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Denisov is Dolokhov’s second for the duel, but he’s pretty angry that they won’t just drop it. He’s also the only one there who doesn’t know about the affair, so he really thinks they’re just dueling over a piece of paper.
Pierre walks out to the place he’s supposed to shoot from, has some trouble holding up the gun with just one hand, and pulls the trigger. The loud noise scares him.
There’s no second shot. Instead, Pierre sees Dolokhov falling into the snow holding his left side.
But there’s still some fight left in the tough guy, and Dolokhov manages to get off a shot which...misses badly.
Duels are always kind of anticlimactic like that, right?
Anyway, Nikolai and Denisov take Dolokhov back to Moscow. Suddenly Dolokhov starts crying in the carriage. Turns out he’s a total mama’s boy and is worried about how upset his mom will be if he ends up dying. Aw. Way to humanize this jerko, Tolstoy.