Excerpt from A Moscow Acquaintance; The Snow Storm; Domestic Happiness; Miscellanies
The picket of cavalry, stationed on a mound toward the left, was clearly outlined against the transparent light of the sunset, with its stacked arms, with the figure of the sentry, the group of soldiers, and the smoke of the camp-fire. On the right and left, half-way up the moun tain, on the black, well-trodden earth, gleamed the white tents, and beyond the tents were the black, bare trunks of the plane-forest, where constantly resounded the axes, crackled the fires, and with a crash fell the trees that were cut down. On all sides a bluish smoke rose in columns toward the dark blue, frosty sky. Past the tents and in the meadows along the brook were heard the tramping and snorting of the horses which the Cossacks, dragoons, and artillerists had taken to water. Crowds of the enemy, no longer exciting the curiosity of the soldiers, leisurely moved through the bright yellow maize-fields, and here and there, back of the trees, could be seen the high posts of the cemeteries and the smoking native villages.
Our tent stood not far from the ordnance, on a high and dry place, from which was had an unusually broad view. Near the tent, and close to the battery, we had a place cleaned up for the game of skittles. The obliging soldiers had also made for us wicker benches and a small table. On account of all these conveniences, our com rades, the artillery officers, and a few of the infantry, were fond of gathering in the evening near our battery, calling it the club.
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