The flight out of Moscow continued. Convicts were released too, and they fell upon any unsuspecting person they encountered with unrelenting savagery. They looted wine shops and got drunk.
Meanwhile, Napoleon was advancing upon Moscow.
He waited on the Poklonnaya hill for the Russians to send someone to treat with him.
He waited and he waited.
The great Frenchman found it unimaginable that nobody approached from the Russian side to surrender the keys to the ancient capital. His commanders reported one by one that nobody remained in the city, other than some French residents who had hidden themselves to avoid the people’s anger.
Realising finally that the Russians had abandoned their city, he ordered his army to advance and occupy it. He himself entered Moscow on 15 September 1812. The Catherine Palace was made ready for him. He passed through the Dorogomilovskaya gate into Arbat, and through the Borovitskiye gate into the Kremlin.
[Translated excerpts from КНИЖКА С КАРТИНКАМИ.]