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August 31 – the Rostovs are still at it. Boxes here, boxes there, boxes, boxes everywhere.
Natasha feels bad that she’s not helping, but at the same time can’t get it together enough to do anything useful.
Meanwhile, outside, the Russian army’s wounded soldiers are being brought into the city. An officer stops at the Rostov house and asks the housekeeper whether they can quarter some wounded there.
Natasha overhears this and immediately invites the wounded in.
Dozens of carts loaded with groaning men park in the courtyard of the house (the Rostovs have a mansion, don’t forget).
Running inside, Natasha asks Count Rostov’s permission to house the wounded, and he quickly says yes.
At dinner that night, Petya comes home and tells them how Rastopchin handed out weapons to the residents and is making plans to defend the city. Petya is all excited to participate. Hearing this, Countess Rostov demands that they leave that night. She’s terrified that Petya is going to be a part of the fight.