"Nicholas, have you come? Come here, dear!" called the old countess from the drawing room.

Nicholas went to her, kissed her hand, and sitting down silently at her table began to watch her hands arranging the cards.

From the dancing room, they still heard the laughter and merry voices trying to persuade Natasha to sing.

"All wight! All wight!" shouted Denisov.

" It's no good making excuses now! It's your turn to sing the ba'cawolla--I entweat you!" The countess glanced at her silent son.

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