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30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

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30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:19 pm

The green plumed shako had tipped a bit further to the left, barely keeping itself in the more upright position. It appeared to come to life, when it slid a notch in the same direction and seemed to tremble and shuffle itself about. There wasn't a breeze to cause this, the leaves of nearby trees standing motionless on their branches. But the shako twitched again, and then thumped on it's round side. A chirp came from inside of it.A flap of cloth covered the gaping hole of the shako's one end. The hole itself stood at the end which was meant to sit on a rifleman's head and from it another sleepy chirp was heard.

Protecting its tenant from the sight of predators, the cloth was now making it so much harder for the little creature to come out. When she managed to peek under the heavy material she looked around and saw her 'provider'.. and 'mom' gone. It wasn't something unusual. The rifleman disappeared every morning, sometimes taking her with him, and sometimes leaving her sheltered but at his pack. She puffed her fluff up. It was cold. Her tiny little feet touched the ground, and hesitated. She disappeared back into the shako's warm interior and sat herself on the cloth that came somewhat dislodged in the fall. Her nest was made of smaller strips, that were folded and pressed into place, with some straw or bits of dry grass, that Pye sneaked off from the horse's feed.

When some time passed, she chirped unhappily again, driven from the shako by her little tummy demanding food. She peeked through the flap and then hopped onto the wet grass. Pecking at the ground once or twice she found it both too hard and lacking of feed. It was at that time she had dropped a bit of a reminder that chicks did more than eat. But she had not done it in the shako, which was certainly good news.

Lifting her little feet high and walking rather ungainly, she made her way to the pack. She could hop on it, really, but it was closed shut. No way to get in and eat. With that thought abandoned but with the high perch he saw her next possible source. There was another rifleman close by. And after him of course, a collection more, but this was one she knew well and he had fed her before. With a scramble down the slippery side of the knapsack, which had her bounce of the ground when the going got too fast, she made a run for the man. Open ground without protection could mean a lot of danger.

She pecked at Cotton's hand when she got there. More like it, she pecked at his sleeve not to see any reaction of him. With an unhappy chirp she began to climb. A dangerous path up the sleeve better be worth it! She ended up on his shoulder, moved further up to his collar, chirped there. Pecked at his chin and then at his lip, before beginning her scramble to his ear. He'll hear her then! He had to!
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:02 pm

Cotton was wrapped in his blanket, though it had slipped down a little during the night, and he woke only enough to reach for it and pull it up a little further, though he didn't bother tucking his hand and arm back under the coarse grey wool before settling down again.

Something tapped at his hand and tugged a little at his sleeve. There was a pause and then a tap at his chin and a light tug at his lip before an insistant chirp in his ear.

"What...?" He fumbled his hand up, brushing a ball of fluff which pecked at his finger. He blinked awake and turned his head, trying to see what it was, and was confronted with a ball of yellow fluff. "Oh. You. Mornin'." He raised his hand again to offer the chick a way down so he could sit up without dislodging it. "S'pose you want some brekuss, don't you? Where's young Pye got to, then?"

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:12 pm

Once the chick was back safely on the ground she chirped insistently, opening her beak in clear indication of her wants and needs. Cotton was correct. Breakfast was exactly what the young bird wanted, needed and demanded. She stared up at Cotton, as if that might hypnotize him into doing exactly as she wished. She did seem to recognise the name briefly, as she turned to look at the shako, which lay on the floor, tilted as she had left it. She looked at the knapsack lying crooked beside it and his blanket, folded neatly and ready to be packed away. Pye had already packed his things, and hadn't had time yet to take his mug out.

She chirped looking back at Cotton. Was it not evident where Pye was? Not here! Which meant he did not have food for her and was not feeding her. And that was an awful thing, really! She looked to the place where the kettle usually sat, when it wasn't above the fire. Running there she pecked at the dirt and the ground. She looked at Cotton again the final time and opened her beak unhappily. Pye would return with water, but that would take ages! She wanted to eat now.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:42 pm

Cotton coughed, yawned and sat up before stretching. It was cold, too cold really. He pulled his blanket round his shoulders before reaching for Pye's pack. "Lemme see, then," he said, unbuckling it. "He oughta have summat for you in here, 'cause I ain' t got anything yet meself, not till I go an' sort Brandy an' Phoenix out in a bit." He glanced over at the cold dead ashes of the small fire. "Seems someone's already up an' gone for the water, looks like."

