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War and Peace — Book One, Part Two
The Pávlograd Hussars were stationed two miles from Braunau. The squadron in which Nicholas Rostóv served as a cadet was quartered in the German village of Salzeneck. The best quarters in the village were assigned to cavalry-captain Denísov, the squadron commander, known throughout the whole cavalry division as Váska Denísov. Cadet Rostóv, ever since he had overtaken the regiment in Poland, had lived with the squadron commander.
On October 11, the day when all was astir at headquarters over the news of Mack’s defeat, the camp life of the officers of this squadron was proceeding as usual. Denísov, who had been losing at cards all night, had not yet come home when Rostóv rode back early in the morning from a foraging expedition. Rostóv in his cadet uniform, with a jerk to his horse, rode up to the porch, swung his leg over the saddle with a supple youthful movement, stood for a moment in the stirrup as if loathe to part from his horse, and at last sprang down and called to his orderly.
“Ah, Bondarénko, dear friend!” said he to the hussar who rushed up headlong to the horse. “Walk him up and down, my dear fellow,” he continued, with that gay brotherly cordiality which goodhearted young people show to everyone when they are happy.
“Yes, your excellency,” answered the Ukrainian gaily, tossing his head.
“Mind, walk him up and down well!”
Another hussar also rushed toward the horse, but Bondarénko had already thrown the reins of the snaffle bridle over the horse’s head. It was evident that the cadet was liberal with his tips and that it paid to serve him. Rostóv patted the horse’s…