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War And Peace 451


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time joyfully expecting something terrible. Next day toward evening the princess set off, and Pierres head steward came to inform him that the money needed for the equipment of his regiment could not be found without selling one of the estates. In general the head steward made out to Pierre that his project of raising a regiment would ruin him. Pierre listened to him, scarcely able to repress a smile. "Well then, sell it," said he. "Whats to be done? I cant draw back now!" The worse everything became, especially his own affairs, the better was Pierre pleased and the more evident was it that the catastrophe he expected was approaching. Hardly anyone he knew was left in town. Julie had gone, and so had Princess Mary. Of his intimate friends only the Rostovs remained, but he did not go to see them. To distract his thoughts he drove that day to the village of Vorontsovo to see the great balloon Leppich was constructing to destroy the foe, and a trial balloon that was to go up next day. The balloon was not yet ready, but Pierre learned that it was being constructed by the Emperors desire. The Emperor had written to Count Rostopchin as follows: As soon as Leppich is ready, get together a crew of reliable and intelligent men for his car and send a courier to General Kutuzov to let him know. I have informed him of the matter. Please impress upon Leppich to be very careful where he descends for the first time, that he may not make a mistake and fall into the enemys hands. It is essential for him to combine his movements with those of the commander in chief. On his way home from Vorontsovo, as he was passing the Bolotnoe Place Pierre, seeing a large crowd round the Lobnoe Place, stopped and got out of his trap. A French cook accused of being a spy was being flogged. The flogging was only just over, and the executioner was releasing from the flogging bench a stout man with red whiskers, in blue stockings and a green jacket, who was moaning piteously. Another criminal, thin and pale, stood near. Judging by their faces they were both Frenchmen. With a frightened and suffering look resembling that on the thin Frenchmans face, Pierre pushed his way in through the crowd. "What is it? Who is it? What is it for?" he kept asking. But the attention of the crowd--officials, burghers, shopkeepers, peasants, and women in cloaks and in pelisses--was so eagerly centered on what was passing in Lobnoe Place that no one answered him. The stout man rose, frowned, shrugged his shoulders, and evidently trying to appear firm began to pull on his jacket without looking about him, but suddenly his lips trembled and he began to cry, in the way full-blooded grown-up men cry, though angry with himself for doing so. In the crowd people began talking loudly, to stifle their feelings of pity as it seemed to Pierre. "Hes cook to some prince." "Eh, mounseer, Russian sauce seems to be sour to a Frenchman... sets his teeth on edge!" said a wrinkled clerk who was standing behind Pierre, when the Frenchman began to cry. The clerk glanced round, evidently hoping that his joke would be appreciated. Some people began to laugh, others continued to watch in dismay the executioner who was undressing the other man. Pierre choked, his face puckered, and he turned hastily away, went back to his trap muttering something to himself as he went, and took his seat. As they drove along he shuddered and exclaimed several times so audibly that the coachman asked him: "What is your pleasure?" "Where are you going?" shouted Pierre to the man, who was driving to Lubyanka Street. "To the Governors, as you ordered," answered the coachman. "Fool! Idiot!" shouted Pierre, abusing his coachman--a thing he rarely did. "Home, I told you! And drive faster, blockhead!" "I must get away this very day," he murmured to himself. At the sight of the tortured Frenchman and the crowd surrounding the Lobnoe Place, Pierre had so definitely made up his mind that he could no longer remain in Moscow and would leave for the army that very day that it seemed to him that either he had told the coachman this or that the man ought to have known it for himself. On reaching home Pierre gave orders to Evstafey--his head coachman who knew everything, could do anything, and was known to all Moscow--that he would leave that night for the army at Mozhaysk, and that his saddle horses should be sent

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