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26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

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26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:52 am

The night before had left him in the company of a man who had caused the death of most of his men. One had escaped, his life spared. If he was fortunate he would come across the French, or at the very least , the British. If he was not, Saint-Hilaire wished not to consider that. It wasn't only for the benefit of his subordinate however. It had been better not to think about when threading through the forest on his own, ducking under the branches and stepping over stones and mud, which sucked at his shoes.

Yesterday was a blur, though he remembered a fight and could point to a few bruises as proof. It had also left him unconscious. The state hadn't lasted long enough however. Not as long as his captor might have expected. During the night, he had managed to untie his legs and his arms. He had not taken anything with him, but fled into the dark, and ran as fast as his feet could take him. He had not wanted to remain long in the company of the bastard who had done in, slain his men. But that was in the past, his primary goal at that time was, to survive. He had walked for a good portion of the day. He did not know whether the direction he took was the correct one. He had lost his guide in abandoning Hunter, but it was a fair price to pay for the sanity and his freedom.

He lifted his gaze and knelt down, listening. A stream of water must have been close to where he was at present, for he could hear the hum of running water persist for the past hour. It had become louder ever since he had taken a right turn. Thirsty as he was, and without a canteen to carry his water in, he decided to stop and refill. If not a canteen, than it would at least have been himself. Approaching the stream, his steps had come at greater intervals, his pace slower, while greater attention was taken not to step on a dry twig, or slip on a pile of pebbles. He expected nobody to be there, but as streams often attracted people, soldiers even, he needed to be careful.

With a hand he dragged a few strands of hair of his forehead and brought them rather to cling and glue themselves to his wet mop of hair, which appeared less than presentable. An officer no less, but he felt like a ragged beggar at the moment. Another few steps, and he could see the stream now. He sighed and licked his lips. Though his skin was wet, his throat felt dry, and just catching a drop of rain or water from a leaf, wasn't quite the same as drinking mouthfuls of it.

His hand slipped into the cool water and he washed each in turn first, before bringing the cool liquid to his face. He wiped the mud of it and sighed. Anything to distract himself from thinking of the day before. He knelt closer and drank in great gulps. He regretted not seeing any soldiers, if they would've been French, but was glad that the enemy was not present either. Had the nights not been so cold he would've ditched his uniform and wore only a shirt by which he could not be distinguished as anyone, let alone an officer. But even now the coat seemed to keep him considerably at ease, warm as it was, so he could not leave it behind. Not even at the risk of the Portuguese finding him. But atleast it was coated in mud and not as glaringly bright as that of the British army.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:34 am

Edward dismounted Trafalgar his thoroughbred, on one of the few patches of grass that could be seen. He loosened his mount's bit and to let the beast graze for a short while. Trafalgar wasn't going anywhere so Edward didn't bother hobbling, his horse being happy to partake in the gastronomic delights of mother nature. He looked into the sky, glad that the rain was clearing up to the point where he didn't need to wear his heavy oilskin coat, pulled an apple out of his pack, and just enjoyed the peace of this tranquil patch of magnificence in a sea of mud and trees.

Or so he thought until he saw the footprints...

His chewing stopped upon his discovery, and he examined the trail through to a stream whose trickling sound was part of the tranquility of before. Edward kept within the trees, using the shade and the darkness of his short black riding jacket and his round hat (he never liked to wear his elaborate uniform jacket and tarleton during inclement weather in the field), to conceal himself. Then he saw the dishevelled source of the footprints.

The blue that showed through the mud was a few shades too bright to be British cavalry, plus British cavalry jackets didn't have tails. That could mean only one thing: French. A chill ran down his spine as he quietly drew his sabre from his side. The unsheathing was barely audible but the Frenchman didn't stir from his pre-occupation with the stream.

Good.

Edward crept quietly out of the shadows, not with any intent of harming the Frenchman, but to find out why a lone Frenchman was here. He sidestepped any twigs and foliage that would give away his presence. His heart was racing so fast it felt like it could explode. Breathe, Edward mentally told himself. You have the element of surprise. Slowly, but surely, the young major was within reach and touched the point of his sabre to the Frenchman's throat.

