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Are you lost have the wolves eaten you. Fetch more wood!" shouted a red-haired and red-faced man, screwing up his eyes and because of the smoke but not moving back from the fire. you, Jackdaw, go and fetch some wood!" said he to another soldier.
This red-haired man was neither a sergeant nor a corporal, but being robust he ordered about those weaker than himself. The soldier they called "Jackdaw," a thin little fellow with a sharp , rose obediently and was about to go but at instant there came into the light of the fire slender, handsome figure of a young soldier carrying a load of wood.
"Bring it here- that's fine!" They split up the wood, pressed it down on the fire, blew at with mouths, and fanned it with the skirts of their greatcoats, making the flames hiss and crackle. men nearer and lit their pipes. The handsome young soldier who had brought the wood, setting his arms akimbo, began stamping his cold feet rapidly and deftly on the spot where he stood. "Mother. dew is cold but clear.
It's well that I'm a musketeer. " he sang, pretending to hiccough after each syllable. "Look out, your soles will fly off!" shouted the red-haired man, noticing that the sole of the dancer's boot was hanging loose. "What a fellow you are for The dancer stopped, pulled the loose piece of leather, and threw it the fire.
"Right enough, friend," said he, and, having sat down, took out of knapsack a scrap of blue French cloth, and wrapped it round his foot.
"It's steam that spoils them," he added, stretching out his feet toward the . "They'll soon be issuing us ones. They say that when we've finished hammering them, to receive double kits!" "And that son of a bitch Petrov has lagged behind after , it seems," said one sergeant major. "I've had an eye on him this long while," said the other. "Well, he's a poor sort of soldier. " "But in the Third Company they say nine men were missing yesterday.
" "Yes, it's all very well, but when a man's feet frozen how can he walk?" "Eh. Don't talk nonsense!" said a sergeant major.
"Do want be doing the same?" said an old soldier, turning to the man who had spoken of feet. "Well, you know," said the sharp-nosed man they called Jackdaw in a squeaky and unsteady voice, raising himself at the other of the fire, "a plump man gets thin, but for a thin one it's death.
Take me, now. I've got no strength left," he added, with sudden resolution turning to the sergeant major. "Tell them to send me to hospital; I'm aching all over; anyway I shan't be able to keep up. " "That'll do, do!" replied the sergeant major quietly.
The soldier said no more and the talk went on. "What a lot of those Frenchies were taken today, and the fact is that one of them had what you might call real boots on," said a soldier, starting new theme.
"They were no more than make-believes. " "The Cossacks have taken their boots.
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