It was necessary to let the French reach Shamshevo quietly without alarming them and then, after joining Dolokhov who was to come that evening to a consultation at a watchman's hut in the forest less than a mile from Shamshevo, to surprise the French at dawn, falling like an avalanche on their heads from two sides, and rout and capture them all at one blow.
And turning to his men he directed a party to go on to the halting place arranged near the watchman's hut in the forest, and told the officer on the Kirghiz horse (who performed the duties of an adjutant) to go and find out where Dolokhov was and whether he would come that evening.
Having returned to the watchman's hut, Petya found Denisov in the passage.
Near the watchman's hut the black shapes of the Cossacks' shanties and of horses tethered together could be seen.
Petya ought to have known that he was in a forest with Denisov's guerrilla band, less than a mile from the road, sitting on a wagon captured from the French beside which horses were tethered, that under it Likhachev was sitting sharpening a saber for him, that the big dark blotch to the right was the watchman's hut, and the red blotch below to the left was the dying embers of a campfire, that the man who had come for the cup was an hussar who wanted a drink; but he neither knew nor waited to know anything of all this.
The big dark blotch might really be the watchman's hut or it might be a cavern leading to the very depths of the earth.
Denisov came out of the watchman's hut and, having called Petya, gave orders to get ready.
Denisov stood by the watchman's hut giving final orders.