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champions," thought Kutuzov. He knew that an apple should not be plucked while it is green. It will fall of itself when ripe, but if picked unripe the apple is spoiled, the tree is harmed, and your teeth are set on edge. Like an experienced sportsman he knew that the beast was wounded, and wounded as only the whole strength of Russia could have wounded it, but whether it was mortally wounded or not was still an undecided question. Now by the fact of Lauriston and Barthelemi having been sent, and by the reports of the guerrillas, Kutuzov was almost sure that the wound was mortal. But he needed further proofs and it was necessary to wait. "They want to run to see how they have wounded it. Wait and we shall see! Continual maneuvers, continual advances!" thought he. "What for? Only to distinguish themselves! As if fighting were fun. They are like children from whom one cant get any sensible account of what has happened because they all want to show how well they can fight. But thats not what is needed now. "And what ingenious maneuvers they all propose to me! It seems to them that when they have thought of two or three contingencies" (he remembered the general plan sent him from Petersburg) "they have foreseen everything. But the contingencies are endless." The undecided question as to whether the wound inflicted at Borodino was mortal or not had hung over Kutuzovs head for a whole month. On the one hand the French had occupied Moscow. On the other Kutuzov felt assured with all his being that the terrible blow into which he and all the Russians had put their whole strength must have been mortal. But in any case proofs were needed; he had waited a whole month for them and grew more impatient the longer he waited. Lying on his bed during those sleepless nights he did just what he reproached those younger generals for doing. He imagined all sorts of possible contingencies, just like the younger men, but with this difference, that he saw thousands of contingencies instead of two or three and based nothing on them. The longer he thought the more contingencies presented themselves. He imagined all sorts of movements of the Napoleonic army as a whole or in sections--against Petersburg, or against him, or to outflank him. He thought too of the possibility (which he feared most of all) that Napoleon might fight him with his own weapon and remain in Moscow awaiting him. Kutuzov even imagined that Napoleons army might turn back through Medyn and Yukhnov, but the one thing he could not foresee was what happened--the insane, convulsive stampede of Napoleons army during its first eleven days after leaving Moscow: a stampede which made possible what Kutuzov had not yet even dared to think of--the complete extermination of the French. Dorokhovs report about Broussiers division, the guerrillas reports of distress in Napoleons army, rumors of preparations for leaving Moscow, all confirmed the supposition that the French army was beaten and preparing for flight. But these were only suppositions, which seemed important to the younger men but not to Kutuzov. With his sixty years experience he knew what value to attach to rumors, knew how apt people who desire anything are to group all news so that it appears to confirm what they desire, and he knew how readily in such cases they omit all that makes for the contrary. And the more he desired it the less he allowed himself to believe it. This question absorbed all his mental powers. All else was to him only lifes customary routine. To such customary routine belonged his conversations with the staff, the letters he wrote from Tarutino to Madame de Stael, the reading of novels, the distribution of awards, his correspondence with Petersburg, and so on. But the destruction of the French, which he alone foresaw, was his hearts one desire. On the night of the eleventh of October he lay leaning on his arm and thinking of that. There was a stir in the next room and he heard the steps of Toll, Konovnitsyn, and Bolkhovitinov. "Eh, whos there? Come in, come in! What news?" the field marshal called out to them. While a footman was lighting a candle, Toll communicated the substance of the news. "Who brought it?" asked Kutuzov with a look which, when the candle was lit, struck Toll by its cold severity. "There can be no doubt about it, your Highness." "Call him in, call him here." Kutuzov sat up with one leg hanging down from the bed and

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