"Don't move." He ordered in french.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:54 am

Saint-Hilaire tensed. He was too late to turn about and run, or even to splash forward into the stream and hope it wasn't too deep, nor too fast to sweep him away. A touch of cold steel made that impossible, and the voice speaking in french, enforced the demand. He tilted his head about just a little to catch sight of the man.

Great. Not even a day ago he had managed to escape for the second time. The first had been more elaborate, and in company of men who marched under his command. The plan had been elaborate, successful and they had gotten quite far from Oporto. It took them a while to entertain the idea of finding a guide, thinking themselves lost. They found one. Several even. Portuguese, and one who was English, as he thought. They've picked the worse of the options, which left him nearly in custody again.

This. This was him being careless though. His fault. He held his hands from his face, but in a state in which they had been at the time the order had been passed. "...I would not do this.. if I were you.." He spoke in French, since English wasn't his forte at all.

"Lower your blade and I might consider letting you go." He spoke as if there was a whole regiment of men just waiting somewhere near. His voice was strong, bold, confident, even if he hoped this man was alone and he hadn't just found himself at one side of the army, with the whole of the division to come.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:15 am

Something just wasn't right about this situation. If this Frenchman was with a band of men, they would have pounced on him already. "Let me go monsieur?" Edward replied quizically, "you an who's army?" Having been responsible for the reconnaissance in the area, he knew that the French were running back to Spain like a hungry horse after an apple. "I have no intention of hurting you, as I have no real reason to. But we both know that we're alone." He really didn't know if they were alone, but he was trying to keep the upper hand.

He removed the sabre, but kept it unsheathed, and stepped back. "Before you think of escaping, I'll remind you," he indicated to the environment around him, "that this area is teaming with Portugese guerillas, and they do want to harm you in ways that you won't find pleasant."

Edward hoped that the bedraggled stranger would make the right choice.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:37 am

The French officer turned when the blade had been lifted from his neck. He took a slow step back. Another and he would find himself standing in the rushing water. A smile appear on his face at Sutton's words. Such a threat or voice of reason that he wished to share with him, was to the man, a rather comical notion.

"..Indeed." He spoke his eyes briefly skimming across the banks of the stream, across the ground to his left, behind the man and then they halted on the stranger's features as if evaluating his speed and fitness with a mere look. He did not appear frightened, though inwardly he might have felt apprehension. With his head held proud, even his back now straightened to appear as if not entirely exhausted and physically in as deplorable a state as his clothes, he decided on what to say next.

"Would I have been here, alone as it might be.. and with the knowledge of the Portuguese running about? And as unafraid as you see me?" He arched a brow. ".. You do not believe me mad, monsieur, i'll hope." He waved his hands as if explaining something that was logical to even a mere private. "My men are not here at the moment, but they will return. Some, If we are fortunate, with food and others ..I shall be certain, with more water." He glanced at the stream. "Cleaner, further up stream." He elaborated with a short nod.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:33 am

"You're by no means mad monsieur." Edward answered, "It's just very strange to find an officer with only the clothes on his back in very hostile territory." This Frenchman was good, but an officer would not let his men go and leave him behind unarmed. "But as we are, at this time monsieur alone, may I at least have the pleasure of you name?"

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:45 pm

It had been worth a try. He could still hope to convince this man, and he was by no means giving up on his story, but he would not insist on it either. Only those who lied would continue and press on, and attempt to convince another without a break for a sensible conversation. Deciding against it thus, he turned again to look past Sutton. He himself had no weapons on him, all lost to Mister Hunter. His uniform was muddy, coated in several layers, where he had had a tumble in the mud. His face almost stood out in comparison now, as it had been wiped clean and fresh with the cool water of the stream. The colour of his coat was still obvious except for the muddy areas of course. He would certainly not have attended any parades in that. His hat too had gone.

"Lieutenant Lefevre." He answered and brushed a hand across the cuffs of his coat. Going up just a slight bit, he could peel off some of the earth and rub it from the thick, pressed wool. "Should I have the pleasure or knowing your name as well, monsieur?"
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:48 am

"But of course." Edward replied, removing his round hat. "I am Major Edward Sutton of the 7th Hussars."

