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26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

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26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:34 am

WARNING : GRAPHIC VIOLENT CONTENT in latter posts.

Andres had left their new prisoner outside. He did not care for the man's comfort. If it rained, so let the Frog be wet. If the wind blew, well he could be cold as well. His coat had been removed and shared among the other guerilllas. What eventually became of it, would not be known to their prisoner, but surely anything of worth was to be used or sold. The rest of the few belongings that the lieutenant had were confiscated also. He had been searched for any weapons or anything else he might have hidden, in hopes of concealing it from any wishful thieves. He was barefoot. Andres had made sure of that. Taking the Frog's boots, he tried them and saw their size fit him comfortably.

Andres had also been the man to bring a rope to the prisoner, who was held by two men still struggling and protesting rather vehemently. It was he also, who bound him, tightening the ropes worse and tighter than they were needed, taking that small amount of comfort that the Frenchman could have had with that.

After he was done, he abandoned Saint-Hilaire and left to see whether the second patrol had caught anything of interest, and also to take some food which he was more than entitled to. Étienne's hands were bound together behind his back, the rope then coming around the tree. There was a pair of sentries present at the moment, though their attentions were more upon their own game than on the newly caught Frog. It was cold and the ground was wet, but Saint-Hilaire chose not to stand. His wounded thigh forced him to lean more to one side, while resting against the tree. His leg felt uncomfortable no matter whether it was stretched out, or half bent. He still shifted it around till he could at the very least, feel some relief.

He gazed at his shirt. The fabric was thin, the absence of his coat felt. He had tested the ropes several times, but the knots were still strong, and his wrists only rubbed worse. A few hours had passed since his freedom was whisked from under his nose. He could not feel anything but fear. Exhaustion though had done him a favour. Being too tired to think prevented him from making in his mind the worst possible scenarios of his near future. If enough time passed he could hope to figure out a way, however, to escape. He'd done it before and that gave him hope of success.


Last edited by Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:36 am



Jael had waited to approach the French prisoner until the sentries grew bored, and wandered away a distance to play a game, and then she had waited still longer until dusk fell. Her actions could be dangerous if they were discovered; she was always careful to avoid any suspicion. She had no love for the French, and she was far from a traitor to her people, but a Portuguese woman should show no compassion at all to a Frenchman. If suspicion fell on her the consequences would be hideous. She had seen women - usually those who had been a Frenchman's mistress, but even once a woman who had merely given bread to the enemy - punished for what they did. For that reason, she moved softly and cautiously.

She was no traitor. She wanted to see the man die; she shared the same hatred that drove Mateus or Andres, and she had the same cause. None of the guerillas would rest until either every Frenchman in Portugal was dead or driven out. But she could not inflict the same cruelty that they found such satisfaction in. Even Eliézer's explanation, as rational as it was - that the Portuguese had no other weapon but fear to use against the French - were not enough to justify torture to Jael. It changed nothing; it brought back none of the men that had been killed, it healed none of the scars that all of them had. Evil was not an answer to evil.

So she gave each man she could a chance at something easier, more dignified than the horrific death that her comrades would give them. An infusion of poison hemlock offered a quieter passing; an escape into first a drowsy peace, then they would slowly stop breathing. It left no marks. It could easily be assumed that a man had simply died of his wounds; Eliézer would not say anything different, and he was the only one who was educated enough to be able to guess. He knew what she did, and he left the choice to her; he was her own brother, after all. She had killed several men this way.

Some of the Frenchmen that Jael offered her gift would refuse it at first. They kept holding out the vain hope that they would escape, somehow, or that someone would come to rescue them. They would only choose to take it later, if they survived the first round of torture - once or twice a man would refuse the gift at all, holding out through days until he died. This one, however, looked as if he had already given up. He slumped against the tree to which he was bound, his head sunk down on his breast. A young man, in clothing that had been fine before it was bloodied and torn. An officer, then, of some sort; that rank would do him no favours here.

Jael looked down at him for a moment; he hadn't even registered her presence. It was possible he was no longer conscious. She struggled to master the impulse to walk away, and leave him to what awaited him in the morning. It was always difficult to offer mercy to an enemy, difficult to remember that the French were human, even the worst of them. Difficult not to see another man's face in place of this one. But she refused to become so warped that she wanted to see any man in agony.

