Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
ball after another whistled by and struck the
earthwork, a soldier, or a gun. Pierre, who had not noticed these
sounds before, now heard nothing else. On the right of the battery
soldiers shouting "Hurrah!" were running not forwards but backwards,
it seemed to Pierre.
A cannon ball struck the very end of the earth work by which he
was standing, crumbling down the earth; a black ball flashed before
his eyes and at the same instant plumped into something. Some
militiamen who were entering the battery ran back.
"All with grapeshot!" shouted the officer.
The sergeant ran up to the officer and in a frightened whisper
informed him (as a butler at dinner informs his master that there is
no more of some wine asked for) that there were no more charges.
"The scoundrels! What are they doing?" shouted the officer,
turning to Pierre.
The officers face was red and perspiring and his eyes glittered
under his frowning brow.
"Run to the reserves and bring up the ammunition boxes!" he
yelled, angrily avoiding Pierre with his eyes and speaking to his men.
"Ill go," said Pierre.
The officer, without answering him, strode across to the opposite
"Dont fire.... Wait!" he shouted.
The man who had been ordered to go for ammunition stumbled against
"Eh, sir, this is no place for you," said he, and ran down the
Pierre ran after him, avoiding the spot where the young officer
One cannon ball, another, and a third flew over him, falling in
front, beside, and behind him. Pierre ran down the slope. "Where am
I going?" he suddenly asked himself when he was already near the green
ammunition wagons. He halted irresolutely, not knowing whether to
return or go on. Suddenly a terrible concussion threw him backwards to
the ground. At the same instant he was dazzled by a great flash of
flame, and immediately a deafening roar, crackling, and whistling made
his ears tingle.
When he came to himself he was sitting on the ground leaning on
his hands; the ammunition wagons he had been approaching no longer
existed, only charred green boards and rags littered the scorched
grass, and a horse, dangling fragments of its shaft behind it,
galloped past, while another horse lay, like Pierre, on the ground,
uttering prolonged and piercing cries.
Beside himself with terror Pierre jumped up and ran back to the
battery, as to the only refuge from the horrors that surrounded him.
On entering the earthwork he noticed that there were men doing
something there but that no shots were being fired from the battery.
He had no time to realize who these men were. He saw the senior
officer lying on the earth wall with his back turned as if he were
examining something down below and that one of the soldiers he had
noticed before was struggling forward shouting "Brothers!" and
trying to free himself from some men who were holding him by the
arm. He also saw something else that was strange.
But he had not time to realize that the colonel had been killed,
that the soldier shouting "Brothers!" was a prisoner, and that another
man had been bayoneted in the back before his eyes, for hardly had
he run into the redoubt before a thin, sallow-faced, perspiring man in
a blue uniform rushed on him sword in hand, shouting something.
Instinctively guarding against the shock--for they had been running
together at full speed before they saw one another--Pierre put out his
hands and seized the man (a French officer) by the shoulder with one
hand and by the throat with the other. The officer, dropping his
sword, seized Pierre by his collar.
For some seconds they gazed with frightened eyes at one anothers
unfamiliar faces and both were perplexed at what they had done and
what they were to do next. "Am I taken prisoner or have I taken him
prisoner?" each was thinking. But the French officer was evidently
more inclined to think he had been taken prisoner because Pierres
strong hand, impelled by instinctive fear, squeezed his throat ever
tighter and tighter. The Frenchman was about to say something, when
just above their heads, terrible and low, a cannon ball whistled,
and it seemed to Pierre that the French officers head had been torn
off, so swiftly had he ducked it.
Pierre too bent his head and let his hands fall. Without further
thought as to who had taken whom prisoner, the Frenchman ran back to
the battery and Pierre ran down the slope stumbling over the dead
and wounded who, it seemed to him, caught
War And Peace page 477 War And Peace page 479