"He's coming!" shouted the signaler at that moment.
The regimental commander, flushing, ran to his horse, seized the stirrup wit_rembling hands, threw his body across the saddle, righted himself, drew hi_aber, and with a happy and resolute countenance, opening his mouth awry, prepared to shout. The regiment fluttered like a bird preening its plumage an_ecame motionless.
"Att-ention!" shouted the regimental commander in a soul-shaking voice whic_xpressed joy for himself, severity for the regiment, and welcome for th_pproaching chief.
Along the broad country road, edged on both sides by trees, came a high, ligh_lue Viennese caleche, slightly creaking on its springs and drawn by si_orses at a smart trot. Behind the caleche galloped the suite and a convoy o_roats. Beside Kutuzov sat an Austrian general, in a white uniform that looke_trange among the Russian black ones. The caleche stopped in front of th_egiment. Kutuzov and the Austrian general were talking in low voices an_utuzov smiled slightly as treading heavily he stepped down from the carriag_ust as if those two thousand men breathlessly gazing at him and th_egimental commander did not exist.
The word of command rang out, and again the regiment quivered, as with _ingling sound it presented arms. Then amidst a dead silence the feeble voic_f the commander in chief was heard. The regiment roared, "Health to your ex… len… len… lency!" and again all became silent. At first Kutuzov stood stil_hile the regiment moved; then he and the general in white, accompanied by th_uite, walked between the ranks.
From the way the regimental commander saluted the commander in chief an_evoured him with his eyes, drawing himself up obsequiously, and from the wa_e walked through the ranks behind the generals, bending forward and hardl_ble to restrain his jerky movements, and from the way he darted forward a_very word or gesture of the commander in chief, it was evident that h_erformed his duty as a subordinate with even greater zeal than his duty as _ommander. Thanks to the strictness and assiduity of its commander th_egiment, in comparison with others that had reached Braunau at the same time, was in splendid condition. There were only 217 sick and stragglers. Everythin_as in good order except the boots.
Kutuzov walked through the ranks, sometimes stopping to say a few friendl_ords to officers he had known in the Turkish war, sometimes also to th_oldiers. Looking at their boots he several times shook his head sadly, pointing them out to the Austrian general with an expression which seemed t_ay that he was not blaming anyone, but could not help noticing what a ba_tate of things it was. The regimental commander ran forward on each suc_ccasion, fearing to miss a single word of the commander in chief's regardin_he regiment. Behind Kutuzov, at a distance that allowed every softly spoke_ord to be heard, followed some twenty men of his suite. These gentleme_alked among themselves and sometimes laughed. Nearest of all to the commande_n chief walked a handsome adjutant. This was Prince Bolkonski. Beside him wa_is comrade Nesvitski, a tall staff officer, extremely stout, with a kindly, smiling, handsome face and moist eyes. Nesvitski could hardly keep fro_aughter provoked by a swarthy hussar officer who walked beside him. Thi_ussar, with a grave face and without a smile or a change in the expression o_is fixed eyes, watched the regimental commander's back and mimicked his ever_ovement. Each time the commander started and bent forward, the hussar starte_nd bent forward in exactly the same manner. Nesvitski laughed and nudged th_thers to make them look at the wag.
Kutuzov walked slowly and languidly past thousands of eyes which were startin_rom their sockets to watch their chief. On reaching the third company h_uddenly stopped. His suite, not having expected this, involuntarily cam_loser to him.
"Ah, Timokhin!" said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had bee_eprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat.
One would have thought it impossible for a man to stretch himself more tha_imokhin had done when he was reprimanded by the regimental commander, but no_hat the commander in chief addressed him he drew himself up to such an exten_hat it seemed he could not have sustained it had the commander in chie_ontinued to look at him, and so Kutuzov, who evidently understood his cas_nd wished him nothing but good, quickly turned away, a scarcely perceptibl_mile flitting over his scarred and puffy face.
"Another Ismail comrade," said he. "A brave officer! Are you satisfied wit_im?" he asked the regimental commander.
And the latter—unconscious that he was being reflected in the hussar office_s in a looking glass—started, moved forward, and answered: "Highly satisfied, your excellency!"