He flipped open the pack to look for the grain that Pye had stashed away somewhere for his chick.

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:00 pm

Finally! These large featherless birds weren't as dumb as she had thought. Or atleast this one seemed pretty smart, and kind. The chick looked delighted when she saw Cotton unbuckling Pye's pack, and ran around, peering at the pack hopefully.

Inside the pack the things seemed all to be folded neatly and with care. His earlier service in the 33rd was evident in the way Pye's things had been placed, cleaned and kept. There was nothing all that personal in it though. Just the things that the army provided. The grain that Cotton was looking for was wrapped in a rag, which was then stored in his mug, keeping it both in place and somewhat protected from moist.

The chick chirped insistently, and one of the sleeping bodies close by stirred. The rifleman yawned and looked over his shoulder. "..morn'." He had said and stretched.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:17 pm

"Guten Morgen," Cotton said, finding Pye's tin mug, which had something wrapped in it "Looks like what we'm after," he said, winking at the chick. he pulled the cloth-wrapped package out, unwrapping it to see the contents. "Ah, that is just what we'm after," he said, pulling out a handful of grain and scattering it on the ground for the chick to forage after.

He dug out his own forage hat and looked back up to the sleepy Rifleman. "Sleep all right?" he asked, though he wasn't sure of the German. It wasn't easy, learning how another language worked, after all, especially when you were only just learning to read and write in your own.

He hoped Pye would be back with the water soon; he could do with a cup of tea. He started breaking twigs for kindling to get the fire lit for when the lad did get back with the kettle.

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:25 pm

Weber gave a faint nod in response to Cotton's greeting. Beside him, Schreiber pulled his blanket over his head, grunting something incoherent. Weber seemed to have understood as he laughed quietly, shaking his head. He turned to Cotton then, running his hand over his hair, combing out some dirt and grass from it. His hand came in contact with a beetle, which he flicked over the mound which had served them just a day ago as a fireplace.

"Ja, nicht so schlecht." He replied easily in German, his English much more accented, when he tried it. "And you?.. seems you've got hands full of work." He looked at the little bird. "Pye's?"

The chick was happily pecking at the floor, the riflemen nonexistant to her, till she was well fed and happy. She would like to have a drink after that. Some water from a canteen. Surely she could have the big man give her that too. Pye always did!
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:58 pm

"Aye, Pye's," Cotton said, trying to think what Weber's German had meant. 'Not so bad' he thought. He paused in breaking up kindling, to reach for his canteen, taking a mouthful of water to wet his mouth before tipping water into the palm of his hand and offering it to the little bird to drink from. "There, that's better, ain't it?"

He looked back up at the other rifleman. "Need to get some water in a bit, fill our canteens," he said, already thinking about what jobs he needed to do before they paraded to march off, and how he could fit them all into the time between waking and parading.

He waited till the chick had finished drinking before wiping his hands on his trousers, then reached for some more twigs to start breaking them up.

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:15 am

"Could just ask das neue guy to do it vor you. He's willing enough." It was Bachmeier that piped in. He was not very good at speaking English just yet, and often mixed English with German.

Schreiber threw his cleaning rag at the lad. "Do your own work. And don't let us find you without water again. It'll be worse than what the sergeant can do." This was spoken in German, and was actually serious. Schreiber had been annoyed with him ever since he discovered him asking the new lad for water. It had not been the first time either.

The chick drank happily, and did not mind the men talking behind her. Pye would come, and then she could act all hungry again. Till then, she was to use the hospitality given by the other riflemen. A perfect plan that could not go wrong. She chirped as she finished drinking and looked up, fluffing up and looking like one, very satisfied chick.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:52 am

"Could, if I knew where he was. Don't mind doin' it meself, though," Cotton replied. "Things work much better with everyone pullin' their own weight, of course." Though as he was the Captain's batman as well as being a Rifleman, he had more work to do than most of the others in the Company. He didn't mind, though; he was used to hard work. He'd started working when he was young and saw no reason to slack off, making other people run around after him.

He used a twig to clear the cold dead ashes from the small fire pit before beginning to build a new fire, ready for when Pye returned with the kettle.


