War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book II: Chapters 9–21

"You won't be able to find either your baggage or anything else now, Prince. And God only knows where your man Peter is," said the other adjutant.

"Where are headquarters?"

"We are to spend the night in Znaim."

"Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses," said Nesvitski."They've made up splendid packs for me — fit to cross the Bohemian mountains with. It's a bad lookout, old fellow! But what's the matter with you? You must be ill to shiver like that," he added, noticing that Prince Andrew winced as at an electric shock.

"It's nothing," replied Prince Andrew.

He had just remembered his recent encounter with the doctor's wife and the convoy officer.

"What is the commander in chief doing here?" he asked.

"I can't make out at all," said Nesvitski.

"Well, all I can make out is that everything is abominable, abominable, quite abominable!" said Prince Andrew, and he went off to the house where the commander in chief was.

Passing by Kutuzov's carriage and the exhausted saddle horses of his suite, with their Cossacks who were talking loudly together, Prince Andrew entered the passage. Kutuzov himself, he was told, was in the house with Prince Bagration and Weyrother. Weyrother was the Austrian general who had succeeded Schmidt. In the passage little Kozlovski was squatting on his heels in front of a clerk. The clerk, with cuffs turned up, was hastily writing at a tub turned bottom upwards. Kozlovski's face looked worn — he too had evidently not slept all night. He glanced at Prince Andrew and did not even nod to him.

"Second line . . . have you written it?" he continued dictating to the clerk."The Kiev Grenadiers, Podolian . . ."

"One can't write so fast, your honor," said the clerk, glancing angrily and disrespectfully at Kozlovski.

Through the door came the sounds of Kutuzov's voice, excited and dissatisfied, interrupted by another, an unfamiliar voice. From the sound of these voices, the inattentive way Kozlovski looked at him, the disrespectful manner of the exhausted clerk, the fact that the clerk and Kozlovski were squatting on the floor by a tub so near to the commander in chief, and from the noisy laughter of the Cossacks holding the horses near the window, Prince Andrew felt that something important and disastrous was about to happen.

He turned to Kozlovski with urgent questions.

"Immediately, Prince," said Kozlovski."Dispositions for Bagration."

"What about capitulation?"

"Nothing of the sort. Orders are issued for a battle."

Prince Andrew moved toward the door from whence voices were heard. Just as he was going to open it the sounds ceased, the door opened, and Kutuzov with his eagle nose and puffy face appeared in the doorway. Prince Andrew stood right in front of Kutuzov but the expression of the commander in chief's one sound eye showed him to be so preoccupied with thoughts and anxieties as to be oblivious of his presence. He looked straight at his adjutant's face without recognizing him.

"Well, have you finished?" said he to Kozlovski.

"One moment, your excellency."

Bagration, a gaunt middle-aged man of medium height with a firm, impassive face of Oriental type, came out after the commander in chief.

"I have the honor to present myself," repeated Prince Andrew rather loudly, handing Kutuzov an envelope.

"Ah, from Vienna? Very good. Later, later!"

Kutuzov went out into the porch with Bagration.

"Well, good-by, Prince," said he to Bagration."My blessing, and may Christ be with you in your great endeavor!"

His face suddenly softened and tears came into his eyes. With his left hand he drew Bagration toward him, and with his right, on which he wore a ring, he made the sign of the cross over him with a gesture evidently habitual, offering his puffy cheek, but Bagration kissed him on the neck instead.

"Christ be with you!" Kutuzov repeated and went toward his carriage."Get in with me," said he to Bolkonski.

"Your excellency, I should like to be of use here. Allow me to remain with Prince Bagration's detachment."

"Get in," said Kutuzov, and noticing that Bolkonski still delayed, he added:"I need good officers myself, need them myself!"

They got into the carriage and drove for a few minutes in silence.

"There is still much, much before us," he said, as if with an old man's penetration he understood all that was passing in Bolkonski's mind."If a tenth part of his detachment returns I shall thank God," he added as if speaking to himself.

Prince Andrew glanced at Kutuzov's face only a foot distant from him and involuntarily noticed the carefully washed seams of the scar near his temple, where an Ismail bullet had pierced his skull, and the empty eye socket."Yes, he has a right to speak so calmly of those men's death," thought Bolkonski.

"That is why I beg to be sent to that detachment," he said.

Kutuzov did not reply. He seemed to have forgotten what he had been saying, and sat plunged in thought. Five minutes later, gently swaying on the soft springs of the carriage, he turned to Prince Andrew. There was not a trace of agitation on his face. With delicate irony he questioned Prince Andrew about the details of his interview with the Emperor, about the remarks he had heard at court concerning the Krems affair, and about some ladies they both knew.

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