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War And Peace 95

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War And Peace

on Nesvitskis usually laughing countenance. "Where is the commander in chief?" asked Bolkonski. "Here, in that house," answered the adjutant. "Well, is it true that its peace and capitulation?" asked Nesvitski. "I was going to ask you. I know nothing except that it was all I could do to get here." "And we, my dear boy! Its terrible! I was wrong to laugh at Mack, were getting it still worse," said Nesvitski. "But sit down and have something to eat." "You wont be able to find either your baggage or anything else now, Prince. And God only knows where your man Peter is," said the other adjutant. "Where are headquarters?" "We are to spend the night in Znaim." "Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses," said Nesvitski. "Theyve made up splendid packs for me--fit to cross the Bohemian mountains with. Its a bad lookout, old fellow! But whats the matter with you? You must be ill to shiver like that," he added, noticing that Prince Andrew winced as at an electric shock. "Its nothing," replied Prince Andrew. He had just remembered his recent encounter with the doctors wife and the convoy officer. "What is the commander in chief doing here?" he asked. "I cant make out at all," said Nesvitski. "Well, all I can make out is that everything is abominable, abominable, quite abominable!" said Prince Andrew, and he went off to the house where the commander in chief was. Passing by Kutuzovs carriage and the exhausted saddle horses of his suite, with their Cossacks who were talking loudly together, Prince Andrew entered the passage. Kutuzov himself, he was told, was in the house with Prince Bagration and Weyrother. Weyrother was the Austrian general who had succeeded Schmidt. In the passage little Kozlovski was squatting on his heels in front of a clerk. The clerk, with cuffs turned up, was hastily writing at a tub turned bottom upwards. Kozlovskis face looked worn--he too had evidently not slept all night. He glanced at Prince Andrew and did not even nod to him. "Second line... have you written it?" he continued dictating to the clerk. "The Kiev Grenadiers, Podolian..." "One cant write so fast, your honor," said the clerk, glancing angrily and disrespectfully at Kozlovski. Through the door came the sounds of Kutuzovs voice, excited and dissatisfied, interrupted by another, an unfamiliar voice. From the sound of these voices, the inattentive way Kozlovski looked at him, the disrespectful manner of the exhausted clerk, the fact that the clerk and Kozlovski were squatting on the floor by a tub so near to the commander in chief, and from the noisy laughter of the Cossacks holding the horses near the window, Prince Andrew felt that something important and disastrous was about to happen. He turned to Kozlovski with urgent questions. "Immediately, Prince," said Kozlovski. "Dispositions for Bagration." "What about capitulation?" "Nothing of the sort. Orders are issued for a battle." Prince Andrew moved toward the door from whence voices were heard. Just as he was going to open it the sounds ceased, the door opened, and Kutuzov with his eagle nose and puffy face appeared in the doorway. Prince Andrew stood right in front of Kutuzov but the expression of the commander in chiefs one sound eye showed him to be so preoccupied with thoughts and anxieties as to be oblivious of his presence. He looked straight at his adjutants face without recognizing him. "Well, have you finished?" said he to Kozlovski. "One moment, your excellency." Bagration, a gaunt middle-aged man of medium height with a firm, impassive face of Oriental type, came out after the commander in chief. "I have the honor to present myself," repeated Prince Andrew rather loudly, handing Kutuzov an envelope. "Ah, from Vienna? Very good. Later, later!" Kutuzov went out into the porch with Bagration. "Well, good-by, Prince," said he to Bagration. "My blessing, and may Christ be with you in your great endeavor!" His face suddenly softened and tears came into his eyes. With his left hand he drew Bagration toward him, and with his right, on which he wore a ring, he made the sign of the cross over him with a gesture evidently habitual, offering his puffy cheek, but Bagration kissed him on the neck instead. "Christ be with you!" Kutuzov repeated and went toward his carriage. "Get in with me," said he to Bolkonski. "Your excellency, I should like to be of use here. Allow me to remain with Prince Bagrations detachment." "Get in," said Kutuzov, and noticing that Bolkonski still delayed, he added: "I need good officers myself, need them myself!" They got into the carriage and drove for a few minutes in silence. "There

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