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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 4, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Count Rostov gets ready to go hunting too, but now he’s not in charge of it any more – Nikolai is.
  • Nikolai is getting a little big for his britches and ignores his brother and sister because he’s now a very serious hunter leader guy. They go with it.
  • Everyone rides out, and on the road they meet a distant relative who joins the hunt. They combine their dog packs into one.
  • At the hunting reserve, everyone gets set up.
  • Just so we get some idea of what is actually happening here, Shmoop is going to give you all a little hunting lesson. First things first. Yes, it’s kind of gruesome and unfair for the animals. You don’t have to be an animal activist to be disturbed by the whole thing, but this is what they did for fun way back when. Anyway, there is a little patch of forest where the wolves are. A bunch of servants called kennelmen run the dog pack into the forest to find the wolves and chase them out. Then either the dogs kill them or the humans finish them off.
  • Natasha and Petya stand far away and just watch, even though Natasha is an excellent horse rider.
  • Nikolai, as we know, is a serious hunter, so he gets ready to hunt down whatever comes out of the forest.
  • His dad is just in it for the company and spending time outside, so he just hangs out with his valet and knocks back a few.
  • While Count Rostov and his valet are chitchatting, the dogs are having trouble with the wolves, and the dog pack splits up. It’s not really clear why, but apparently this is a bad thing.
  • One of the wolves runs out of the forest near Count Rostov. He’s not expecting anything to come near him, so he’s slow on the uptake and the wolf slips away.
  • Danilo comes out, gets mad, and tells off the Count.  Which is a little bit of a no-no, since, you know, the Count basically owns Danilo.

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