He replaced his hat before continuing, "Judging by the looks of you monsieur, you could do with something stronger than water."

This was made with an offerring Sutton's canteen full of Claret.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:00 am

"I'm afraid, I shall have to decline, till I have been able to place something of substance into my belly." He was hungry and considered an offer of drink, though not yet aware which it was, as a dangerous thing to himself. Drink made one's head light, and their cation be thrown to the wind. If he were to avoid being taken as prisoner and sent to England as such, his mind had to be clear and sober.

Water had enabled some of his thirst to be mended. Even the ache of his head had been reduced when his body was replenished with it. It was minimal to nonexistent at the moment. "May I inquire what your purpose here is?"
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:26 am

Edward was not bound to an oath of secrecy regarding his job, just the information he found. "I am an Exploring Officer, assigned to Sir Arthur Wellesley's headquarters."

He looked at Lefevre's jacket and tried to deduce the Lieutenant's regiment. "I take it from your red epaulettes, that you're a light infantryman?"

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:38 pm

It was an important bit of information to this man, though he did not let it on. It confirmed though, more certainly, that Sutton was on his own and had no company to support him should Saint-Hilaire attempt an escape. He nodded. He did not imagine that he needed to lie about his rank or his regiment, when his coat would reply honestly of its own.

"I am. " Perhaps Sutton had heard of the French prisoners escaped from Oporto, perhaps he did not. If he knew names, he would not have pointed a finger at Lefevre. The man that escaped was of a different name. "And you would be highly sought after." He made it more a comment than a suggestion or implication of his plans. "Do you have a canteen to spare?" He asked nonchallantly.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:30 am

"I have water, if that's what you're after." Edward answered looking once again as the mess of a person who stood before him. "You look like you need some." He motioned for him to follow to where Trafalgar was standing.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  boots on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:53 pm

It was Carlinho who had first seen the Frenchman’s tracks. The young lad was the youngest man in the party, he might have been thirteen. Perhaps. His name was actually Carlos, but all of the partisans knew him by the diminutive, and he had the sharp eyes of a born hunter. In his panicked flight the previous night the Frenchman had not troubled to cover his traces. He had fled through the wood, leaving behind broken foliage, booted prints, and…most important of all…a scrap of blue fabric, the dye unmistakeable, that had caught and torn free from his coat. Flushed with excitement, Carlinho had brought the evidence back to their concealed encampment, and Mateus and six other partisans had gone with him to hunt down the stray Frenchman.

The men moved silently as ghosts through the wood, leaving almost no trace of their own behind. Only the guerillas could move with this much ease over the terrain; the undergrowth that had hindered and slowed Saint-Hilaire, was no obstacle to these men, and they made more rapid progress than the Frenchman had. By midday they had caught up to their quarry – Carlinho, of course, was the first one to see him, and the Portuguese fanned out. Luiz was the one who found Trafalgar where the exploring officer had left him at some distance from the pair, and he approached the creature quietly, murmuring softly, calming the beast with his tone and gentle touch. Luiz knew his way around horses, even if he had never worked with a creature as fine or perhaps as highly-strung as the thoroughbred.

The Frenchman had seemingly stopped for water at a stream, the name of which none of them knew or cared. A birdcall sounded out from one side, and then was answered from the other, the soft chii, chii of a crag martin, a noise that no one would think to question among all the other birds singing in the undergrowth. No one would question it, unless they knew that the crag martin was found only in the mountains of Portugal, not down here at this elevation. And no Frenchman would know that. The sound helped the two flanks coordinate their position and timing as they approached Saint-Hilaire and Sutton.

That was one surprise for the Portuguese: there were two men there, not only one. The second man was wearing no uniform, but he was speaking French to the other one, in what sounded like a friendly conversation. That was enough to damn him. Mateus’ face broke into a wolfish smile. It was clear from the lace on Saint-Hilaire’s uniform that he was an officer of some kind, though Mateus had no idea how to tell the ranks of the French army. The more lace, the more important the person, was a good enough rough guide to serve. The blue-coated officer wasn’t wearing very much lace, but he was a valuable catch regardless.

