War and Peace Volume 1, Part 3, Chapter 15 Summary
Kutuzov takes his men part of the way to the fighting, then stops.
Andrei is all keyed up again, thinking this is going to be his chance to do some heroics. He’s imagining that he’s going to command some men all by himself and will make this a decisive victory. Quite an imagination he’s got there, right?
Kutuzov gets mad that his soldiers aren’t in formation. Some lesser general says who cares when the enemy is so far away? Kutuzov is like, um, I don’t think the enemy is far away. And in any case, I pull rank, so do what I say.
Then Kutuzov makes sure to set up riflemen in front of the marching soldiers, which again shows that he realizes that the enemy is much closer than everyone else thinks.
Suddenly there’s a commotion, and the Russian and Austrian emperors ride up.
Kutuzov immediately makes a kissing-up, dim-witted face to the emperor. Andrei is surprised, especially when he also sees that Emperor Alexander really doesn’t like it.
The emperor asks why the troops are held up and not walking. Kutuzov explains that they are lining up, but the emperor is having none of it.
Kutuzov kind of makes his case (but not really, since he’s acting dumb), then orders the troops forward, like the emperor said.