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Keeping up Appearances

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Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am

Plaiting straw might not be the most interesting thing Tamsin had ever done, but it didn't need a lot of concentration and she could do it while sitting, while chatting or even, as now, while walking. And the more straw she plaited, the more she had for hat making, or for any of a dozen other things.

She'd heard something of what had happened two nights ago with the Riflemen of the 60th, but hadn't heard any actual details. She wondered if that was simply because the other women didn't want to talk to her. She couldn't blame them for that, of course. After all, who would want to associate with someone like her, a girl who'd had decent prospects and thrown them away to follow a soldier to the war, only to be thrown away in turn when someone else caught his eye?

Mustn't think about that, she reminded herself, and paused in what she was doing, hoping to catch a friendly eye. She wished she had someone she could talk to.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:15 pm

Woodmarsh was passing near the baggage train, an area in which he normally would not have had the slightest interest in lingering. But as he passed through, he caught a glimpse of one of the camp ladies nearby. One of the Guards' own followers, if he was not mistaken. Was she the one that--yes, he was fairly certain she was the one he had heard about. The one who had been tossed aside by her husband while he ran off with some Portuguese strumpet. What a shame, Woodmarsh thought. She seemed a fine enough woman. Not one who came from his social circle, but a decent-looking girl nonetheless. He certainly would not be adverse to making her acquaintance, and perhaps getting to know her more...intimately.

Seeing as she was walking along by herself while she worked on some sort of craft, Woodmarsh thought it was a fine opportunity to make himself known to her.

"Good day ma'am," he said as he approached, giving her as charming a smile as possible, "You look as though you could use some company."

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:31 pm

She glanced up as someone addressed her, taking in the young officer's impeccable uniform, his attempt at civility... and his slightly bug-eyed look. She might not have all that much experience, but this was the sort of man her mother had warned her about. If he had been nicer-looking, she might have ignored those warnings. As it was, she simply took another piece of straw to weave into the five-strand braid she was making.

Did she look that obvious? She supposed she did, and it wasn't as though she could even excuse herself and say that she was waiting for someone.

"Oh, no, zur. Just admirin' the view, zur." She was unable to prevent her Cornish burr from coming through, and wondered hopefully if it would put him off.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:58 am

It was already apparent that the girl was not thrilled with his presence. That was rather surprising to Woodmarsh, for he had always prided himself on being popular with ladies. Although those had been the ladies of the aristocracy. Perhaps the women of the working classes were not as easily impressed. Well, that did not mean he was ready to concede defeat. Instead, he grinned again and continued to press his advantage.

"It is a lovely view, quite true. But surely it would be even more enjoyable to share such a view with someone else..."

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Ship's Cook

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:29 am

Lovely view? It was hardly that. What was obvious, however, was that this officer considered himself a ladies' man. She shrank back from him a little, unwilling to let him get too close. "Surely a gentleman like yourself has a lady to share it with?" she tried.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:44 am

"Well now, that's where you would come in, is it not?"

Woodmarsh was still smiling, despite her obvious resistance. He knew he had the ability to change her mind. Surely she just needed some friendly persuading.

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Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:17 am

She shook her head. She was not flirting with him, whatever he thought to the contrary. "Beg pardon, zur, but I ain't no lady." She shifted her straw-plaiting to draw his attention to it. It ought to be obvious she was working on something, and no fine lady would spoil her hands with work, not if she knew anything about them.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:04 am

Of course he knew she was no lady. But what did that matter? He was simply looking for a bit of fun; it was not as though he was looking to marry her.

"You seem to me to be a fine enough lady. Any man who does not think so must be a fool." He paused, then added, "Your husband must surely be one to have let you slip out of his grasp."

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Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:22 am

What did he take her for? She was no whore, with drawers under her yellow petticoats, flirting with any man who'd pay a few pence to tumble her. She wished she'd never come on the stupid, pointless journey out here.

"I was the bigger fool to listen to all his promises, zur." And she'd be an even bigger fool if she listened to anything this young officer had to say.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:42 am

"Oh no ma'am, you are no fool. I can see that easily enough," Woodmarsh said with a nod. He could indeed see that, for she was proving to be much more difficult of a conquest than he had initially thought. "I'm sure you were simply caught up in the heat of the moment, and did not see him for the cad he truly was." He gave her another smile as he added, "I, however, would never wish to treat such a lovely woman in such a callous manner."

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:24 am

Oh, really? Nothing for it, but to lie through her teeth. "Oh, la, zur, I'm flattered, sure, but I don't want to... I don't think... Not after the way I've been treated, zur." Surely he wouldn't think she'd trust him - any man - after being so callously dropped the way she had been? And even if he did think that, what made him think she'd want him?

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:57 am

"Of course, I understand, and I cannot blame you for that." Woodmarsh nodded, a serious expression on his face. "I would not wish to offend you, ma'am, but surely you've given some thought to meeting another man? Surely you would like to have some company eventually?"

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
Number of posts : 114
Member since : 2010-06-29

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:53 am

(Agh!! Bad, bad Sharpie!)

