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29th May, morning; near the wagons

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29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:56 am

Polly shifted her hold on the pot she had in her hands, feeling the rough metal and soot scrape against her palms. A bit of the water she was fetching back to camp sloshed over the side, dampening her apron and skirt, and she squeaked in surprise at the cold. "Oh!" She hoped she hadn't lost too much - it was heavy lugging a pot of water back and forth, and the last the she wanted was to have to repeat the process.

A slight mewling noise sounded from her right, and she turned in confusion, wondering if she was being laughed at. "Hallo?" There was no one in sight, but the noise came again, and it seemed to Polly that it came from just under one of the near supply wagons. Carefully setting down the pot so as not to spill any more, she wiped her hands on her apron, leaving a streak of soot in their wake, and crouched down to peer underneath. Then, smiled. A cat had picked the spot for a litter of kittens.

"Hallo," she said, keeping her voice soft and soothing. "Naow, where did ye come fram?" She stretched out a hand, drawing back slightly when the mother hissed at her. Hopefully she could entice the cat to let her bring it back to her campsite. Anything that dealt with rats among the supply wagons was good in her books, and the kittens were sweet-looking as could be.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:28 am

Tamsin was doing her best to mind her own business. She really didn't need to start associating with folks below her station, though it had led to an uncomfortable few nights. She had no idea about lighting fires out here, or any of the hundred other things that the women around her seemed to take for granted.

She drew her shawl around her and stepped behind a wagon to try to get out of the wind. This whole thing wasn't what she'd expected when she'd followed her soldier to the war, and she wished again that she hadn't married him, hadn't put her name into that lottery, hadn't drawn a To Go ticket.

There was a small cry nearby and she turned, frowning, wondering what had caused it. She moved cautiously around the wagon, not wishing to interfere in something that wasn't her business, but determined to find out what the reason was for the small cry.

There was a mostly-full pot of water on the ground and a girl next to it, crouching down to peer under the wagon Tamsin was standing beside. She bent down herself, to find a cat suckling a litter of tiny kittens. Tamsin softened at the sight. They looked newborn to Tamsin's eyes, and the other girl stretched her hand out towards the mother, who hissed tiredly at her.

"That ain't such a good place for them to be borned," Tamsin said, her Cornish burr gentle. She wasn't quite sure if she was talking to herself, the cat, or the other girl.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:35 am

Polly started slightly when the older girl spoke, not having heard her come over, but her eyes were on the kittens and she sounded kind, so Polly braved a tentative smile. "Better'n some," she offered. "No' many safe places for 'em wi' t'army about."

She paused, hands wringing slightly in her apron. Polly had never been much good at conversation, words sometimes tripped on her tongue, and she was often intimidated. But, being so far from home, it was nice to talk to the other women about. "I en't ne'er seen ye afore. D'ye travel wi' the 33rd?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:05 pm

The other girl jumped a little when Tamsin spoke. She obviously hadn't expected anyone to be so close. She smiled, though it was a little shy, and Tamsin smiled back. "Seems that way, don't it? All them men about."

She wasn't used to talking with people like this. But the other girl seemed nervous, and Tamsin's mother wasn't here to give her a scolding for associating with people of a lower class. And when it came down to it, she was lonely. "The 33rd? No. I came out with the 2nd Guards - the Coldstreams." Though she was hardly with them now, not after... She shruged, cutting herself off mid-thought.

"Them poor things. B'ain't such a good place for they down there, not when get moving," she said, stooping to look at the a little closer.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:19 am

Polly looked at the kittens, stricken. "I hadn' thought o' that." She looked back up to the older girl, easily accepting her to be wiser. "D'ye think we could move 'em somewheres?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:15 pm

Maggie was just coming back from visiting Joe when she saw the two young women huddled over something on the ground. She approached them with curiosity. "What have you got? Oh, kittens! Bless, they're so sweet and tiny! How do you march with them?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Lucy Weaver on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:33 am

There was a quick intake of breath from next to Lucy. Davy had stopped still and was watching a little knot of women that had gathered around one of the wagons. Lucy paused as well, and tried to see what it was they were all excited about, but whatever Davy had glimpsed, she hadn't seen. He trotted towards the women at once, however, and Lucy followed a little more slowly.

"They's reet tiny!" Davy commented, pushing his way up in between Maggie and Tamsin without bothering with any sort of manners. He had a wide smile on his face as he watched the little creatures nursing and kneading their paws against their mother.

Lucy stayed a little further behind, outside of the circle and peering over them in order to see what it was. "Wha' is? Wha' hev ye go' there?" she inquired, mildly curious.
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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:30 am

More voices made Tamsin turn, and someone pushed between her and the other girl who'd come to see. The accent made her blink.

"They's newborned kits," she said. "Don't crowd 'em, they'll get frighted." She wondered what they could put them in; they couldn't leave the poor little things here, not when the army would be on the move soon. They'd die, left out in the open - even with the mother there to look after them. It wasn't a warm spring, not by any stretch of the imagination.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:35 am

"Whose are they?" Maggie asked, looking at Tamsin and Polly.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:08 am

Polly blinked, looking at the large crowd of people that had gathered around the kittens with surprise. She recognized one of the girls, and the boy, from seeing them about the camps, but wasn't sure of any of their names.

"I don' know," she said to Maggie. "They was jist unner th'wagon, y'see." She paused, hands once again wringing in her apron. "Mayhaps we shid find somewheres warm fer 'em?"