She crouched down next to him, setting the tin cup of water down on the earth beside her. "Frenchman," she said to him quietly, in his own language. Gently, even. This was not something to be done too coldly. "Are you awake? Can you hear me?"

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:09 pm

"Frenchman," He heard a voice, so close, and it spoke in French. It was a female voice and it reminded him of home. There was a bit of accent, he noticed in the tone but ignored. It was French, it was female. He could not imagine for a moment, that it was one of those creatures of the Portuguese kind, coming to sink their daggers into his flesh. A small smile played at the corners of his mouth, with his eyes still closed for a moment. He must have dozed off earlier, when exhaustion gave him another favour. Rest.

But he was waking up now. And the voice that was beside him was more true than his dreams, more real than the images of his mind. She was asking him whether he could hear her. He stirred and his eyes slowly opened. The smile faded, replaced by a bemused look on his face. Confused he blinked at her, not yet certain whether he needed to fear her now. Already he glanced down at his arms, expecting a dagger there. He found none. He glanced at her other arm, then at her waist, not to see how she looked, but to see whether she had means to have a weapon attached there.

Finally his eyes strayed back to her face and he met her gaze with his, searching her expression for emotion, cruel or kind, or simply indifferent. "..You can speak..." He murmured softly, and sounded surprised.

"... French." He quickly added, else one would think he thought her mute. He was alert, yes, and he looked at their surroundings again. No other man. She was alone. While observing her guardedly, he pushed himself higher against the tree, adjusted the position of his leg again.

"I am awake. .. what do you want?"
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:06 am

The Frenchman stirred, and even smiled slightly; he had not been unconscious, she thought now, but sleeping. Sleeping? In this place? Exhaustion might have taken its toll, but that was quite a feat. When his eyes flicked open, however, and he saw her, the smile vanished. His eyes travelled over her warily, first to her hands, and then to her waist; there was a knife there, of course - his eyes focused on it, and she kept her hands where they were, one folded across the other over her knees.

"Yes, I speak your language," she answered, as his eyes darted around again, searching for anyone else. She was one of three in the camp who could. "Don't speak too loudly. Be easy, I am not here to hurt you." Reaching her hand to the side, she picked up the tin cup. "I have brought you water. What is your name, Frenchman?"

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:51 am

"..Étienne Saint-Hilaire." He murmured before he was fully awake. He would have rubbed his eyes had he his hands free to do so. They hurt though instead, feeling as though tiny ants ran across the tips of his fingers and stabbed their little mouths into the skin. "Lieutenant." He added as an after thought, more aware.

He shifted again, pulled at them and grunted as he slid to the side some, the bark of the tree not strong enough to keep him from slipping. The tree was round, rather than straight as a wall, and that gave him a smaller possibility to right himself.

He was silent, only then aware she was offering something to him. That he had not come to injure him. Water. That's what she said. Thirsty as he felt, he was eager to drink. Then though guardedly he gazed at her again. Did she mean to poison him. "..Whom do I speak to?" He asked, and touched his lips with his tongue, feeling t hem dry. Atleast one part of his body, which seemed unaffected by the general moistness of the ground.

He eyed the cup. His gaze shifted to her, then again to the water held in tin.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:57 am

She could see the thirst in his eyes as he looked at the water and licked his lips; he did not ask for it yet, however. It had been hours since he last had anything to drink. She knew very well that no one had tended to his basic needs; there was no point in giving a prisoner food or drink when he was simply going to die in the next few days. It was a waste of effort and of resources. He might be wary of it, but she guessed that he would give in despite his unease before long.

"Remedios Benhaim de Barrios," she answered. Not her real name, but only her brother knew that. She held out the water for him to drink, not quite touching the rim to his mouth, so that all he had to do was lean forward a little to take it. "Go on and drink; it is harmless. I only came to ask you two things, Lieutenant."

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:12 am

Étienne waited. Her introduction was quick and simple. He nodded. Remedios Benhaim de Barrios, as she introduced herself, held her tin cup close to his lips, yet not so that he could drink without a small bit of effort on his side. He observed the water, and saw that it was surprisingly clear. He could have expected to be given muddy water or perhaps a stale sort, that had been in its confinement fore several days over. This however did not appear to be such.

