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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 4, Part 3, Chapter 9 Summary

  • This chapter is straight-up fantastic.
  • Dolokhov and Petya put on French uniforms, saddle up, and just ride right into the middle of the French camp, bluffing their way past a guy asking for a password.
  • Wow. That’s some intense bravery right there.
  • It helps, of course, that every educated Russian at the time speaks flawless French.
  • Dolokhov does the talking, asking questions about how many soldiers there are, and whether they’ve seen his totally made-up regiment anywhere.
  • The French soldiers are a bit suspicious but Dolokhov is so ridiculously cool and collected that none of them openly question him.
  • Dolokhov goes all out. He hands off their horses to the French while asking questions, then makes a couple snide remarks about the Russians. Then asks for the horses back so he and Petya can ride off.
  • Will the horses be brought? There’s a moment of doubt, but they are.
  • The two very slowly ride off.
  • Petya is so full of excitement and hopped up on adrenaline that he hugs and kisses Dolokhov. (This was a time when men showed more physical affection for each other.)

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