carried off the carriages of Marshal Oudinot. In April the Pavlograd hussars had for several weeks been encamped near an utterly ruined, empty German village, and had not stirred from that spot.

It was thawing, muddy, and cold, the ice had broken upon the river, the roads had become impassable; for several days there had been neither provender for the horses nor provisions for the men. Seeing that the transport of provisions was impossible, the soldiers dispersed about the abandoned and desert villages to try and find potatoes, but very few were to be found even of these.

Everything had been eaten up, and all the inhabitants of the district had fled; those that remained were worse than beggars, and there was nothing to be taken from them; indeed, the soldiers, although little given to compassion, often gave their last ration to them.

The Pavlograd regiment had only lost two men wounded in action, but had lost almost half its men from hunger and disease. In the hospitals they died so invariably, that soldiers sick with fever or the swelling that came from bad food, preferred to remain on duty, to drag their feeble limbs in the ranks, rather than to go to the hospitals. As spring came on, the soldiers found a plant growing out of the ground, like asparagus, which for some reason they called Mary’s sweet-root, and they wandered about the fields and meadows seeking this Mary’s sweet-root (which was very bitter). They dug it up with their swords and ate it, in spite of all prohibition of this noxious root being eaten. In the spring a new disease broke out among the soldiers, with swelling of the hands, legs, and face, which the doctors attributed to eating this root. But in spite of the prohibition, the soldiers of Denisov’s squadron in particular ate a great deal of the Mary’s sweet-root, because they had been for a fortnight eking out the last biscuits, giving out only half a pound a man, and the potatoes in the last lot of stores were sprouting and rotten.

The horses, too, had for the last fortnight been fed on the thatched roofs of the houses; they were hideously thin, and still covered with their shaggy, winter coats, which were coming off in tufts.

In spite of their destitute condition, the soldiers and officers went on living exactly as they always did. Just as always, though now with pale and swollen faces and torn uniforms, the hussars were drawn up for calling over, went out to collect forage, cleaned down their horses, and rubbed up their arms, dragged in straw from the thatched roofs in place of fodder, and assembled for dinner round the cauldrons, from which they rose up hungry, making jokes over their vile food and their hunger. Just as ever, in their spare time off duty the soldiers lighted camp-fires, and warmed themselves naked before them, smoked, picked out and baked the sprouting, rotten potatoes, and told and heard either stories of Potyomkin’s and Suvorov’s campaigns or popular legends of cunning Alyoshka, and of the priests’ workman, Mikolka.

The officers lived as usual in twos and threes in the roofless, broken-down houses. The senior officers were busily engaged in trying to get hold of straw and potatoes, and the means of sustenance for the soldiers generally, while the younger ones spent their time as they always did, some over cards (money was plentiful, though there was nothing to eat), others over more innocent games, a sort of quoits and skittles. Of the general cause of the campaign little was said, partly because nothing certain was known, partly because there was a vague feeling that the war vas not going well.

Rostov lived as before with Denisov, and the bond of friendship between them had become still closer since their furlough. Denisov never spoke of any of Rostov’s family, but from the tender affection the senior officer showed his junior, Rostov felt that the older hussar’s luckless passion for Natasha had something to do with the strengthening of their friendship. There was no doubt that Denisov tried to take care of Rostov, and to expose him as rarely as possible to danger, and after action it was with unmistakable joy that he saw him return safe and sound. On one of his foraging expeditions in a deserted and ruined village to which he had come in search of provisions, Rostov found an old Pole and his daughter with a tiny baby. They were without clothes or food; they had not the strength to go away on foot, and had no means of getting driven away. Rostov brought them to his camp, installed them in his own quarters, and maintained them for several weeks till the old man was better. One of Rostov’s comrades, talking of women, began to rally him on the subject, declaring that he was the slyest fellow of the lot, and that

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