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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:20 am

There were occasionally benefits to having a spaniel that chased rabbits, and one of those was the luxury of rabbit stew. The meat had been a little tough and leathery, but stewing it for a while made it more edible - and Matthew's orderly, Goad, made a fairly decent cook. He set down the remains of his bowl for Lavinia to clean out; there was still some of the stew left in the pot, even after Matthew and Goad had eaten some of it. There would probably be enough for dinner tomorrow, as well. And Lavinia deserved something for her efforts.

In the late afternoon warmth, having just eaten and with nothing to do for an hour until inspection that evening, Matthew felt his eyes drifting slowly shut. He had been up til all hours the previous night with a badly colicking horse, and it was catching up with him.
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Matthew Broderick
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:34 am

He had gotten everything that he needed for the later time of the night, but now a more pressing matter arose. Not too long after he had been dismissed by Vickery he noticed that his cheek had been behaving most strangely. Beforehand it had still been merry and cheerful, even overexcited and had eagerly attacked what it could find. But since, it seemed to have settled down and moved very little if not at all.

At first it appeared that it must've been tired, and so after some rest it would regain its strengths and have them as good as new. But even as he tried to encourage it to stand, the little chick looked too calm. It didn't care for a prod, and upon seeing the food, it did not even try to jump it.

It caused Pye to ask about for anybody who would know what to do. Not many did, but then he had added two and two together, and decided that if a man he thought about, could tend to horses, so then it could know the ailments of little chicks. And he didn't want to bother the riflemen just yet. They were both probably either entertaining Vickery, their wives and sweethearts, or if not, resting.

He had had no trouble to find the suggested man, or rather his present 'home' outside the walls of a house. "'scuse me." Though he did not know just how the man ought to have looked. Well, there were a few descriptions, but with so many men which might've had atleast one trait in common, he did not want to take the risk.

"...m' sorry ter ..interrupt.." Whatever the man had just been doing. "But.. I'm lookin' for Broderek.. Could you point me in t' right direction?"

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:54 am

Lavinia lifted her muzzle as the green-jacketed man approached, and she yapped at him, shifting underneath Matthew’s stilled hand. He stirred from his not-quite-comfortable seat, leaning against a rock, and pulled his eyes open. He’d not been asleep, but drifting into that in-between state, and it took him a moment to focus on the young man standing in front of him. He shifted further, however, when he heard the question.

Matthew didn’t know of any other Brodericks, not in the 15th Hussars, at any rate. He was looking for Matthew. There was pretty much only one reason anyone would be looking for him, though this one wasn’t in the Hussars, of course – and so it wouldn’t be a horse. He’d not even noticed the form of address – Matthew wasn’t used to being ‘sir’-ed, and so he didn’t try to demand it. He stifled the yawn that threatened to crack his jaw, and came alert, climbing to his feet.

“Broderick is me, lad.” What did the green jacket mean again? He searched for a moment, then found the word he wanted. “What can I do for you, Rifleman?” he inquired, in a friendly tone.
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:00 pm

Pye took a step back when he saw the small dog, and made a step to the side just past her, at her yapping. He glanced at her, and gave her far from a friendly look. His breadbag was still held as tender, though perhaps he had lifted it a slight bit higher, at the dog present. He knew of little dogs who chased poultry, chased any sorts of birds really. If the dog had any such idea, it would meet with the heel of his boot.

The man he saw half asleep, seemed to stir, but as he introduced himself he made Pye's quest as much as finished. He had found the man he was looking for. Why he had strayed upon asking one in the Hussar's rather than searching for knowledge amongst his peers, was still a question unanswered, but not one he was asking himself now. Some had told him to be good. That was pretty much it.

