Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
him the way!" she cried to the maid, angrily opening her mouth and
still farther exposing her long teeth.
"Show me the way, show me, I... Ill do it," gasped Pierre rapidly.
The dirty maidservant stepped from behind the trunk, put up her
plait, sighed, and went on her short, bare feet along the path. Pierre
felt as if he had come back to life after a heavy swoon. He held his
head higher, his eyes shone with the light of life, and with swift
steps he followed the maid, overtook her, and came out on the
Povarskoy. The whole street was full of clouds of black smoke. Tongues
of flame here and there broke through that cloud. A great number of
people crowded in front of the conflagration. In the middle of the
street stood a French general saying something to those around him.
Pierre, accompanied by the maid, was advancing to the spot where the
general stood, but the French soldiers stopped him.
"On ne passe pas!"* cried a voice.
*"You cant pass!"
"This way, uncle," cried the girl. "Well pass through the side
street, by the Nikulins!"
Pierre turned back, giving a spring now and then to keep up with
her. She ran across the street, turned down a side street to the left,
and, passing three houses, turned into a yard on the right.
"Its here, close by," said she and, running across the yard, opened
a gate in a wooden fence and, stopping, pointed out to him a small
wooden wing of the house, which was burning brightly and fiercely. One
of its sides had fallen in, another was on fire, and bright flames
issued from the openings of the windows and from under the roof.
As Pierre passed through the fence gate, he was enveloped by hot air
and involuntarily stopped.
"Which is it? Which is your house?" he asked.
"Ooh!" wailed the girl, pointing to the wing. "Thats it, that was
our lodging. Youve burned to death, our treasure, Katie, my
precious little missy! Ooh!" lamented Aniska, who at the sight of
the fire felt that she too must give expression to her feelings.
Pierre rushed to the wing, but the heat was so great that he
involuntarily passed round in a curve and came upon the large house
that was as yet burning only at one end, just below the roof, and
around which swarmed a crowd of Frenchmen. At first Pierre did not
realize what these men, who were dragging something out, were about;
but seeing before him a Frenchman hitting a peasant with a blunt saber
and trying to take from him a fox-fur coat, he vaguely understood that
looting was going on there, but he had no time to dwell on that idea.
The sounds of crackling and the din of falling walls and ceilings,
the whistle and hiss of the flames, the excited shouts of the
people, and the sight of the swaying smoke, now gathering into thick
black clouds and now soaring up with glittering sparks, with here
and there dense sheaves of flame (now red and now like golden fish
scales creeping along the walls), and the heat and smoke and
rapidity of motion, produced on Pierre the usual animating effects
of a conflagration. It had a peculiarly strong effect on him because
at the sight of the fire he felt himself suddenly freed from the ideas
that had weighed him down. He felt young, bright, adroit, and
resolute. He ran round to the other side of the lodge and was about to
dash into that part of it which was still standing, when just above
his head he heard several voices shouting and then a cracking sound
and the ring of something heavy falling close beside him.
Pierre looked up and saw at a window of the large house some
Frenchmen who had just thrown out the drawer of a chest, filled with
metal articles. Other French soldiers standing below went up to the
"What does this fellow want?" shouted one of them referring to
"Theres a child in that house. Havent you seen a child?" cried
"Whats he talking about? Get along!" said several voices, and one
of the soldiers, evidently afraid that Pierre might want to take
from them some of the plate and bronzes that were in the drawer, moved
threateningly toward him.
"A child?" shouted a Frenchman from above. "I did hear something
squealing in the garden. Perhaps its his brat that the fellow is
looking for. After all, one must be human, you know...."
"Where is it?
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