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- The whole next day, Nikolai is withdrawn and moody, thinking about how useless war is.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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