Cossacks were playing at being soldiers. But these formalities soon gave place to ordinary ways of behaviour, and the captain, who was a smart Cossack just like the others, began speaking fluently in Tartar to the interpreter. They filled in some document, gave it to the scout, and received from him some money. Then they approached the body.
‘Which of you is Luke Gavrilov?’ asked the captain.
Lukishka took off his cap and came forward.
‘I have reported your exploit to the Commander. I don’t know what will come of it. I have recommended you for a cross; you’re too young to be made a sergeant. Can you read?’
‘But what a fine fellow to look at!