Your pride is dear to you, you dont want to apologise, continued the staff-captain, but we old fellows, as we grew up in the regiment and, please God, we hope to die in it, its the honour of the regiment is dear to us, and Bogdanitch knows that. Ah, isnt it dear to us! But this isnt right; its not right! You may take offence or not; but I always speak the plain truth. Its not right!
And the staff-captain got up and turned away from Rostov.
Thats the truth, damn it! shouted Denisov, jumping up. Come, Rostov, come!
Rostov, turning crimson and white again, looked first at one officer and then at the other.
No, gentlemen, no you mustnt think I quite understand, youre wrong in thinking that of me I for me for the honour of the regiment Id but why talk? Ill prove that in action and for me the honour of the flag well, never mind, its true, Im to blame! There were tears in his eyes. Im wrong, wrong all round! Well, what more do you want?
Come, thats right, count, cried the staff-captain, turning round and clapping him on the shoulder with his big hand.
I tell you, shouted Denisov, hes a capital fellow.
Thats better, count, repeated the captain, beginning to address him by his title as though in acknowledgment of his confession. Go and apologise, your excellency.
Gentlemen, Ill do anything, no one shall hear a word from me, Rostov protested in an imploring voice, but I cant apologise, by God, I cant, say what you will! How can I apologise, like a little boy begging pardon!
Itll be the worse for you, if you dont. Bogdanitch doesnt forget things; hell make you pay for your obstinacy, said Kirsten.
By God, its not obstinacy! I cant describe the feeling it gives me. I cant do it.
Well, as you like, said the staff-captain. What has the scoundrel done with himself? he asked Denisov.
He has reported himself ill; to-morrow the orders given for him to be struck off, said Denisov.
It is an illness, theres no other way of explaining it, said the staff-captain.
Whether its illness or whether its not, hed better not cross my pathId kill him, Denisov shouted bloodthirstily.
Zherkov walked into the room.
How do you come here? the officers cried to the newcomer at once.
To the front, gentlemen. Mack has surrendered with his whole army.
Ive seen him myself.
What? Seen Mack alive, with all his arms and legs?
To the front! to the front! Give him a bottle for such news. How did you come here?
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