"Sir." He started and nodded sharply, still keeping a watchful eye over the dog. Never could trust those yappers not to bolt into a man and bite at his ankles. "Do ye,... know how ter.." He began then changed the course his question was going: "I've got someone that I would.." There again he seemed undecided if to continue and so, more bluntly he spoke: "Would you help with a chick?" And as if in aftermarth of defense, thinking perhaps that this man could be similar in accusations as the provosts he murmured:" It's m' chick, n' I haven't stolen it, sir. She 'atched out of an egg I had n' she's growing now.. jus'.. today she... it.." He didn't know what it was, really. "...It feels real down.. don't want to move much." And worry and concern was quite evident just then. He only wished his little chick would live.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:36 am

Lavinia stilled her yapping when Matthew gave her a gentle nudge with his foot, and she would have trotted up to greet him properly, despite the look he gave her - to Lavinia, everyone was a friend. However, Matthew noticed the young lad's uneasiness, and he warned her to stay where she was. She laid her nose quietly down on her paws, consequently, though her tail wagged steadily as she watched Pye and Matthew talking.

The lad seemed to be uncertain for some reason in making his query. He started, then rephrased, then started again - and finally got his question asked, though he quickly defended himself from the charge of stealing - which Matthew hadn't accused him of, in fact it hadn't entered his mind at all. Not until the boy had said it, at any rate. Would he help with a chick? The question was anxious, frightened, and the lad didn't seem to have much faith that Matthew would help.

The truth was that Matthew didn't really care if the lad had stolen the chick or not. It was enough that he was concerned, that he cared for its well-being. The chick was his, however he had come by it.

"Of course I will. I'd not turn you away, Rifleman," he answered decidedly. It was easy to go wrong with birds, and there was a possibility that whatever was wrong with the chick, Matthew could do nothing to help it. But he would try. "Let's have a look at it, then - and don't worry, Lavinia will stay put where I've told her to. She won't hurt it, or you. She's just friendly." He nodded at the spaniel to show who he meant by Lavinia, then held out his hands to receive the chick. As he did so, he inquired, "Is your chick still eating?"
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:12 am

He was glad the dog remained in its place. Those vicious creatures bit rather hard and seemed to hunt men as likely as they did animals. Of course, it could also just be , because he had his own bag of bad experiences, where he was in a place he ought not to have been, and the dogs were merely sent to do their duty.

But so far as he was concerned, they bit, they barked, and they were vicious and untill proven different - which Lavinia's tail was confusing him with - he would still believe her, or was it a he, to be the same. He relaxed somewhat when the Hussar did not seem hostile but even more eager to help. With a quick nod, not giving the spaniel anything but a distrustful glance, he reached into his bag and slowly from it took the little bird.

He placed it in the man's palm leaving the little bird there as anxious as if he thought the man to decide to squeeze the life out of the poor thing. "Well.. didn't want to eat any now.. but she had been.. 'fore .. i think mornin' n abouts. "

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:11 pm

Matthew's fingers curled gently around the chick as he took it away from the rifleman. If she had been eating this morning...lack of appetite was a serious sign in any bird, but it might not be too late. The little creature was fluffed into an unhappy ball. He felt it gently over, his fingers palpating the small body, feeling the empty crop. "What do you feed her?" he asked, as he turned the chick over in his fingers.

It didn't really like being upside-down, but Matthew kept it still with a gentle hold. He could see what the problem was, now. Her vent was clogged with excreta that had dried and clung to her downy feathers; she could not pass anything through the plug. It must have been extremely uncomfortable - and no wonder she didn't want to eat! Matthew pointed this out to the lad. "See here? She's gotten all blocked up - it's called pasty butt, and it's very common in chicks. You have to keep all this lot cleaned away, or else she can't pass her droppings."

He fished out his handkerchief and crossed to his washwater bucket to wet it. With the moistened cloth, he rubbed at the plug, the water working to soften it a little as he pulled it away from the feathers. Still, it did tug a bit, and the chick let out a tiny noise of protest. "Shh," he said to the creature, softly. "It's alright."
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Matthew Broderick
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:03 pm

Pye watched anxiously as Matthew's fingers moved across the little chick's body, nervous not that he would hurt it, but more now, that something could be terribly wrong. He probably looked as attentive as that spaniel, though he would not bark, nor run after a ball if thrown at him. He leaned closer to watch the little chick.