"Eventually zur, mebbe. Only, well, I've got a lot to be thinkin' of right now." He had a high opinion of himself, thinking she'd be swooning all over him just because he had a bit of gold braid on his coat. Well, a lot of gold braid on his coat. "I dessay I'll meet a man one of these days." It wasn't as though she didn't have a whole Division of soldiers - male by defintion - to choose from, after all.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:12 pm

(No worries! I apparently fail at noticing replies myself!)

"I daresay you'll meet quite a few men," Woodmarsh said with a chuckle, "You are following the army, after all, which gives you quite the choice." He gave a her a knowing look as he continued. "I can tell that you're not only lovely, but a smart woman as well. I'm sure you loathe the idea of taking up with just any man. You want to find the right man, do you not?"

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Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:33 am

And just what made him so convinced he was the right man? He was leering at her as if he expected her to let him have her there and then - and she knew what he'd do afterwards, too. Give her a copper or two as though she were no better than a whore.

"That's as maybe, zur," she said. "Though I reckon I'll do well enough on me own. Got me work here, ain't I? There's allus folks wantin' hats to keep the sun off, 'specially out here."

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:55 pm

"That is a fine occupation to be sure." Woodmarsh glanced at the straw she was plaiting. "I cannot help but admire a woman who has such a useful talent. Your work will keep you busy, no doubt." He paused. "But a little assistance would not go amiss either, I daresay."

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Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:37 pm

Assistance? Was he serious? She glanced at him, wondering again what she could do to get rid of him. He was so persistent. The problem was, probably the only way to get rid of him would be to acquiesce to whatever he wanted.... but then, he'd take his pleasure and her dignity and leave her with, at most, a few coins. And very probably a baby too.

"Oh, la, zur. This be woman's work," she said, reaching for another piece of straw to weave into the braid.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:46 am

Woodmarsh blinked in surprise, then he began to chuckle.

"Oh my dear, I did not mean you needed assistance with your straw work," he said, "I was referring to the security and protection an officer could offer to a woman such as yourself."

Though he was beginning to wonder if his attempts to woo her were really in vain. She did not seem to be budging an inch. He enjoyed a challenge, yes, but nothing too trying. Perhaps he would be better off looking for another woman to work his charm on. There were quite a few others around the baggage train, after all...

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
Number of posts : 114
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:54 am

Security and protection? She nearly laughed. He couldn't be serious! An officer like him wouldn't offer a woman of her class any more security and protection than that afforded by a quick tumble somewhere out of the way. And after her experiences with her husband, she no longer trusted a man to offer anything much more lasting than that.

"I'm flattered, zur, really, but I ain't the right girl for you, zur," she said, wondering what on earth she had to do to get rid of him. Short of slapping him - and persistent as he was, he hadn't really done anything to warrant that. Besides, he was an officer and that was just... No, she couldn't do that.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:18 pm

The way things were going, it seemed the lady was correct. Perhaps she was not right for him. Woodmarsh was growing a bit tried of trying to woo her. Even though he liked a good conquest every now and then, he much preferred an easy target. This lady was not proving to be that sort, and he was on the verge of giving up.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, ma'am," he said, shaking his head sadly, "I do not mean to trouble you. I only wished to offer you comfort in light of the careless way you have been treated by your husband."

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
Number of posts : 114
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:09 pm

Her husband... He was a useless lump of lard and she was much better off without him. Well... That wasn't strictly true, and the wounds were still a little raw. But letting this officer - any officer! - under her skirts was not going to help. It'd probably make things worse, in the long run. Men just wanted one thing and when they'd got it, they left.

And Tamsin knew she didn't want that, not again.

"Thank'ee kindly, zur, but I can look after meself, zur."

Please go, she thought, wondering if he would ever give up.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:30 pm

Clearly she was not going to give in, and the more he looked at her, the more he decided she really was not worth the bother. What on Earth was wrong with her? In his experience, most women practically fell over themselves to get the attention of officers. He could not fathom the mind of a woman who would give the cold shoulder to any officer, much less to him. But he was getting tired of fighting a losing battle, so he thought it best if he went and looked for another, more eager recipient of his attentions.

"Yes, I believe you can," he said, giving her a much less charming smile than before. "Well ma'am, if you wish to be left alone, then I shall leave you to your work. I only hope you shall not want for companionship too badly..."

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Gareth Woodmarsh
Ship's Cook

Species : Lieutenant; 1/2nd (Coldstream) Guards
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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:47 am

Finally, he seemed to have got the message. His smile this time was a lot colder... obviously he was used to having women falling all over him, but just because he had a sash and a lot of gold braid was no reason for Tamsin to join those women. He'd find himself someone to warm his bed tonight, she was sure.

"Thank'ee, zur," she said again. Companionship... A chance would be a fine thing, but she wasn't going to whore herself out, and she saw precious little chance of anyone wanting to take up with her properly. She would have done better if she'd stopped in Lisbon and tried to find passage on a ship home.

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Re: Keeping up Appearances

Post  Gareth Woodmarsh on Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:06 am

Hmph. Silly girl. To think that she could handle herself without a man to protect her. Clearly she was not worth even the effort he had already expended on her. Besides there were plenty of other women around the baggage. There would surely be several others willing to take him up on his offer.

"Good day to you then, ma'am," he said, giving her a curt bow. With that, he turned and walked away, having spied a group of ladies not too far off.

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