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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 5
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War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 5 Post by :dantzer Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :420

Click below to download : War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 5 (Format : PDF)

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 5

"Well begin!" said Dolokhov.

"All right," said Pierre, still smiling in the same way. A feeling
of dread was in the air. It was evident that the affair so lightly
begun could no longer be averted but was taking its course
independently of men's will.

Denisov first went to the barrier and announced: "As the adve'sawies
have wefused a weconciliation, please pwoceed. Take your pistols,
and at the word thwee begin to advance.

"O-ne! T-wo! Thwee!" he shouted angrily and stepped aside.

The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and
nearer to one another, beginning to see one another through the
mist. They had the right to fire when they liked as they approached
the barrier. Dolokhov walked slowly without raising his pistol,
looking intently with his bright, sparkling blue eyes into his
antagonist's face. His mouth wore its usual semblance of a smile.

"So I can fire when I like!" said Pierre, and at the word "three,"
he went quickly forward, missing the trodden path and stepping into
the deep snow. He held the pistol in his right hand at arm's length,
apparently afraid of shooting himself with it. His left hand he held
carefully back, because he wished to support his right hand with it
and knew he must not do so. Having advanced six paces and strayed
off the track into the snow, Pierre looked down at his feet, then
quickly glanced at Dolokhov and, bending his finger as he had been
shown, fired. Not at all expecting so loud a report, Pierre
shuddered at the sound and then, smiling at his own sensations,
stood still. The smoke, rendered denser by the mist, prevented him
from seeing anything for an instant, but there was no second report as
he had expected. He only heard Dolokhov's hurried steps, and his
figure came in view through the smoke. He was pressing one hand to his
left side, while the other clutched his drooping pistol. His face
was pale. Rostov ran toward him and said something.

"No-o-o!" muttered Dolokhov through his teeth, "no, it's not
over." And after stumbling a few staggering steps right up to the
saber, he sank on the snow beside it. His left hand was bloody; he
wiped it on his coat and supported himself with it. His frowning
face was pallid and quivered.

"Plea..." began Dolokhov, but could not at first pronounce the word.

"Please," he uttered with an effort.

Pierre, hardly restraining his sobs, began running toward Dolokhov
and was about to cross the space between the barriers, when Dolokhov
cried:

"To your barrier!" and Pierre, grasping what was meant, stopped by
his saber. Only ten paces divided them. Dolokhov lowered his head to
the snow, greedily bit at it, again raised his head, adjusted himself,
drew in his legs and sat up, seeking a firm center of gravity. He
sucked and sucked and swallowed the cold snow, his lips quivered but
his eyes, still smiling, glittered with effort and exasperation as
he mustered his remaining strength. He raised his pistol and aimed.

"Sideways! Cover yourself with your pistol!" ejaculated Nesvitski.

"Cover yourself!" even Denisov cried to his adversary.

Pierre, with a gentle smile of pity and remorse, his arms and legs
helplessly spread out, stood with his broad chest directly facing
Dolokhov looked sorrowfully at him. Denisov, Rostov, and Nesvitski
closed their eyes. At the same instant they heard a report and
Dolokhov's angry cry.

"Missed!" shouted Dolokhov, and he lay helplessly, face downwards on
the snow.

Pierre clutched his temples, and turning round went into the forest,
trampling through the deep snow, and muttering incoherent words:

"Folly... folly! Death... lies..." he repeated, puckering his face.

Nesvitski stopped him and took him home.

Rostov and Denisov drove away with the wounded Dolokhov.

The latter lay silent in the sleigh with closed eyes and did not
answer a word to the questions addressed to him. But on entering
Moscow he suddenly came to and, lifting his head with an effort,
took Rostov, who was sitting beside him, by the hand. Rostov was
struck by the totally altered and unexpectedly rapturous and tender
expression on Dolokhov's face.

"Well? How do you feel?" he asked.

"Bad! But it's not that, my friend-" said Dolokhov with a gasping
voice. "Where are we? In Moscow, I know. I don't matter, but I have
killed her, killed... She won't get over it! She won't survive...."

"Who?" asked Rostov.

"My mother! My mother, my angel, my adored angel mother," and
Dolokhov pressed Rostov's hand and burst into tears.

When he had become a little quieter, he explained to Rostov that
he was living with his mother, who, if she saw him dying, would not
survive it. He implored Rostov to go on and prepare her.

Rostov went on ahead to do what was asked, and to his great surprise
learned that Dolokhov the brawler, Dolokhov the bully, lived in Moscow
with an old mother and a hunchback sister, and was the most
affectionate of sons and brothers.

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Pierre had of late rarely seen his wife alone. Both in Petersburgand in Moscow their house was always full of visitors. The night afterthe duel he did not go to his bedroom but, as he often did, remainedin his father's room, that huge room in which Count Bezukhov had died.He lay down on the sofa meaning to fall asleep and forget all thathad happened to him, but could not do so. Such a storm of feelings,thoughts, and memories suddenly arose within him that he could notfall asleep, nor even remain in one place, but had to jump up and pacethe room
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Pierre sat opposite Dolokhov and Nicholas Rostov. As usual, he ateand drank much, and eagerly. But those who knew him intimately noticedthat some great change had come over him that day. He was silent allthrough dinner and looked about, blinking and scowling, or, with fixedeyes and a look of complete absent-mindedness, kept rubbing the bridgeof his nose. His face was depressed and gloomy. He seemed to see andhear nothing of what was going on around him and to be absorbed bysome depressing and unsolved problem.The unsolved problem that tormented him was caused by hints given bythe princess, his cousin, at Moscow,
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