Last edited by Gabriel Cotton on Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:33 am

Weber nodded, in agreement. He did not mind to help, if others were busy or had a particularly important problem that needed solving. But as Schreiber had hinted to, there were men who would have to earn the privilege first. He rolled his eyes at the heated argument that started in German, as Bachmeier thought to have the nerve to talk back. Schreiber was many things, but patience was not one of them.

Of course, this squabble began to stirr more of the green clothed men of which a pair decided to chuck their shoes at the arguing men. One bounced right of the top of Bachmeier's head which earned a all around cheer and a laugh.

"Shut it, Bachmeier. Some of us want to.." Began one, but the other just yawned and sat up.

"..'s tea ready yet?" Asked another, glancing at the churned ground. "..Weber, your turn to fetch the wood." Braun said, rubbing his eyes. "Cotton's doing a good job preparing the place."
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:15 am

Cotton ignored the argument. He couldn't understand more than a few words of German that the two Riflemen were speaking, anyway. He did grin as a couple of other Riflemen threw their shoes at the two quarrellers.

He understood the request for tea and shrugged. "No water yet," he said and tried to translate it into German. "Nein Wasser." He pulled out his tinderbox to light the fire anyway; they'd need to have it going when Pye did show up with the water.

He was being rather a long time about it, though and Cotton looked towards the stream hoping to see him coming back with the kettle.

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:46 am

There was no Pye however. Just the path, an empty one at that, that lead towards the stream, turned a few times and disappeared behind the few trees. The man who had asked for tea, understood and dropped back onto the ground, pulling his knapsack more comfortably under his head.

"He must've slept late.. taking him so long as it does." Weber murmured getting up. "Need any more of those, Gabe?" He motioned to the little pile built for the fire.

Schreiber and Bachmeier seemed to have ended their conversation. It left the younger man looking unhappy and sulky, but the older satisfied. He whipped his blanket a couple of times, shook it so that dirt fell of of it, and then began to fold and roll it. "Better he hurries up if we want to have tea with breakfast. And not miss the parade. "

Braun rolled his eyes, and said in German: "Give him some time. It isn't that late yet."
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:05 am

"Slept late? He ain't even here," Cotton pointed out. "Could do with some more wood, aye, if'n you don't mind." He was starting to get worried; Pye might go off at times, but he'd never go off for long and leave his chick behind. And it really didn't take that long to fetch water for a morning cup of tea.

He shrugged the blanket from around his shoulders and stood to fold it before rolling it and strapping it to his pack. Even Pye wouldn't leave his pack behind if he was going somewhere, which meant that he hadn't deserted - though he'd hardly be likely to do that when he'd been so enthusiastic about joining the Rifles.

But Cotton couldn't think where he might have got to.

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"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:23 am

Weber turned, and zigzagging between the men, of which some were seated, some were still lying, and others knelt as they prepared for breakfast and tea. They weren't worried about the young lad. He was probably cought up in conversation with another unfortunate soul who had gone to wake up early and had to fetch the water, or even wanted to refill his canteen.

He was alright, because there was no reason why he would not be. His pack was there, his chick was scampering about, barely avoiding being smothered under one of the packs. Braun cursed and halted it, allowing the little creature to run off to safety. "Bugger you, be careful." He said and yawned.

Weber was gone, off to fetch the wood. Schreiber observed Cotton: " Something the matter, Cotton?" The chick came running up to him, and looked interested in the little twigs that Cotton was poking at. With a loud chirp she ran at the twigs,sending the smaller ones into disarray, and making what was to be a lovely pile, somewhat less smart looking.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:54 am

Cotton reached to stop the chick, but not soon enough. "Ah, dang it," he said, and began rebuilding the small pyramid of twigs. He looked up as Schreiber spoke to him, and sat back on his heels to reply. "Ain't like Pye to have gone wanderin' off an' not come back already. It don't take that long to fill a kettle, after all."

He wondered for a moment where Weber had gone, but he was capable of looking after himself. His attention was caught by Cavender fumbling one hand out of his blanket to rub his eyes, before sitting up. "Any tea, mate?" he asked, catching sight of Cotton.

"Not yet. Pye's took the kettle to get summat water, but he ain't back yet," Cotton replied. Cavender frowned and began disentangling himself from his blanket.


