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Chapter 22

  • Staggering amid the crush, Pierre looked about him.
  • "Count Peter Kirilovich! How did you get here?" said a voice.
  • Pierre looked round. Boris Drubetskoy, brushing his knees with his hand (h_ad probably soiled them when he, too, had knelt before the icon), came up t_im smiling. Boris was elegantly dressed, with a slightly martial touc_ppropriate to a campaign. He wore a long coat and like Kutuzov had a whi_lung across his shoulder.
  • Meanwhile Kutuzov had reached the village and seated himself in the shade o_he nearest house, on a bench which one Cossack had run to fetch and anothe_ad hastily covered with a rug. An immense and brilliant suite surrounded him.
  • The icon was carried further, accompanied by the throng. Pierre stopped som_hirty paces from Kutuzov, talking to Boris.
  • He explained his wish to be present at the battle and to see the position.
  • "This is what you must do," said Boris. "I will do the honors of the camp t_ou. You will see everything best from where Count Bennigsen will be. I am i_ttendance on him, you know; I'll mention it to him. But if you want to rid_ound the position, come along with us. We are just going to the left flank.
  • Then when we get back, do spend the night with me and we'll arrange a game o_ards. Of course you know Dmitri Sergeevich? Those are his quarters," and h_ointed to the third house in the village of Gorki.
  • "But I should like to see the right flank. They say it's very strong," sai_ierre. "I should like to start from the Moskva River and ride round the whol_osition."
  • "Well, you can do that later, but the chief thing is the left flank."
  • "Yes, yes. But where is Prince Bolkonski's regiment? Can you point it out t_e?"
  • "Prince Andrew's? We shall pass it and I'll take you to him."
  • "What about the left flank?" asked Pierre
  • "To tell you the truth, between ourselves, God only knows what state our lef_lank is in," said Boris confidentially lowering his voice. "It is not at al_hat Count Bennigsen intended. He meant to fortify that knoll quit_ifferently, but… " Boris shrugged his shoulders, "his Serene Highness woul_ot have it, or someone persuaded him. You see… " but Boris did not finish, for at that moment Kaysarov, Kutuzov's adjutant, came up to Pierre. "Ah, Kaysarov!" said Boris, addressing him with an unembarrassed smile, "I was jus_rying to explain our position to the count. It is amazing how his Seren_ighness could so the intentions of the French!"
  • "You mean the left flank?" asked Kaysarov.
  • "Yes, exactly; the left flank is now extremely strong."
  • Though Kutuzov had dismissed all unnecessary men from the staff, Boris ha_ontrived to remain at headquarters after the changes. He had establishe_imself with Count Bennigsen, who, like all on whom Boris had been i_ttendance, considered young Prince Drubetskoy an invaluable man.
  • In the higher command there were two sharply defined parties: Kutuzov's part_nd that of Bennigsen, the chief of staff. Boris belonged to the latter and n_ne else, while showing servile respect to Kutuzov, could so create a_mpression that the old fellow was not much good and that Bennigsen manage_verything. Now the decisive moment of battle had come when Kutuzov would b_estroyed and the power pass to Bennigsen, or even if Kutuzov won the battl_t would be felt that everything was done by Bennigsen. In any case many grea_ewards would have to be given for tomorrow's action, and new men would com_o the front. So Boris was full of nervous vivacity all day.
  • After Kaysarov, others whom Pierre knew came up to him, and he had not time t_eply to all the questions about Moscow that were showered upon him, or t_isten to all that was told him. The faces all expressed animation an_pprehension, but it seemed to Pierre that the cause of the excitement show_n some of these faces lay chiefly in questions of personal success; his mind, however, was occupied by the different expression he saw on other faces—a_xpression that spoke not of personal matters but of the universal question_f life and death. Kutuzov noticed Pierre's figure and the group gathere_ound him.
  • "Call him to me," said Kutuzov.
  • An adjutant told Pierre of his Serene Highness' wish, and Pierre went towar_utuzov's bench. But a militiaman got there before him. It was Dolokhov.
  • "How did that fellow get here?" asked Pierre.
  • "He's a creature that wriggles in anywhere!" was the answer. "He has bee_egraded, you know. Now he wants to bob up again. He's been proposing som_cheme or other and has crawled into the enemy's picket line at night… . He'_ brave fellow."
  • Pierre took off his hat and bowed respectfully to Kutuzov.
  • "I concluded that if I reported to your Serene Highness you might send me awa_r say that you knew what I was reporting, but then I shouldn't lose anything…
  • " Dolokhov was saying.
  • "Yes, yes."
  • "But if I were right, I should be rendering a service to my Fatherland fo_hich I am ready to die."
  • "Yes, yes."
  • "And should your Serene Highness require a man who will not spare his skin, please think of me… . Perhaps I may prove useful to your Serene Highness."
  • "Yes… Yes… " Kutuzov repeated, his laughing eye narrowing more and more as h_ooked at Pierre.
  • Just then Boris, with his courtierlike adroitness, stepped up to Pierre's sid_ear Kutuzov and in a most natural manner, without raising his voice, said t_ierre, as though continuing an interrupted conversation:
  • "The militia have put on clean white shirts to be ready to die. What heroism, Count!"
  • Boris evidently said this to Pierre in order to be overheard by his Seren_ighness. He knew Kutuzov's attention would be caught by those words, and s_t was.
  • "What are you saying about the militia?" he asked Boris.
  • "Preparing for tomorrow, your Serene Highness—for death—they have put on clea_hirts."
  • "Ah… a wonderful, a matchless people!" said Kutuzov; and he closed his eye_nd swayed his head. "A matchless people!" he repeated with a sigh.
  • "So you want to smell gunpowder?" he said to Pierre. "Yes, it's a pleasan_mell. I have the honor to be one of your wife's adorers. Is she well? M_uarters are at your service."
  • And as often happens with old people, Kutuzov began looking about absent- mindedly as if forgetting all he wanted to say or do.
  • Then, evidently remembering what he wanted, he beckoned to Andrew Kaysarov, his adjutant's brother.
  • "Those verses… those verses of Marin's… how do they go, eh? Those he wrot_bout Gerakov: 'Lectures for the corps inditing'… Recite them, recite them!"
  • said he, evidently preparing to laugh.
  • Kaysarov recited… . Kutuzov smilingly nodded his head to the rhythm of th_erses.
  • When Pierre had left Kutuzov, Dolokhov came up to him and took his hand.
  • "I am very glad to meet you here, Count," he said aloud, regardless of th_resence of strangers and in a particularly resolute and solemn tone. "On th_ve of a day when God alone knows who of us is fated to survive, I am glad o_his opportunity to tell you that I regret the misunderstandings that occurre_etween us and should wish you not to have any ill feeling for me. I beg yo_o forgive me."
  • Pierre looked at Dolokhov with a smile, not knowing what to say to him. Wit_ears in his eyes Dolokhov embraced Pierre and kissed him.
  • Boris said a few words to his general, and Count Bennigsen turned to Pierr_nd proposed that he should ride with him along the line.
  • "It will interest you," said he.
  • "Yes, very much," replied Pierre.
  • Half an hour later Kutuzov left for Tatarinova, and Bennigsen and his suite, with Pierre among them, set out on their ride along the line.