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War And Peace 111

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War And Peace

the gun, when a strange, unfamiliar voice called above his head: "Captain Tushin! Captain!" Tushin turned round in dismay. It was the staff officer who had turned him out of the booth at Grunth. He was shouting in a gasping voice: "Are you mad? You have twice been ordered to retreat, and you..." "Why are they down on me?" thought Tushin, looking in alarm at his superior. "I... dont..." he muttered, holding up two fingers to his cap. "I..." But the staff officer did not finish what he wanted to say. A cannon ball, flying close to him, caused him to duck and bend over his horse. He paused, and just as he was about to say something more, another ball stopped him. He turned his horse and galloped off. "Retire! All to retire!" he shouted from a distance. The soldiers laughed. A moment later, an adjutant arrived with the same order. It was Prince Andrew. The first thing he saw on riding up to the space where Tushins guns were stationed was an unharnessed horse with a broken leg, that lay screaming piteously beside the harnessed horses. Blood was gushing from its leg as from a spring. Among the limbers lay several dead men. One ball after another passed over as he approached and he felt a nervous shudder run down his spine. But the mere thought of being afraid roused him again. "I cannot be afraid," thought he, and dismounted slowly among the guns. He delivered the order and did not leave the battery. He decided to have the guns removed from their positions and withdrawn in his presence. Together with Tushin, stepping across the bodies and under a terrible fire from the French, he attended to the removal of the guns. "A staff officer was here a minute ago, but skipped off," said an artilleryman to Prince Andrew. "Not like your honor!" Prince Andrew said nothing to Tushin. They were both so busy as to seem not to notice one another. When having limbered up the only two cannon that remained uninjured out of the four, they began moving down the hill (one shattered gun and one unicorn were left behind), Prince Andrew rode up to Tushin. "Well, till we meet again..." he said, holding out his hand to Tushin. "Good-by, my dear fellow," said Tushin. "Dear soul! Good-by, my dear fellow!" and for some unknown reason tears suddenly filled his eyes. CHAPTER XXI The wind had fallen and black clouds, merging with the powder smoke, hung low over the field of battle on the horizon. It was growing dark and the glow of two conflagrations was the more conspicuous. The cannonade was dying down, but the rattle of musketry behind and on the right sounded oftener and nearer. As soon as Tushin with his guns, continually driving round or coming upon wounded men, was out of range of fire and had descended into the dip, he was met by some of the staff, among them the staff officer and Zherkov, who had been twice sent to Tushins battery but had never reached it. Interrupting one another, they all gave, and transmitted, orders as to how to proceed, reprimanding and reproaching him. Tushin gave no orders, and, silently--fearing to speak because at every word he felt ready to weep without knowing why--rode behind on his artillery nag. Though the orders were to abandon the wounded, many of them dragged themselves after troops and begged for seats on the gun carriages. The jaunty infantry officer who just before the battle had rushed out of Tushins wattle shed was laid, with a bullet in his stomach, on "Matvevnas" carriage. At the foot of the hill, a pale hussar cadet, supporting one hand with the other, came up to Tushin and asked for a seat. "Captain, for Gods sake! Ive hurt my arm," he said timidly. "For Gods sake... I cant walk. For Gods sake!" It was plain that this cadet had already repeatedly asked for a lift and been refused. He asked in a hesitating, piteous voice. "Tell them to give me a seat, for Gods sake!" "Give him a seat," said Tushin. "Lay a cloak for him to sit on, lad," he said, addressing his favorite soldier. "And where is the wounded officer?" "He has been set down. He died," replied someone. "Help him up. Sit down, dear fellow, sit down! Spread out the cloak, Antonov." The cadet was Rostov. With one hand he supported the other; he was pale and his jaw trembled, shivering feverishly. He was placed on "Matvevna," the gun from which they had removed the dead officer. The

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