On the table were vodka, a flask of rum, white bread, roast mutton, and salt. Sitting at table with the officers and tearing the fat savory mutton with his hands, down which the grease trickled, Petya was in an ecstatic childish state of love for all men, and consequently of confidence that others loved him in the same way. "So then what do you think, Vasili Dmitrich?" said he to Denisov.
"I ask one thing of you," he said sternly, "to obey me and not shove yourself forward anywhere." He did not say another word to Petya but rode in silence all the way. When they had come to the edge of the forest it was noticeably growing light over the field. Denisov talked in whispers with the esaul and the Cossacks rode past Petya and Denisov.
After Petya had joined Obolenski's regiment of Cossacks and left for Belaya Tserkov where that regiment was forming, the countess was seized with terror.
The boys did not let him go out alone in the street now, but looked after him for fear he might fall down; and whenever they met Anna driving in Staro-Kievsky Street with a pair of horses and Artynov on the box instead of a coachman, Pyotr Leontyitch took off his top-hat, and was about to shout to her, but Petya and Andrusha took him by the arm, and said imploringly: "You mustn't, father.
"Ozheg-zheg, Ozheg-zheg..." hissed the saber against the whetstone, and suddenly Petya heard an harmonious orchestra playing some unknown, sweetly solemn hymn. Petya was as musical as Natasha and more so than Nicholas, but had never learned music or thought about it, and so the melody that unexpectedly came to his mind seemed to him particularly fresh and attractive.
And why expose his own children in the battle? I would not have taken my brother Petya there, or even Ilyin, who's a stranger to me but a nice lad, but would have tried to put them somewhere under cover," Nicholas continued to think, as he listened to Zdrzhinski. But he did not express his thoughts, for in such matters, too, he had gained experience.
Petya was galloping along the courtyard, but instead of holding the reins he waved both his arms about rapidly and strangely, slipping farther and farther to one side in his saddle. His horse, having galloped up to a campfire that was smoldering in the morning light, stopped suddenly, and Petya fell heavily on to the wet ground.
While Denisov was talking to the esaul, Petya abashed by Denisov's cold tone and supposing that it was due to the condition of his trousers furtively tried to pull them down under his greatcoat so that no one should notice it, while maintaining as martial an air as possible.
"It's a long way for you to go, and it's dark," he heard Nadyezhda Stepanovna's voice an hour later. "Why shouldn't you stay the night here? Koromyslov can sleep here in the drawing-room on the sofa, and you, Smerkalov, in Petya's bed. . . . I can put Petya in my husband's study. . . . Do stay, really!"
Quite beside himself, Petya, clinching his teeth and rolling his eyes ferociously, pushed forward, elbowing his way and shouting "hurrah!" as if he were prepared that instant to kill himself and everyone else, but on both sides of him other people with similarly ferocious faces pushed forward and everybody shouted "hurrah!" "So this is what the Emperor is!" thought Petya.