"Oh yes, why not? They may," he said.
With a slight inclination of her head, Natasha stepped back quickly to Mavra Kuzminichna, who stood talking compassionately to the officer.
"They may. He says they may!" whispered Natasha.
The cart in which the officer lay was turned into the Rostovs' yard, and dozens of carts with wounded men began at the invitation of the townsfolk to turn into the yards and to draw up at the entrances of the houses in Povarskaya Street. Natasha was evidently pleased to be dealing with new people outside the ordinary routine of her life. She and Mavra Kuzminichna tried to get as many of the wounded as possible into their yard.
"Your Papa must be told, though," said Mavra Kuzminichna.
"Never mind, never mind, what does it matter? For one day we can move into the drawing room. They can have all our half of the house."
"There now, young lady, you do take things into your head! Even if we put them into the wing, the men's room, or the nurse's room, we must ask permission."
"Well, I'll ask."
Natasha ran into the house and went on tiptoe through the half-open door into the sitting room, where there was a smell of vinegar and Hoffman's drops.
"Are you asleep, Mamma?"
"Oh, what sleep-?" said the countess, waking up just as she was dropping into a doze.
"Mamma darling!" said Natasha, kneeling by her mother and bringing her face close to her mother's, "I am sorry, forgive me, I'll never do it again; I woke you up! Mavra Kuzminichna has sent me: they have brought some wounded here- officers. Will you let them come? They have nowhere to go. I knew you'd let them come!" she said quickly all in one breath.
"What officers? Whom have they brought? I don't understand anything about it," said the countess.
Natasha laughed, and the countess too smiled slightly.
"I knew you'd give permission... so I'll tell them," and, having kissed her mother, Natasha got up and went to the door.
In the hall she met her father, who had returned with bad news.
"We've stayed too long!" said the count with involuntary vexation. "The Club is closed and the police are leaving."
"Papa, is it all right- I've invited some of the wounded into the house?" said Natasha.
"Of course it is," he answered absently. "That's not the point. I beg you not to indulge in trifles now, but to help to pack, and tomorrow we must go, go, go!...."
And the count gave a similar order to the major-domo and the servants.
At dinner Petya having returned home told them the news he had heard. He said the people had been getting arms in the Kremlin, and that though Rostopchin's broadsheet had said that he would sound a call two or three days in advance, the order had certainly already been given for everyone to go armed to the Three Hills tomorrow, and that there would be a big battle there.
The countess looked with timid horror at her son's eager, excited face as he said this. She realized that if she said a word about his not going to the battle (she knew he enjoyed the thought of the impending engagement) he would say something about men, honor, and the fatherland- something senseless, masculine, and obstinate which there would be no contradicting, and her plans would be spoiled; and so, hoping to arrange to leave before then and take Petya with her as their protector and defender, she did not answer him, but after dinner called the count aside and implored him with tears to take her away quickly, that very night if possible. With a woman's involuntary loving cunning she, who till then had not shown any alarm, said that she would die of fright if they did not leave that very night. Without any pretense she was now afraid of everything.
War and Peace -by- Leo TolstoyBottom Content goes here. Wikipedia content requires these links..... Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.