Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
and fir forest to
the right of the road, the cross and belfry of the Kolocha Monastery
gleamed in the sun. Here and there over the whole of that blue
expanse, to right and left of the forest and the road, smoking
campfires could be seen and indefinite masses of troops--ours and
the enemys. The ground to the right--along the course of the
Kolocha and Moskva rivers--was broken and hilly. Between the hollows
the villages of Bezubova and Zakharino showed in the distance. On
the left the ground was more level; there were fields of grain, and
the smoking ruins of Semenovsk, which had been burned down, could be
All that Pierre saw was so indefinite that neither the left nor
the right side of the field fully satisfied his expectations.
Nowhere could he see the battlefield he had expected to find, but only
fields, meadows, troops, woods, the smoke of campfires, villages,
mounds, and streams; and try as he would he could descry no military
"position" in this place which teemed with life, nor could he even
distinguish our troops from the enemys.
"I must ask someone who knows," he thought, and addressed an officer
who was looking with curiosity at his huge unmilitary figure.
"May I ask you," said Pierre, "what village that is in front?"
"Burdino, isnt it?" said the officer, turning to his companion.
"Borodino," the other corrected him.
The officer, evidently glad of an opportunity for a talk, moved up
"Are those our men there?" Pierre inquired.
"Yes, and there, further on, are the French," said the officer.
"There they are, there... you can see them."
"Where? Where?" asked Pierre.
"One can see them with the naked eye... Why, there!"
The officer pointed with his hand to the smoke visible on the left
beyond the river, and the same stern and serious expression that
Pierre had noticed on many of the faces he had met came into his face.
"Ah, those are the French! And over there?..." Pierre pointed to a
knoll on the left, near which some troops could be seen.
"Those are ours."
"Ah, ours! And there?..." Pierre pointed to another knoll in the
distance with a big tree on it, near a village that lay in a hollow
where also some campfires were smoking and something black was
"Thats his again," said the officer. (It was the Shevardino
Redoubt.) "It was ours yesterday, but now it is his."
"Then how about our position?"
"Our position?" replied the officer with a smile of satisfaction. "I
can tell you quite clearly, because I constructed nearly all our
entrenchments. There, you see? Theres our center, at Borodino, just
there," and he pointed to the village in front of them with the
white church. "Thats where one crosses the Kolocha. You see down
there where the rows of hay are lying in the hollow, theres the
bridge. Thats our center. Our right flank is over there"--he
pointed sharply to the right, far away in the broken ground--"Thats
where the Moskva River is, and we have thrown up three redoubts there,
very strong ones. The left flank..." here the officer paused. "Well,
you see, thats difficult to explain.... Yesterday our left flank
was there at Shevardino, you see, where the oak is, but now we have
withdrawn our left wing--now it is over there, do you see that village
and the smoke? Thats Semenovsk, yes, there," he pointed to
Raevskis knoll. "But the battle will hardly be there. His having
moved his troops there is only a ruse; he will probably pass round
to the right of the Moskva. But wherever it may be, many a man will be
missing tomorrow!" he remarked.
An elderly sergeant who had approached the officer while he was
giving these explanations had waited in silence for him to finish
speaking, but at this point, evidently not liking the officers
remark, interrupted him.
"Gabions must be sent for," said he sternly.
The officer appeared abashed, as though he understood that one might
think of how many men would be missing tomorrow but ought not to speak
"Well, send number three company again," the officer replied
"And you, are you one of the doctors?"
"No, Ive come on my own," answered Pierre, and he went down the
hill again, passing the militiamen.
"Oh, those damned fellows!" muttered the officer who followed him,
holding his nose as he ran past the men at work.
"There they are... bringing her, coming... There they are... Theyll
be here in a minute..." voices were suddenly heard saying; and
officers, soldiers, and militiamen began running forward along the
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