L. N. Tolstoy. War and peace. Volume four. Part Three X
Back at the guardhouse, Petya caught Denisov in the halls. Denisov was worried, worried and annoyed that he had let Petya go, waiting for him.
- Thank God! - He shouted. - Well, thank God! - He repeated it as he listened to Pete's enthusiastic story. - And Cheg't take you, he did not sleep because of you! - Denisov spoke. - Well, thank God, go to bed. Still sighing before the iron.
- Yes... No," said Petya. - I don't want to sleep yet. I know myself, too, if I fall asleep, it's over. And then I got used to not sleeping before the battle.
Petya sat in the hut for a few moments, gladly remembering the details of his trip and vividly imagining what would happen tomorrow. Then, having noticed that Denisov fell asleep, he got up and went to the yard.
It was still very dark outside. The rain had passed, but the droplets were still falling from the trees. Black figures of Cossack huts and horses tied together could be seen near the guardhouse. Behind the hut, two horses with horses were blackened and the burnt-out fire in the ravine blushed. Cossacks and hussars did not all sleep: in some places they could hear, along with the sound of drops falling and the close sound of horses chewing, not loud, as if whispering voices.
Petya came out of the halls, looked around in the dark and approached the trucks. Someone snored under the lorries, and around them stood chewing oats and saddled horses. In the darkness Petya recognized his horse, which he called Garabagh, though it was a horse from Little Russia, and came up to her.
- Well, Karabakh, we will serve tomorrow," he said, sniffing her nostrils and kissing her.
- What, sir, are you awake? - The Cossack who was sitting under the truck said.
- No; a... Likhachev, it seems, to call you? After all, I just arrived. We went to the French. - And Petya told in detail to the Cossack not only the trip, but also that, why it went and why it considers that it is better to risk the life, than to do at random Lazarus.
- Well, they would have pissed him off," the Cossack said.
- No, I'm used to it," Petya answered. - Didn't you have any flint in your guns? I brought them with me. Shouldn't I? You take it.
Cossack came out from under the truck to get a closer look at Petya.
- Because I'm used to doing everything carefully," Petya said. - Some people won't get ready, and then they regret it. I don't like it that way.
- That's for sure," said the Cossack.
- And here's another thing, please, darling, sharpen my sword; dull... (But Petya was afraid of lying) she was never sharpened. Can I do that?
- Why, you can.
Likhachev got up, dug through the alleys, and Petya soon heard a belligerent sound of steel about a bar. He climbed onto the truck and sat down on the edge of it. The Cossack was sharpening his sword under the truck.
- Are they sleeping well? - Petya said.
- Who is sleeping, and who is this way.
- Well, what about the boy?
- Springtime? He fell asleep in the sensors. He sleeps with fear. I was glad I was.
For a long time after that Petya was silent, listening to the sounds. In the darkness the footsteps were heard and a black figure appeared.
- What are you sharpening? - A man asked, approaching the truck.
- But to sharpen the sword for the lord.
- It's a good thing," said the man who seemed like a hussar to Pete. - Do you have a cup left?
- And there's a cup by the wheel.
Hussar took a cup.
- The light must be on soon," he said, yawning, and went somewhere.
Petya should have known that he was in the woods, in the party of Denisov, a mile away from the road, that he was sitting on a lorry beaten from the French, near which the horse was tied up, that a Cossack named Likhachev was sitting under him and sharpening his sword, that a large black spot to the right was a guardhouse, and a red spot to the right was a red spot below - a burned fire, that a man who came for a cup was a hussar who was thirsty; but he knew nothing and did not want to know it. He was in a magical kingdom in which there was nothing like reality. The big black spot, maybe, was exactly a guard, and maybe there was a cave that led to the deepest part of the earth. The red spot, maybe, was the fire, and maybe - the eye of a huge monster. Maybe he's sitting exactly on the truck now, but maybe he's sitting not on the truck, but on a terribly high tower, with which to fall down, he would fly to the ground all day, a whole month - all fly and never fly. Maybe it is just the Cossack Likhachev who sits under the truck, but it is very possible that this is the kindest, bravest, most wonderful, most excellent person in the world, whom no one knows. Maybe it was a hussar who was passing by for water and went into the valley, or maybe he just disappeared from sight and completely disappeared, and he wasn't there.
Whatever Petya sees now, nothing would surprise him. He was in a magical kingdom where everything was possible.
He looked up to heaven. And the sky was as magical as the earth. It was clear in heaven, and clouds ran quickly over the tops of the villages, as if to open the stars. Sometimes it seemed as if the sky was clear and clear as a black, clear sky. Sometimes these black spots seemed to be clouds. Sometimes it seemed that the sky was high, high above the head; sometimes the sky came down completely, so you could reach it with your hand.
Petya began to close his eyes and sway.
The drops were dripping. There was a quiet talk. The horses rusted and fought. Someone was snoring.
- The burning, the burning, the burning, the reviving, the burning... - A sharpening sword whistled. And suddenly Perya heard a slender chorus of music playing some unknown, solemnly sweet hymn. Petya was a musician, just like Natasha and Nikolai, but he never studied music, never thought about music, and therefore the motives that suddenly occurred to him were especially new and attractive to him. The music was playing more and more audible and audible. The melody grew, moving from one instrument to another. What was happening was what was called a fugue, although Petya had no idea what a fugue was. Every instrument, whether it was a violin or a trumpet - but it was better and cleaner than violins and trumpets - each played its own instrument and, without even finishing the motive, merged with another instrument, which started almost the same thing, and with the third and fourth, and all of them merged into one and again ran away, and again merged into the solemnly ecclesiastical, and into the brightly brilliant and triumphant one.
Oh, yes, because I'm the one in my dreams," Petya said, swinginging ahead. - It's in my ears. Or maybe it's my music. Well, again. Go ahead with my music! Well!...
He closed his eyes. And from different sides, as if from afar, the sounds trembled, they started to get along, to run away, to merge, and again everything united in the same sweet and solemn hymn. "Ah, it's the beauty of what it is! As much as I want and as I want," Petya said to himself. He tried to lead this huge chorus of instruments.
"Well, shh, shh, shh, stop now. - And the sounds listened to him. - Well, now it's fuller, more fun. More, more joyful. - And from the unknown depths the amplifying, solemn sounds rose. - Well, voices, pester! - Petya ordered it. And at first men's voices were heard from afar, then women's voices. Voices grew, grew in a uniform solemn effort. Pete was scared and happy to listen to their extraordinary beauty.
With a solemn victorious march merged the song, and drops of drops, and burning, jig, jig, jig... The saber whistled, and again they fought and rusted horses, not breaking the choir, but entering it.
Petya did not know how long it lasted: he enjoyed it, was always surprised at his pleasure and regretted that there was no one to tell him. He was awakened by Likhachev's tender voice.
- Done, your nobility, you are melting in two the Frenchman.
Petya woke up.
- It's shining, it's shining, it's shining, it's shining! - he exclaimed.
The previously unseen horses were visible to the tails, and through the bare branches a watery light was visible. Petya shaken up, jumped up, pulled out of his pocket the whole tree and gave it to Likhachev, waving it, tasted the checker and put it in the scabbard. Cossacks untied horses and pulled up girlfriends.
- Here comes the commander," Likhachev said.
Denisov came out of the guardhouse and called out Petya and ordered him to pack.