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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Dessales finally takes matters into his own hands...and complains to Marya that Prince Bolkonsky isn’t organizing everyone to leave. They write a letter to the Smolensk governor instead.
  • Alpatych leaves for the city, west of the estate. On the way he sees lots of troops and wagons of people going the other way. Um, bad sign? Rats, sinking ship, ringing a bell?
  • In the city his innkeeper tells him that everyone is running away from the French. Alpatych is mostly ignoring this and goes about his business.
  • At the governor’s there are crowds of people complaining about the fact that there aren’t enough vehicles to get everyone out of the city.
  • Alpatych gives the governor his papers, and the governor gives him a letter in return. The letter says that no way is anything going to happen to Smolensk, which basically means that the crap is about to hit the fan.
  • Alpatych goes back to the inn, where the innkeeper is beating his wife for wanting to leave and a crowd is yelling at him for being a horrible monster.
  • Alpatych pays up, ignoring the whole situation, and gets his stuff onto his sleigh. Suddenly there is a crazy noise...and a cannonball lands in the middle of the street. Napoleon has ordered his army to bombard Smolensk.
  • More and more projectiles fly overhead, and all of a sudden the inn’s cook has her leg blown off.
  • There’s shelling and cannon fire for six more hours. Finally, Russian soldiers stream into the town, all broken and clearly on the losing side.
  • Alpatych is all, hey, maybe I should get out of here already, and gets the coachman. As he drives off he sees some Russian soldiers coming into the inn and taking away food.
  • The innkeeper crazily tells them to take everything, then sets fire to the place rather than let the French get it. His wife and kids are waiting on a wagon.
  • More and more fires are being set.
  • As Alpatych drives along, suddenly he runs into...Andrei! Alpatych breaks down and starts to cry. Andrei ignores him and writes a quick note to his sister to leave for Moscow ASAP.
  • Out of nowhere Berg rides up and starts yelling at Andrei for not doing anything about the people setting fires. (Remember Berg? He’s married to Vera Rostov, Natasha’s robotic sister.)
  • Andrei ignores him and gives more instructions to Alpatych to make sure the Bolkonskys leave town.

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