Open main menu

Page:Complete Works of Count Tolstoy - 02.djvu/337

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

"Your Honour! Make straight for Kistentin,"[1] the old sailor tells you, turning back in order to verify the direction which you are giving to the boat on the right of the rudder.

"She has still all her guns," remarks the fair-haired lad, passing by the vessel, and scrutinizing it.

"Why, of course. She is a new boat: Kornílov has been living on her," remarked the old man, also gazing at the vessel.

"I declare, it did burst!" says the boy, gazing, after a prolonged silence, at the white cloud of a dispersing smoke, which had suddenly appeared high over the southern bay, and which is accompanied by the sharp sound of an exploding bomb.

"He is firing to-day from the new battery," adds the old man, with equanimity spitting on his hand. "Come now, give way, Míshka, let us overtake the long-boat!" And your boat moves more rapidly ahead over the broadly billowing bay, really overtakes the heavy long-boat filled with some kind of bags, and unevenly propelled by awkward soldiers, and lands, among numerous craft alongside the shore, at the Gráfskaya quay.

On the shore move about noisily groups of soldiers in gray, sailors in black, and women in variegated attires. Women are selling rolls; Russian peasants with samovárs cry, "Hot sbiten;"[2] and right here on the very first steps lie in disorder rusty shells, bombs, canister-shot, and cast-iron cannon of various calibres. A little farther off is a large square, where are scattered huge beams, gun-carriages, sleeping soldiers; here stand horses, carts, green ordnance and caissons, and infantry scaffolding; there move about soldiers, sailors, officers, women, children, and merchants; there carts with hay, with bags, and with

  1. The steamer Constantine.
  2. A drink composed of hot water and honey. Sometimes capsicum and other spices are added.