Webmasters, increase productivity, download the whole site in zip files.
Database size
Public: 874.98 Megs.
Premium Members: 4.584 Gig.
Message Boards

Chapter III.7

Back 1   2   3   4   Next

On the twelfth of November, Kutuzov's active army, in camp before Olmutz, was preparing to be reviewed next day by the two Emperors- the Russian and the Austrian. The Guards, just arrived from Russia, spent the night ten miles from Olmutz and next morning were to come straight to the review, reaching the field at Olmutz by ten o'clock.

That day Nicholas Rostov received a letter from Boris, telling him that the Ismaylov regiment was quartered for the night ten miles from Olmutz and that he wanted to see him as he had a letter and money for him. Rostov was particularly in need of money now that the troops, after their active service, were stationed near Olmutz and the camp swarmed with well-provisioned sutlers and Austrian Jews offering all sorts of tempting wares. The Pavlograds held feast after feast, celebrating awards they had received for the campaign, and made expeditions to Olmutz to visit a certain Caroline the Hungarian, who had recently opened a restaurant there with girls as waitresses. Rostov, who had just celebrated his promotion to a cornetcy and bought Denisov's horse, Bedouin, was in debt all round, to his comrades and the sutlers. On receiving Boris' letter he rode with a fellow officer to Olmutz, dined there, drank a bottle of wine, and then set off alone to the Guards' camp to find his old playmate. Rostov had not yet had time to get his uniform. He had on a shabby cadet jacket, decorated with a soldier's cross, equally shabby cadet's riding breeches lined with worn leather, and an officer's saber with a sword knot. The Don horse he was riding was one he had bought from a Cossack during the campaign, and he wore a crumpled hussar cap stuck jauntily back on one side of his head. As he rode up to the camp he thought how he would impress Boris and all his comrades of the Guards by his appearance- that of a fighting hussar who had been under fire.

The Guards had made their whole march as if on a pleasure trip, parading their cleanliness and discipline. They had come by easy stages, their knapsacks conveyed on carts, and the Austrian authorities had provided excellent dinners for the officers at every halting place. The regiments had entered and left the town with their bands playing, and by the Grand Duke's orders the men had marched all the way in step (a practice on which the Guards prided themselves), the officers on foot and at their proper posts. Boris had been quartered, and had marched all the way, with Berg who was already in command of a company. Berg, who had obtained his captaincy during the campaign, had gained the confidence of his superiors by his promptitude and accuracy and had arranged his money matters very satisfactorily. Boris, during the campaign, had made the acquaintance of many persons who might prove useful to him, and by a letter of recommendation he had brought from Pierre had become acquainted with Prince Andrew Bolkonski, through whom he hoped to obtain a post on the commander in chief's staff. Berg and Boris, having rested after yesterday's march, were sitting, clean and neatly dressed, at a round table in the clean quarters allotted to them, playing chess. Berg held a smoking pipe between his knees. Boris, in the accurate way characteristic of him, was building a little pyramid of chessmen with his delicate white fingers while awaiting Berg's move, and watched his opponent's face, evidently thinking about the game as he always thought only of whatever he was engaged on.

"Well, how are you going to get out of that?" he remarked.

"We'll try to," replied Berg, touching a pawn and then removing his hand.

At that moment the door opened.

"Here he is at last!" shouted Rostov. "And Berg too! Oh, you petisenfans, allay cushay dormir!" he exclaimed, imitating his Russian nurse's French, at which he and Boris used to laugh long ago.

"Dear me, how you have changed!"

Boris rose to meet Rostov, but in doing so did not omit to steady and replace some chessmen that were falling. He was about to embrace his friend, but Nicholas avoided him. With that peculiar feeling of youth, that dread of beaten tracks, and wish to express itself in a manner different from that of its elders which is often insincere, Nicholas wished to do something special on meeting his friend. He wanted to pinch him, push him, do anything but kiss him- a thing everybody did. But notwithstanding this, Boris embraced him in a quiet, friendly way and kissed him three times.

They had not met for nearly half a year and, being at the age when young men take their first steps on life's road, each saw immense changes in the other, quite a new reflection of the society in which they had taken those first steps. Both had changed greatly since they last met and both were in a hurry to show the changes that had taken place in them.

 

Back 1   2   3   4   Next

War and Peace -by- Leo Tolstoy

Bottom Content goes here. Wikipedia content requires these links..... Wikipedia content is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

MidSummer