Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
me away, says
she, dont let me perish with my little children! Folks, she says,
are all gone, so why, she says, dont we go? And he began
beating and pulling her about so!"
At these words Alpatych nodded as if in approval, and not wishing to
hear more went to the door of the room opposite the innkeepers, where
he had left his purchases.
"You brute, you murderer!" screamed a thin, pale woman who, with a
baby in her arms and her kerchief torn from her head, burst through
the door at that moment and down the steps into the yard.
Ferapontov came out after her, but on seeing Alpatych adjusted his
waistcoat, smoothed his hair, yawned, and followed Alpatych into the
"Going already?" said he.
Alpatych, without answering or looking at his host, sorted his
packages and asked how much he owed.
"Well reckon up! Well, have you been to the Governors?" asked
Ferapontov. "What has been decided?"
Alpatych replied that the Governor had not told him anything
"With our business, how can we get away?" said Ferapontov. "Wed
have to pay seven rubles a cartload to Dorogobuzh and I tell them
theyre not Christians to ask it! Selivanov, now, did a good stroke
last Thursday--sold flour to the army at nine rubles a sack. Will
you have some tea?" he added.
While the horses were being harnessed Alpatych and Ferapontov over
their tea talked of the price of corn, the crops, and the good weather
"Well, it seems to be getting quieter," remarked Ferapontov,
finishing his third cup of tea and getting up. "Ours must have got the
best of it. The orders were not to let them in. So were in force,
it seems.... They say the other day Matthew Ivanych Platov drove
them into the river Marina and drowned some eighteen thousand in one
Alpatych collected his parcels, handed them to the coachman who
had come in, and settled up with the innkeeper. The noise of wheels,
hoofs, and bells was heard from the gateway as a little trap passed
It was by now late in the afternoon. Half the street was in
shadow, the other half brightly lit by the sun. Alpatych looked out of
the window and went to the door. Suddenly the strange sound of a
far-off whistling and thud was heard, followed by a boom of cannon
blending into a dull roar that set the windows rattling.
He went out into the street: two men were running past toward the
bridge. From different sides came whistling sounds and the thud of
cannon balls and bursting shells falling on the town. But these sounds
were hardly heard in comparison with the noise of the firing outside
the town and attracted little attention from the inhabitants. The town
was being bombarded by a hundred and thirty guns which Napoleon had
ordered up after four oclock. The people did not at once realize
the meaning of this bombardment.
At first the noise of the falling bombs and shells only aroused
curiosity. Ferapontovs wife, who till then had not ceased wailing
under the shed, became quiet and with the baby in her arms went to the
gate, listening to the sounds and looking in silence at the people.
The cook and a shop assistant came to the gate. With lively
curiosity everyone tried to get a glimpse of the projectiles as they
flew over their heads. Several people came round the corner talking
"What force!" remarked one. "Knocked the roof and ceiling all to
"Routed up the earth like a pig," said another.
"Thats grand, it bucks one up!" laughed the first. "Lucky you
jumped aside, or it would have wiped you out!"
Others joined those men and stopped and told how cannon balls had
fallen on a house close to them. Meanwhile still more projectiles, now
with the swift sinister whistle of a cannon ball, now with the
agreeable intermittent whistle of a shell, flew over peoples heads
incessantly, but not one fell close by, they all flew over. Alpatych
was getting into his trap. The innkeeper stood at the gate.
"What are you staring at?" he shouted to the cook, who in her red
skirt, with sleeves rolled up, swinging her bare elbows, had stepped
to the corner to listen to what was being said.
"What marvels!" she exclaimed, but hearing her masters voice she
turned back, pulling down her tucked-up skirt.
Once more something whistled, but this time quite close, swooping
downwards like a little bird; a flame flashed in the middle of the
street, something exploded, and the street
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