Pierre drove on, looking on both sides of the road for familiar faces, and meeting none but unfamiliar, military faces, belonging to all sorts of regiments, and all staring with the same surprise at his white hat and green coat.
After driving four versts, for the first time he met an acquaintance, and greeted him joyfully. This was a doctor, one of the heads of the medical staff. He drove to meet Pierre in a covered gig, with a young doctor sitting beside him; and recognising Pierre, he called to the Cossack, who sat on the drivers seat, and told him to stop.
Count, your excellency, how do you come here? asked the doctor.
Oh, I wanted to have a look
Oh well, there will be something to look at Pierre got out of his carriage, and stopped to have a talk with the doctor, explaining to him his plan for taking part in the battle.
The doctor advised Bezuhov to go straight to his highness.
Why, you would be God knows where during the battle, out of sight, he said, with a glance at his young companion; and his highness knows you anyway, and will give you a gracious reception. Thats what I should do, my friend, said the doctor.
The doctor seemed tired and hurried.
So you think. But one thing more I wanted to ask you, where is the position exactly? said Pierre.
The position? said the doctor; well, thats not in my line. Drive on to Tatarinovo, theres a great deal of digging going on there. There youll come out on a mound; from there you get a view, said the doctor.
A view from it? If you would
But the doctor interrupted, and moved toward his gig.
I would have shown you the way, but by God, you see (the doctor made a significant gesture), Im racing to the commander of the corps. Were in such a fix, you see you know, count, theres to be a battle tomorrow; with a hundred thousand troops, we must reckon on twenty thousand wounded at least; and we havent the stretchers, nor beds, nor attendants, nor doctors for six thousand. There are ten thousand carts; but we want other things; one must manage as one can.
The strange idea that of those thousands of men, alive and well, young and old, who had been staring with such light-hearted amusement at his hat, twenty thousand were inevitably doomed to wounds and death (perhaps the very men whom he had seen) made a great impression on Pierre.
They will die, perhaps, to-morrow; how can they think of anything but death? And suddenly, by some latent connection of ideas, he saw a vivid picture of the hillside of Mozhaisk, the carts of wounded men, the chimes, the slanting sunshine, and the singing of the cavalry regiment.
They were going into battle, and meeting wounded soldiers, and never for a minute paused to think what was in store for them, but went by and winked at their wounded comrades. And of all those, twenty thousand are doomed to death, and they can wonder at my hat! Strange! thought Pierre, as he went on towards Tatarinovo.
Carriages, waggons, and crowds of orderlies and sentinels were standing about a gentlemans house on the left side of the road. The commander-in-chief was putting up there. But when Pierre arrived, he found his highness and almost all the staff were out. They had all gone to the church service. Pierre pushed on ahead to Gorky; and driving uphill into a little village street, Pierre saw for the first time the
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