Hussar cornet Zherkov had at one time, in Petersburg, belonged to the wild set led by Dolokhov.
Zherkov had met Dolokhov abroad as a private and had not seen fit to recognize him.
"And how do you get on with the officers?" inquired Zherkov.
"I say, come round some evening and we'll have a game of faro!" said Zherkov.
Zherkov touched his horse with the spurs; it pranced excitedly from foot to foot uncertain with which to start, then settled down, galloped past the company, and overtook the carriage, still keeping time to the song.
Nesvitski with a laugh threw his arms round Prince Andrew, but Bolkonski, turning still paler, pushed him away with an angry look and turned to Zherkov.
The nervous irritation aroused by the appearance of Mack, the news of his defeat, and the thought of what lay before the Russian army found vent in anger at Zherkov's untimely jest.
Nesvitski and Zherkov were so surprised by this outburst that they gazed at Bolkonski silently with wide-open eyes.
I only congratulated them, said Zherkov.
*(2) Only a hobbledehoy could amuse himself in this way, he added in Russian--but pronouncing the word with a French accent--having noticed that Zherkov could still hear him.
Just then Zherkov entered the room.
The regimental adjutant came in and confirmed the news brought by Zherkov.
The high-shouldered figure of Zherkov, familiar to the Pavlograds as he had but recently left their regiment, rode up to the colonel.
After his dismissal from headquarters Zherkov had not remained in the regiment, saying he was not such a fool as to slave at the front when he could get more rewards by doing nothing on the staff, and had succeeded in attaching himself as an orderly officer to Prince Bagration.
Zherkov was followed by an officer of the suite who rode up to the colonel of hussars with the same order.
"How did you get here?" said he, turning to Zherkov.
The colonel looked silently at the officer of the suite, at the stout staff officer, and at Zherkov, and he frowned.
And Denisov rode up to a group that had stopped near Rostov, composed of the colonel, Nesvitski, Zherkov, and the officer from the suite.
"Here's something for you to report," said Zherkov.
Behind Prince Bagration rode an officer of the suite, the prince's personal adjutant, Zherkov, an orderly officer, the staff officer on duty, riding a fine bobtailed horse, and a civilian--an accountant who had asked permission to be present at the battle out of curiosity.
"He wants to see a battle," said Zherkov to Bolkonski, pointing to the accountant, "but he feels a pain in the pit of his stomach already."
"A French pancake," answered Zherkov.
Zherkov and the staff officer bent over their saddles and turned their horses away.
Bagration had sent Zherkov to the general commanding that left flank with orders to retreat immediately.
Zherkov, not removing his hand from his cap, turned his horse about and galloped off.
Several of those present smiled at Zherkov's words, expecting one of his usual jokes, but noticing that what he was saying redounded to the glory of our arms and of the day's work, they assumed a serious expression, though many of them knew that what he was saying was a lie devoid of any foundation.
"How was it a gun was abandoned?" asked Bagration, frowning, not so much at the captain as at those who were laughing, among whom Zherkov laughed loudest.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.