"Whose company?" asked Prince Bagration of an artilleryman standing by the ammunition wagon.
He asked, "Whose company?" but he really meant, "Are you frightened here?" and the artilleryman understood him.
"What do you want, your honor?" asked an artilleryman, standing close by, who heard him muttering.
"A staff officer was here a minute ago, but skipped off," said an artilleryman to Prince Andrew.
"It was the officer, your honor, stained it," answered the artilleryman, wiping away the blood with his coat sleeve, as if apologizing for the state of his gun.
But though toward the end of the battle the men felt all the horror of what they were doing, though they would have been glad to leave off, some incomprehensible, mysterious power continued to control them, and they still brought up the charges, loaded, aimed, and applied the match, though only one artilleryman survived out of every three, and though they stumbled and panted with fatigue, perspiring and stained with blood and powder.