More soldiers in gray and black made their way down the bonfires, pausing to talk to Mike.
Five bonfires had sprung up, each one with a massive spit turning a large deer in its center.
In this festival Pales was invoked to grant protection and increase to flocks and herds; the shepherds entreated forgiveness for any unintentional profanation of holy places of which their flocks might have been guilty, and leaped three times across bonfires of hay and straw (Ovid, Fasti, iv.
As usual, in their spare time, they lit bonfires, steamed themselves before them naked; smoked, picked out and baked sprouting rotten potatoes, told and listened to stories of Potemkin's and Suvorov's campaigns, or to legends of Alesha the Sly, or the priest's laborer Mikolka.
When the officers had emptied and smashed their glasses, Kirsten filled others and, in shirt sleeves and breeches, went glass in hand to the soldiers' bonfires and with his long gray mustache, his white chest showing under his open shirt, he stood in a majestic pose in the light of the campfire, waving his uplifted arm.