The red-nosed Captain Timohin, once the officer in command of Dolohov’s company, now in the lack of officers promoted to the command of a battalion, came shyly into the barn. He was followed by an adjutant and the paymaster of the regiment.

Prince Andrey got up hurriedly, listened to the matters relating to their duties that the officers had come to him about, gave a few instructions, and was about to dismiss them, when he heard a familiar, lisping voice behind the barn.

Que diable!” said the voice of some one stumbling over something.

Prince Andrey, peeping out of the barn, saw Pierre, who had just hit against a post lying on the ground, and had almost fallen over. Prince Andrey always disliked seeing people from his own circle, especially Pierre, who reminded him of all the painful moments he had passed through on his last stay at Moscow.

“Well!” he cried. “What fate has brought you? I didn’t expect to see you.”

While he said this there was in his eyes and his whole face more than coldness, positive hostility, which Pierre noticed at once. He had approached the barn with the greatest eagerness, but now, on seeing Prince Andrey’s face, he felt constrained and ill at ease.

“I have come … you know … simply … I have come … it’s interesting,” said Pierre, who had so many times already that day repeated that word “interesting” without meaning it. “I wanted to see the battle!”

“Yes, yes; but your mason brethren, what do they say of war? How would they avert it?” said Prince Andrey sarcastically. “Well, tell me about Moscow. And my people? Have they reached Moscow at last?” he asked seriously.

“Yes. Julie Drubetskoy told me so. I went to call, but missed them. They had started for your Moscow estate.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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