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Chapter 30

  • The glow of the first fire that began on the second of September was watche_rom the various roads by the fugitive Muscovites and by the retreatin_roops, with many different feelings.
  • The Rostov party spent the night at Mytishchi, fourteen miles from Moscow.
  • They had started so late on the first of September, the road had been s_locked by vehicles and troops, so many things had been forgotten for whic_ervants were sent back, that they had decided to spend that night at a plac_hree miles out of Moscow. The next morning they woke late and were agai_elayed so often that they only got as far as Great Mytishchi. At ten o'cloc_hat evening the Rostov family and the wounded traveling with them were al_istributed in the yards and huts of that large village. The Rostovs' servant_nd coachmen and the orderlies of the wounded officers, after attending t_heir masters, had supper, fed the horses, and came out into the porches.
  • In a neighboring hut lay Raevski's adjutant with a fractured wrist. The awfu_ain he suffered made him moan incessantly and piteously, and his moanin_ounded terrible in the darkness of the autumn night. He had spent the firs_ight in the same yard as the Rostovs. The countess said she had been unabl_o close her eyes on account of his moaning, and at Mytishchi she moved into _orse hut simply to be farther away from the wounded man.
  • In the darkness of the night one of the servants noticed, above the high bod_f a coach standing before the porch, the small glow of another fire. One glo_ad long been visible and everybody knew that it was Little Mytishch_urning—set on fire by Mamonov's Cossacks.
  • "But look here, brothers, there's another fire!" remarked an orderly.
  • All turned their attention to the glow.
  • "But they told us Little Mytishchi had been set on fire by Mamonov'_ossacks."
  • "But that's not Mytishchi, it's farther away."
  • "Look, it must be in Moscow!"
  • Two of the gazers went round to the other side of the coach and sat down o_ts steps.
  • "It's more to the left, why, Little Mytishchi is over there, and this is righ_n the other side."
  • Several men joined the first two.
  • "See how it's flaring," said one. "That's a fire in Moscow: either in th_ushchevski or the Rogozhski quarter."
  • No one replied to this remark and for some time they all gazed silently at th_preading flames of the second fire in the distance.
  • Old Daniel Terentich, the count's valet (as he was called), came up to th_roup and shouted at Mishka.
  • "What are you staring at, you good-for-nothing?… The count will be calling an_here's nobody there; go and gather the clothes together."
  • "I only ran out to get some water," said Mishka.
  • "But what do you think, Daniel Terentich? Doesn't it look as if that glow wer_n Moscow?" remarked one of the footmen.
  • Daniel Terentich made no reply, and again for a long time they were al_ilent. The glow spread, rising and failing, farther and farther still.
  • "God have mercy… . It's windy and dry… " said another voice.
  • "Just look! See what it's doing now. O Lord! You can even see the crow_lying. Lord have mercy on us sinners!"
  • "They'll put it out, no fear!"
  • "Who's to put it out?" Daniel Terentich, who had hitherto been silent, wa_eard to say. His voice was calm and deliberate. "Moscow it is, brothers,"
  • said he. "Mother Moscow, the white… " his voice faltered, and he gave way t_n old man's sob.
  • And it was as if they had all only waited for this to realize the significanc_or them of the glow they were watching. Sighs were heard, words of prayer,
  • and the sobbing of the count's old valet.