Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
were to be seen, some flayed, some not, and
broken-down carts beside which solitary soldiers sat waiting for
something, and again soldiers straggling from their companies,
crowds of whom set off to the neighboring villages, or returned from
them dragging sheep, fowls, hay, and bulging sacks. At each ascent
or descent of the road the crowds were yet denser and the din of
shouting more incessant. Soldiers floundering knee-deep in mud
pushed the guns and wagons themselves. Whips cracked, hoofs slipped,
traces broke, and lungs were strained with shouting. The officers
directing the march rode backward and forward between the carts. Their
voices were but feebly heard amid the uproar and one saw by their
faces that they despaired of the possibility of checking this
"Here is our dear Orthodox Russian army," thought Bolkonski,
recalling Bilibins words.
Wishing to find out where the commander in chief was, he rode up
to a convoy. Directly opposite to him came a strange one-horse
vehicle, evidently rigged up by soldiers out of any available
materials and looking like something between a cart, a cabriolet,
and a caleche. A soldier was driving, and a woman enveloped in
shawls sat behind the apron under the leather hood of the vehicle.
Prince Andrew rode up and was just putting his question to a soldier
when his attention was diverted by the desperate shrieks of the
woman in the vehicle. An officer in charge of transport was beating
the soldier who was driving the womans vehicle for trying to get
ahead of others, and the strokes of his whip fell on the apron of
the equipage. The woman screamed piercingly. Seeing Prince Andrew
she leaned out from behind the apron and, waving her thin arms from
under the woolen shawl, cried:
"Mr. Aide-de-camp! Mr. Aide-de-camp!... For heavens sake... Protect
me! What will become of us? I am the wife of the doctor of the Seventh
Chasseurs.... They wont let us pass, we are left behind and have lost
"Ill flatten you into a pancake!" shouted the angry officer to
the soldier. "Turn back with your slut!"
"Mr. Aide-de-camp! Help me!... What does it all mean?" screamed
the doctors wife.
"Kindly let this cart pass. Dont you see its a woman?" said Prince
Andrew riding up to the officer.
The officer glanced at him, and without replying turned again to the
soldier. "Ill teach you to push on!... Back!"
"Let them pass, I tell you!" repeated Prince Andrew, compressing his
"And who are you?" cried the officer, turning on him with tipsy
rage, "who are you? Are you in command here? Eh? I am commander
here, not you! Go back or Ill flatten you into a pancake," repeated
he. This expression evidently pleased him.
"That was a nice snub for the little aide-de-camp," came a voice
Prince Andrew saw that the officer was in that state of senseless,
tipsy rage when a man does not know what he is saying. He saw that his
championship of the doctors wife in her queer trap might expose him
to what he dreaded more than anything in the world--to ridicule; but
his instinct urged him on. Before the officer finished his sentence
Prince Andrew, his face distorted with fury, rode up to him and raised
his riding whip.
The officer flourished his arm and hastily rode away.
"Its all the fault of these fellows on the staff that theres
this disorder," he muttered. "Do as you like."
Prince Andrew without lifting his eyes rode hastily away from the
doctors wife, who was calling him her deliverer, and recalling with a
sense of disgust the minutest details of this humiliating scene he
galloped on to the village where he was told that the commander in
On reaching the village he dismounted and went to the nearest house,
intending to rest if but for a moment, eat something, and try to
sort out the stinging and tormenting thoughts that confused his
mind. "This is a mob of scoundrels and not an army," he was thinking
as he went up to the window of the first house, when a familiar
voice called him by name.
He turned round. Nesvitskis handsome face looked out of the
little window. Nesvitski, moving his moist lips as he chewed
something, and flourishing his arm, called him to enter.
"Bolkonski! Bolkonski!... Dont you hear? Eh? Come quick..." he
Entering the house, Prince Andrew saw Nesvitski and another adjutant
having something to eat. They hastily turned round to him asking if he
had any news. On their familiar faces he read agitation and alarm.
This was particularly noticeable
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