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War And Peace 138


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which the Guards prided themselves), the officers on foot and at their proper posts. Boris had been quartered, and had marched all the way, with Berg who was already in command of a company. Berg, who had obtained his captaincy during the campaign, had gained the confidence of his superiors by his promptitude and accuracy and had arranged his money matters very satisfactorily. Boris, during the campaign, had made the acquaintance of many persons who might prove useful to him, and by a letter of recommendation he had brought from Pierre had become acquainted with Prince Andrew Bolkonski, through whom he hoped to obtain a post on the commander in chiefs staff. Berg and Boris, having rested after yesterdays march, were sitting, clean and neatly dressed, at a round table in the clean quarters allotted to them, playing chess. Berg held a smoking pipe between his knees. Boris, in the accurate way characteristic of him, was building a little pyramid of chessmen with his delicate white fingers while awaiting Bergs move, and watched his opponents face, evidently thinking about the game as he always thought only of whatever he was engaged on. "Well, how are you going to get out of that?" he remarked. "Well try to," replied Berg, touching a pawn and then removing his hand. At that moment the door opened. "Here he is at last!" shouted Rostov. "And Berg too! Oh, you petisenfans, allay cushay dormir!" he exclaimed, imitating his Russian nurses French, at which he and Boris used to laugh long ago. "Dear me, how you have changed!" Boris rose to meet Rostov, but in doing so did not omit to steady and replace some chessmen that were falling. He was about to embrace his friend, but Nicholas avoided him. With that peculiar feeling of youth, that dread of beaten tracks, and wish to express itself in a manner different from that of its elders which is often insincere, Nicholas wished to do something special on meeting his friend. He wanted to pinch him, push him, do anything but kiss him--a thing everybody did. But notwithstanding this, Boris embraced him in a quiet, friendly way and kissed him three times. They had not met for nearly half a year and, being at the age when young men take their first steps on lifes road, each saw immense changes in the other, quite a new reflection of the society in which they had taken those first steps. Both had changed greatly since they last met and both were in a hurry to show the changes that had taken place in them. "Oh, you damned dandies! Clean and fresh as if youd been to a fete, not like us sinners of the line," cried Rostov, with martial swagger and with baritone notes in his voice, new to Boris, pointing to his own mud-bespattered breeches. The German landlady, hearing Rostovs loud voice, popped her head in at the door. "Eh, is she pretty?" he asked with a wink. "Why do you shout so? Youll frighten them!" said Boris. "I did not expect you today," he added. "I only sent you the note yesterday by Bolkonski--an adjutant of Kutuzovs, whos a friend of mine. I did not think he would get it to you so quickly.... Well, how are you? Been under fire already?" asked Boris. Without answering, Rostov shook the soldiers Cross of St. George fastened to the cording of his uniform and, indicating a bandaged arm, glanced at Berg with a smile. "As you see," he said. "Indeed? Yes, yes!" said Boris, with a smile. "And we too have had a splendid march. You know, of course, that His Imperial Highness rode with our regiment all the time, so that we had every comfort and every advantage. What receptions we had in Poland! What dinners and balls! I cant tell you. And the Tsarevich was very gracious to all our officers." And the two friends told each other of their doings, the one of his hussar revels and life in the fighting line, the other of the pleasures and advantages of service under members of the Imperial family. "Oh, you Guards!" said Rostov. "I say, send for some wine." Boris made a grimace. "If you really want it," said he. He went to his bed, drew a purse from under the clean pillow, and sent for wine. "Yes, and I have some money and a letter to give you," he added. Rostov took the letter and, throwing the money on the sofa, put both arms on the table and began to read. After reading a few lines, he glanced angrily at Berg, then,

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