“Come, give us a drop of your herb-brandy, Tushin,” it said.

“Oh, it’s the captain, who had his boots off in the booth,” thought Prince Andrey, recognising with pleasure the agreeable philosophising voice.

“Herb-brandy by all means,” said Tushin; “but still to conceive of a future life …” He did not finish his sentence.

At that moment there was a whiz heard in the air: nearer, nearer, faster and more distinctly, and faster it came; and the cannon-ball, as though not uttering all it had to say, thudded into the earth not far from the shanty, tearing up the soil with superhuman force. The earth seemed to moan at the terrible blow. At the same instant there dashed out of the shanty, before any of the rest, little Tushin with his short pipe in his mouth; his shrewd, good-humoured face was rather pale. After him emerged the owner of the manly voice, a stalwart infantry officer, who ran off to his company, buttoning his coat as he ran.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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