L. N. Tolstoy. War and peace. Volume four. Part Three IX.
Having dressed in French overcoats and a kiver, Petya and Dolokhov went to the clearing, from which Denisov looked at the camp, and, leaving the forest in complete darkness, went down into the valley. Dolokhov went downstairs and told the Cossacks accompanying him to wait here and drove a big lynx on the way to the bridge. Petya, dying of anxiety, was driving with him.
- If we get caught, I won't surrender alive, I have a gun," Petya whispered.
- Don't speak Russian," Dolokhov said in a quick whisper, and at the same moment in the dark he heard a call: "Qui vive? 1 and the sound of the gun.
Blood rushed into Petya's face and he grabbed the gun.
- Lanciers du sixième 2," Dolokhov said, without shortening or adding to the horse's stroke. The black sentry figure was standing on the bridge.
- Mot d'ordre? 3 - Dolokhov held the horse and took a step.
- Dites donc, le colonel Gérard est ici? 4 - he said.
- Mot d'ordre! - without answering, said the sentry, blocking the road.
- Quand un officier fait sa ronde, les sentinelles ne demandent pas le mot d'ordre... - Dolokhov shouted, suddenly flashing, hitting the sentry with a horse. - Je vous demande si le colonel est ici? 5
And without waiting for an answer from the sentry, Dolokhov took a step up the mountain.
Noticing the black shadow of a man crossing the road, Dolokhov stopped this man and asked where the commander and officers were. This man, with a bag on his shoulder, a soldier, stopped, came close to Dolokhov's horse, touching it with his hand, and simply and friendly told that the commander and officers were higher on the mountain, on the right side, in the yard of the farm (as he called the manor house).
Dolokhov turned to the courtyard of the manor house after driving along the road, on both sides of which the French accent sounded from the fires. After driving through the gate, he got off the horse and approached a large flaming fire, around which several people were sitting loudly talking. Something was boiling in the pot on the edge, and a soldier in a cap and a blue overcoat was standing on his knees, brightly lit by fire, stirring the shampoo in it.
- Oh, c'est un dur à cuire 6," said one of the officers sitting in the shadows on the opposite side of the fire.
- Il les fera marcher les lapins 7... - with laughter said the other. Both were silent, looking into the darkness at the sound of Dolokhov's and Petya's footsteps as they approached the fire with their horses.
- Bonjour, messieurs! 8 - Dolokhov spoke loudly, clearly.
The officers moved in the shade of the fire, and one tall officer with a long neck bypassed the fire and approached Dolokhov.
- C'est vous, Clément? - he said. - D'où, diable... 9 But he didn't end up knowing his mistake, and, slightly frowning like a stranger, he greeted Dolokhov, asking him what he could do for him. Dolokhov said that he and his comrade were catching up with his regiment and asked if the officers knew anything about the sixth regiment. No one knew anything; and it seemed to Pete that the officers began to examine him and Dolokhov in a hostile and suspicious manner. Everyone was silent for a few seconds.
- Si vous comptez sur la soupe du soir, vous venez trop tard 10," said with reserved laughter the voice from behind the fire.
Dolokhov answered that they were fed up and that they had to go further in the night.
He gave the horses to the soldier who was stirring in the pot and squatted down by the fire next to the officer with a long neck. This officer kept his eyes on Dolokhov and asked him again: what was his regiment? Dolokhov did not answer as if he hadn't heard the question, and, lighting a short French pipe, which he took out of his pocket, he asked the officers about the safety of the road from the Cossacks in front of them.
- Les brigands sont partout 11," said the officer from behind the fire.
Dolokhov said Cossacks are only scary for retarded people like him and his comrade, but that large Cossack units are probably not to be attacked, he added, questioningly. No one answered anything.
"Well, now he's going to leave," Petya thought, standing in front of the fire and listening to his conversation.
But Dolokhov began to ask how many people they had in the battalion, how many battalions and how many prisoners they had. Asking about the Russian prisoners who were with their unit, Dolokhov said:
- La vilaine affaire de traîner ces cadavres après soi. Vaudrait mieux fusiller cette canaille 12, - and laughed so loudly that it seemed to Pete that the French now recognize the deception, and he unwittingly retreated a step away from the fire. Nobody answered Dolokhov's words and laughter, and the French officer, who was not visible (he was lying in a overcoat), raised himself and whispered something to his comrade. Dolokhov stood up and clicked on the soldier with the horses.
"Will the horses be served or not? - Petya thought, unwittingly approaching Dolokhov.
Horses were served.
- Bonjour, messieurs 13," said Dolokhov.
Petya wanted to say bonsoir 14 and could not finish the words. The officers were whispering something between themselves. Dolokhov sat on a horse for a long time, which was not standing; then he took a step out of the gate. Petya was riding near him, willing and not daring to look back to see if the French were running or not running after them.
Dolokhov went not back to the field, but along the village. In one place he stopped listening.
- Hear that? - he said.
Petya recognized the sounds of Russian voices, saw dark figures of Russian prisoners near the fires. Going down to the bridge, Petya and Dolokhov drove a sentry, who, without saying a word, walked gloomy on the bridge, and drove to the valley, where the Cossacks waited.
- Well, goodbye now. Tell Denisov that at dawn, on the first shot, - said Dolokhov and wanted to go, but Petya grabbed him with his hand.
- No," he shouted, "you are such a hero. Oh, how good! How wonderful! How much I love you.
- Well, well, - said Dolokhov, - but Petya did not let him go, and in the darkness Dolokhov considered that Petya bent over to him. He wanted to kiss. Dolokhov kissed him, laughed, and turned his horse and fled in the dark.
1 Who's coming?
2 Ulaanes of the sixth regiment.
4 Tell me, is Colonel Gerard here?
5 When an officer goes around the chain, the Sentries don't ask for feedback... I ask if the colonel is here?
6 You can't sugarcoat that shit.
7 He's gonna take them...
8 Hello, gentlemen!
9 Is that you, Clement? Where the hell did you come from?
10 If you're counting on dinner, you're late.
11 These bandits are everywhere.
12 It's probably a bad thing to carry these bodies around with you. It would be better to shoot this bastard.
13 Goodbye, gentlemen. - Red.
14 of the late night. - Red.