It’s been two months now since the big battle, and still no news of Andrei. His body wasn’t found, and he’s not on the list of prisoners. Hopefully he was picked up by some Good Samaritan and is healing up somewhere.
His dad gets a letter from Kutuzov, who tells him how Andrei ran forward into battle holding up the standard, and how now no one knows where he is.
The next day Bolkonsky is in the garden with Marya when he just starts to crumble. She immediately figures out that it’s about Andrei, and he tells her that Andrei’s been killed.
Marya has a different reaction, since she’s deeply religious. She immediately starts thinking about his soul.
Bolkonsky asks her to go tell Liza the bad news.
But when Marya goes to see her sister-in-law, Liza is feeling the baby inside her and is kind of spacing out. Marya decides to wait and not tell her the news until after the baby is born (which will be any day now).
Marya and Bolkonsky both hide the news. Bolkonsky decides that Andrei is dead, and orders a grave for him. Meanwhile, Marya decides that Andrei is alive and prays for him to recover and to write to them.