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War And Peace 238

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War And Peace

sun through the large windows, the sick and wounded lay in two rows with their heads to the walls, and leaving a passage in the middle. Most of them were unconscious and paid no attention to the newcomers. Those who were conscious raised themselves or lifted their thin yellow faces, and all looked intently at Rostov with the same expression of hope, of relief, reproach, and envy of anothers health. Rostov went to the middle of the room and looking through the open doors into the two adjoining rooms saw the same thing there. He stood still, looking silently around. He had not at all expected such a sight. Just before him, almost across the middle of the passage on the bare floor, lay a sick man, probably a Cossack to judge by the cut of his hair. The man lay on his back, his huge arms and legs outstretched. His face was purple, his eyes were rolled back so that only the whites were seen, and on his bare legs and arms which were still red, the veins stood out like cords. He was knocking the back of his head against the floor, hoarsely uttering some word which he kept repeating. Rostov listened and made out the word. It was "drink, drink, a drink!" Rostov glanced round, looking for someone who would put this man back in his place and bring him water. "Who looks after the sick here?" he asked the assistant. Just then a commissariat soldier, a hospital orderly, came in from the next room, marching stiffly, and drew up in front of Rostov. "Good day, your honor!" he shouted, rolling his eyes at Rostov and evidently mistaking him for one of the hospital authorities. "Get him to his place and give him some water," said Rostov, pointing to the Cossack. "Yes, your honor," the soldier replied complacently, and rolling his eyes more than ever he drew himself up still straighter, but did not move. "No, its impossible to do anything here," thought Rostov, lowering his eyes, and he was going out, but became aware of an intense look fixed on him on his right, and he turned. Close to the corner, on an overcoat, sat an old, unshaven, gray-bearded soldier as thin as a skeleton, with a stern sallow face and eyes intently fixed on Rostov. The mans neighbor on one side whispered something to him, pointing at Rostov, who noticed that the old man wanted to speak to him. He drew nearer and saw that the old man had only one leg bent under him, the other had been amputated above the knee. His neighbor on the other side, who lay motionless some distance from him with his head thrown back, was a young soldier with a snub nose. His pale waxen face was still freckled and his eyes were rolled back. Rostov looked at the young soldier and a cold chill ran down his back. "Why, this one seems..." he began, turning to the assistant. "And how weve been begging, your honor," said the old soldier, his jaw quivering. "Hes been dead since morning. After all were men, not dogs." "Ill send someone at once. He shall be taken away--taken away at once," said the assistant hurriedly. "Let us go, your honor." "Yes, yes, let us go," said Rostov hastily, and lowering his eyes and shrinking, he tried to pass unnoticed between the rows of reproachful envious eyes that were fixed upon him, and went out of the room. CHAPTER XVIII Going along the corridor, the assistant led Rostov to the officers wards, consisting of three rooms, the doors of which stood open. There were beds in these rooms and the sick and wounded officers were lying or sitting on them. Some were walking about the rooms in hospital dressing gowns. The first person Rostov met in the officers ward was a thin little man with one arm, who was walking about the first room in a nightcap and hospital dressing gown, with a pipe between his teeth. Rostov looked at him, trying to remember where he had seen him before. "See where weve met again!" said the little man. "Tushin, Tushin, dont you remember, who gave you a lift at Schon Grabern? And Ive had a bit cut off, you see..." he went on with a smile, pointing to the empty sleeve of his dressing gown. "Looking for Vasili Dmitrich Denisov? My neighbor," he added, when he heard who Rostov wanted. "Here, here," and Tushin led him into the next room, from whence came sounds of several laughing voices. "How can they laugh, or

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