Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
still pressed on the seat, glanced at him glumly.
Denisov, having given his name, announced that he had to communicate
to his Serene Highness a matter of great importance for their
countrys welfare. Kutuzov looked wearily at him and, lifting his
hands with a gesture of annoyance, folded them across his stomach,
repeating the words: "For our countrys welfare? Well, what is it?
Speak!" Denisov blushed like a girl (it was strange to see the color
rise in that shaggy, bibulous, time-worn face) and boldly began to
expound his plan of cutting the enemys lines of communication between
Smolensk and Vyazma. Denisov came from those parts and knew the
country well. His plan seemed decidedly a good one, especially from
the strength of conviction with which he spoke. Kutuzov looked down at
his own legs, occasionally glancing at the door of the adjoining hut
as if expecting something unpleasant to emerge from it. And from
that hut, while Denisov was speaking, a general with a portfolio under
his arm really did appear.
"What?" said Kutuzov, in the midst of Denisovs explanations, "are
you ready so soon?"
"Ready, your Serene Highness," replied the general.
Kutuzov swayed his head, as much as to say: "How is one man to
deal with it all?" and again listened to Denisov.
"I give my word of honor as a Wussian officer," said Denisov,
"that I can bweak Napoleons line of communication!"
"What relation are you to Intendant General Kiril Andreevich
Denisov?" asked Kutuzov, interrupting him.
"He is my uncle, your Sewene Highness."
"Ah, we were friends," said Kutuzov cheerfully. "All right, all
right, friend, stay here at the staff and tomorrow well have a talk."
With a nod to Denisov he turned away and put out his hand for the
papers Konovnitsyn had brought him.
"Would not your Serene Highness like to come inside?" said the
general on duty in a discontented voice, "the plans must be examined
and several papers have to be signed."
An adjutant came out and announced that everything was in
readiness within. But Kutuzov evidently did not wish to enter that
room till he was disengaged. He made a grimace...
"No, tell them to bring a small table out here, my dear boy. Ill
look at them here," said he. "Dont go away," he added, turning to
Prince Andrew, who remained in the porch and listened to the generals
While this was being given, Prince Andrew heard the whisper of a
womans voice and the rustle of a silk dress behind the door.
Several times on glancing that way he noticed behind that door a
plump, rosy, handsome woman in a pink dress with a lilac silk kerchief
on her head, holding a dish and evidently awaiting the entrance of the
commander in chief. Kutuzovs adjutant whispered to Prince Andrew
that this was the wife of the priest whose home it was, and that she
intended to offer his Serene Highness bread and salt. "Her husband has
welcomed his Serene Highness with the cross at the church, and she
intends to welcome him in the house.... Shes very pretty," added
the adjutant with a smile. At those words Kutuzov looked round. He was
listening to the generals report--which consisted chiefly of a
criticism of the position at Tsarevo-Zaymishche--as he had listened to
Denisov, and seven years previously had listened to the discussion
at the Austerlitz council of war. He evidently listened only because
he had ears which, though there was a piece of tow in one of them,
could not help hearing; but it was evident that nothing the general
could say would surprise or even interest him, that he knew all that
would be said beforehand, and heard it all only because he had to,
as one has to listen to the chanting of a service of prayer. All
that Denisov had said was clever and to the point. What the general
was saying was even more clever and to the point, but it was evident
that Kutuzov despised knowledge and cleverness, and knew of
something else that would decide the matter--something independent
of cleverness and knowledge. Prince Andrew watched the commander
in chiefs face attentively, and the only expression he could see
there was one of boredom, curiosity as to the meaning of the
feminine whispering behind the door, and a desire to observe
propriety. It was evident that Kutuzov despised cleverness and
learning and even the patriotic feeling shown by Denisov, but despised
them not because of his own intellect, feelings, or knowledge--he
did not try to display any of these--but because of something else. He
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