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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Twelve: 1812 - Chapter 9
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War And Peace - Book Twelve: 1812 - Chapter 9 Post by :Adetola Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :2160

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War And Peace - Book Twelve: 1812 - Chapter 9

The officer and soldiers who had arrested Pierre treated him with
hostility but yet with respect, in the guardhouse to which he was
taken. In their attitude toward him could still be felt both
uncertainty as to who he might be- perhaps a very important person-
and hostility as a result of their recent personal conflict with him.

But when the guard was relieved next morning, Pierre felt that for
the new guard- both officers and men- he was not as interesting as
he had been to his captors; and in fact the guard of the second day
did not recognize in this big, stout man in a peasant coat the
vigorous person who had fought so desperately with the marauder and
the convoy and had uttered those solemn words about saving a child;
they saw in him only No. 17 of the captured Russians, arrested and
detained for some reason by order of the Higher Command. If they
noticed anything remarkable about Pierre, it was only his unabashed,
meditative concentration and thoughtfulness, and the way he spoke
French, which struck them as surprisingly good. In spite of this he
was placed that day with the other arrested suspects, as the
separate room he had occupied was required by an officer.

All the Russians confined with Pierre were men of the lowest class
and, recognizing him as a gentleman, they all avoided him, more
especially as he spoke French. Pierre felt sad at hearing them
making fun of him.

That evening he learned that all these prisoners (he, probably,
among them) were to be tried for incendiarism. On the third day he was
taken with the others to a house where a French general with a white
mustache sat with two colonels and other Frenchmen with scarves on
their arms. With the precision and definiteness customary in
addressing prisoners, and which is supposed to preclude human frailty,
Pierre like the others was questioned as to who he was, where he had
been, with what object, and so on.

These questions, like questions put at trials generally, left the
essence of the matter aside, shut out the possibility of that
essence's being revealed, and were designed only to form a channel
through which the judges wished the answers of the accused to flow
so as to lead to the desired result, namely a conviction. As soon as
Pierre began to say anything that did not fit in with that aim, the
channel was removed and the water could flow to waste. Pierre felt,
moreover, what the accused always feel at their trial, perplexity as
to why these questions were put to him. He had a feeling that it was
only out of condescension or a kind of civility that this device of
placing a channel was employed. He knew he was in these men's power,
that only by force had they brought him there, that force alone gave
them the right to demand answers to their questions, and that the sole
object of that assembly was to inculpate him. And so, as they had
the power and wish to inculpate him, this expedient of an inquiry
and trial seemed unnecessary. It was evident that any answer would
lead to conviction. When asked what he was doing when he was arrested,
Pierre replied in a rather tragic manner that he was restoring to
its parents a child he had saved from the flames. Why had he fought
the marauder? Pierre answered that he "was protecting a woman," and
that "to protect a woman who was being insulted was the duty of
every man; that..." They interrupted him, for this was not to the
point. Why was he in the yard of a burning house where witnesses had
seen him? He replied that he had gone out to see what was happening in
Moscow. Again they interrupted him: they had not asked where he was
going, but why he was found near the fire? Who was he? they asked,
repeating their first question, which he had declined to answer. Again
he replied that he could not answer it.

"Put that down, that's bad... very bad," sternly remarked the
general with the white mustache and red flushed face.


On the fourth day fires broke out on the Zubovski rampart.

Pierre and thirteen others were moved to the coach house of a
merchant's house near the Crimean bridge. On his way through the
streets Pierre felt stifled by the smoke which seemed to hang over the
whole city. Fires were visible on all sides. He did not then realize
the significance of the burning of Moscow, and looked at the fires
with horror.

He passed four days in the coach house near the Crimean bridge and
during that time learned, from the talk of the French soldiers, that
all those confined there were awaiting a decision which might come any
day from the marshal. What marshal this was, Pierre could not learn
from the soldiers. Evidently for them "the marshal" represented a very
high and rather mysterious power.

These first days, before the eighth of September when the
prisoners were had up for a second examination, were the hardest of
all for Pierre.

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On the eighth of September an officer- a very important onejudging by the respect the guards showed him- entered the coachhouse where the prisoners were. This officer, probably someone onthe staff, was holding a paper in his hand, and called over all theRussians there, naming Pierre as "the man who does not give his name."Glancing indolently and indifferently at all the prisoners, he orderedthe officer in charge to have them decently dressed and tidied upbefore taking them to the marshal. An hour later a squad of soldiersarrived and Pierre with thirteen others was led to the Virgin's Field.It was a fine
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War And Peace - Book Twelve: 1812 - Chapter 8 War And Peace - Book Twelve: 1812 - Chapter 8

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Sonya's letter written from Troitsa, which had come as an answerto Nicholas' prayer, was prompted by this: the thought of gettingNicholas married to an heiress occupied the old countess' mind moreand more. She knew that Sonya was the chief obstacle to thishappening, and Sonya's life in the countess' house had grown harderand harder, especially after they had received a letter fromNicholas telling of his meeting with Princess Mary in Bogucharovo. Thecountess let no occasion slip of making humiliating or cruel allusionsto Sonya.But a few days before they left Moscow, moved and excited by allthat was going on, she called Sonya to
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