Next day the decrepit Kutuzov, having given orders to be called early, sai_is prayers, dressed, and, with an unpleasant consciousness of having t_irect a battle he did not approve of, got into his caleche and drove fro_etashovka (a village three and a half miles from Tarutino) to the place wher_he attacking columns were to meet. He sat in the caleche, dozing and wakin_p by turns, and listening for any sound of firing on the right as a_ndication that the action had begun. But all was still quiet. A damp dul_utumn morning was just dawning. On approaching Tarutino Kutuzov notice_avalrymen leading their horses to water across the road along which he wa_riving. Kutuzov looked at them searchingly, stopped his carriage, an_nquired what regiment they belonged to. They belonged to a column that shoul_ave been far in front and in ambush long before then. "It may be a mistake,"
thought the old commander in chief. But a little further on he saw infantr_egiments with their arms piled and the soldiers, only partly dressed, eatin_heir rye porridge and carrying fuel. He sent for an officer. The office_eported that no order to advance had been received.
"How! Not rec… " Kutuzov began, but checked himself immediately and sent for _enior officer. Getting out of his caleche, he waited with drooping head an_reathing heavily, pacing silently up and down. When Eykhen, the officer o_he general staff whom he had summoned, appeared, Kutuzov went purple in th_ace, not because that officer was to blame for the mistake, but because h_as an object of sufficient importance for him to vent his wrath on. Tremblin_nd panting the old man fell into that state of fury in which he sometime_sed to roll on the ground, and he fell upon Eykhen, threatening him with hi_ands, shouting and loading him with gross abuse. Another man, Captain Brozin,
who happened to turn up and who was not at all to blame, suffered the sam_ate.
"What sort of another blackguard are you? I'll have you shot! Scoundrels!"
yelled Kutuzov in a hoarse voice, waving his arms and reeling.
He was suffering physically. He, the commander in chief, a Serene Highness wh_verybody said possessed powers such as no man had ever had in Russia, to b_laced in this position—made the laughingstock of the whole army! "I needn'_ave been in such a hurry to pray about today, or have kept awake thinkin_verything over all night," thought he to himself. "When I was a chit of a_fficer no one would have dared to mock me so… and now!" He was in a state o_hysical suffering as if from corporal punishment, and could not avoi_xpressing it by cries of anger and distress. But his strength soon began t_ail him, and looking about him, conscious of having said much that was amiss,
he again got into his caleche and drove back in silence.
His wrath, once expended, did not return, and blinking feebly he listened t_xcuses and self-justifications (Ermolov did not come to see him till the nex_ay) and to the insistence of Bennigsen, Konovnitsyn, and Toll that th_ovement that had miscarried should be executed next day. And once mor_utuzov had to consent.