In the blink of an eye, six of the Portuguese guerillas (Luiz, the seventh, was with Trafalgar) had materialized from the woods, encircling the two men. They were lightfooted enough that almost the only sound from any of them was the distinctive ratcheting click of Mateus’ navaja opening and locking in place.

They were all in tatters, a thin and rather wretched-looking lot, but their movements were sure, as they leveled their weapons. The twins Estêvão and Joaquim held their muskets steady, one on each man; they were looted French muskets, and kept in good repair. From this distance they would not miss. And though Felipe’s ancient blunderbuss was not so accurate as the muskets the twins had, it did not need to be; the flaring muzzle would belch out a deadly spray of shot that would rip these two to shreds if he fired it. Josué had only a machete, but he, likewise, needed no more in order to kill.

The young Carlinho approached Etienne with the grace of a cat, the sabre he had taken from the body of a French dragoon officer pointing at the man. Laughing with a harshness that did not suit his soft features, he crouched and would have sprung, but Josué’s hand on his shoulder stopped him. Mateus had not yet given the word. They had these two surrounded, and a quiet capture was best – in case there were any others near enough to take alarm. They could kill them easily right here, but Mateus liked to leave his messages out for the French. And he did not intend this one to be just a hastily scribbled note.

“Deixa cair a espada,” Mateus ordered Sutton, sharply, gesturing with his knife.

(He said “Drop the sword,” erm – if the language is massacred, please excuse me, as I’m not a Portuguese speaker. Also, I promise to provide a resolution for the misunderstanding re: Sutton's identity!)


Last edited by boots on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:59 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:26 am

"I do not look for water but a canteen that I might use to fill with it." He did not need the liquid itself as he stood so close to it but he could take only as much as he could fit into his belly, and carry none elsewhere. His thoughts though, or perhaps the want to elaborate further was interrupted by the appearance o several man. When he had heard the calls of birds, he thought none of it. There were many birds in the forest, so truthfully he barely even noticed. He did not see the men close in. No, rather his eyes were trained on the man, as was his attention. He did glance around to see where he could run, once the canteen , or rather if the canteen was made to be able to be borrowed for his use.

It was thus too late, when the men came into view. All means of escape were covered by them at that time. Saint-Hilaire knew of the Portuguese. He had heard what they could do. He had seen it. Though as an aftermarth rather than a process. While his companion needed not to fear the wrath of the Portuguese, the danger for him was there and very real. He could see that muskets had been pointed at either of them. Perhaps the Portuguese did not know who this man was? Well, judging by his manner of dress, they might have had doubts.

From the corner of his eye he saw the young lad, that appeared to him as bloodythirsty as a predator was for its pray , but twice as mad. He made to stand his ground, though his mind raced with the options that he had. Begin to run, could end up quickly and badly. If by miracle he was able to escape the musket balls or the 'heavy shower' from the blunderbuss, he had still seven men that would run after him. Men that appeared able to keep up easily, and even more easily over come him. He was hungry, tired, and had been on a run on and off, for a while. He could not have run fast enough.

The other idea had been, simply to have himself stand closer to his captor, wand let him be his savour as well. Their tattered appearance only added to the sinister look. A bit like the bringers of death. Saint-Hilaire cursed silently. And he was so close.. to getting lost, though he did not know that hoping his army was close ahead. Far away, unable to aid him, and this, combined with the images in his mind of the cruelties of the Portuguese made for a very distressing time.

"Non." He spoke, though he was already taking steps backward towards the river. He felt the first coolness from where his boots had been resting in the stream. "...." He was quiet. The only place he could go if not for a musket showing considerate affection towards the Frenchman. "Non!" He spoke.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:57 am

"Well you won't need to fill this one up monsieur." Edward replied to Etienne's reponse. Despite his desire to capture this officer and bring him back to the British forces with him, he just couldn't think of how to do it without harming the Frenchman. Besides, it looked like one light slap could kill the man based on how he looked.

"I carry three, but as this one filled with claret, my water filled ones are with my horse." Not only did he have a canteen there, but he also had his rifled carbine as well, so if this light infatryman tried to run, he could certainly put a stop to it if he needed to, but if he could avoid harming Etienne, he would.

