This is getting complicated. Slogging Nikolai, getting a letter that Natasha is ill, and writing to Sonya that he would come and marry her if he could, but this was their last separation, and he had to fight for the fatherland. He does fantasize about country life - hunting, houses, dogs (where he’ll get the money for it, who knows, but he isn’t aware of that).
Nikolai was given his old squadron, pay doubled, and they moved into Poland.It’s the 12th of June, and a thunderstorm - a wild one. Action is to begin on the 13th. There is a new young officer, Ilyin, all of sixteen, who reminds Andrei of himself at that age to Denisov., he “tried to imitate Rostov and was in love with him like a woman.”
They are wet and cold, and Ilyin finds a tavern that some of their men are already at, as is Marya Genrikhovna, the wife of a regimental doctor.
The nature descriptions are wonderful, water dripping everywhere. You can feel the discomfort. His writing is so beautiful, and in the midst of it always this little doubt from the soldiers, wondering what it’s all for, but in it anyway.