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able to move on for some time, Alpatych got down and turned into the side street to look at the fire. Soldiers were continually rushing backwards and forwards near it, and he saw two of them and a man in a frieze coat dragging burning beams into another yard across the street, while others carried bundles of hay. Alpatych went up to a large crowd standing before a high barn which was blazing briskly. The walls were all on fire and the back wall had fallen in, the wooden roof was collapsing, and the rafters were alight. The crowd was evidently watching for the roof to fall in, and Alpatych watched for it too. "Alpatych!" a familiar voice suddenly hailed the old man. "Mercy on us! Your excellency!" answered Alpatych, immediately recognizing the voice of his young prince. Prince Andrew in his riding cloak, mounted on a black horse, was looking at Alpatych from the back of the crowd. "Why are you here?" he asked. "Your... your excellency," stammered Alpatych and broke into sobs. "Are we really lost? Master!..." "Why are you here?" Prince Andrew repeated. At that moment the flames flared up and showed his young masters pale worn face. Alpatych told how he had been sent there and how difficult it was to get away. "Are we really quite lost, your excellency?" he asked again. Prince Andrew without replying took out a notebook and raising his knee began writing in pencil on a page he tore out. He wrote to his sister: "Smolensk is being abandoned. Bald Hills will be occupied by the enemy within a week. Set off immediately for Moscow. Let me know at once when you will start. Send by special messenger to Usvyazh." Having written this and given the paper to Alpatych, he told him how to arrange for departure of the prince, the princess, his son, and the boys tutor, and how and where to let him know immediately. Before he had had time to finish giving these instructions, a chief of staff followed by a suite galloped up to him. "You are a colonel?" shouted the chief of staff with a German accent, in a voice familiar to Prince Andrew. "Houses are set on fire in your presence and you stand by! What does this mean? You will answer for it!" shouted Berg, who was now assistant to the chief of staff of the commander of the left flank of the infantry of the first army, a place, as Berg said, "very agreeable and well en evidence." Prince Andrew looked at him and without replying went on speaking to Alpatych. "So tell them that I shall await a reply till the tenth, and if by the tenth I dont receive news that they have all got away I shall have to throw up everything and come myself to Bald Hills." "Prince," said Berg, recognizing Prince Andrew, "I only spoke because I have to obey orders, because I always do obey exactly.... You must please excuse me," he went on apologetically. Something cracked in the flames. The fire died down for a moment and wreaths of black smoke rolled from under the roof. There was another terrible crash and something huge collapsed. "Ou-rou-rou!" yelled the crowd, echoing the crash of the collapsing roof of the barn, the burning grain in which diffused a cakelike aroma all around. The flames flared up again, lighting the animated, delighted, exhausted faces of the spectators. The man in the frieze coat raised his arms and shouted: "Its fine, lads! Now its raging... Its fine!" "Thats the owner himself," cried several voices. "Well then," continued Prince Andrew to Alpatych, "report to them as I have told you"; and not replying a word to Berg who was now mute beside him, he touched his horse and rode down the side street. CHAPTER V From Smolensk the troops continued to retreat, followed by the enemy. On the tenth of August the regiment Prince Andrew commanded was marching along the highroad past the avenue leading to Bald Hills. Heat and drought had continued for more than three weeks. Each day fleecy clouds floated across the sky and occasionally veiled the sun, but toward evening the sky cleared again and the sun set in reddish-brown mist. Heavy night dews alone refreshed the earth. The unreaped corn was scorched and shed its grain. The marshes dried up. The cattle lowed from hunger, finding no food on the sun-parched meadows. Only at night and in the forests while the dew lasted was there any freshness. But on the road, the highroad along which the troops marched, there was no

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