Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
and some wine," answered the captain.
When the French officer went into the room with Pierre the latter
again thought it his duty to assure him that he was not French and
wished to go away, but the officer would not hear of it. He was so
very polite, amiable, good-natured, and genuinely grateful to Pierre
for saving his life that Pierre had not the heart to refuse, and sat
down with him in the parlor--the first room they entered. To
Pierres assurances that he was not a Frenchman, the captain,
evidently not understanding how anyone could decline so flattering
an appellation, shrugged his shoulders and said that if Pierre
absolutely insisted on passing for a Russian let it be so, but for all
that he would be forever bound to Pierre by gratitude for saving his
Had this man been endowed with the slightest capacity for perceiving
the feelings of others, and had he at all understood what Pierres
feelings were, the latter would probably have left him, but the
mans animated obtuseness to everything other than himself disarmed
"A Frenchman or a Russian prince incognito," said the officer,
looking at Pierres fine though dirty linen and at the ring on his
finger. "I owe my life to you and offer you my friendship. A Frenchman
never forgets either an insult or a service. I offer you my
friendship. That is all I can say."
There was so much good nature and nobility (in the French sense of
the word) in the officers voice, in the expression of his face and in
his gestures, that Pierre, unconsciously smiling in response to the
Frenchmans smile, pressed the hand held out to him.
"Captain Ramballe, of the 13th Light Regiment, Chevalier of the
Legion of Honor for the affair on the seventh of September," he
introduced himself, a self-satisfied irrepressible smile puckering his
lips under his mustache. "Will you now be so good as to tell me with
whom I have the honor of conversing so pleasantly, instead of being in
the ambulance with that maniacs bullet in my body?"
Pierre replied that he could not tell him his name and, blushing,
began to try to invent a name and to say something about his reason
for concealing it, but the Frenchman hastily interrupted him.
"Oh, please!" said he. "I understand your reasons. You are an
officer... a superior officer perhaps. You have borne arms against us.
Thats not my business. I owe you my life. That is enough for me. I am
quite at your service. You belong to the gentry?" he concluded with
a shade of inquiry in his tone. Pierre bent his head. "Your
baptismal name, if you please. That is all I ask. Monsieur Pierre, you
say.... Thats all I want to know."
When the mutton and an omelet had been served and a samovar and
vodka brought, with some wine which the French had taken from a
Russian cellar and brought with them, Ramballe invited Pierre to share
his dinner, and himself began to eat greedily and quickly like a
healthy and hungry man, munching his food rapidly with his strong
teeth, continually smacking his lips, and repeating--"Excellent!
Delicious!" His face grew red and was covered with perspiration.
Pierre was hungry and shared the dinner with pleasure. Morel, the
orderly, brought some hot water in a saucepan and placed a bottle of
claret in it. He also brought a bottle of kvass, taken from the
kitchen for them to try. That beverage was already known to the French
and had been given a special name. They called it limonade de cochon
(pigs lemonade), and Morel spoke well of the limonade de cochon he
had found in the kitchen. But as the captain had the wine they had
taken while passing through Moscow, he left the kvass to Morel and
applied himself to the bottle of Bordeaux. He wrapped the bottle up to
its neck in a table napkin and poured out wine for himself and for
Pierre. The satisfaction of his hunger and the wine rendered the
captain still more lively and he chatted incessantly all through
"Yes, my dear Monsieur Pierre, I owe you a fine votive candle for
saving me from that maniac.... You see, I have bullets enough in my
body already. Here is one I got at Wagram" (he touched his side)
"and a second at Smolensk"--he showed a scar on his cheek--"and this
leg which as you see does not want to march, I got that on the seventh
at the great battle of la
War And Peace page 542 War And Peace page 544