With a slight inclination of her head, Natasha stepped back quickly to Mavra Kuzminichna, who stood talking compassionately to the officer.
That night another wounded man was driven down the Povarskaya, and Mavra Kuzminichna, who was standing at the gate, had him brought into the Rostovs' yard.
Meanwhile, Mavra Kuzminichna was attentively and sympathetically examining the familiar Rostov features of the young man's face, his tattered coat and trodden-down boots.
Just then Mavra Kuzminichna appeared from behind the corner of the house with a frightened yet resolute look, carrying a rolled-up check kerchief in her hand.
Impudence! they heard behind them the voice of Mavra Kuzminichna who had entered silently.
Then the count embraced Mavra Kuzminichna and Vasilich, who were to remain in Moscow, and while they caught at his hand and kissed his shoulder he patted their backs lightly with some vaguely affectionate and comforting words.
The former housekeeper, old Mavra Kuzminichna, had stepped out of the crowd by the gate, gone up to a cart with a hood constructed of bast mats, and was speaking to a pale young officer who lay inside.
But Mavra Kuzminichna stood at the closed gate for some time with moist eyes, pensively swaying her head and feeling an unexpected flow of motherly tenderness and pity for the unknown young officer.
While Mavra Kuzminichna was running to her room the officer walked about the yard gazing at his worn-out boots with lowered head and a faint smile on his lips.
The old servant returned to the caleche, looked into it, shook his head disconsolately, told the driver to turn into the yard, and stopped beside Mavra Kuzminichna.