"I feed 'er leftovers. Like bread crumbs that are left. Mostly. Dunno what else I could give 'er. n' oh, i give 'er water, so it can drink it out o' me palm." He looked at the man, and was clearly trying to remember what else he fed the chick, if only for the sake of giving all the important information to the man.

"I feed 'er when she's hungry, sir. N'.... till yesterday I got her to ride in me breadsack er bag. Only got 'er out when we were resting. Just so it wouldn't get lost or stray sumwhere's." Why was she blocked up. He just heard it and observed the little chick look like a very unhappy sort. Common, it was common! That made him feel a great amount of relief. He was just ignorant, which wasn't an excuse, but at least it wasn't so uncommon with chicks.

Perhaps even more attentive than before, he observed what Matthew did next, to remember each bit of it, and if there was anything special to be done, cleaning a chick's bottom. He bit his lip when the little creature gave a squeak of protest. "Sir." He uttered before he knew to keep his tongue. He was gentle. More gentle than most surgeons were with their human victims.

"It's going to be alright after we do that?.. Could you tell what it is? ..girl or boy?"

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:55 pm

And now Matthew knew why the chick was constipated, as well. He frowned slightly as he finished clearing away the chick's bottom. Feeding it breadcrumbs! It was a wonder the little thing had survived this long - it must have been a hardy little creature. He looked closely at the vent, which had no genital bump in evidence, then palpated her pubic bones to be certain. "It's a female chick," he told the rifleman.

As soon as he turned it upright again, the little creature promptly relieved itself in his hand; it must have been trying to do that for some time. Poor thing. Matthew wiped the greenish offering away with his handkerchief, which he tossed onto the ground, and held out the chick towards the rifleman again, while scratching behind the head with one finger; the chick seemed to like it. "If you keep her cleaned up, it should help. But, Rifleman, you need to feed her properly. Otherwise, she's going to have this problem repeatedly, and she won't do well." He didn't mean to upset the lad, who obviously cared very much for his small pet, or tell him he was irresponsible, but the fact remained that Pye hadn't been caring for the chick properly.

"You couldn't have known," he softened the blow, "but breadcrumbs are in no way good food for a chicken. You've got to give her whole grains - dry oatmeal will do, if it has the bran and germ. I can give you that if you don't know where else to find it." If Pye took the offer, Matthew could kiss his breakfast porridge goodbye - he rather hoped the lad would not. "Oats, wheat, rye, barley - any or all of them, ground up just a little, so that it's cracked for her. You've got to make sure she has access to some gravel as well, sprinkled on top of that. It's very important you attend to that. She'll like some insects, too - if you find weevils in your rations, you can give those to her."
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:16 am

Pye took the chick very gently back into his hands and looked as though he had received a sword made purely of gold and precious stones, for so happy he was to know his little pet would not die, but would live to chirp another day and to poop it's way onto the provosts... not that he would ever let her get to them. No, not even if the chick thought it smart and brave, it would not be permitted to. It would be kept as far away from them as he could manage, and whenever they were around, it would be kept hidden somewhere. It would indeed be disallowed to appear to exist in their wake. And when it was a big chicken it would rest in his hat if it would be possible to have it nowhere else.

He smiled. It was a she. It was a female chick, and though he had no idea how the man could tell, it was great news and he did not doubt it. He was wise, he was learned in those sort of things, and he said it with confidence, not either with unease, with a tone of one guessing, nor with that of taunt. "She. Then she is Peggy." He said and grinned. The little creature had relieved itself on the man's hand just a bit earlier, but it did not seem to upset him. Good thing! He nodded though as when he was told about how to feed her. He had done wrong, he now learned. Done it terribly wrong and he could have killed her, if not for her hardy being.

He gently pet the bird, held her in the palm of one hand, and petted her with the finger of his other.