(oc: sorry for disappearing for a wee bit - back now)

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:47 am

Maggie smiled at Polly as an idea came into her mind. "Maybe they could ride in a wagon? I know where there's a comfortable wagon where they wouldn't be disturbed. Anyone got a basket to put 'em in?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:21 am

A basket? Tamsin shrugged. "Dunno. Mebbe one o' the sutlers has summat we could use." Putting them in a wagon sounded like a good idea. She looked at the woman who had suggested it with a little more respect. She had some fading bruises on her face, but seemed a nice enough girl under them. Maybe she'd just had bad luck in choosing a man, like Tamsin had?

"Or..." She could rearrange her own things and let them have the basket she kept her straw in. "Wait a moment, I might have zummat meself."

She reappeared a moment later, holding a sturdy basket with a handle. "Here, try that, with a few rags or zummat in it."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Lucy Weaver on Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:37 pm

Kneeling down to the ground, Davy reached forward towards the mother and kittens. When she hissed at him, though, he drew his hand back quickly. "Hoo ye gan te ge' them in the skep?" he pointed out, looking over his shoulder at Tamsin.

He wanted to touch the head of one of the tiny kittens. They looked soft as anything, and he wondered if they were as velvety as they looked. "Ah nivvor saw nowt so wee an' so bonny," he said, quietly, then turned red. That had been a sissy thing to say about a bunch of kittens.

Lucy wasn't about to volunteer ideas, but she eyed the basket and then the mother. She'd probably go in on her own, if they left her alone with it - where she was, wasn't exactly the best place for a litter of kittens, and cats usually had a sense about that sort of thing. Lucy wasn't sure why they were all making such a fuss about it, it was just some kittens. Davy seemed to be fascinated though, for some reason.

She hovered there on the edge of the circle, watching silently.
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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:51 am

Polly looked at the basket, and then back up at Tamsin. "I may have some wee scraps wi' m'sewing," she offered. "Some as is too small fer patches, like."

She watched Davy reach out for the kittens and stop. He was quite right - how would they get the kittens into the basket? "Mayhaps iff'n we let 'em be? Me da always says mousers is best left alane, 'n when ye lures 'em in wi' food they don' catch rats anymore."

It was more than Polly ever really said in one go, and she blushed. "Mayhaps, is all," she finished at almost a whisper.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:12 am

Maggie smiled at Davy who seemed captivated by the kittens and embarrassed at the same time. "They are awful sweet. Maybe when they get bigger, big enough to leave their mam, we can all have one," she suggested, primarily for his benefit. "If they don't already belong to someone, that is. Which I reckon they don't, since no one's about." She looked around, and then looked back at the young woman who had spoken. She seemed to be the expert on cats, Maggie decided.

"You can't just grab 'em and put 'em in?" she asked. Maggie herself had never spent much time with animals except for the butcher's dog in her childhood and now the donkeys and mules of the baggage train.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:16 am

Polly looked at the mother cat, which was still glaring suspiciously at the group of outsiders around her kittens, and shook her head. "I don' think she'd like that verra much," she said, biting her lip. "But mayhaps iff'n they got inna th'basket themselves, we could bring 'em to th'wagon ye mentioned?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:19 am

Maggie grinned. "All right. I hope the surgeon won't mind. It's the surgeon's wagon I was thinking of, the wagon for his patients. A friend of me husband's the only one riding in it right now." She watched the cat who made no indication of moving toward the basket. "I wonder if we should go away and hide or sommat."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  boots on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:50 am

Davy watched the mother cat for a little while longer; he'd glanced up quickly at Maggie when she suggested they might all have a kitten, but he didn't answer that. He'd already sounded ridiculous once. Cooing over cats was for lasses like these, not for him. Although...Pye had a chick, didn't he?

"Ah can try an' ge' her, if ye aa' waak awa' an' give us some room," he suggested after a moment. "Then ye aa' won't ge' scratched up if she divvent leik i'. An'...an' Ah'm good wi' moggies." He said that last defensively, as if daring any of them to laugh at him.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:25 am

"I don' know," Polly said uncertainly. She twisted her hands further in her apron, and glanced around the group of women, then back to Davy. "D'ye think she'd let ye?"

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  boots on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:33 am

"Mevvies," Davy answered, "Ah divvent knaa. Ah can try if ye le' us."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:03 am

Polly faltered slightly. "I don' know," she said again, hoping someone else would weigh in on the decision. She was willing to let the boy try - after all, it would be very nice to save the kittens - but at the same time, was worried about him getting scratched or something else going wrong. Decisions were never something she was comfortable with. Not at all.

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Maggie Cotton on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:13 am

"Come on then," Maggie said cheerfully. "We'll go an' watch from over there."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:29 am

"Don't think you oughta try an' make 'em, like," Tamsin said, uncertainly. "Don't think thet mother'd like it too much if you was to touch 'em, not so soon after they's borned."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  boots on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:58 am

"Ye wad best gan canny," Lucy warned Davy, though she backed off along with the others. He was set on this, and if he got scratched up for his pains, it was probably a good lesson for him. She'd warned him, and a cat couldn't hurt him too badly.

"Ye think they wad be better left theor?" Davy asked Tamsin. "The cart's gan te be movin' on soon an' dear knaas wha' happens te moggie then."

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Re: 29th May, morning; near the wagons

Post  Polly Smith on Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:54 pm

That certainly was a question. The cats did not seem to want to be taken, but they very likely should not be left in the open with armies on the march. They'd like as not be trampled!

"I dun think that would be verra good, d'ye?" Polly asked, also looking to Tamsin.

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