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War And Peace 67

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War And Peace

day he is sensible, well educated, and good-natured, and the next hes a wild beast.... In Poland, if you please, he nearly killed a Jew." "Oh, well, well!" remarked the regimental commander. "Still, one must have pity on a young man in misfortune. You know he has important connections... Well, then, you just..." "I will, your excellency," said Timokhin, showing by his smile that he understood his commanders wish. "Well, of course, of course!" The regimental commander sought out Dolokhov in the ranks and, reining in his horse, said to him: "After the next affair... epaulettes." Dolokhov looked round but did not say anything, nor did the mocking smile on his lips change. "Well, thats all right," continued the regimental commander. "A cup of vodka for the men from me," he added so that the soldiers could hear. "I thank you all! God be praised!" and he rode past that company and overtook the next one. "Well, hes really a good fellow, one can serve under him," said Timokhin to the subaltern beside him. "In a word, a hearty one..." said the subaltern, laughing (the regimental commander was nicknamed King of Hearts). The cheerful mood of their officers after the inspection infected the soldiers. The company marched on gaily. The soldiers voices could be heard on every side. "And they said Kutuzov was blind of one eye?" "And so he is! Quite blind!" "No, friend, he is sharper-eyed than you are. Boots and leg bands... he noticed everything..." "When he looked at my feet, friend... well, thinks I..." "And that other one with him, the Austrian, looked as if he were smeared with chalk--as white as flour! I suppose they polish him up as they do the guns." "I say, Fedeshon!... Did he say when the battles are to begin? You were near him. Everybody said that Buonaparte himself was at Braunau." "Buonaparte himself!... Just listen to the fool, what he doesnt know! The Prussians are up in arms now. The Austrians, you see, are putting them down. When theyve been put down, the war with Buonaparte will begin. And he says Buonaparte is in Braunau! Shows youre a fool. Youd better listen more carefully!" "What devils these quartermasters are! See, the fifth company is turning into the village already... they will have their buckwheat cooked before we reach our quarters." "Give me a biscuit, you devil!" "And did you give me tobacco yesterday? Thats just it, friend! Ah, well, never mind, here you are." "They might call a halt here or well have to do another four miles without eating." "Wasnt it fine when those Germans gave us lifts! You just sit still and are drawn along." "And here, friend, the people are quite beggarly. There they all seemed to be Poles--all under the Russian crown--but here theyre all regular Germans." "Singers to the front" came the captains order. And from the different ranks some twenty men ran to the front. A drummer, their leader, turned round facing the singers, and flourishing his arm, began a long-drawn-out soldiers song, commencing with the words: "Morning dawned, the sun was rising," and concluding: "On then, brothers, on to glory, led by Father Kamenski." This song had been composed in the Turkish campaign and now being sung in Austria, the only change being that the words "Father Kamenski" were replaced by "Father Kutuzov." Having jerked out these last words as soldiers do and waved his arms as if flinging something to the ground, the drummer--a lean, handsome soldier of forty--looked sternly at the singers and screwed up his eyes. Then having satisfied himself that all eyes were fixed on him, he raised both arms as if carefully lifting some invisible but precious object above his head and, holding it there for some seconds, suddenly flung it down and began: "Oh, my bower, oh, my bower...!" "Oh, my bower new...!" chimed in twenty voices, and the castanet player, in spite of the burden of his equipment, rushed out to the front and, walking backwards before the company, jerked his shoulders and flourished his castanets as if threatening someone. The soldiers, swinging their arms and keeping time spontaneously, marched with long steps. Behind the company the sound of wheels, the creaking of springs, and the tramp of horses hoofs were heard. Kutuzov and his suite were returning to the town. The commander in chief made a sign that the men should continue to march at ease, and he and all his suite showed pleasure at the sound of the singing and the sight of the dancing soldier and the gay and smartly marching men. In the second file from the right flank, beside which the

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