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Chapter 14

  • Through the cross streets of the Khamovniki quarter the prisoners marched,
  • followed only by their escort and the vehicles and wagons belonging to tha_scort, but when they reached the supply stores they came among a huge an_losely packed train of artillery mingled with private vehicles.
  • At the bridge they all halted, waiting for those in front to get across. Fro_he bridge they had a view of endless lines of moving baggage trains befor_nd behind them. To the right, where the Kaluga road turns near Neskuchny,
  • endless rows of troops and carts stretched away into the distance. These wer_roops of Beauharnais' corps which had started before any of the others.
  • Behind, along the riverside and across the Stone Bridge, were Ney's troops an_ransport.
  • Davout's troops, in whose charge were the prisoners, were crossing the Crimea_ridge and some were already debouching into the Kaluga road. But the baggag_rains stretched out so that the last of Beauharnais' train had not yet go_ut of Moscow and reached the Kaluga road when the vanguard of Ney's army wa_lready emerging from the Great Ordynka Street.
  • When they had crossed the Crimean bridge the prisoners moved a few step_orward, halted, and again moved on, and from all sides vehicles and me_rowded closer and closer together. They advanced the few hundred paces tha_eparated the bridge from the Kaluga road, taking more than an hour to do so,
  • and came out upon the square where the streets of the Transmoskva ward and th_aluga road converge, and the prisoners jammed close together had to stand fo_ome hours at that crossway. From all sides, like the roar of the sea, wer_eard the rattle of wheels, the tramp of feet, and incessant shouts of ange_nd abuse. Pierre stood pressed against the wall of a charred house, listenin_o that noise which mingled in his imagination with the roll of the drums.
  • To get a better view, several officer prisoners climbed onto the wall of th_alf-burned house against which Pierre was leaning.
  • "What crowds! Just look at the crowds!… They've loaded goods even on th_annon! Look there, those are furs!" they exclaimed. "Just see what th_lackguards have looted… . There! See what that one has behind in the cart… .
  • Why, those are settings taken from some icons, by heaven!… Oh, the rascals!…
  • See how that fellow has loaded himself up, he can hardly walk! Good lord,
  • they've even grabbed those chaises!… See that fellow there sitting on th_runks… . Heavens! They're fighting."
  • "That's right, hit him on the snout—on his snout! Like this, we shan't ge_way before evening. Look, look there… . Why, that must be Napoleon's own. Se_hat horses! And the monograms with a crown! It's like a portable house… .
  • That fellow's dropped his sack and doesn't see it. Fighting again… A woma_ith a baby, and not bad-looking either! Yes, I dare say, that's the wa_hey'll let you pass… Just look, there's no end to it. Russian wenches, b_eaven, so they are! In carriages—see how comfortably they've settle_hemselves!"
  • Again, as at the church in Khamovniki, a wave of general curiosity bore al_he prisoners forward onto the road, and Pierre, thanks to his stature, sa_ver the heads of the others what so attracted their curiosity. In thre_arriages involved among the munition carts, closely squeezed together, sa_omen with rouged faces, dressed in glaring colors, who were shoutin_omething in shrill voices.
  • From the moment Pierre had recognized the appearance of the mysterious forc_othing had seemed to him strange or dreadful: neither the corpse smeared wit_oot for fun nor these women hurrying away nor the burned ruins of Moscow. Al_hat he now witnessed scarcely made an impression on him—as if his soul,
  • making ready for a hard struggle, refused to receive impressions that migh_eaken it.
  • The women's vehicles drove by. Behind them came more carts, soldiers, wagons,
  • soldiers, gun carriages, carriages, soldiers, ammunition carts, more soldiers,
  • and now and then women.
  • Pierre did not see the people as individuals but saw their movement.
  • All these people and horses seemed driven forward by some invisible power.
  • During the hour Pierre watched them they all came flowing from the differen_treets with one and the same desire to get on quickly; they all jostled on_nother, began to grow angry and to fight, white teeth gleamed, brows frowned,
  • ever the same words of abuse flew from side to side, and all the faces bor_he same swaggeringly resolute and coldly cruel expression that had struc_ierre that morning on the corporal's face when the drums were beating.
  • It was not till nearly evening that the officer commanding the escor_ollected his men and with shouts and quarrels forced his way in among th_aggage trains, and the prisoners, hemmed in on all sides, emerged onto th_aluga road.
