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Moving on from the dysfunctional to the totally normal…
It’s been a while since the Rostovs got a letter from Nikolai. Uh-oh...
Just kidding. A letter comes announcing that he’s been wounded, but is all better now – and also that he’s gotten promoted to officer.
Count Rostov reads the letter crying and laughing at the same time. He’s relieved, but can’t figure out how to tell the Countess, who will freak out when she hears about Nikolai’s injury.
Anna Mikhailovna, who is still living with the Rostovs, says that she’ll handle it.
All during dinner, Anna keeps dropping little hints about Nikolai, but then playing them off casually. She’s setting the mood, and does it so well that Natasha catches on.
After dinner Natasha corners her and demands to know what’s going on with her brother. Anna tells her, and Natasha swears to secrecy...until five seconds letter when she tells Sonya everything.
They have a little heart to heart. Sonya is still truly madly in love with Nikolai, but Natasha is over Boris. Natasha’s brother Petya busts out with a list of guys that she’s had a crush on since Boris. It’s awesome because he’s only 9 years old.
Sonya decides to write Nikolai a letter.
Meanwhile, Anna Mikhailovna goes to see the Countess, and slowly and carefully fills her in on the haps. She does it really well – the Countess doesn’t freak out too much and is mostly happy.
Everyone is overwhelmed with emotion except Vera, who is like some kind of robot watching humans expressing feelings.
The family goes into overdrive trying to get officer stuff ready to send to Nikolai (including 6,000 rubles), and writing him letters.
Finally, the package is assembled and shipped out to him, via Boris. There’s some doubt in the novel about whether this is a good idea, since the Rostovs don’t really understand how it works to send mail to a moving army. Shmoop doesn’t really have a good sense of it either. We’re guessing...couriers?