We killed a score or so of 'more-orderers, but we did no harm else..." Next day when Denisov had left Pokrovsk, having quite forgotten about this peasant, it was reported to him that Tikhon had attached himself to their party and asked to be allowed to remain with it. Denisov gave orders to let him do so.
"Who is he?" asked Petya. "He's our plastun. I sent him to capture a 'tongue." "Oh, yes," said Petya, nodding at the first words Denisov uttered as if he understood it all, though he really did not understand anything of it. Tikhon Shcherbaty was one of the most indispensable men in their band. He was a peasant from Pokrovsk, near the river Gzhat.
When Denisov had come to Pokrovsk at the beginning of his operations and had as usual summoned the village elder and asked him what he knew about the French, the elder, as though shielding himself, had replied, as all village elders did, that he had neither seen nor heard anything of them.