  • They marched very quickly, without resting, and halted only when the sun bega_o set. The baggage carts drew up close together and the men began to prepar_or their night's rest. They all appeared angry and dissatisfied. For a lon_ime, oaths, angry shouts, and fighting could be heard from all sides. _arriage that followed the escort ran into one of the carts and knocked a hol_n it with its pole. Several soldiers ran toward the cart from differen_ides: some beat the carriage horses on their heads, turning them aside,
  • others fought among themselves, and Pierre saw that one German was badl_ounded on the head by a sword.
  • It seemed that all these men, now that they had stopped amid fields in th_hill dusk of the autumn evening, experienced one and the same feeling o_npleasant awakening from the hurry and eagerness to push on that had seize_hem at the start. Once at a standstill they all seemed to understand tha_hey did not yet know where they were going, and that much that was painfu_nd difficult awaited them on this journey.
  • During this halt the escort treated the prisoners even worse than they ha_one at the start. It was here that the prisoners for the first time receive_orseflesh for their meat ration.
  • From the officer down to the lowest soldier they showed what seemed lik_ersonal spite against each of the prisoners, in unexpected contrast to thei_ormer friendly relations.
  • This spite increased still more when, on calling over the roll of prisoners,
  • it was found that in the bustle of leaving Moscow one Russian soldier, who ha_retended to suffer from colic, had escaped. Pierre saw a Frenchman beat _ussian soldier cruelly for straying too far from the road, and heard hi_riend the captain reprimand and threaten to court-martial a noncommissione_fficer on account of the escape of the Russian. To the noncommissione_fficer's excuse that the prisoner was ill and could not walk, the office_eplied that the order was to shoot those who lagged behind. Pierre felt tha_hat fatal force which had crushed him during the executions, but which he ha_ot felt during his imprisonment, now again controlled his existence. It wa_errible, but he felt that in proportion to the efforts of that fatal force t_rush him, there grew and strengthened in his soul a power of life independen_f it.
  • He ate his supper of buckwheat soup with horseflesh and chatted with hi_omrades.
  • Neither Pierre nor any of the others spoke of what they had seen in Moscow, o_f the roughness of their treatment by the French, or of the order to shoo_hem which had been announced to them. As if in reaction against the worsenin_f their position they were all particularly animated and gay. They spoke o_ersonal reminiscences, of amusing scenes they had witnessed during th_ampaign, and avoided all talk of their present situation.
  • The sun had set long since. Bright stars shone out here and there in the sky.
  • A red glow as of a conflagration spread above the horizon from the rising ful_oon, and that vast red ball swayed strangely in the gray haze. It grew light.
  • The evening was ending, but the night had not yet come. Pierre got up and lef_is new companions, crossing between the campfires to the other side of th_oad where he had been told the common soldier prisoners were stationed. H_anted to talk to them. On the road he was stopped by a French sentinel wh_rdered him back.
  • Pierre turned back, not to his companions by the campfire, but to a_nharnessed cart where there was nobody. Tucking his legs under him an_ropping his head he sat down on the cold ground by the wheel of the cart an_emained motionless a long while sunk in thought. Suddenly he burst out into _it of his broad, good-natured laughter, so loud that men from various side_urned with surprise to see what this strange and evidently solitary laughte_ould mean.
  • "Ha-ha-ha!" laughed Pierre. And he said aloud to himself: "The soldier did no_et me pass. They took me and shut me up. They hold me captive. What, me? Me?
  • My immortal soul? Ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha!… " and he laughed till tears started t_is eyes.
  • A man got up and came to see what this queer big fellow was laughing at all b_imself. Pierre stopped laughing, got up, went farther away from th_nquisitive man, and looked around him.
  • The huge, endless bivouac that had previously resounded with the crackling o_ampfires and the voices of many men had grown quiet, the red campfires wer_rowing paler and dying down. High up in the light sky hung the full moon.
  • Forests and fields beyond the camp, unseen before, were now visible in th_istance. And farther still, beyond those forests and fields, the bright,
  • oscillating, limitless distance lured one to itself. Pierre glanced up at th_ky and the twinkling stars in its faraway depths. "And all that is me, al_hat is within me, and it is all I!" thought Pierre. "And they caught all tha_nd put it into a shed boarded up with planks!" He smiled, and went and la_own to sleep beside his companions.