Zaretsky is troubled by the fate of a friend. Having changed into the uniform of the murdered French officer, he goes to Moscow in search of Roslavlev. A chance meeting with the captain of the gendarmes, Renault, threatens him with exposure: the Frenchman identified the horse and the sword of Zaretsky, who belonged to the sister of Reno. From the imminent arrest Zaretsky rescues Colonel Senikur – returning the debt of honor, he confirms that he is really French captain Danville.
Left alone with the colonel, Alexander reveals to him the reason for his “masquerade”: he came for his friend, who, being wounded, could not leave Moscow when it included French troops. Having learned that this wounded officer Roslavlev, Senikur considers it his duty to help Zaretsky. Recalling the “terrible night” of the wedding, he feels guilty before Roslavlev. “I took more from him than life,” exclaims Senicour. “Go to him, I’m ready for him to do everything – the Frenchman continues – maybe he can not walk. At the outpost, my man with the horse will wait for you, tell him that you are Captain Danville: he will give it to you.. . “
Zaretsky manages to take Roslavlev out of Moscow. Their path lies in their own regiment, and despite all sorts of road adventures – first a meeting with the peasants who mistook them for the French, and then a military skirmish with the French foragers, in which Roslavllev took over the command of the peasant detachment – the friends eventually leave on the bivouac of his regiment.
October 10, the French left Moscow, “having stayed in it for a month and eight days.” Having made several unsuccessful attempts to break through into the richest provinces of Russia, Napoleon was forced to retreat along the same road that he was going to Moscow, leaving behind him thousands of soldiers dying of cold and hunger. On the crossing through Berezina, the body of Ney was destroyed, the last hope of the French army, and after the battle near Borisov, the French retreat turned into a real flight. The friends say goodbye at the border: the general, at which Roslavlev was adjutant, joined his division to the troops besieging Danzig, and Zaretsky’s regiment was still in the vanguard of the army.
The siege of Danzig, where the French garrison is under the command of General Rapp, dragged on. As early as November 1813, the famine in the besieged city. The Russian outposts are constantly disturbing the partisan raids of the French garrison. Among them, the “hellish company” of the hussar officer Shambury, who, no matter what night, raids the food in the villages where Russian posts are stationed, is particularly noteworthy. In one of these sorties, Shambyur captured Roslavlev. So he gets to Danzig.
Two weeks pass. Under the pretext of suppressing “unprofitable rumors” about the French army, which allegedly spreads around the city captive officer, Roslavleva is imprisoned. In fact, this is a trick, invented by the chief of staff, General Deric-rum. In the prison there is a Florentine merchant, he is suspected that he is a Russian spy. Roslavlev put together with the merchant, in order to overhear their conversations, because it is so natural to have their desire to speak in their native language.