BOOK TEN: 1812
16. CHAPTER XVI
"Well, that's all!" said Kutuzov as he signed the last of the
documents, and rising heavily and smoothing out the folds in his fat
white neck he moved toward the door with a more cheerful expression.
The priest's wife, flushing rosy red, caught up the dish she had
after all not managed to present at the right moment, though she had
so long been preparing for it, and with a low bow offered it to
He screwed up his eyes, smiled, lifted her chin with his hand, and
"Ah, what a beauty! Thank you, sweetheart!"
He took some gold pieces from his trouser pocket and put them on the
dish for her. "Well, my dear, and how are we getting on?" he asked,
moving to the door of the room assigned to him. The priest's wife
smiled, and with dimples in her rosy cheeks followed him into the
room. The adjutant came out to the porch and asked Prince Andrew to
lunch with him. Half an hour later Prince Andrew was again called to
Kutuzov. He found him reclining in an armchair, still in the same
unbuttoned overcoat. He had in his hand a French book which he
closed as Prince Andrew entered, marking the place with a knife.
Prince Andrew saw by the cover that it was Les Chevaliers du Cygne
by Madame de Genlis.
"Well, sit down, sit down here. Let's have a talk," said Kutuzov.
"It's sad, very sad. But remember, my dear fellow, that I am a
father to you, a second father...."
Prince Andrew told Kutuzov all he knew of his father's death, and
what he had seen at Bald Hills when he passed through it.
"What... what they have brought us to!" Kutuzov suddenly cried in an
agitated voice, evidently picturing vividly to himself from Prince
Andrew's story the condition Russia was in. "But give me time, give me
time!" he said with a grim look, evidently not wishing to continue
this agitating conversation, and added: "I sent for you to keep you