The bird sounds previously heard had not even phased the cavalrymen as he had heard such calls before during his explorations. What he didn't know was that it wasn't birds making the calls but somebody he wasn't hoping to encountering. His attention was completely focused on the French Officer in front of him.

“Deixa cair a espada,” came the demand from out of nowehre. What in blazes does that mean? Edward thought, but then he saw muskets aimed at him and Etienne, as well a blunderbuss.

He got the idea.

The sabre landed in the softness of the underbrush as Edward kept his hands where they could be clearly seen. Would they believe that he was a British Officer? He wasn't in uniform and he was conversing in French. Bugger came another thought. He looked across at Etienne, an enemy who, within a split second had just become an ally. The fear in the Frenchman's eyes was immense, and for good reason. Edward had seen the results of what the guerillas could do to the French. Both of their survival hinged on proving that he was a British Officer and the Frenchman is under the protection of Sir Arthur.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  boots on Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:49 am

(OOC – officially all dialogue spoken by the guerillas is in Portuguese unless otherwise noted!)

The tension in the Frenchmen’s stance was easy to see, his gaze shifting around the circle of men as he sought a way of escape. There would be none. He tried to back into the stream, saying a word that could be recognised in any language, even if it had not been one that all of them had heard screamed out often enough. Denial was clear in his voice as he repeated himself. “No.”

Josué reminded him of his presence with a hard shove on his shoulder, pushing the bluecoat back toward the other presumed Frenchman and away from the stream. “Sim,” Josué said, almost mildly, then again in one of the few words of French that all of the irregulars had learned. “Oui.” Beside him, Carlinho snickered, though his eyes were fixed on their two captives with a single-minded, reptilian fascination. None of the other guerillas knew the full story of what had happened to Carlinho; they had found the boy running wild and half-mad, and taken him in. “Non,” he mocked Saint-Hilaire, in a simpering voice. “Ah, non, sil voo play!” He caressed the edge of the sabre with his thumb.

Mateus did not glance at Carlinho, but his voice cracked out again. “Carlinho,” was all he said, but the boy immediately looked briefly at Mateus and subsided slightly, though there was no diminishing the malevolent hatred in his eyes. A shudder went through the youth’s body, like the twitch of a horse shaking off a fly. His breath hissed out between his teeth, but he did not move.

The second man had been wiser. Perhaps. The wisdom of choosing to surrender to Portuguese guerillas, rather than being killed on the spot, might be debated. He had dropped his sabre, and Mateus’ foot lashed out to kick it away from the two; it skittered across the ground to rest several feet from Sutton, in the water of the stream.

Mateus nodded to Josué and Joaquim. “Bind them,” he said briefly, and the two guerillas moved to obey, attending to the bluecoat first. The edge of Josué’s machete would be laid against Saint-Hilaire’s throat, while Joaquim had left his musket with his brother, and moved to secure Saint-Hilaire’s hands behind his back with a length of rough cording. Once the first man was bound, they would move on to Sutton in the same fashion.


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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:39 am

When the Portuguese touched him and shoved him forward, he stumbled. He had to steady himself, which he did, a few steps more to the centre of the human circle. He could not see a way by which he could escape. They were surrounded rather completely and he did not think that he could rely on the Brit, for help in the running.

Thinking to attempt a run, he weighed his choices again. Two muskets could have easily caught their target in him. They were well in range. A blunderbuss wouldn't miss either. And the men, they would be faster, and there were more of them, too many that he could outrun them all. He could imagine the chase in which, if not shot on the first attempt, he would be hunted as if by the wolves. One would take the lead, while the others would be well rested, and then when he was tired so another would take the lead ahead of him. And again, when that one could do no more, another. And if that was not enough, they could just herd him into a straight line, easy.

