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30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

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30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:00 am

By her second day with Woodmarsh, Jenny had firmly established a reciprocating relationship with his batman Michael Christian. He appreciated the female companionship and she appreciated his power over his master's purse.

In the morning just before they marched, as soon as she was able to get away from Woodmarsh she rushed to the baggage area where Maggie was and bought a basket of fruit, paying the highest price that her friend cared to ask - an orange, a plum, some strawberries and a small green melon.

It was not until noon that she was able to ride (on her horse borrowed from Woodmarsh) up to the surgeon's wagon to deliver her bounty. They had stopped for a rest, but Newbury had not emerged from the wagon. She spoke to one of the surgeon's assistants. "I have something for your patient. Shall I give it to you?"

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  boots on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:37 am

Tom Fletcher had avoided watching the golden-haired woman as she rode closer to the wagon; he'd watched her for a brief while, but he didn't want to be caught staring. She might make fun of him. Or someone else might. However, he looked up curiously from his strict contemplation of his shoes as the woman reined in and spoke up; it took him a moment to realize she was talking to him. A pretty woman. Talking to him. How did you talk to pretty women? He blushed darkly, the flood of colour in his face making the spots he hated so much far more prominent, and his Adam's apple bobbed.

He held out his hand for the basket. "Sure. Uh. Um."

Fletcher stared up at her wide-eyed and struggled for words. "Which...one?" he finally managed to get out, stammering.

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:27 am

She smiled sunshine upon him. "Newbury. Rifleman Newbury. Thank you very much. How's he getting on?"

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:39 am

Voices outside the wagon. Newbury blinked sleepily and remembered just in time not to stretch. He had been well-dosed with laudanum late the night before. It was finally wearing off, leaving him with a drowsy sense of ache.

He yawned, carefully, and listened to the hum of voices. One of them belonged to Fletcher, one of the surgeon's mates. The other was feminine and more familiar. Newbury closed his eyes. Jenny Ross. He couldn't think of any sensible reason for her to visit, unless her officer had cast her out. Which wasn't likely, really.

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Joe Newbury
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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:41 am

There was a continued murmur of voices, and then the door to his wagon opened and her shining head peeked in.

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:45 am

Despite himself, Newbury groaned at the sudden introduction of light to his previously-comfortably dark world. He would have rolled over to tuck his face away from the brightness, had it not been for the bulk of bandages on his side. Instead, he forced himself to shade his eyes with one hand so he might see.

"Help you?" He asked, unable to keep from sounding a little groggy.

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Joe Newbury
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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:58 am

She grinned. "I brought you some fruit, Joe. How are you feeling?"

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:04 am

Fruit. He recalled the orange that Maggie Cotton had brought him and wondered if this was how women expressed their good wishes to the temporarily invalid.

"Been better," Newbury grunted, struggling to sit up. Even as ambivalent as he felt about her at the moment, it was poor manners to remain lying down. "And... you?"

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:20 am

"I'm all right. I'm safe." Her smile faltered as he tried to sit up in his pain. "No, don't move if it hurts. Just lie back and take it easy." She crawled in and sat next to him so he could see her without difficulty. She grinned down at him. "That's better. Poor old man, they'll be marching you in a sedan chair next."

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:26 am

He hid his surprise when she came into the wagon with him, basket and all.

"Maybe," he allowed, not knowing what she meant by sedan chair. The basket caught his eye and he nodded slightly toward it. "Bein' with officers got its perks, eh?"

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:32 am

Her face instantly took on a guarded expression. "Yes. Yes it does. Safety for one."

Hell, what a horrible thing to say. She had not meant it to sound like an accusation against him and his efforts to protect her. She added belatedly, "Those former provosts won't be thanking me any time soon."

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  boots on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:38 am

She smiled at Fletcher, and Fletcher felt something crackle in his brain, and then he stopped thinking at all. With a wide, incredulous smile back at her, he looked at her with wide eyes, and couldn't think of anything to say at all. Rifleman Newbury was forgotten; he wasn't important anyway, was he? She tried to get him to respond and Fletcher tried to form some kind of answer.

It came out as, "Hwaahhh, ummmmmm, sunny day!"

That appeared to be the end of her patience, because she went in the wagon herself, basket in hand, leaving Fletcher confounded. After a few moments, however, he scrambled in after her, just in time to hear what the Rifleman said. Being with officers? She was with an officer? His face fell even further.

"Oh," he said.

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:42 am

Safety for one. He might have guessed. It was, he reminded himself, for the best, but he resented it all the same.

"Aye," Newbury said blandly, his gaze sliding toward the surgeon's mate who had come up into the wagon too. Suddenly any desire to speak his mind vanished. Not with Fletcher in earshot. It was probably for the best, though.

"Been keepin' all right otherwise, I hope."

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Joe Newbury
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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:03 am

"Yes." She glanced at the awkward surgeon's assistant without interest, and she frowned gently but not at him. The drug made it difficult to understand Joe's mood.

"Well, I guess we're about to start moving again." She slid herself to the door and gave the surgeon's mate a faint smile but did not look back at Newbury.

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:09 pm

That was good, he supposed. Though he doubted it could be any different, with her having an officer to look after her. Not for the first time, Newbury wondered just how he could possibly compete with it. And not for the first time, he arrived at the same answer. He couldn't.

"Probably," he said, privately hating that the surgeon's mate had so blithely intruded. If he was in any fit state for it, he'd give the stupid bastard a thrashing. "Thanks... for the fruit."

There was more he would've preferred to say, but not with the idiot Fletcher sitting there staring at Jenny like a starstruck puppy. Newbury resisted the sudden temptation to kick the surgeon's mate clean off the back of the wagon, just on general principles.

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Joe Newbury
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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:18 pm

She nodded and jumped down from the ladder without another word. She found Christian waiting for her outside with her horse. "Thank you, Mike. We can go now."

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  Joe Newbury on Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:27 pm

Newbury felt a hot rush of disgust, mostly directed at himself. Stupid. Stupid. What the hell was wrong with him?

The temptation to kick Fletcher returned, but he settled for offering a sharp "Piss off" to the man before he pushed himself carelessly back down against the leather mattress. This movement caused a nice spike of pain but he didn't care. What he wouldn't give to be fit enough to rejoin the company right now.

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Joe Newbury
Commander

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Re: 30th May, noon at the surgeon's wagon

Post  boots on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:30 pm

Once she had gone and his tongue was untied, Fletcher had just been about to point out to Newbury how very pretty the woman was, and didn't he think that she had the loveliest hair, and her rear end - but the man's 'Piss off!' stopped his commentary in an untimely fashion. Fletcher glared at him. What was his problem? He obviously wasn't even grateful for the fruit that she had brought him. She should have given it to Fletcher instead. He'd have been properly obliged, that was for sure.

It just wasn't fair.

"Well, you have a real nice day too," he said to Newbury in an irritated tone, and left the wagon huffily.

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