“Some are asleep, and some are awake, like us.”

“And what about the boy?”

“Vesenny? He’s lying yonder in the hay. He’s sleeping well after his fright. He was so pleased.”

For a long while after that Petya sat quiet, listening to the sounds. There was a sound of footsteps in the darkness, and a dark figure appeared.

“What are you sharpening?” asked a man coming up to the waggon.

“A sabre for the gentleman here.”

“That’s a good thing,” said the man, who seemed to Petya to be an hussar. “Was the cup left with you here?”

“It’s yonder by the wheel.” The hussar took the cup. “It will soon be daylight,” he added, yawning, as he walked off.

Petya must, one would suppose, have known that he was in a wood, with Denisov’s band of irregulars, a verst from the road; that he was sitting on a waggon captured from the French; that there were horses fastened to it; that under it was sitting the Cossack Lihatchev sharpening his sabre; that the big, black blur on the right was the hut, and the red, bright glow below on the left the dying camp-fire; that the man who had come for the cup was an hussar who was thirsty. But Petya knew nothing of all that, and refused to know it. He was in a fairyland, in which nothing was like the reality. The big patch of shadow might be a hut certainly, but it might be a cave leading down into the very depths of the earth. The red patch might be a fire, but it might be the eye of a huge monster. Perhaps he really was sitting now on a waggon, but very likely he was sitting not on a waggon, but on a fearfully high tower, and if he fell off, he would go on flying to the earth for a whole day, for a whole month—fly and fly for ever and never reach it. Perhaps it was simply the Cossack Lihatchev sitting under the waggon; but very likely it was the kindest, bravest, most wonderful and splendid man in the world whom no one knew of. Perhaps it really was an hussar who had come for water and gone into the hollow; but perhaps he had just vanished, vanished altogether and was no more.

Whatever Petya had seen now, it would not have surprised him. He was in a land of fairies, where everything was possible.

He gazed at the sky. The sky too was an enchanted realm like the earth. It had begun to clear, and the clouds were scudding over the tree-tops, as though unveiling the stars. At times it seemed as though they were swept away, and there were glimpses of clear, black sky between them. At times these black patches looked like storm-clouds. At times the sky seemed to rise high, high overhead, and then again to be dropping down so that one could reach it with the hand.

Petya closed his eyes and began to nod. The branches dripped. There was a low hum of talk and the sound of some one snoring. The horses neighed and scuffled.

Ozheeg, zheeg, ozheeg, zheeg…” hissed the sabre on the whetstone; and all at once Petya seemed to hear harmonious music, an orchestra playing some unfamiliar, solemnly sweet hymn. Petya was as musical by nature as Natasha, and far more so than Nikolay; but he had had no musical training, and never thought about music, so that the melody that came unexpectedly into his mind had a special freshness and charm for him. The music became more and more distinct. The melody grew and passed from one instrument to another. There was being played what is called a fugue, though Petya had not the slightest idea of what was meant by a fugue. Each instrument—one like a violin, others like flutes, but fuller and more melodious than violins and flutes—played its part, and before it had finished the air, melted in with another, beginning almost the same air, and with a third and a fourth; and all mingled

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