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War And Peace 110


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the French, our artillerymen only noticed this battery when two balls, and then four more, fell among our guns, one knocking over two horses and another tearing off a munition-wagon drivers leg. Their spirits once roused were, however, not diminished, but only changed character. The horses were replaced by others from a reserve gun carriage, the wounded were carried away, and the four guns were turned against the ten-gun battery. Tushins companion officer had been killed at the beginning of the engagement and within an hour seventeen of the forty men of the guns crews had been disabled, but the artillerymen were still as merry and lively as ever. Twice they noticed the French appearing below them, and then they fired grapeshot at them. Little Tushin, moving feebly and awkwardly, kept telling his orderly to "refill my pipe for that one!" and then, scattering sparks from it, ran forward shading his eyes with his small hand to look at the French. "Smack at em, lads!" he kept saying, seizing the guns by the wheels and working the screws himself. Amid the smoke, deafened by the incessant reports which always made him jump, Tushin not taking his pipe from his mouth ran from gun to gun, now aiming, now counting the charges, now giving orders about replacing dead or wounded horses and harnessing fresh ones, and shouting in his feeble voice, so high pitched and irresolute. His face grew more and more animated. Only when a man was killed or wounded did he frown and turn away from the sight, shouting angrily at the men who, as is always the case, hesitated about lifting the injured or dead. The soldiers, for the most part handsome fellows and, as is always the case in an artillery company, a head and shoulders taller and twice as broad as their officer--all looked at their commander like children in an embarrassing situation, and the expression on his face was invariably reflected on theirs. Owing to the terrible uproar and the necessity for concentration and activity, Tushin did not experience the slightest unpleasant sense of fear, and the thought that he might be killed or badly wounded never occurred to him. On the contrary, he became more and more elated. It seemed to him that it was a very long time ago, almost a day, since he had first seen the enemy and fired the first shot, and that the corner of the field he stood on was well-known and familiar ground. Though he thought of everything, considered everything, and did everything the best of officers could do in his position, he was in a state akin to feverish delirium or drunkenness. From the deafening sounds of his own guns around him, the whistle and thud of the enemys cannon balls, from the flushed and perspiring faces of the crew bustling round the guns, from the sight of the blood of men and horses, from the little puffs of smoke on the enemys side (always followed by a ball flying past and striking the earth, a man, a gun, a horse), from the sight of all these things a fantastic world of his own had taken possession of his brain and at that moment afforded him pleasure. The enemys guns were in his fancy not guns but pipes from which occasional puffs were blown by an invisible smoker. "There... hes puffing again," muttered Tushin to himself, as a small cloud rose from the hill and was borne in a streak to the left by the wind. "Now look out for the ball... well throw it back." "What do you want, your honor?" asked an artilleryman, standing close by, who heard him muttering. "Nothing... only a shell..." he answered. "Come along, our Matvevna!" he said to himself. "Matvevna"* was the name his fancy gave to the farthest gun of the battery, which was large and of an old pattern. The French swarming round their guns seemed to him like ants. In that world, the handsome drunkard Number One of the second guns crew was "uncle"; Tushin looked at him more often than at anyone else and took delight in his every movement. The sound of musketry at the foot of the hill, now diminishing, now increasing, seemed like someones breathing. He listened intently to the ebb and flow of these sounds. *Daughter of Matthew. "Ah! Breathing again, breathing!" he muttered to himself. He imagined himself as an enormously tall, powerful man who was throwing cannon balls at the French with both hands. "Now then, Matvevna, dear old lady, dont let me down!" he was saying as he moved from

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