The aide-de-camp was sent to confirm the order which had not been clearly worded the day before, namely, that the commander in chief wished to see the regiment just in the state in which it had been on the march: in their greatcoats, and packs, and without any preparation whatever.
With this object he intended to meet the regiment; so the worse the condition it was in, the better pleased the commander in chief would be.
Didn't I tell you, Michael Mitrich, that if it was said 'on the march' it meant in greatcoats?" said he reproachfully to the battalion commander. "Oh, my God!" he added, stepping resolutely forward.
The regimental commander, going up to the line himself, ordered the soldiers to change into their greatcoats.
The regimental commander walked with his jerky steps to the front of the regiment and examined it from a distance.
"Commander of the third company wanted by the general!...
What is this?" shouted the regimental commander, thrusting forward his jaw and pointing at a soldier in the ranks of the third company in a greatcoat of bluish cloth, which contrasted with the others.
The commander of the company, with his eyes fixed on his superior, pressed two fingers more and more rigidly to his cap, as if in this pressure lay his only hope of salvation.
Whom have you got there dressed up as a Hungarian?" said the commander with an austere gibe.
That's just like you young men," said the regimental commander cooling down a little.
And the commander, turning to look at the adjutant, directed his jerky steps down the line.