His thoughts were interrupted by the unpleasantly sounding tone of the boy. His French was not very well accented, even worse spoken, but it was not meant to be a polite sort of conversation anyway. He thought he heard him called by the name of Carlito. If that wasn't a Portuguese word , meaning stop it, then it was certainly the boy's name. Carl.. Carlito. Saint-Hilaire was rather certain it was the latter. He was mad, the boy. He appeared to be. Mad and cruel. He played with his blade and looked eager to sink it into flesh, French flesh. But why was he even thinking of the boy and what his name was? Oh, it was because his nerves and mind needed something banal to cling to, not the fact that he was in real danger. A danger of the worst kind.

The only weapon, but which could do them little good, was laid on the floor and now stood at a distance. He sighed. Not that he had expected it to have been of any help. He did not understand what Mateus had said, yet seeing the rope he was not left guessing for long. Had he wanted to move, the blade at his throat had convinced him to stay put and though his hands were stiff, and hardly eager to come to his back, they still did. What sort of strange sense of self perservation made him to be still and motionless? He knew that he would be killed, only a bit later. Only after he would have begged for it.

But still, there was that small trace of hope that he could survive, if he avoided getting killed this time, that he could avoid the pain as a miracle happened. He curled his hands into fists at his back and felt the rough cordage come about his wrists rather tightly. He twisted his hands a bit, testing the snugness of the bind. Not really made to be freed from, quickly. He turned so that he did not need to look at the mad boy. He felt chilled enough already. All without needing to see his demented, messed up expression.

"I'm under his protection..I've given my parole. You cannot take me." He spoke in French. His voice he tried to keep steady if for no other reason than not to appear just as afraid as he was feeling. "You cannot take me. He is a Brit!..He will tell you." He looked at the man he knew well to speak French as well as English.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:07 am

Edward heard the spirited words out of Etienne. Good. At least I have an ally... For now. The feeling of the rope burned as the rough hemp tore at the flesh around his wrists like the roughest of sandpaper rubbing them raw. The cold steel of the blade pressed against his throat providing an instant reminder of how quickly the tables had turned and how his life could end. It couldn't end now. Not like this. His wife Emma wouldn't survive on her own without him, she just wouldn't.

It was a struggle to keep himself together, to keep himself from either trembling or just plain crying. The fear was too much to bear. It could only be a few hours and he'd be meeting a grizzly and torturous end in a field stripped of his dignity. Edward felt the prickling sensation of tears build up behind his eyes, before blinking it away.

Wait a moment, he thought to himself. I'm an exploring officer, better yet, I'm a British exploring officer! I'm better than this! "The Frenchman is correct!" Edward called in English, "I am a British Officer! I demand that you release us at once!" The Portugese didn't seem to listen. "This Frenchman has given his parole and I am escorting him to General Wellesley himself! To add more to his case, he decided to to identify himself as he had dealings with guerillas before. "My name is Major Edward Sutton of the of the 7th Hussars. My papers are with my horse not too far from here." He hoped that would help.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  boots on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:14 am

The hands of the two captives were quickly bound, Joaquim drawing the knots rather tighter than they needed to be, the cording cutting painfully into their wrists. He tested to be sure it was secure by twisting a finger about, but the knots held good; a moment later he had stepped away, and Josué prodded the two men ahead of him, herding them towards Mateus. The blue-coated man spoke up at that moment, his voice steady but rapid, the words spilling out of him too quickly for the fear not to be obvious.

The second man, too, began speaking almost as rapidly; the traces of tears were in his eyes, given away by the glinting over-brightness. Both men were afraid, and trying to say something – but none of the guerillas understood a word that they were saying. To the Portuguese, Saint-Hilaire and Sutton were both uttering gibberish. They could tell only that they were speaking different languages, and Mateus knew French and English by the sound. But he had no further comprehension. He guessed the two of them were pleading for their lives, and trying whatever languages they knew.

He had no pity for either of them, whether they had spoken French, English, Spanish, or Portuguese. He felt nothing but hatred and contempt as he looked at the two.

Mateus looked at Saint-Hilaire and Sutton impassively until the men were done speaking; his face could have been carved from stone for all the expression it showed. “Eu não falo Inglês,” he answered, and turned away. The guerillas made to follow, prodding the two captives along with them through the forest; a short distance into the trees, Luiz joined the party leading Trafalgar.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:49 am

"He is English...Inglês." Saint-Hilaire insisted as he averted his gaze towards the other man. "Lui Inglês!.. Me , je suis Français." Was it understandable? He could not point to himself, he did not know why he had not claimed himself English as well. Yet it was perhaps, if he lied with one, the other could not save his hide. They would not believe either. But if he was truthful, perhaps.

