“They are not able to defend all that line; it’s impossible. I’ll undertake to break through them. Give me five hundred men and I would cut their communications, that’s certain! The one system to adopt is partisan warfare.”

Denisov got up and began with gesticulations to explain his plans to Bolkonsky. In the middle of his exposition they heard the shouts of the army, mingling with music, and song, and apparently coming from detached groups scattered over a distance. From the village came cheers and the tramp of horses’ hoofs.

“Himself is coming,” shouted the Cossack, who stood at the gate; “he’s coming!”

Bolkonsky and Denisov moved up to the gate, where there stood a knot of soldiers (a guard of honour), and they saw Kutuzov coming down the street mounted on a low bay horse. An immense suite of generals followed him. Barclay rode almost beside him; a crowd of officers was running behind and around them shouting “hurrah!”

His adjutants galloped into the yard before him. Kutuzov impatiently kicked his horse, which ambled along slowly under his weight, and continually nodded his head and put his hand up to his white horse- guard’s cap, with a red band and no peak. When he reached the guard of honour, a set of stalwart grenadiers, mostly cavalry men, saluting him, he looked at them for a minute in silence, with the intent, unflinching gaze of a man used to command; then he turned to the group of generals and officers standing round him. His face suddenly wore a subtle expression; he shrugged his shoulders with an air of perplexity. “And with fellows like that retreat and retreat!” he said. “Well, good-bye, general,” he added, and spurred his horse into the gateway by Prince Andrey and Denisov.

“Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!” rang out shouts behind him.

Since Prince Andrey had seen him last Kutuzov had grown stouter and more corpulent than ever; he seemed swimming in fat. But the familiar scar, and the white eye, and the expression of weariness in his face and figure were unchanged. He was wearing a white horse-guard’s cap and a military coat, and a whip on a narrow strap was slung over his shoulder. He sat heavily swaying on his sturdy horse.

“Fugh! … fugh! … fugh! …” he whistled, hardly audibly, as he rode into the courtyard. His face expressed the relief of a man who looks forward to resting after a performance. He drew his left foot out of the stirrup, and with a lurch of his whole person, frowning with the effort, brought it up to the saddle, leaned on his knee, and with a groan let himself drop into the arms of the Cossacks and adjutants, who stood ready to support him.

He pulled himself together, looked round with half-shut eyes, glanced at Prince Andrey, and evidently not recognising him, moved with his shambling gait towards the steps.

“Fugh! … fugh! … fugh!” he whistled, and again looked round at Prince Andrey. As is often the case with the aged, the impression of Prince Andrey’s face did not at once call up the memory of his personality. “Ah, how are you, how are you, my dear boy, come along …” he said wearily, and walked heavily up the steps that creaked under his weight. He unbuttoned his coat and sat down on the seat in the porch.

“Well, how’s your father?”

“The news of his death reached me yesterday,” said Prince Andrey briefly.

Kutuzov looked at him with his eye opened wide with dismay, then he took off his cap, and crossed himself. “The peace of heaven be with him! And may God’s will be done with all of us!” He heaved a heavy sigh and paused. “I loved him deeply and respected him, and I feel for you with all my heart.” He embraced Prince Andrey, pressed him to his fat breast, and for some time did not let him go. When he released

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