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War And Peace 113


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to. "You picked it up?... I dare say! Youre very smart!" one of them shouted hoarsely. Then a thin, pale soldier, his neck bandaged with a bloodstained leg band, came up and in angry tones asked the artillerymen for water. "Must one die like a dog?" said he. Tushin told them to give the man some water. Then a cheerful soldier ran up, begging a little fire for the infantry. "A nice little hot torch for the infantry! Good luck to you, fellow countrymen. Thanks for the fire--well return it with interest," said he, carrying away into the darkness a glowing stick. Next came four soldiers, carrying something heavy on a cloak, and passed by the fire. One of them stumbled. "Who the devil has put the logs on the road?" snarled he. "Hes dead--why carry him?" said another. "Shut up!" And they disappeared into the darkness with their load. "Still aching?" Tushin asked Rostov in a whisper. "Yes." "Your honor, youre wanted by the general. He is in the hut here," said a gunner, coming up to Tushin. "Coming, friend." Tushin rose and, buttoning his greatcoat and pulling it straight, walked away from the fire. Not far from the artillery campfire, in a hut that had been prepared for him, Prince Bagration sat at dinner, talking with some commanding officers who had gathered at his quarters. The little old man with the half-closed eyes was there greedily gnawing a mutton bone, and the general who had served blamelessly for twenty-two years, flushed by a glass of vodka and the dinner; and the staff officer with the signet ring, and Zherkov, uneasily glancing at them all, and Prince Andrew, pale, with compressed lips and feverishly glittering eyes. In a corner of the hut stood a standard captured from the French, and the accountant with the naive face was feeling its texture, shaking his head in perplexity--perhaps because the banner really interested him, perhaps because it was hard for him, hungry as he was, to look on at a dinner where there was no place for him. In the next hut there was a French colonel who had been taken prisoner by our dragoons. Our officers were flocking in to look at him. Prince Bagration was thanking the individual commanders and inquiring into details of the action and our losses. The general whose regiment had been inspected at Braunau was informing the prince that as soon as the action began he had withdrawn from the wood, mustered the men who were woodcutting, and, allowing the French to pass him, had made a bayonet charge with two battalions and had broken up the French troops. "When I saw, your excellency, that their first battalion was disorganized, I stopped in the road and thought: Ill let them come on and will meet them with the fire of the whole battalion--and thats what I did." The general had so wished to do this and was so sorry he had not managed to do it that it seemed to him as if it had really happened. Perhaps it might really have been so? Could one possibly make out amid all that confusion what did or did not happen? "By the way, your excellency, I should inform you," he continued--remembering Dolokhovs conversation with Kutuzov and his last interview with the gentleman-ranker--"that Private Dolokhov, who was reduced to the ranks, took a French officer prisoner in my presence and particularly distinguished himself." "I saw the Pavlograd hussars attack there, your excellency," chimed in Zherkov, looking uneasily around. He had not seen the hussars all that day, but had heard about them from an infantry officer. "They broke up two squares, your excellency." Several of those present smiled at Zherkovs words, expecting one of his usual jokes, but noticing that what he was saying redounded to the glory of our arms and of the days work, they assumed a serious expression, though many of them knew that what he was saying was a lie devoid of any foundation. Prince Bagration turned to the old colonel: "Gentlemen, I thank you all; all arms have behaved heroically: infantry, cavalry, and artillery. How was it that two guns were abandoned in the center?" he inquired, searching with his eyes for someone. (Prince Bagration did not ask about the guns on the left flank; he knew that all the guns there had been abandoned at the very beginning of the action.) "I think I sent you?" he added, turning to the staff officer on duty. "One was damaged," answered the staff officer, "and the other I cant understand. I was there all the time giving orders and had only just

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