The trench is shallow, dry and dusty – hastily dug out overnight in the thaw that has just thawed from winter frosts, but already well dried. In order not to protrude, Voloshin stood bent over, with his high growth, it was tedious. Changing the pose, he knocked a bundle of earth from the parapet, painfully struck Jim sitting next to him, he heard an offended dog squeal.
The battalion commander carefully examined the slopes of the altitude. The Germans settled on it at full speed. Voloshin thought with regret that they had made a mistake on the eve, without attacking this altitude from the distance. Then there were still some chances to capture it, but the artillery failed – there were no shells. The regiment commander did not seem to notice this altitude. Still, it should be taken, but this battered battalion can not do it. Taking up the height, the Germans, not paying attention to the machine-gun fire, were fixed in the main: in the evening they brought up logs and
equipped dugouts and trenches. Voloshin thought that at night, which is good, they also mined the slopes.
Quickly darkened and colder. The battalion commander left Prygu-nova as an observer, and himself went down into the dugout with a cheerfully crackling stove. Voloshin reached for the fire, experiencing an unusual bliss. An elderly and slow-moving telephone operator Chernoruchenko, pinching a telephone receiver between his shoulder and ear, pushed a brush into the stove and smiled. The battalion commander looked at those sitting in the dug-out – they all had a conspiratorial look. The captain asked, on what occasion subordinates are having fun? The orderly Gutman explained that from the headquarters they had been informed of the awarding of the battalion commander with the order. Voloshin did not find any joy, he thought, why they reward him only? Gutman prepared a “wash”, but the battalion commander ordered to hide, or rather give dry footcloths. The orderly instantly took the captain spare footcloths and sewn a button on the commander’s overcoat. Voloshin stretched out his stiff legs with delight. Markin reported: a reinforcements will arrive in the battalion, followed by a representative at 22.00. Voloshin asked if they asked sixty-five from the regiment about the height. The lieutenant asked if the Germans were strengthening it well. Voloshin fears that he will receive a belated order to take the height, on which the Germans have already fortified themselves.