(i.e. lacking a tooth). Denisov smiled, and Petya went off into a merry peal of laughter, in which Tihon himself joined.

“Why, he was no good at all,” said Tihon. “He was so badly dressed, how could I bring him? And a coarse fellow, your honour. Why, says he, ‘I’m a general’s son,’ says he, ‘I’m not going.’ ”

“Ugh, you brute!” said Denisov. “I wanted to question him …”

“Oh, I did question him,” said Tihon. “He said he didn’t know much. “There are a lot of our men,’ says he, ‘but they are all poor creatures; that’s all you can say for them. Give a good shout,’ says he, ‘and you can take them all,’ ” Tihon concluded, with a merry and determined look at Denisov.

“Mind, I’ll give you a good hundred lashes that will teach you to play the fool,” said Denisov sternly.

“Why be angry,” said Tihon, “because I haven’t seen your sort of Frenchmen? As soon as it gets dark, I’ll catch whatever kind you like, three of them I’ll bring.”

“Well, come along,” said Denisov, and all the way to the forester’s hut he was silent, frowning angrily.

Tihon was walking behind, and Petya heard the Cossacks laughing with him and at him about a pair of boots that he had thrown into the bushes.

When the laughter roused by Tihon’s words and smile had passed, and Petya understood for a moment that Tihon had killed the man, he had an uneasy feeling. He looked round at the boy prisoner, and there was a sudden pang in his heart. But that uneasiness only lasted a moment. He felt it incumbent on him to hold his head high, and with a bold and important air to question the esaul about the next day’s expedition, that he might not be unworthy of the company in which he found himself.

The officer Denisov had sent to Dolohov met him on the way with the news that everything was going well with Dolohov, and that he was coming himself immediately.

Denisov at once became more cheerful, and beckoned Petya to him.

“Come, tell me about yourself,” he said.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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