War and Peace Volume 1, Part 3, Chapter 10 Summary
The next day Nikolai’s squadron goes off toward the action.
He’s all excited, and he’s been psyching himself up to not be scared when the fighting starts this time. But it’s all pointless, since this time the whole Bagration detachment is held in reserve and they don’t see any fighting.
Nikolai and Denisov are totally bummed.
A bunch of French prisoners go by – turns out, the fighting was minimal but ended with a crushing victory.
One prisoner is leading his horse, and Nikolai buys it from the guy who is guarding the prisoner. Since the Russian officers are speaking French, the prisoner is kind of confused and doesn’t really get whether he is with his allies or the enemy. Still, he asks Nikolai to be nice to his horse. Aw.
Suddenly it’s lineup time.
The emperor rides by and looks at Nikolai’s face for a second as he scans the sea of people. Nikolai immediately develops the biggest bro-crush on the emperor ever.
The emperor rides off to the little village that was won in the fighting and sees some dead soldiers on the ground. Whoa, it’s a little too real, man – he is shaken up.
Meanwhile, Nikolai gets wasted and drinks toast after toast to the emperor.
Denisov is all, jeez, if you like him so much why don’t you marry him?
But Nikolai doesn’t want to be teased – his emotions feel serious to him. He starts fantasizing about dying in combat in front of the emperor, or maybe even saving his life somehow.