BOOK THIRTEEN: 1812
13. CHAPTER XIII
"Oh, oh, oh! What have they done?" the prisoners on one side and
another were heard saying as they gazed on the charred ruins. "All
beyond the river, and Zubova, and in the Kremlin.... Just look!
There's not half of it left. Yes, I told you- the whole quarter beyond
the river, and so it is."
"Well, you know it's burned, so what's the use of talking?" said the
As they passed near a church in the Khamovniki (one of the few
unburned quarters of Moscow) the whole mass of prisoners suddenly
started to one side and exclamations of horror and disgust were heard.
"Ah, the villains! What heathens! Yes; dead, dead, so he is... And
smeared with something!"
Pierre too drew near the church where the thing was that evoked
these exclamations, and dimly made out something leaning against the
palings surrounding the church. From the words of his comrades who saw
better than he did, he found that this was the body of a man, set
upright against the palings with its face smeared with soot.
"Go on! What the devil... Go on! Thirty thousand devils!..." the
convoy guards began cursing and the French soldiers, with fresh
virulence, drove away with their swords the crowd of prisoners who
were gazing at the dead man.