A small surprise. He waited for that small bit of confirmation. He could persist in not drinking anything at all, but would be a fool to leave the water to go to waste. Giving in, thus, he leaned forward and took a few quick gulps from the cup. He drank greedily, till not a drop was left inside, even nudging against it so that its angle was changed to allow more liquid to his mouth.

He lifted his gaze to her, and withdrew a little, again. The little bit of water that barely escaped down the corner of his mouth was quickly licked away. "..I do not have much, I can offer you." He paused and leaned closer again. "...Though if you were to free me,.. I could consider.." A quick bribe harmed noone and perhaps she was working in their favour. Perhaps a fool's hope, but one none the less.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:25 am

Men had asked Jael that before; they always hoped that she would help them. Perhaps they thought a woman would have a heart easier to reach. She did pity them, after a fashion, but she was not the rescuer that this Saint-Hilaire was hoping to see.

"There is nothing that you can give me," she said with finality, "nothing that will persuade me to do that." Hope should not be encouraged. "I am here to offer you something instead. If there is a message you should wish to send - to a comrade, a friend, your wife, your parents - if you choose to give me such a message, I will write it down, and perhaps one day when this is ended I will send it, and tell them what happened to you. It is good for one who grieves to have closure." She had several of those letters hidden where the other guerillas were not likely to find them. Most of the French soldiers had someone waiting at home. And those men and women, in a distant country, were not her enemies. Once they had driven the French out, she would send those letters.

She looked at him directly, seeking out his eyes with her own. "In the next few days you will die, Lieutenant Saint-Hilaire."


Last edited by boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:35 am

Her words silenced him. The play of emotion on his face was more evident to see than he would have liked. He caught himself then, and rather than sadness, than shock, his expression was that of silent resilience. He would be stubborn to accept this as his final choice or his final option. He pursed his lips and found himself straightening up further as if too proud to allow her words to diminish his confidence, or dash his hopes.

"..Perhaps not now. But I could offer you great wealth, when I am to return safely back to my people. Protection , I can offer you that." He spoke it as if he was indeed as powerful as a general, and had the same ties. But in truth, he had not, at present, even his men. "You would be wise to accept it." He tried, though his threats were faint and with little backing.

Her words returned to his mind, and he felt the uncomfortable feeling of dread and of desperation at them. How could she say that he could write his family that he was to die soon? Was she not aware of the cruelty that those words carried with them. Indeed, writing home to tell them of his death would enable them to find closure, but he did not mean to accept his fate and die. He twisted at his hands, even as the bonds held. If she thought that he would lie back and allow himself to be slain, she was miserably mistaken.

"..That, I shall be the judge of." He spoke, his eyes narrowed on hers. "..I will not die, as you suggest. madame. There shall be no need for that letter. None."

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:52 am

She saw the hopeful light leave his eyes, although it was replaced by a determination she had seen before. He had not yet given up. It might take a day or more before he was ready to take the choice; some men took longer, some men gave up quicker. Once in a while they did not give in at all, but she thought this one did not have that much strength in him. He was young, and bravado alone would not sustain him.

He tried to bribe her again, then to suggest a veiled threat; she did not respond to any of it. All of that she had heard before. It was nothing new. "If you change your mind, you have only to ask me," she said, calmly, when he had done.

"I have one other thing to offer you."

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:59 am

He looked at her evenly. Another thing, that she was offering, was it. He wondered whether it was as cruel as the first, and as useless to his escape as that. His threats had no effect on her, but it left him very little surprised it was so. She must have seen many men come here, to be tied as dogs. And must have had some letters written, and many offers made. He doubted that his men would have succumbed easily to the fear, though he could not find no fault in those that did. He had seen what the Portuguese would or could do. If men broke, before death, it could be forgiven.

They would be, but he did not plan to die. Not today, nor tomorrow, nor at the hands of the Portuguese. He managed to escape before, that thought repeated itself in his mind. He had done it with the British, he had done it with one man who was otherwise able to slay many of his men. It pained him to think of those deaths as he felt still responsible for them. But now was not the time to think of that. Despair would be permitted, when the place was right, and he was safe.

