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War And Peace 66

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War And Peace

company he suddenly stopped. His suite, not having expected this, involuntarily came closer to him. "Ah, Timokhin!" said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had been reprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat. One would have thought it impossible for a man to stretch himself more than Timokhin had done when he was reprimanded by the regimental commander, but now that the commander in chief addressed him he drew himself up to such an extent that it seemed he could not have sustained it had the commander in chief continued to look at him, and so Kutuzov, who evidently understood his case and wished him nothing but good, quickly turned away, a scarcely perceptible smile flitting over his scarred and puffy face. "Another Ismail comrade," said he. "A brave officer! Are you satisfied with him?" he asked the regimental commander. And the latter--unconscious that he was being reflected in the hussar officer as in a looking glass--started, moved forward, and answered: "Highly satisfied, your excellency!" "We all have our weaknesses," said Kutuzov smiling and walking away from him. "He used to have a predilection for Bacchus." The regimental commander was afraid he might be blamed for this and did not answer. The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed captain and his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose with such exactitude that Nesvitski could not help laughing. Kutuzov turned round. The officer evidently had complete control of his face, and while Kutuzov was turning managed to make a grimace and then assume a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression. The third company was the last, and Kutuzov pondered, apparently trying to recollect something. Prince Andrew stepped forward from among the suite and said in French: "You told me to remind you of the officer Dolokhov, reduced to the ranks in this regiment." "Where is Dolokhov?" asked Kutuzov. Dolokhov, who had already changed into a soldiers gray greatcoat, did not wait to be called. The shapely figure of the fair-haired soldier, with his clear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went up to the commander in chief, and presented arms. "Have you a complaint to make?" Kutuzov asked with a slight frown. "This is Dolokhov," said Prince Andrew. "Ah!" said Kutuzov. "I hope this will be a lesson to you. Do your duty. The Emperor is gracious, and I shant forget you if you deserve well." The clear blue eyes looked at the commander in chief just as boldly as they had looked at the regimental commander, seeming by their expression to tear open the veil of convention that separates a commander in chief so widely from a private. "One thing I ask of your excellency," Dolokhov said in his firm, ringing, deliberate voice. "I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault and prove my devotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!" Kutuzov turned away. The same smile of the eyes with which he had turned from Captain Timokhin again flitted over his face. He turned away with a grimace as if to say that everything Dolokhov had said to him and everything he could say had long been known to him, that he was weary of it and it was not at all what he wanted. He turned away and went to the carriage. The regiment broke up into companies, which went to their appointed quarters near Braunau, where they hoped to receive boots and clothes and to rest after their hard marches. "You wont bear me a grudge, Prokhor Ignatych?" said the regimental commander, overtaking the third company on its way to its quarters and riding up to Captain Timokhin who was walking in front. (The regimental commanders face now that the inspection was happily over beamed with irrepressible delight.) "Its in the Emperors service... it cant be helped... one is sometimes a bit hasty on parade... I am the first to apologize, you know me!... He was very pleased!" And he held out his hand to the captain. "Dont mention it, General, as if Id be so bold!" replied the captain, his nose growing redder as he gave a smile which showed where two front teeth were missing that had been knocked out by the butt end of a gun at Ismail. "And tell Mr. Dolokhov that I wont forget him--he may be quite easy. And tell me, please--Ive been meaning to ask--how is he behaving himself, and in general..." "As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency; but his character..." said Timokhin. "And what about his character?" asked the regimental commander. "Its different on different days," answered the captain. "One

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