Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
to know his bearings should he be
sent to execute an order. The officer on duty, a handsome, elegantly
dressed man with a diamond ring on his forefinger, who was fond of
speaking French though he spoke it badly, offered to conduct Prince
On all sides they saw rain-soaked officers with dejected faces who
seemed to be seeking something, and soldiers dragging doors,
benches, and fencing from the village.
"There now, Prince! We cant stop those fellows," said the staff
officer pointing to the soldiers. "The officers dont keep them in
hand. And there," he pointed to a sutlers tent, "they crowd in and
sit. This morning I turned them all out and now look, its full again.
I must go there, Prince, and scare them a bit. It wont take a
"Yes, lets go in and I will get myself a roll and some cheese,"
said Prince Andrew who had not yet had time to eat anything.
"Why didnt you mention it, Prince? I would have offered you
They dismounted and entered the tent. Several officers, with flushed
and weary faces, were sitting at the table eating and drinking.
"Now what does this mean, gentlemen?" said the staff officer, in the
reproachful tone of a man who has repeated the same thing more than
once. "You know it wont do to leave your posts like this. The
prince gave orders that no one should leave his post. Now you,
Captain," and he turned to a thin, dirty little artillery officer
who without his boots (he had given them to the canteen keeper to
dry), in only his stockings, rose when they entered, smiling not
"Well, arent you ashamed of yourself, Captain Tushin?" he
continued. "One would think that as an artillery officer you would set
a good example, yet here you are without your boots! The alarm will be
sounded and youll be in a pretty position without your boots!" (The
staff officer smiled.) "Kindly return to your posts, gentlemen, all of
you, all!" he added in a tone of command.
Prince Andrew smiled involuntarily as he looked at the artillery
officer Tushin, who silent and smiling, shifting from one stockinged
foot to the other, glanced inquiringly with his large, intelligent,
kindly eyes from Prince Andrew to the staff officer.
"The soldiers say it feels easier without boots," said Captain
Tushin smiling shyly in his uncomfortable position, evidently
wishing to adopt a jocular tone. But before he had finished he felt
that his jest was unacceptable and had not come off. He grew confused.
"Kindly return to your posts," said the staff officer trying to
preserve his gravity.
Prince Andrew glanced again at the artillery officers small figure.
There was something peculiar about it, quite unsoldierly, rather
comic, but extremely attractive.
The staff officer and Prince Andrew mounted their horses and rode
Having ridden beyond the village, continually meeting and overtaking
soldiers and officers of various regiments, they saw on their left
some entrenchments being thrown up, the freshly dug clay of which
showed up red. Several battalions of soldiers, in their shirt
sleeves despite the cold wind, swarmed in these earthworks like a host
of white ants; spadefuls of red clay were continually being thrown
up from behind the bank by unseen hands. Prince Andrew and the officer
rode up, looked at the entrenchment, and went on again. Just behind it
they came upon some dozens of soldiers, continually replaced by
others, who ran from the entrenchment. They had to hold their noses
and put their horses to a trot to escape from the poisoned
atmosphere of these latrines.
"Voila lagrement des camps, monsieur le Prince,"* said the staff
*"This is a pleasure one gets in camp, Prince."
They rode up the opposite hill. From there the French could
already be seen. Prince Andrew stopped and began examining the
"Thats our battery," said the staff officer indicating the
highest point. "Its in charge of the queer fellow we saw without
his boots. You can see everything from there; lets go there, Prince."
"Thank you very much, I will go on alone," said Prince Andrew,
wishing to rid himself of this staff officers company, "please
dont trouble yourself further."
The staff officer remained behind and Prince Andrew rode on alone.
The farther forward and nearer the enemy he went, the more orderly
and cheerful were the troops. The greatest disorder and depression had
been in the baggage train he had passed that morning on the Znaim road
seven miles away from the French. At Grunth also some apprehension and
alarm could be felt, but the nearer Prince Andrew came
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