Last edited by Gabriel Cotton on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:05 am

The chick seemed highly entertained. Cotton built the pyramid that she had just tore down on. It certainly looked like a fun game to play. Throw the twigs about again and see if the big man would redo them again. Was he building a nest? There was no way to make one really. And it was too small, if he meant to sleep in it.

She would have to bring it down again, wouldn't she? She prepared to go at the twigs on another little footed run, chirping happily when Cotton appeared distracted by another of the green coated men.

Schreiber waved the worry away with his hand and a confident smile: "Maybe he's met someone on the way. I don't approve of it, but he's young. So It is not completely unlikely that he had gone and distracted himself." He wasn't sure if he had used the correct wording and looked at Cotton for any correction of the spoken. The youngest one was also waking up, his mind set first on drink even before he climbed out of his blanket.

"Can't imagine how you manage to get so entangled in that." He said somewhat awkwardly, his accent thicker then.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:17 am

"Oh, you," Cotton sighed as he saw the chick run at the tiny heap of twigs. "Mebbe he has, at that, though we ain't so close to the baggage as all that, not up here," he said, deciding to give up on building a fire, for now anyway.

Cavender kicked the blanket down and wriggled out of it. "Dunno either," he said and frowned as he saw that there was no tea yet, and that it didn't look likely that there would be any tea soon, either. He hid a yawn behind his hand before standing up and stooping to fold his blanket and secure it to his pack.

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Gabriel Cotton
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:28 am

The chick gazed at Cotton, and it almost looked as though she wanted to challenge him into making that strange nest again. Seeing that he did not make a move towards the twigs she nudged and pecked a few out of the way. Still he looked to be preoccupied with something else. The little being ran up to him then and pecked him right on the little finger of the hand that was in reach.

Schreiber nodded: "I've seen him talk with one of the 95th riflemen before... and ...His pack is here, so I reckon the lad would not desert." He studied the whereabouts of it too. "He's got his sword bayonet with him." He added as an after thought.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:47 am

"We've all done that... Ow!" He jerked his hand away and looked down. "Why for did you want to go an' do that, you? I fed you, ain't I?" He looked at his finger. It wasn't bleeding, which was something. "Me finger ain't a worm, you daft bird."

Schreiber's words were reassuring, somewhat. "Has he got his rifle with him?" he asked, looking around for it. He hadn't taken anything else that Cotton could see.

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Gabriel Cotton
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Allhands on Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:03 am

Peggie Pye the chick, waited in anticipation. But nothing happened. Cotton's attention was back on Schreiber, while his attention had only been briefly on his finger. It did not bleed. The chick fluffed up and in the best resemblance of one, sulking, she settled herself down. She pecked a twig away, which had gone further than the rest and then just sat there, unhappily.

Schrieber stood to look. From where he was standing he could not see a rifle in place. Neither was it under the pack, propped anyplace, or covered up to keep it dry. It was just not there. "..That too." He nodded. " He took it with him." He shrugged.
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:37 am

Hagman pulled the blanket over his head and mumbled something that sounded dangerously close to a threat. All he wanted were some more minutes of sleep before getting up was inevitable! He would never understand how people could be so chipper in the morning.

When the talking did not stop and, even worse, seemed to intensify the old poacher finally sat up and rubbed at his eyes. He looked around and saw some of the Germans up and about. He turned to Cotton who seemed to be busy talking to... Pye's chicken?! Dan raised an eyebrow then ran his hand over his face and sighed before he got up and started to fold his blanket. Hopefully tea was already made, he thought and looked over to the fire. There was no kettle. He turned to Cotton.
"Gabe, 's someone gone ta fetch water already?"

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:40 am

Cotton heard someone addressing him and turned to see that the speaker was Dan Hagman of the 95th. "Aye, Zack Pye's gone for some. Though he should've been back be now, I think. He'm bin gone a while."

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And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
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Gabriel Cotton
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Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
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Location : Over the hills, and far away
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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:06 am

Dan stood and rubbed his hands to warm them. "I hope he hurries, then." He looked at the bird beside Cotton. "Tha' chick'll get all fidgety when he's away long." He looked up with a grin. "An' me, I need some tea to wake up propper."

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:13 am

"He ought to be back any minute now," Cotton said, glancing down at the chick. "You won't go wreckin' things again if I start tryin' to build a fire, will you?" he said, addressing the ball of yellow fluff.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: 30th May, Early morning: A morning as any other

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