Pierre did not stay for dinner, but left the room and went away at once. H_rove through the town seeking Anatole Kuragin, at the thought of whom now th_lood rushed to his heart and he felt a difficulty in breathing. He was not a_he ice hills, nor at the gypsies', nor at Komoneno's. Pierre drove to th_lub. In the Club all was going on as usual. The members who were assemblin_or dinner were sitting about in groups; they greeted Pierre and spoke of th_own news. The footman having greeted him, knowing his habits and hi_cquaintances, told him there was a place left for him in the small dinin_oom and that Prince Michael Zakharych was in the library, but Pau_imofeevich had not yet arrived. One of Pierre's acquaintances, while the_ere talking about the weather, asked if he had heard of Kuragin's abductio_f Rostova which was talked of in the town, and was it true? Pierre laughe_nd said it was nonsense for he had just come from the Rostovs'. He aske_veryone about Anatole. One man told him he had not come yet, and another tha_e was coming to dinner. Pierre felt it strange to see this calm, indifferen_rowd of people unaware of what was going on in his soul. He paced through th_allroom, waited till everyone had come, and as Anatole had not turned up di_ot stay for dinner but drove home.
Anatole, for whom Pierre was looking, dined that day with Dolokhov, consultin_im as to how to remedy this unfortunate affair. It seemed to him essential t_ee Natasha. In the evening he drove to his sister's to discuss with her ho_o arrange a meeting. When Pierre returned home after vainly hunting all ove_oscow, his valet informed him that Prince Anatole was with the countess. Th_ountess' drawing room was full of guests.
Pierre without greeting his wife whom he had not seen since his return—at tha_oment she was more repulsive to him than ever- entered the drawing room an_eeing Anatole went up to him.
"Ah, Pierre," said the countess going up to her husband. "You don't know wha_ plight our Anatole… "
She stopped, seeing in the forward thrust of her husband's head, in hi_lowing eyes and his resolute gait, the terrible indications of that rage an_trength which she knew and had herself experienced after his duel wit_olokhov.
"Where you are, there is vice and evil!" said Pierre to his wife. "Anatole,
come with me! I must speak to you," he added in French.
Anatole glanced round at his sister and rose submissively, ready to follo_ierre. Pierre, taking him by the arm, pulled him toward himself and wa_eading him from the room.
"If you allow yourself in my drawing room… " whispered Helene, but Pierre di_ot reply and went out of the room.
Anatole followed him with his usual jaunty step but his face betrayed anxiety.
Having entered his study Pierre closed the door and addressed Anatole withou_ooking at him.
"You promised Countess Rostova to marry her and were about to elope with her,
is that so?"
"Mon cher," answered Anatole (their whole conversation was in French), "_on't consider myself bound to answer questions put to me in that tone."
Pierre's face, already pale, became distorted by fury. He seized Anatole b_he collar of his uniform with his big hand and shook him from side to sid_ill Anatole's face showed a sufficient degree of terror.
"When I tell you that I must talk to you!… " repeated Pierre.
"Come now, this is stupid. What?" said Anatole, fingering a button of hi_ollar that had been wrenched loose with a bit of the cloth.
"You're a scoundrel and a blackguard, and I don't know what deprives me fro_he pleasure of smashing your head with this!" said Pierre, expressing himsel_o artificially because he was talking French.
He took a heavy paperweight and lifted it threateningly, but at once put i_ack in its place.
"Did you promise to marry her?"
"I… I didn't think of it. I never promised, because… "
Pierre interrupted him.
"Have you any letters of hers? Any letters?" he said, moving toward Anatole.
Anatole glanced at him and immediately thrust his hand into his pocket an_rew out his pocketbook.
Pierre took the letter Anatole handed him and, pushing aside a table tha_tood in his way, threw himself on the sofa.
"I shan't be violent, don't be afraid!" said Pierre in answer to a frightene_esture of Anatole's. "First, the letters," said he, as if repeating a lesso_o himself. "Secondly," he continued after a short pause, again rising an_gain pacing the room, "tomorrow you must get out of Moscow."
"But how can I?… "
"Thirdly," Pierre continued without listening to him, "you must never breath_ word of what has passed between you and Countess Rostova. I know I can'_revent your doing so, but if you have a spark of conscience… " Pierre pace_he room several times in silence.
Anatole sat at a table frowning and biting his lips.
"After all, you must understand that besides your pleasure there is such _hing as other people's happiness and peace, and that you are ruining a whol_ife for the sake of amusing yourself! Amuse yourself with women like m_ife—with them you are within your rights, for they know what you want o_hem. They are armed against you by the same experience of debauchery; but t_romise a maid to marry her… to deceive, to kidnap… . Don't you understan_hat it is as mean as beating an old man or a child?… "
Pierre paused and looked at Anatole no longer with an angry but with _uestioning look.
"I don't know about that, eh?" said Anatole, growing more confident as Pierr_astered his wrath. "I don't know that and don't want to," he said, no_ooking at Pierre and with a slight tremor of his lower jaw, "but you hav_sed such words to me—'mean' and so on—which as a man of honor I can't allo_nyone to use."
Pierre glanced at him with amazement, unable to understand what he wanted.
"Though it was tete-a-tete," Anatole continued, "still I can't… "
"Is it satisfaction you want?" said Pierre ironically.
"You could at least take back your words. What? If you want me to do as yo_ish, eh?"
"I take them back, I take them back!" said Pierre, "and I ask you to forgiv_e." Pierre involuntarily glanced at the loose button. "And if you requir_oney for your journey… "
Anatole smiled. The expression of that base and cringing smile, which Pierr_new so well in his wife, revolted him.
"Oh, vile and heartless brood!" he exclaimed, and left the room.