It turns out Anna Pavlovna is right – the next day the letter from Kutuzov arrives declaring a big victory over the French in Borodino. Everyone is overjoyed.
Prince Vassily is all, see I told you Kutuzov is the man.
Later that day, though, a different piece of news arrives: Helene has died! The official story is that she had some kind of heart malady, but in private people tell the more likely story: she was pregnant and using the new doctor to induce a miscarriage. When Pierre didn’t respond to her letter and she realized there was no divorce coming, she overdosed on the meds the doctor was giving her and killed herself.
Three days later, news comes that Moscow is going to be abandoned, and Prince Vassily changes his tune again about Kutuzov.