"Will she eat now? I'll try to find her the right sort of food, I promise." He said eagerly. "Would she be hungry, right now?" He asked. "Will she do well with the water she got so far? If i change her diet n' don't give her any bread crumbs again?" Well, he could no longer ask the riflemen to help, even if the chick seemed eager enough to eat it anyway. Already his mind raced with options and the wherabouts of the right kind of food. "Would any insects do? Weevils n'.. grasshoppers, n' bugs, n' hmm, lice, fleas?" Those could be found in a barn, and some soldiers got them from such places while others could get them just so.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:02 am

Matthew couldn't be certain, but the chick had last eaten that morning, and that was not too long ago. Now that she wasn't blocked up anymore, she might be ready to eat a little again. "She might," he said. "And whatever bugs that she will eat will be fine. She'll know what's good for her, so you can offer her anything you find. Lice and fleas are a little too small, though." Lice and fleas! He envisioned the young man going about among his companions and trying to collect them, and stifled a smile of amusement.

"Peggy will probably do all right with that. Give her access to water as often as possible," he added. He wasn't sure how the rifleman would be able to see to that on the march, but it was important. "And nothing to drink other than water!" Once in a while there was a fellow who thought it was a nice idea to share his rum ration with a favourite pet.
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:11 am

"Sir, " With the insects in mind, and the whereabouts of the worms already imagined the lad knew that there was only one thing that he could ask. "what about earthworms, would she eat those if I cut 'em up a little?" Those creatures were far too big, if he would consider them in one piece, but in several they might have been a rather full meal, if a chick would want to eat them at all.

"I'll have her get as much water as she needs to. Got m' canteen on me. n' when it rains it's all 'bout squeezin' a sleeve of a coat, n' yer get a good handful of water from that." He grinned as what the liquid was concerned, he had known what to do and had done his best to have her watered whenever she so wished.

"Nothing..." At first he didn't get what Broderick was getting at, but when he did he chuckled softly and shook his head. "No drink, sir. Jus' plain, clear water, I promise." He looked rather animated now, seeing his chick in a fairly better state and knowing that it was a she only added to his excitement. Have her grow up , and there'd be eggs for the riflemen in the morning!

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:22 am

It took real dedication to be willing to actually dig up worms for a small chick. Or to consider collecting parasites - though he hoped the lad wouldn't try that. "She ought to, and those will be very healthy for her," he said, not hiding the smile this time - not one of amusement, as when he had suggested lice and fleas, but a pleased expression. The young fellow was responsible for the defenseless little creature, and he obviously felt it keenly. Matthew saw few enough who had a real attachment or sense of what they owed to an animal.

"Good job for Peggy she's got you to look after her," he added. "How do you keep her warm on the march, though?"
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:36 am

"She's sometime's in m' coat, here." He showed where he could keep her, but only at the expense of his coat not fully buttoned. He did not want to squeeze her or have her crushed under the straps of his knapsack. "..so she's kept warm, but usually I try ter have her in 'm bread sack n' close ter here, so she gets some warmth too, but she's not in danger. Been tole' I should keep her out a bit too...because It's ..they said It ain't good she's in a bag not movin' so much. " He remembered Newbury suggesting that he would keep his cheek on the mule to be seated there comfortably, while bound by a string.

"... do y' think ..sir. I should keep her somewhere else?" He was open to any suggestions. He made a firm decision to get the worms for her as soon as he was able. It meant that he would have to feed her first, leave her behind later with someone he could trust, when he was on his way to find and arrange a few things later.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:15 am

"I'm not entirely sure," Matthew answered. The truth was, he'd never had to take care of a chicken on the march. Most of the time, the mother hen did all the work, and wasn't trying to travel however many miles a day. "She does need some chance to exercise, but I don't know how you'll manage that." He didn't have any helpful suggestions to add. The rifleman seemed to be a resourceful sort of lad, though. He would figure out something.

"What's your name, lad?" he asked.
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:58 am

"I'll have her marched up n' down if I need to, sir. " The rifleman seemed to find the thought amusing, though it looked he would have done it, if it benefited the chick. He let it step on the ground for a little. She appeared to be in a fairly better mood and made her way to peck at the ground, walk about her owner and then nestle herself on the floor gazing up at the two with her beady little eyes.

