eated: "Trot! forward! trot!" You could see from the movement of the flags, how feverishly the soldiers' hands were twitching. In the end the trumpets sounded, flags descended and now they kicked themselves off towards the enemy. "Forward! Gallop! everyone forward!"
They took off--we stayed by our cannons, doing nothing, and even thinking nothing. The artillery recently so busy and noisy, now seemed to be petrified. Our souls flew far and rested on the tips of the lances. Now the Muscovites are close! Already the Muscovite ranks are deploying, in order to receive them. The gunners climbed on the gun carriages, on the ammunition carts and stare into space, looking ahead with gaping mouths; it was so quiet that you could hear the flight of a fly. Each of us felt, that on this clash hung our fate, the fate of our army, perhaps even our homeland! It was a moment of expectation and terrible uncertainty, luckily lasting only a few minutes. Our cavalry clashed with the Muscovites on the high ground, both line
A compelling short story--with some surprisingly deft details--of one young Pole's adventure as a cannon gunner against the Russians in 19th-century battle.