"They don't even give one time to dwink!" answered Vaska Denisov."They keep dwagging the wegiment to and fwo all day. If they mean to fight, let's fight. But the devil knows what this is."
"What a dandy you are today!" said Nesvitski, looking at Denisov's new cloak and saddlecloth.
Denisov smiled, took out of his sabretache a handkerchief that diffused a smell of perfume, and put it to Nesvitski's nose.
"Of course. I'm going into action! I've shaved, bwushed my teeth, and scented myself."
The imposing figure of Nesvitski followed by his Cossack, and the determination of Denisov who flourished his sword and shouted frantically, had such an effect that they managed to squeeze through to the farther side of the bridge and stopped the infantry. Beside the bridge Nesvitski found the colonel to whom he had to deliver the order, and having done this he rode back.
Having cleared the way Denisov stopped at the end of the bridge. Carelessly holding in his stallion that was neighing and pawing the ground, eager to rejoin its fellows, he watched his squadron draw nearer. Then the clang of hoofs, as of several horses galloping, resounded on the planks of the bridge, and the squadron, officers in front and men four abreast, spread across the bridge and began to emerge on his side of it.
The infantry who had been stopped crowded near the bridge in the trampled mud and gazed with that particular feeling of ill-will, estrangement, and ridicule with which troops of different arms usually encounter one another at the clean, smart hussars who moved past them in regular order.
"Smart lads! Only fit for a fair!" said one.
"What good are they? They're led about just for show!" remarked another.
"Don't kick up the dust, you infantry!" jested an hussar whose prancing horse had splashed mud over some foot soldiers.
"I'd like to put you on a two days' march with a knapsack! Your fine cords would soon get a bit rubbed," said an infantryman, wiping the mud off his face with his sleeve."Perched up there, you're more like a bird than a man."
"There now, Zikin, they ought to put you on a horse. You'd look fine," said a corporal, chaffing a thin little soldier who bent under the weight of his knapsack.
"Take a stick between your legs, that'll suit you for a horse!" the hussar shouted back.