Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
hurry not to miss any chance to do something really heroic. He was
highly delighted with what he saw and experienced in the army, but
at the same time it always seemed to him that the really heroic
exploits were being performed just where he did not happen to be.
And he was always in a hurry to get where he was not.
When on the twenty-first of October his general expressed a wish
to send somebody to Denisovs detachment, Petya begged so piteously to
be sent that the general could not refuse. But when dispatching him he
recalled Petyas mad action at the battle of Vyazma, where instead
of riding by the road to the place to which he had been sent, he had
galloped to the advanced line under the fire of the French and had
there twice fired his pistol. So now the general explicitly forbade
his taking part in any action whatever of Denisovs. That was why
Petya had blushed and grown confused when Denisov asked him whether he
could stay. Before they had ridden to the outskirts of the forest
Petya had considered he must carry out his instructions strictly and
return at once. But when he saw the French and saw Tikhon and
learned that there would certainly be an attack that night, he
decided, with the rapidity with which young people change their views,
that the general, whom he had greatly respected till then, was a
rubbishy German, that Denisov was a hero, the esaul a hero, and Tikhon
a hero too, and that it would be shameful for him to leave them at a
moment of difficulty.
It was already growing dusk when Denisov, Petya, and the esaul
rode up to the watchhouse. In the twilight saddled horses could be
seen, and Cossacks and hussars who had rigged up rough shelters in the
glade and were kindling glowing fires in a hollow of the forest
where the French could not see the smoke. In the passage of the
small watchhouse a Cossack with sleeves rolled up was chopping some
mutton. In the room three officers of Denisovs band were converting a
door into a tabletop. Petya took off his wet clothes, gave them to
be dried, and at once began helping the officers to fix up the
In ten minutes the table was ready and a napkin spread on it. On the
table were vodka, a flask of rum, white bread, roast mutton, and salt.
Sitting at table with the officers and tearing the fat savory mutton
with his hands, down which the grease trickled, Petya was in an
ecstatic childish state of love for all men, and consequently of
confidence that others loved him in the same way.
"So then what do you think, Vasili Dmitrich?" said he to Denisov.
"Its all right my staying a day with you?" And not waiting for a
reply he answered his own question: "You see I was told to find
out--well, I am finding out.... Only do let me into the very... into
the chief... I dont want a reward... But I want..."
Petya clenched his teeth and looked around, throwing back his head
and flourishing his arms.
"Into the vewy chief..." Denisov repeated with a smile.
"Only, please let me command something, so that I may really
command..." Petya went on. "What would it be to you?... Oh, you want a
knife?" he said, turning to an officer who wished to cut himself a
piece of mutton.
And he handed him his clasp knife. The officer admired it.
"Please keep it. I have several like it," said Petya, blushing.
"Heavens! I was quite forgetting!" he suddenly cried. "I have some
raisins, fine ones; you know, seedless ones. We have a new sutler
and he has such capital things. I bought ten pounds. I am used to
something sweet. Would you like some?..." and Petya ran out into the
passage to his Cossack and brought back some bags which contained
about five pounds of raisins. "Have some, gentlemen, have some!"
"You want a coffeepot, dont you?" he asked the esaul. "I bought a
capital one from our sutler! He has splendid things. And hes very
honest, thats the chief thing. Ill be sure to send it to you. Or
perhaps your flints are giving out, or are worn out--that happens
sometimes, you know. I have brought some with me, here they are"--and
he showed a bag--"a hundred flints. I bought them very cheap. Please
take as many as you want, or all if you like...."
Then suddenly, dismayed
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