"....to untie my wrists?" He asked, and shifted around as if expecting that this would indeed be her offer.


Last edited by Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:17 am

Yes, it would be a little time before this man gave in. She felt some regret for that. He did not fully understand what was going to happen. Even with what she was about to say, she did not think he would understand until Mateus began his work.

"No. I will not help you that way." She was still not angry; she had already mastered that, and now she was as calm as a still pond. "Tomorrow you will be tortured; I am certain you have seen what is left of men after that." She said it very simply. There was no need to describe what it would be; every man in France had seen them before. The bodies were sometimes called the French fruit, from the way that they were often left hanging from trees as a warning. "It is not a good way to die."

"If you should wish, I will give you something to drink, first, that will let you die in peace. It would be like falling asleep, only you would not wake up."

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:30 am

"Do you think me a coward?" Perhaps. Was he? It had been sickening enough when he saw soldiers abandoned in such a way. Marks of torture left on their bodies, of which the state was abhorring. The longer they hung in such places, the more their bodies decomposed. They found burnt bodies as well, or those in bits and pieces. He hoped that the men died before they were confronted with such a fate, but doubted it. They heard screams in the night themselves. Knew that they were from the French, after all, amongst those screams there were pleadings spoken in French.

He found his throat unpleasantly dry. "..You won't see me tomorrow." He spoke simply and grit his teeth as he pushed himself up against the tree, straining his injured leg.

"I do not need your poison. I am no coward.." He could not show the fear then! "Kind of you to offer really... but if to whom you wish to give it,... then give it to your men. Quench their thirst!"He did not know whom he was to fear yet, but if all were dead, that choice would not be needed. Truthfully though, he did not expect her to even consider such a suggestion.

How could he give up so easily, and betray what he believed in and whom he fought for. To die of one's own will because one was afraid of death? It was a selfish act. He had tried to escape so often, because he meant to return to his people, his army. He would do this still. Not die, because it was easiest. His eyes appeared lively, emotion in them that of confidence and certainty, of anger and determination.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:49 am

She had seen several different reactions before. Resignation, sometimes. Even gratitude. Fear. Anger. This one was angry; he threw the offer in her teeth, with an insult along with it. She rose to her feet and looked down at him. All of this, too, she had heard before, or at least words much like these. Her tone was still gentle. She truly did not mean to do this cruelly; she had no wish to see or hear him screaming later. But it would not trouble her too much.

"I would not call it cowardice, Lieutenant, to wish for an easier rest. But as I said, you may change your mind and speak to me again, later; I will not retract what I offer." She drew back a step or two. "Until later."

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:00 pm

He gave her barely a nod of aknowledgement. Rather than return to sleep, he waited to be certain that she was far. Out of sight and out of sound. He waited even longer than that, till he was certain that she was not there, and that she might not wait for him to commit to an error himself.

Finally he decided that it was time and brought both hands close to the bark of the tree. He closed his eyes and squirmed a bit, to be closer. His hands were shifted closer to his back, to give the rope a better chance to be ripped. The motions of both his arms were abrupt and yet somehow subtle. He could not move them too far up or down but with persistence, he imagined, the night would allow him ample time.

He felt his skin rubbed in places, where it caught against the bark, and ignored that. A few scrapes would be the least he could sacrifice for freedom, really.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:16 pm



On the following morning, in the early dawn Carlinho had been able to creep up on a small rabbit that was not clever enough to avoid the encampment, nor quite wary enough to escape his quick hands. The young lad was as quiet as a cat, and as fast as one as well; he had pounced all in one moment. The creature had shrieked, a piercing and almost human sound, in his grip, but he struck it on the back of the head with the hilt of his knife and the cry was cut off abruptly. He was pleased with his catch; it would make a fine addition to the evening stew, even if it would shared out among all of the men.

Carrying the rabbit by the ears through the encampment, he passed near to the prisoner, still tied to the tree where he had been left. He was no longer being watched closely, the guard having felt free to wander away; after all, wounded, exhausted, and weak from blood loss and hunger, where could he go in the middle of an entire camp full of the Portuguese?

