"General Kutuzov," said Bolkonski, speaking French and stressing the last syllable of the general's name like a Frenchman, "has been pleased to take me as an aide-de-camp...."
You are on good terms with Michael Ilarionovich Kutuzov... recommend Boris to him as adjutant!
You don't know how Kutuzov is pestered since his appointment as Commander in Chief.
Certainly; but about Kutuzov, I don't promise.
A member of the Hofkriegsrath from Vienna had come to Kutuzov the day before with proposals and demands for him to join up with the army of the Archduke Ferdinand and Mack, and Kutuzov, not considering this junction advisable, meant, among other arguments in support of his view, to show the Austrian general the wretched state in which the troops arrived from Russia.
Beside Kutuzov sat an Austrian general, in a white uniform that looked strange among the Russian black ones.
Kutuzov and the Austrian general were talking in low voices and Kutuzov smiled slightly as treading heavily he stepped down from the carriage just as if those two thousand men breathlessly gazing at him and the regimental commander did not exist.
At first Kutuzov stood still while the regiment moved; then he and the general in white, accompanied by the suite, walked between the ranks.
Kutuzov walked through the ranks, sometimes stopping to say a few friendly words to officers he had known in the Turkish war, sometimes also to the soldiers.
Behind Kutuzov, at a distance that allowed every softly spoken word to be heard, followed some twenty men of his suite.
Kutuzov walked slowly and languidly past thousands of eyes which were starting from their sockets to watch their chief.
"We all have our weaknesses," said Kutuzov smiling and walking away from him.
The officer evidently had complete control of his face, and while Kutuzov was turning managed to make a grimace and then assume a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression.
The third company was the last, and Kutuzov pondered, apparently trying to recollect something.
Kutuzov asked with a slight frown.
And they said Kutuzov was blind of one eye?
Kutuzov and his suite were returning to the town.
But now that Kutuzov had spoken to the gentleman ranker, he addressed him with the cordiality of an old friend.
On returning from the review, Kutuzov took the Austrian general into his private room and, calling his adjutant, asked for some papers relating to the condition of the troops on their arrival, and the letters that had come from the Archduke Ferdinand, who was in command of the advanced army.
Kutuzov and the Austrian member of the Hofkriegsrath were sitting at the table on which a plan was spread out.
It was evident that Kutuzov himself listened with pleasure to his own voice.
And Kutuzov smiled in a way that seemed to say, You are quite at liberty not to believe me and I don't even care whether you do or not, but you have no grounds for telling me so.
Kutuzov bowed with the same smile.
But Kutuzov went on blandly smiling with the same expression, which seemed to say that he had a right to suppose so.
"Give me that letter," said Kutuzov turning to Prince Andrew.
"Please have a look at it"--and Kutuzov with an ironical smile about the corners of his mouth read to the Austrian general the following passage, in German, from the Archduke Ferdinand's letter:
Kutuzov sighed deeply on finishing this paragraph and looked at the member of the Hofkriegsrath mildly and attentively.
"Excuse me, General," interrupted Kutuzov, also turning to Prince Andrew.
Prince Andrew bowed his head in token of having understood from the first not only what had been said but also what Kutuzov would have liked to tell him.
Kutuzov, whom he had overtaken in Poland, had received him very kindly, promised not to forget him, distinguished him above the other adjutants, and had taken him to Vienna and given him the more serious commissions.
From Vienna Kutuzov wrote to his old comrade, Prince Andrew's father.
"Commander in Chief Kutuzov?" said the newly arrived general speaking quickly with a harsh German accent, looking to both sides and advancing straight toward the inner door.
The door of the private room opened and Kutuzov appeared in the doorway.
Kutuzov fell back toward Vienna, destroying behind him the bridges over the rivers Inn (at Braunau) and Traun (near Linz).
Pursued by the French army of a hundred thousand men under the command of Bonaparte, encountering a population that was unfriendly to it, losing confidence in its allies, suffering from shortness of supplies, and compelled to act under conditions of war unlike anything that had been foreseen, the Russian army of thirty-five thousand men commanded by Kutuzov was hurriedly retreating along the Danube, stopping where overtaken by the enemy and fighting rearguard actions only as far as necessary to enable it to retreat without losing its heavy equipment.
Austrian troops that had escaped capture at Ulm and had joined Kutuzov at Braunau now separated from the Russian army, and Kutuzov was left with only his own weak and exhausted forces.
On the twenty-eighth of October Kutuzov with his army crossed to the left bank of the Danube and took up a position for the first time with the river between himself and the main body of the French.
Despite his apparently delicate build Prince Andrew could endure physical fatigue far better than many very muscular men, and on the night of the battle, having arrived at Krems excited but not weary, with dispatches from Dokhturov to Kutuzov, he was sent immediately with a special dispatch to Brunn.
"From General Field Marshal Kutuzov?" he asked.
Kutuzov alone at last gains a real victory, destroying the spell of the invincibility of the French, and the Minister of War does not even care to hear the details.
Then followed other questions just as simple: Was Kutuzov well?
A thanksgiving service was arranged, Kutuzov was awarded the Grand Cross of Maria Theresa, and the whole army received rewards.
Kutuzov himself, he was told, was in the house with Prince Bagration and Weyrother.
Just as he was going to open it the sounds ceased, the door opened, and Kutuzov with his eagle nose and puffy face appeared in the doorway.
Prince Andrew stood right in front of Kutuzov but the expression of the commander in chief's one sound eye showed him to be so preoccupied with thoughts and anxieties as to be oblivious of his presence.
"I have the honor to present myself," repeated Prince Andrew rather loudly, handing Kutuzov an envelope.
Kutuzov went out into the porch with Bagration.
Kutuzov repeated and went toward his carriage.
"Get in," said Kutuzov, and noticing that Bolkonski still delayed, he added: "I need good officers myself, need them myself!"
Kutuzov did not reply.