"We all have our weaknesses," said Kutuzov smiling and walking away from him.
"He used to have a predilection for Bacchus."
The regimental commander was afraid he might be blamed for this and did no_nswer. The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed captai_nd his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose with suc_xactitude that Nesvitski could not help laughing. Kutuzov turned round. Th_fficer evidently had complete control of his face, and while Kutuzov wa_urning managed to make a grimace and then assume a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression.
The third company was the last, and Kutuzov pondered, apparently trying t_ecollect something. Prince Andrew stepped forward from among the suite an_aid in French:
"You told me to remind you of the officer Dolokhov, reduced to the ranks i_his regiment."
"Where is Dolokhov?" asked Kutuzov.
Dolokhov, who had already changed into a soldier's gray greatcoat, did no_ait to be called. The shapely figure of the fair-haired soldier, with hi_lear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went up to the commander i_hief, and presented arms.
"Have you a complaint to make?" Kutuzov asked with a slight frown.
"This is Dolokhov," said Prince Andrew.
"Ah!" said Kutuzov. "I hope this will be a lesson to you. Do your duty. Th_mperor is gracious, and I shan't forget you if you deserve well."
The clear blue eyes looked at the commander in chief just as boldly as the_ad looked at the regimental commander, seeming by their expression to tea_pen the veil of convention that separates a commander in chief so widely fro_ private.
"One thing I ask of your excellency," Dolokhov said in his firm, ringing, deliberate voice. "I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault and prove m_evotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!"
Kutuzov turned away. The same smile of the eyes with which he had turned fro_aptain Timokhin again flitted over his face. He turned away with a grimace a_f to say that everything Dolokhov had said to him and everything he could sa_ad long been known to him, that he was weary of it and it was not at all wha_e wanted. He turned away and went to the carriage.
The regiment broke up into companies, which went to their appointed quarter_ear Braunau, where they hoped to receive boots and clothes and to rest afte_heir hard marches.
"You won't bear me a grudge, Prokhor Ignatych?" said the regimental commander, overtaking the third company on its way to its quarters and riding up t_aptain Timokhin who was walking in front. (The regimental commander's fac_ow that the inspection was happily over beamed with irrepressible delight.)
"It's in the Emperor's service… it can't be helped… one is sometimes a bi_asty on parade… I am the first to apologize, you know me!… He was ver_leased!" And he held out his hand to the captain.
"Don't mention it, General, as if I'd be so bold!" replied the captain, hi_ose growing redder as he gave a smile which showed where two front teeth wer_issing that had been knocked out by the butt end of a gun at Ismail.
"And tell Mr. Dolokhov that I won't forget him—he may be quite easy. And tel_e, please—I've been meaning to ask—how is to ask- how is he behaving himself, and in general… "
"As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency; but hi_haracter… " said Timokhin.
"And what about his character?" asked the regimental commander.
"It's different on different days," answered the captain. "One day he i_ensible, well educated, and good-natured, and the next he's a wild beast… .
In Poland, if you please, he nearly killed a Jew."
"Oh, well, well!" remarked the regimental commander. "Still, one must hav_ity 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 h_nderstood his commander's wish.
"Well, of course, of course!"
The regimental commander sought out Dolokhov in the ranks and, reining in hi_orse, said to him:
"After the next affair… epaulettes."
Dolokhov looked round but did not say anything, nor did the mocking smile o_is lips change.
"Well, that's all right," continued the regimental commander. "A cup of vodk_or the men from me," he added so that the soldiers could hear. "I thank yo_ll! God be praised!" and he rode past that company and overtook the next one.
"Well, he's really a good fellow, one can serve under him," said Timokhin t_he 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 th_oldiers. The company marched on gaily. The soldiers' voices could be heard o_very 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 notice_verything… "
"When he looked at my feet, friend… well, thinks I… "
"And that other one with him, the Austrian, looked as if he were smeared wit_halk—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 nea_im. Everybody said that Buonaparte himself was at Braunau."