Carlinho paused his progress and crouched down on his heels. He watched Etienne for a little while, his eyes fixed on the man without blinking. His head slowly tilted to one side, and he even smiled. He could still feel where the man had kicked him. Now here was the man lying there helpless, tied up like a pig for slaughter.

But not afraid. His face was not afraid yet. Carlinho's eyes narrowed...the man should be afraid of him. He should not be calm, determined, certain. He should be terrified. He was going to pay for his crimes; he was going to pay for everything that had been done to Carlinho, he was going to pay for it and he was going to scream. He shouldn't be calm.

After a few moments, Carlinho drew the knife at his belt, running his thumb along the finely-honed edge. "I will cut you like a pig," he said to Etienne. Of course, the man would not understand; he held up the rabbit to demonstrate the method. "Like this." The knife was set to the chest at an angle, and he made a shallow incision down the front; he thrust his fingers in and tore the small hole further open, until the viscera were exposed as the small creature lay there in his hands. It had only been stunned, not quite dead, and at this it twitched in his hands; Carlinho lifted the knife again and struck it on the head. He had thought it was already dead; he hadn't quite meant to do that, and a flicker of guilt crossed his face.

He hid that quickly, though. The Frenchman would only be more afraid, now. Raising the rabbit, he snapped it in the air to dislodge the entrails; he ripped them out a moment later and threw them on the ground in front of him. He pointed with the knife to the rabbit, then back at Etienne, a smile flashing across his features.


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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:53 pm

Early mornings were usually the time, when he could wake to start another day. If the night had been busy, early mornings were a hated ordeal amongst men. Someone, who had but an hour of sleep, or two, had to have a rather good reason for that. Lieutenant Saint-Hilaire did. He wished to escape before morning, and that hour that he dozed off to sleep, was not even planned. It was just his body's way of telling him, that enough was enough. When he cought himself sleeping, he woke again. Forced his hands back to the motion of sliding across the bark to tear at the strands of rope. He did this with his eyes closed for a while. This only made him, slip back and forth into unconsciousness. Convinced that his body would accept closed eyes as a signal to sleep, he forced them open again. It was not easy. They blinked, they closed, they were forced open again. He struggled against exhaustion, but the battle was a loosing one.

He sighed and bit on his lip, trying to make pain be the factor to keep him awake. When he had used his wounded leg, it appeared to work somewhat better. The ropes were thick though, and the progress minimal but at least there. When the morning came his efforts have been close to being repaid, though as he tested the ropes, they did not snap just yet.

It was then a young boy appeared, and in the light of the incoming day, he recognised him. It was the little creature that stabbed him, and he caught himself a rabbit. His hands stilled for a moment. He pressed himself closer to the tree to hide them, and then rolled solely the wrists back and worth, hoping that the ropes would still be affected. What did the boy want? His arrival actually woke Étienne fully, adrenaline leaving him alert. He could not understand the boy's words. The rabbit was dead, or as near to. The boy waved with his knife, then pressed it to the animal's front. It twitched, announcing it had only been stunned. The boy smacked it on the scull and then proceeded to tear its entrails out.

It was a nasty, somewhat bloody sight, but at least the animal was dead and could no longer suffer it. He then saw the knife pointed at the rabbit and then at him. The message was clear. This wasn't a show of the boy's cooking and gutting skills. Saint-Hilaire had subconsciously moved his legs more upright to protect his belly as if he could actually defend himself in that way. Of course, he had already kicked the boy half way across the plain. He would do it again if the lad dared come near.

"....Impressed,.. might you cook him now and share the meal." He said as calm as he could manage. Yes, he was afraid and disturbed, but did not want a mere child have the satisfaction of seeing it. "I'm hungry." Which he actually was. But, if weakening their prisoner was their idea, then he could not expect to be fed.
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Étienne Saint-Hilaire
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:39 pm

The man only kept on looking back at Carlinho, calmly. Of course, he didn't understand Portuguese - he only knew his own filthy language. But he should have taken Carlinho's meaning, that should have been obvious. Was he a half-wit? Why was he still not afraid? His black eyes narrowed at Saint-Hilaire, and his smile vanished. The Frenchman's face was too calm and still.

