouth with his handkerchief.
Makarin embraced Anatole with tears in his eyes.
"Ah, Prince, how sorry I am to part from you!
"Let's go. Let's go!" cried Anatole.
Balaga was about to leave the room.
"No, stop!" said Anatole. "Shut the door; we have first to sit down. That's the way."
They shut the door and all sat down.
"Now, quick march, lads!" said Anatole, rising.
Joseph, his valet, handed him his sabretache and saber, and they all went out into the vestibule.
"And where's the fur cloak?" asked Dolokhov. "Hey, Ignatka! Go to Matrena Matrevna and ask her for the sable cloak. I have heard what elopements are like," continued Dolokhov with a wink. "Why, she'll rush out more dead than alive just in the things she is wearing; if you delay at all there'll be tears and 'Papa' and 'Mamma,' and she's frozen in a minute and must go back- but you wrap the fur cloak round her first thing and carry her to the sleigh."
The valet brought a woman's fox-lined cloak.
"Fool, I told you the sable one! Hey, Matrena, the sable!" he shouted so that his voice rang far through the rooms.
A handsome, slim, and pale-faced gypsy girl with glittering black eyes and curly blue-black hair, wearing a red shawl, ran out with a sable mantle on her arm.
"Here, I don't grudge it- take it!" she said, evidently afraid of her master and yet regretful of her cloak.
Dolokhov, without answering, took the cloak, threw it over Matrena, and wrapped her up in it.
"That's the way," said Dolokhov, "and then so!" and he turned the collar up round her head, leaving only a little of the face uncovered. "And then so, do you see?" and he pushed Anatole's head forward to meet the gap left by the collar, through which Matrena's brilliant smile was seen.
"Well, good-by, Matrena," said Anatole, kissing her. "Ah, my revels here are over. Remember me to Steshka. There, good-by! Good-by, Matrena, wish me luck!"
"Well, Prince, may God give you great luck!" said Matrena in her gypsy accent.
Two troykas were standing before the porch and two young drivers were holding the horses. Balaga took his seat in the front one and holding his elbows high arranged the reins deliberately. Anatole and Dolokhov got in with him. Makarin, Khvostikov, and a valet seated themselves in the other sleigh.
"Well, are you ready?" asked Balaga.
"Go!" he cried, twisting the reins round his hands, and the troyka tore down the Nikitski Boulevard.
"Tproo! Get out of the way! Hi!... Tproo!..." The shouting of Balaga and of the sturdy young fellow seated on the box was all that could be heard. On the Arbat Square the troyka caught against a carriage; something cracked, shouts were heard, and the troyka flew along the Arbat Street.
After taking a turn along the Podnovinski Boulevard, Balaga began to rein in, and turning back drew up at the crossing of the old Konyusheny Street.
The young fellow on the box jumped down to hold the horses and Anatole and Dolokhov went along the pavement. When they reached the gate Dolokhov whistled. The whistle was answered, and a maidservant ran out.
"Come into the courtyard or you'll be seen; she'll come out directly," said she.
Dolokhov stayed by the gate. Anatole followed the maid into the courtyard, turned the corner, and ran up into the porch.
He was met by Gabriel, Marya Dmitrievna's gigantic footman.
"Come to the mistress, please," said the footman in his deep bass, intercepting any retreat.
"To what Mistress? Who are you?" asked Anatole in a breathless whisper.
"Kindly step in, my orders are to bring you in."
"Kuragin! Come back!" shouted Dolokhov. "Betrayed! Back!"
Dolokhov, after Anatole entered, had remained at the wicket gate and was struggling with the yard porter who was trying to lock it. With a last desperate effort Dolokhov pushed the porter aside, and when Anatole ran back seized him by the arm, pulled him through the wicket, and ran back with him to the troyka.Next