"Buonaparte himself!… Just listen to the fool, what he doesn't know! Th_russians are up in arms now. The Austrians, you see, are putting them down.
When they've been put down, the war with Buonaparte will begin. And he say_uonaparte is in Braunau! Shows you're a fool. You'd better listen mor_arefully!"
"What devils these quartermasters are! See, the fifth company is turning int_he village already… they will have their buckwheat cooked before we reach ou_uarters."
"Give me a biscuit, you devil!"
"And did you give me tobacco yesterday? That's just it, friend! Ah, well, never mind, here you are."
"They might call a halt here or we'll have to do another four miles withou_ating."
"Wasn't it fine when those Germans gave us lifts! You just sit still and ar_rawn along."
"And here, friend, the people are quite beggarly. There they all seemed to b_oles—all under the Russian crown—but here they're all regular Germans."
"Singers to the front " came the captain's 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, bega_ long-drawn-out soldiers' song, commencing with the words: "Morning dawned, the sun was rising," and concluding: "On then, brothers, on to glory, led b_ather Kamenski." This song had been composed in the Turkish campaign and no_eing 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 i_linging something to the ground, the drummer—a lean, handsome soldier o_orty—looked sternly at the singers and screwed up his eyes. Then havin_atisfied himself that all eyes were fixed on him, he raised both arms as i_arefully 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, i_pite of the burden of his equipment, rushed out to the front and, walkin_ackwards before the company, jerked his shoulders and flourished hi_astanets as if threatening someone. The soldiers, swinging their arms an_eeping time spontaneously, marched with long steps. Behind the company th_ound of wheels, the creaking of springs, and the tramp of horses' hoofs wer_eard. Kutuzov and his suite were returning to the town. The commander i_hief made a sign that the men should continue to march at ease, and he an_ll his suite showed pleasure at the sound of the singing and the sight of th_ancing soldier and the gay and smartly marching men. In the second file fro_he right flank, beside which the carriage passed the company, a blue-eye_oldier involuntarily attracted notice. It was Dolokhov marching wit_articular grace and boldness in time to the song and looking at those drivin_ast as if he pitied all who were not at that moment marching with th_ompany. The hussar cornet of Kutuzov's suite who had mimicked the regimenta_ommander, fell back from the carriage and rode up to Dolokhov.
Hussar cornet Zherkov had at one time, in Petersburg, belonged to the wild se_ed by Dolokhov. Zherkov had met Dolokhov abroad as a private and had not see_it to recognize him. But now that Kutuzov had spoken to the gentleman ranker, he addressed him with the cordiality of an old friend.
"My dear fellow, how are you?" said he through the singing, making his hors_eep pace with the company.
"How am I?" Dolokhov answered coldly. "I am as you see."
The lively song gave a special flavor to the tone of free and easy gaiety wit_hich Zherkov spoke, and to the intentional coldness of Dolokhov's reply.
"And how do you get on with the officers?" inquired Zherkov.
"All right. They are good fellows. And how have you wriggled onto the staff?"
"I was attached; I'm on duty."
Both were silent.
"She let the hawk fly upward from her wide right sleeve," went the song, arousing an involuntary sensation of courage and cheerfulness. Thei_onversation would probably have been different but for the effect of tha_ong.
"Is it true that Austrians have been beaten?" asked Dolokhov.
"The devil only knows! They say so."
"I'm glad," answered Dolokhov briefly and clearly, as the song demanded.
"I say, come round some evening and we'll have a game of faro!" said Zherkov.
"Why, have you too much money?"
"I can't. I've sworn not to. I won't drink and won't play till I ge_einstated."
"Well, that's only till the first engagement."
"We shall see."
They were again silent.
"Come if you need anything. One can at least be of use on the staff… "
Dolokhov smiled. "Don't trouble. If I want anything, I won't beg- I'll tak_t!"
"Well, never mind; I only… "
"And I only… "
"Good health… "
"It's a long, long way.
To my native land… "
Zherkov touched his horse with the spurs; it pranced excitedly from foot t_oot uncertain with which to start, then settled down, galloped past th_ompany, and overtook the carriage, still keeping time to the song.