Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
of the rain and also from
hunger (none of them had eaten anything since morning), and yet more
because he still had no news from Dolokhov and the man sent to capture
a "tongue" had not returned.
"Therell hardly be another such chance to fall on a transport as
today. Its too risky to attack them by oneself, and if we put it
off till another day one of the big guerrilla detachments will
snatch the prey from under our noses," thought Denisov, continually
peering forward, hoping to see a messenger from Dolokhov.
On coming to a path in the forest along which he could see far to
the right, Denisov stopped.
"Theres someone coming," said he.
The esaul looked in the direction Denisov indicated.
"There are two, an officer and a Cossack. But it is not
presupposable that it is the lieutenant colonel himself," said the
esaul, who was fond of using words the Cossacks did not know.
The approaching riders having descended a decline were no longer
visible, but they reappeared a few minutes later. In front, at a weary
gallop and using his leather whip, rode an officer, disheveled and
drenched, whose trousers had worked up to above his knees. Behind him,
standing in the stirrups, trotted a Cossack. The officer, a very young
lad with a broad rosy face and keen merry eyes, galloped up to Denisov
and handed him a sodden envelope.
"From the general," said the officer. "Please excuse its not being
Denisov, frowning, took the envelope and opened it.
"There, they kept telling us: Its dangerous, its dangerous,"
said the officer, addressing the esaul while Denisov was reading the
dispatch. "But Komarov and I"--he pointed to the Cossack--"were
prepared. We have each of us two pistols.... But whats this?" he
asked, noticing the French drummer boy. "A prisoner? Youve already
been in action? May I speak to him?"
"Wostov! Petya!" exclaimed Denisov, having run through the dispatch.
"Why didnt you say who you were?" and turning with a smile he held
out his hand to the lad.
The officer was Petya Rostov.
All the way Petya had been preparing himself to behave with
Denisov as befitted a grownup man and an officer--without hinting at
their previous acquaintance. But as soon as Denisov smiled at him
Petya brightened up, blushed with pleasure, forgot the official manner
he had been rehearsing, and began telling him how he had already
been in a battle near Vyazma and how a certain hussar had
distinguished himself there.
"Well, I am glad to see you," Denisov interrupted him, and his
face again assumed its anxious expression.
"Michael Feoklitych," said he to the esaul, "this is again fwom that
German, you know. He"--he indicated Petya--"is serving under him."
And Denisov told the esaul that the dispatch just delivered was a
repetition of the German generals demand that he should join forces
with him for an attack on the transport.
"If we dont take it tomowwow, hell snatch it fwom under our
noses," he added.
While Denisov was talking to the esaul, Petya--abashed by
Denisovs cold tone and supposing that it was due to the condition
of his trousers--furtively tried to pull them down under his greatcoat
so that no one should notice it, while maintaining as martial an air
"Will there be any orders, your honor?" he asked Denisov, holding
his hand at the salute and resuming the game of adjutant and general
for which he had prepared himself, "or shall I remain with your
"Orders?" Denisov repeated thoughtfully. "But can you stay till
"Oh, please... May I stay with you?" cried Petya.
"But, just what did the genewal tell you? To weturn at once?"
"He gave me no instructions. I think I could?" he returned,
"Well, all wight," said Denisov.
And turning to his men he directed a party to go on to the halting
place arranged near the watchmans hut in the forest, and told the
officer on the Kirghiz horse (who performed the duties of an adjutant)
to go and find out where Dolokhov was and whether he would come that
evening. Denisov himself intended going with the esaul and Petya to
the edge of the forest where it reached out to Shamshevo, to have a
look at the part of the French bivouac they were to attack next day.
"Well, old fellow," said he to the peasant guide, "lead us to
Denisov, Petya, and the esaul, accompanied by some Cossacks and
the hussar who had the prisoner, rode to the left across a ravine to
the edge of the forest.
The rain had stopped, and
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