"M' name is Pye, sir.. Zachary Pye, rifleman of t' 60th." He said it proudly, and straightened a little as if presenting the afore mentioned rifles with outmost respect. "Newly there, but it's a real.. good place ter be sir." He grinned, not caring if he had said more than he was asked about. He could boast, just a little, even if some did not hold a high opinion of the rifles and their ways.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:23 am

As soon as he realised what Pye was about to do, Matthew stepped backwards from the lad as he went to set the chick down. He crouched down and caught hold of the collar around Lavinia's neck just as the spaniel went to full alert. She subsided once she realised that Matthew was holding her back, but watched the chick keenly. "I've got her," Matthew said apologetically. "She won't get Peggy."

He grinned at the lad. "I've heard good things about you Riflemen. Haven't met one before, though. It's a pleasure to do so - I'm Matthew Broderick, though you already knew that, of course." He thought for a moment, then amended, "Captain Broderick, I suppose." It still seemed unnatural to introduce himself that way. He held out his hand to Pye from where he squatted next to Lavinia. "Best of luck to you and Peggy both."
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:29 am

Right. Dogs could harm little chicks. He was glad Broderick thought ahead of that, and kept the pest,.. er the dog at bay. He was about to ask about the reason that Broderick would keep such a creature in his care when he learned that he was a captain and so seemed to tense a bit. "Sir. 'scuse me." He stammered and lowered his gaze to look at the chick. And this little creature even did it in an officer's hand. Well, she was a special thing, though he was sincerely glad now to know Broderick was not against helping her.

"..Thank you , sir. Fer helpin' with m' chick. How much....how much is there ter pay for that, sir?"

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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:35 am

The lad seemed to tense, suddenly, and did not shake Matthew's extended hand; Matthew lowered it again regretfully. It seemed to be as he had thought...the rifleman was upset over the way Lavinia had acted. He'd noticed from the start the wary looks the young man gave to the dog, and now that she'd obviously wanted to catch his prized chick, well, it was no wonder Pye didn't like her. It was too bad. Lavinia would never have hurt Pye - though she would, probably, have been happy to eat Peggy if Matthew had not stopped her.

He looked up from scratching her ears, startled, when Pye asked about payment. "Pay?" he said in surprise. "You don't have to pay me anything."
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:39 am

"For t' treatment , sir. Isn't there you want ..that it's right ter ask for it?" He did dislike Lavinia for being a dog. It may not have been anything personal towards her, and if she had been a cat, even a rat, he would not have harboured such dislike. But she had proven herself eager to attack and harm his chick, and she was a dog. Enough reason to want to keep his distance. She looked tame, but looks could be deceiving. Kneeling down he picked his chick up and slowly slipped her into his breadbag against her protests. Safe and sound but uncomfortable and annoyed, was better than in danger of death, but free. He knew that theory could stretch some ways.

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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:48 am

Something right to ask for it? All he'd done was give Pye some advice, and clean the little creature's poor bottom. "I'd not charge you for that," Matthew said, decidedly. Not that he'd have charged Pye even if he'd done something more significant for the little chick!
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:52 am

Pye nodded after a few moments and smiled. "Real grateful to you sir. Thank you." As he was and would hope to come to Mister Broderick if ever his chick felt bad again. Not because it was free, but because he appeared kind and knowledgable. He only wished he would ditch his dog sometime. "Well' er.." He gave a sharp salute to the man. "Think I be bes' going sir, thank you again."

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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Matthew Broderick on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:06 am

Matthew was uncertain what to do with the salute. Ought he to return it? Ought he not to? He settled for a nod and a smile instead. "You're welcome," he answered. "Feel free to bring her back if there's any trouble."
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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:44 am

Another smile had appeared on Pye's face at those words, tugging at the scar, that was a permanent mark on his nose and cheek. He turned smartly on his heel, and walked off, his chick chirping insistently in the bag, now that the discomfort was over and gone.

He would come back. If there was any trouble, any problems with the chick's health, Broderick would be the first to approach.

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Re: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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