He could do nothing but go as they guided him, pick his step, but not the direction. He was careful not to stumble. A trip would see him face first in the mud or stones. He tested the ropes wrapped about his wrists. Tight, as they were, they could not allow any room. They felt uncomfortable and made his fingers tingle just a bit. He twisted his wrist, or rather attempted it, and felt the pain of the rope digging in.

No, the ropes would not give, so he had to think of something else. Their weapons were no longer trained on him for they had them both as prisoners and possibly they could see no harm coming from the pair. And they also did not seem to believe them or want to listen to them, or perhaps they just did not know any French or English. Which was a problem he was not willing to wait for, to be solved. He had to act now, and as desperate he might have been to escape, he did not think things true. A chance did not wait for the indecisive.


He saw it then. When the horse had joined them. He had yelled out sharply, in hopes of scaring the animal, and at the same time thrust forwards and to the side, making a rather unexpected sharp turn, making for the opening between a two of the men. He ducked low, nearly loosing his footing and made a run for it.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Guest on Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:11 am

Edward knew it was hopeless trying to protest any further right now. The ropes pulled tighter at his wrists as he and his French companion were shoved along. The foul smelling Portugese certainly did not know how to treat prisoners. At least the French and British were somewhat civil.

He needed a way out, and if the Frenchman could come as well, that was a bonus, but where to go? Without weapons of provisions, he'd be dead very quickly. He needed Trafalgar back too. He was a good horse and could certainly get him back to British lines quickly. Oh to be back in Oporto! With Emma! Safe, and comfortable! But it wasn't to be. He saw Trafalgar standing under guard of a young guerilla. The look on his long face showed his confusion and fear, as he was only used to Edward or a British cavalryman handling him.

Then it happened.

A scream bellowed out across the forest. What is happening? Edward turned to see Etiennne break free of his captor and run towards Trafalgar! Was he trying to spook him? That would be hard as Trafalgar was hard to spook (that's why Edward liked the horse). The beast pricked his ears and merely stepped to one side and let the Frenchman run through to new gap.
Oh God no! Nonetheless, he had no choice but to help his new friend.

Quickly, Edward kicked back at the guerilla behind him and shoulder charged Mateus, hoping that it would give Etienne a chance.

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  boots on Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:49 am

The man was still trying to protest – and now seemed to be trying to claim that he was English, perhaps that they were both English, but their uniforms gave the lie to that. A desperate man might try to claim anything to save his life, however stupid a falsehood it might be, though. Mateus troubled himself to make no response, and led them onward; if they kept on babbling, he would order them to be gagged. He considered doing it at once, but the Frenchman finally seemed to have fallen silent as they made their way through the trees.

Luiz came from a different direction, leading a horse behind him - it must have belonged to one of these two. A fine, healthy creature, one that in another time Mateus might have thought of selling. It looked to be fine bloodstock. Now, he only thought of how much meat it would have. If they slaughtered it this evening, his entire band would have meat; they grew thin and unhealthy on the unleavened bread, old cheese, and thin forage that made up their daily rations. Sometimes they lived on no more than nettles boiled into soup.

Mateus heard a shout coming from behind him, and whirled; in an instant, he saw Saint-Hilaire had broken away from Josué and was dashing for the horse. Reacting with animal instinct he darted after the Frenchman, snarling orders to the others. The second man had flashed into motion as well, “Keep the horse!” he commanded Luiz. Joaquim and the others would handle the second man on their own – Josué was already running with Mateus after Saint-Hilaire, and Carlinho had broken away from the group as well and was darting around to head Saint-Hilaire off. Carlinho could move more easily across the terrain than anyone. He ran like a cat, lighter and faster than the rest of them, to pull ahead of Saint-Hilaire.

The young boy turned smoothly in front of the fleeing Frenchman, knife in hand – his sabre still at his belt. His face a snarling rictus, he bounded up and towards Saint-Hilaire, the knife seeking a target in the Frenchman’s body.

