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War And Peace 459

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War And Peace

officers, and after them with excited faces, pressing on one another, crowding, panting, and pushing, scrambled the soldiers and militiamen. CHAPTER XXII Staggering amid the crush, Pierre looked about him. "Count Peter Kirilovich! How did you get here?" said a voice. Pierre looked round. Boris Drubetskoy, brushing his knees with his hand (he had probably soiled them when he, too, had knelt before the icon), came up to him smiling. Boris was elegantly dressed, with a slightly martial touch appropriate to a campaign. He wore a long coat and like Kutuzov had a whip slung across his shoulder. Meanwhile Kutuzov had reached the village and seated himself in the shade of the nearest house, on a bench which one Cossack had run to fetch and another had hastily covered with a rug. An immense and brilliant suite surrounded him. The icon was carried further, accompanied by the throng. Pierre stopped some thirty paces from Kutuzov, talking to Boris. He explained his wish to be present at the battle and to see the position. "This is what you must do," said Boris. "I will do the honors of the camp to you. You will see everything best from where Count Bennigsen will be. I am in attendance on him, you know; Ill mention it to him. But if you want to ride round the position, come along with us. We are just going to the left flank. Then when we get back, do spend the night with me and well arrange a game of cards. Of course you know Dmitri Sergeevich? Those are his quarters," and he pointed to the third house in the village of Gorki. "But I should like to see the right flank. They say its very strong," said Pierre. "I should like to start from the Moskva River and ride round the whole position." "Well, you can do that later, but the chief thing is the left flank." "Yes, yes. But where is Prince Bolkonskis regiment? Can you point it out to me?" "Prince Andrews? We shall pass it and Ill take you to him." "What about the left flank?" asked Pierre "To tell you the truth, between ourselves, God only knows what state our left flank is in," said Boris confidentially lowering his voice. "It is not at all what Count Bennigsen intended. He meant to fortify that knoll quite differently, but..." Boris shrugged his shoulders, "his Serene Highness would not have it, or someone persuaded him. You see..." but Boris did not finish, for at that moment Kaysarov, Kutuzovs adjutant, came up to Pierre. "Ah, Kaysarov!" said Boris, addressing him with an unembarrassed smile, "I was just trying to explain our position to the count. It is amazing how his Serene Highness could so foresee the intentions of the French!" "You mean the left flank?" asked Kaysarov. "Yes, exactly; the left flank is now extremely strong." Though Kutuzov had dismissed all unnecessary men from the staff, Boris had contrived to remain at headquarters after the changes. He had established himself with Count Bennigsen, who, like all on whom Boris had been in attendance, considered young Prince Drubetskoy an invaluable man. In the higher command there were two sharply defined parties: Kutuzovs party and that of Bennigsen, the chief of staff. Boris belonged to the latter and no one else, while showing servile respect to Kutuzov, could so create an impression that the old fellow was not much good and that Bennigsen managed everything. Now the decisive moment of battle had come when Kutuzov would be destroyed and the power pass to Bennigsen, or even if Kutuzov won the battle it would be felt that everything was done by Bennigsen. In any case many great rewards would have to be given for tomorrows action, and new men would come to the front. So Boris was full of nervous vivacity all day. After Kaysarov, others whom Pierre knew came up to him, and he had not time to reply to all the questions about Moscow that were showered upon him, or to listen to all that was told him. The faces all expressed animation and apprehension, but it seemed to Pierre that the cause of the excitement shown in some of these faces lay chiefly in questions of personal success; his mind, however, was occupied by the different expression he saw on other faces--an expression that spoke not of personal matters but of the universal questions of life and death. Kutuzov noticed Pierres figure and the group gathered round him. "Call him to me," said Kutuzov. An adjutant told Pierre of his Serene Highness wish, and Pierre went toward Kutuzovs bench. But a

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