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War And Peace 444


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it proposed that instead of, or concurrently with, action on the front to bar the advance of the French, we should attack their line of communication. He began explaining his plan to Prince Andrew. "They cant hold all that line. Its impossible. I will undertake to bweak thwough. Give me five hundwed men and I will bweak the line, thats certain! Theres only one way--guewilla warfare!" Denisov rose and began gesticulating as he explained his plan to Bolkonski. In the midst of his explanation shouts were heard from the army, growing more incoherent and more diffused, mingling with music and songs and coming from the field where the review was held. Sounds of hoofs and shouts were nearing the village. "Hes coming! Hes coming!" shouted a Cossack standing at the gate. Bolkonski and Denisov moved to the gate, at which a knot of soldiers (a guard of honor) was standing, and they saw Kutuzov coming down the street mounted on a rather small sorrel horse. A huge suite of generals rode behind him. Barclay was riding almost beside him, and a crowd of officers ran after and around them shouting, "Hurrah!" His adjutants galloped into the yard before him. Kutuzov was impatiently urging on his horse, which ambled smoothly under his weight, and he raised his hand to his white Horse Guards cap with a red band and no peak, nodding his head continually. When he came up to the guard of honor, a fine set of Grenadiers mostly wearing decorations, who were giving him the salute, he looked at them silently and attentively for nearly a minute with the steady gaze of a commander and then turned to the crowd of generals and officers surrounding him. Suddenly his face assumed a subtle expression, he shrugged his shoulders with an air of perplexity. "And with such fine fellows to retreat and retreat! Well, good-by, General," he added, and rode into the yard past Prince Andrew and Denisov. "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" shouted those behind him. Since Prince Andrew had last seen him Kutuzov had grown still more corpulent, flaccid, and fat. But the bleached eyeball, the scar, and the familiar weariness of his expression were still the same. He was wearing the white Horse Guards cap and a military overcoat with a whip hanging over his shoulder by a thin strap. He sat heavily and swayed limply on his brisk little horse. "Whew... whew... whew!" he whistled just audibly as he rode into the yard. His face expressed the relief of relaxed strain felt by a man who means to rest after a ceremony. He drew his left foot out of the stirrup and, lurching with his whole body and puckering his face with the effort, raised it with difficulty onto the saddle, leaned on his knee, groaned, and slipped down into the arms of the Cossacks and adjutants who stood ready to assist him. He pulled himself together, looked round, screwing up his eyes, glanced at Prince Andrew, and, evidently not recognizing him, moved with his waddling gait to the porch. "Whew... whew... whew!" he whistled, and again glanced at Prince Andrew. As often occurs with old men, it was only after some seconds that the impression produced by Prince Andrews face linked itself up with Kutuzovs remembrance of his personality. "Ah, how do you do, my dear prince? How do you do, my dear boy? Come along..." said he, glancing wearily round, and he stepped onto the porch which creaked under his weight. He unbuttoned his coat and sat down on a bench in the porch. "And hows your father?" "I received news of his death, yesterday," replied Prince Andrew abruptly. Kutuzov looked at him with eyes wide open with dismay and then took off his cap and crossed himself: "May the kingdom of Heaven be his! Gods will be done to us all!" He sighed deeply, his whole chest heaving, and was silent for a while. "I loved him and respected him, and sympathize with you with all my heart." He embraced Prince Andrew, pressing him to his fat breast, and for some time did not let him go. When he released him Prince Andrew saw that Kutuzovs flabby lips were trembling and that tears were in his eyes. He sighed and pressed on the bench with both hands to raise himself. "Come! Come with me, well have a talk," said he. But at that moment Denisov, no more intimidated by his superiors than by the enemy, came with jingling spurs up the steps of the porch, despite the angry whispers of the adjutants who tried to stop him. Kutuzov, his hands

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