Behind them, Joaquim leapt forward onto Sutton’s back, his wiry arms reaching around the man’s throat to try to throttle him as he sought to bring him down to the ground. His twin brother brought the butt of his musket around in a sweeping blow for the man’s gut at the same time. Luiz was focusing on controlling Trafalgar.


Last edited by boots on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:03 am

The Frenchman had cursed Trafalgar for not running in fright, and cursed the fact that his arms were still bound. It was strange to run with his hands bound behind his back. He knew that if any of the men caught up with him, he would be unable to defend himself. He could ram his shoulder into the jaw or a chest of another, but more than that he could not do. He heard commotion behind himself but did not turn to look.

He had crossed some ground when he saw the young boy approach as swiftly as a feline coming about for its mouse. He tried to come out of the way of the swipe that the boy did at his person. He slipped on the loose stones, and saw his body come crashing down. There was a sudden stab of pain, which set him twisting away. He gazed at the source and saw the boy's knife just yanked from his thigh, where it had ended a moment ago.

He was lying on his back still when he twisted about to land a strong kick on the boy's face. He kicked out just after that first attack and again and then he repeated it, sharply jabbing his foot at the boy's chest. He couldn't get up without wasting some time on it but he could also not let the boy harm him. Already his trousers began to colour with blood.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  boots on Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:39 am

Carlinho liked to flourish the sabre, but he did not know entirely how to use it. The knife came to him far more naturally, and so in the madness of an instant the first thing he had reached for was the knife. The man fell in front of him, and Carlinho was on him in an instant, bringing the knife down in a glittering arc. It sank deeply into the back of the Frenchman’s thigh, and then he yanked it out again, raising the dripping blade up above his head.

The Frenchman twisted like an eel on the ground, however, flipping over, and his booted foot lashed out. It struck Carlinho in the face, sending his light body flying backwards. He crashed down on his back in the undergrowth with a sharp cry of pain, but scrambled upright a second later, blood streaming from his nose where Saint-Hilaire had broken it. He sprang for the Frenchman again, but the boot connected with his body this time, and Carlinho fell back into the undergrowth again, curling up around himself as a wave of nausea and pain swept over him, and then worse terror set in when he could not breathe.

It felt like something had dislodged within him, something spasming in his chest. The boy struggled to draw a breath that would not come; his eyes bulged and his mouth opened soundlessly as he curled around himself, struggling for air. Josué, arriving at that moment with Mateus, left Saint-Hilaire to the leader as he crouched down next to Carlinho. Uselessly, he asked the boy, “Are you alright?” He took Carlinho’s shoulders in his hands, cradling the boy.

Mateus spared only one glance for Carlinho. There was nothing he could do for the lad – no help he could give; Carlinho might have merely had the wind knocked out of him or the blow could have done something worse. The lad was dismissed from his mind. His own foot snapped out in a kick at the side of Saint-Hilaire’s head, before Mateus dropped down on top of the Frenchman, driving his knee for the man’s chest and his hands for his throat.


Last edited by boots on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:01 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:39 am

The blow that came to his head dazed the Frenchman. He had been about to turn again. It was an attempt to get to his feet, that was stopped in mid turn. The wound on his leg ached terribly, blood staining the dirty pant leg where the knife sunk in. It was fairly deep, and would have posed a problem if he tried to run. But even if his mind had been set on cursing himself through the pain to be able to run again, he was at loss of time to do so. Without warning he felt wind knocked out of him. The sharp pain continued with the pressure to his chest, and he could bet it was Mateus's full weight placed in that very spot.

He choked, pulling uselessly at his arms. They were pinned beneath him, and still bound tightly by rope. Even as he struggled to get his breath back, fingers curled around his neck. He kicked out with his good leg. At first it struck only the floor. Then he thrust it upwards thinking to land his knee in man's back. He had to breathe, and breathe soon. Continuing to struggle he engaged the wounded leg, giving some ground and support to the one that would strike out. No sound came from him, nor could there.
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Re: 26th May; Red Riding Hood gone wrong

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