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War and Peace

War and Peace

  

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 1, Chapter 15 Summary

  • Nikolai immediately sees that the guys riding back are being followed by some French dragoons, who are all totally disorganized.
  • He realizes that he has a tiny window of time to attack these French soldiers and annihilate them.
  • Calling his men, he jumps out in front and runs to attack.
  • And the battle is on.
  • Nikolai chases one French soldier so fast that his horse slams into the other horse just as Nikolai slashes at him with his saber.  (Yes, a saber. No, not a lightsaber.)
  • The guy falls out of his saddle, but has a foot caught in it. Nikolai is about to kill him, when suddenly he is stuck by how human the enemy is. It’s just a guy, with a face. A second later, the French guy yells that he surrenders, so there’s no need to kill him anymore.
  • Nikolai is disturbed.
  • Still, his quick thinking made for a successful attack, and a higher-up guy tells Nikolai that the emperor would hear about his awesomeness and probably award him a medal.
  • Nikolai is relieved, since in reality, he’s not high ranking enough to have ordered anyone to attack and was worried about getting in trouble.
  • The whole next day, Nikolai is withdrawn and moody, thinking about how useless war is.  At the same time, though, he’s promoted, now commands a battalion, and starts going on many dangerous missions.

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