Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
in the afternoon. The French had already
entered Moscow. Pierre knew this, but instead of acting he only
thought about his undertaking, going over its minutest details in
his mind. In his fancy he did not clearly picture to himself either
the striking of the blow or the death of Napoleon, but with
extraordinary vividness and melancholy enjoyment imagined his own
destruction and heroic endurance.
"Yes, alone, for the sake of all, I must do it or perish!" he
thought. "Yes, I will approach... and then suddenly... with pistol
or dagger? But that is all the same! It is not I but the hand of
Providence that punishes thee, I shall say," thought he, imagining
what he would say when killing Napoleon. "Well then, take me and
execute me!" he went on, speaking to himself and bowing his head
with a sad but firm expression.
While Pierre, standing in the middle of the room, was talking to
himself in this way, the study door opened and on the threshold
appeared the figure of Makar Alexeevich, always so timid before but
now quite transformed.
His dressing gown was unfastened, his face red and distorted. He was
obviously drunk. On seeing Pierre he grew confused at first, but
noticing embarrassment on Pierres face immediately grew bold and,
staggering on his thin legs, advanced into the middle of the room.
"Theyre frightened," he said confidentially in a hoarse voice. "I
say I wont surrender, I say... Am I not right, sir?"
He paused and then suddenly seeing the pistol on the table seized it
with unexpected rapidity and ran out into the corridor.
Gerasim and the porter, who had followed Makar Alexeevich, stopped
him in the vestibule and tried to take the pistol from him. Pierre,
coming out into the corridor, looked with pity and repulsion at the
half-crazy old man. Makar Alexeevich, frowning with exertion, held
on to the pistol and screamed hoarsely, evidently with some heroic
fancy in his head.
"To arms! Board them! No, you shant get it," he yelled.
"That will do, please, that will do. Have the goodness--please, sir,
to let go! Please, sir..." pleaded Gerasim, trying carefully to
steer Makar Alexeevich by the elbows back to the door.
"Who are you? Bonaparte!..." shouted Makar Alexeevich.
"Thats not right, sir. Come to your room, please, and rest. Allow
me to have the pistol."
"Be off, thou base slave! Touch me not! See this?" shouted Makar
Alexeevich, brandishing the pistol. "Board them!"
"Catch hold!" whispered Gerasim to the porter.
They seized Makar Alexeevich by the arms and dragged him to the
The vestibule was filled with the discordant sounds of a struggle
and of a tipsy, hoarse voice.
Suddenly a fresh sound, a piercing feminine scream, reverberated
from the porch and the cook came running into the vestibule.
"Its them! Gracious heavens! O Lord, four of them, horsemen!" she
Gerasim and the porter let Makar Alexeevich go, and in the now
silent corridor the sound of several hands knocking at the front
door could be heard.
Pierre, having decided that until he had carried out his design he
would disclose neither his identity nor his knowledge of French, stood
at the half-open door of the corridor, intending to conceal himself as
soon as the French entered. But the French entered and still Pierre
did not retire--an irresistible curiosity kept him there.
There were two of them. One was an officer--a tall, soldierly,
handsome man--the other evidently a private or an orderly,
sunburned, short, and thin, with sunken cheeks and a dull
expression. The officer walked in front, leaning on a stick and
slightly limping. When he had advanced a few steps he stopped,
having apparently decided that these were good quarters, turned
round to the soldiers standing at the entrance, and in a loud voice of
command ordered them to put up the horses. Having done that, the
officer, lifting his elbow with a smart gesture, stroked his
mustache and lightly touched his hat.
"Bonjour, la compagnie!"* said he gaily, smiling and looking about
*"Good day, everybody!"
No one gave any reply.
"Vous etes le bourgeois?"* the officer asked Gerasim.
*"Are you the master here?"
Gerasim gazed at the officer with an alarmed and inquiring look.
"Quartier, quartier, logement!" said the officer, looking down at
the little man with a condescending and good-natured smile. "Les
francais sont de bons enfants. Que diable! Voyons! Ne nous fachons
pas, mon vieux!"* added he, clapping the scared and silent Gerasim
on the shoulder. "Well, does no one speak French in this
establishment?" he asked again in French, looking around and meeting
Pierres eyes. Pierre moved away from the door.
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