"Do you understand nothing?" Carlinho snarled in frustration. He set the rabbit down on the ground and prowled closer, step by step, up to the bound Frenchman. Touching the tip of the knife against his sternum, Carlinho glared up at him. "Beg. Go on," he said, sharply, in Portuguese. "Ask me for mercy." The knife pressed in, piercing through the man's clothing to just barely nick the skin.

"Pitié." It was one of the few French words that Carlinho did know. It would not be hard for Saint-Hilaire to guess how he might know it.


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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:46 pm

It did not take long for the boy to come near, come across him and then to place his blade against his shirt, piercing it, piercing a little of the skin. The image of the gutted rabbit was clear in the Frenchman's mind. Would the boy then gut him in the same way? His breath quickened, though he struggled to keep his calm.

"...Boy. It would be wise that you remove your blade." He spoke shifting his leg a little. He did not dare make any sudden movements else the boy might trip and even if he did not mean to, impale him. Of course, the Portuguese mad child could as well think to gut him as an excuse then. He sucked in some breath. "Boy. Take that away." He knew the word all too well. The little brat wanted him to squirm. Not many would resist that demand however. "remove it.."
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:54 pm

The Frenchman's chest rose and fell in a quick, shallow movement underneath Carlinho's knife; he could not have dared to breathe deeper than that or else the knife would have cut him more. The first sign of fear. Carlinho's smile returned as he gazed up at the man, his stare once again cold and unblinking, his eyes not reflecting the smile at all. He wanted to bury the knife in the man; he wanted to see him die the same way the rabbit did.

As the man drew in his breath and tried to shift away, Carlinho followed the motion, the blade not once losing contact with the man's skin; he even dared to press a little harder. "What are your words for it? Aie pitié de moi? Ask me," he spat out the words.


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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:00 am

He did not know. Could this boy kill him? He could certainly slice him open and leave him to die. He breathed in shallowly yet sharply. The little cut was becoming worse. The blade was being pressed with some pressure. His breathing had become shallower as each rise of his chest would press into the blade, willing or not.

"Non." He gave silently, but not yet begging. " Stop." He murmured his eyes on the boy, hateful. Any moment he could expect the twist of the blade. A sudden jerk and the knife would be in. Perhaps it would slide lower and tear across his belly. "...please." To have a chance to escape one first had to be alive for it. Following suit of that rabbit was not the way to go.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:59 pm

Finally. At last he'd seen the man's eyes widen with fear and hatred. His calm mask had broken, and he was shown to be the coward he really was. Carlinho drew the knife away, rocking back onto his heels and keeping the Frenchman's eyes fixed with his own. He had won; he laughed triumphantly, running his fingers over the blade again in a caressing motion. The Frenchman was a coward. "Please," he repeated, imitating him. "Stop, please."

His mood shifted rapidly. The victory in Carlinho's eyes distilled into hatred again, and the laugh dropped away from his features; he canted his head to the side. "I am not allowed to kill you," he told him in Portuguese, knowing the Frenchman would not know what that meant. Mateus had forbidden it. Otherwise he would have already killed him, but Carlinho did not dare to disobey Mateus' orders.

"But I can make you beg, and I can make you terrified. You're afraid of me. I'm not afraid of you. You're afraid of me. I wish you understood what I say. But you are too stupid, and I can't make you understand. There's not enough time."


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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:05 pm

He still did not understand what the boy was saying. But, the child moved the knife away safely enough. It was time to act. He paused. His legs were just in the right place for action. He smiled. The boy certainly did mock him, repeating his words, then saying something else in his own language. He probably talked of a similar topic any how. He wished he knew what he was saying in part. If he had, perhaps he would have struck out at the boy a lot earlier.

Suddenly his legs kicked out at the boy's chest. His intention was to have him fly backwards. If he would get injured in that that would just be even better. The little bastard thought it was funny to play a knife against another's chest. Saint-Hilaire tested his ropes. So close, yet they still held. Just barely. He could already twist them a bit more comfortably. He could move them more than before, and that made him smirk. Just a little more, and the boy would have reason to run.

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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  boots on Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:44 pm

Carlinho felt dissatisfied. This Frenchman was afraid, certainly, but he didn't even know why he should be; he didn't know what he was going to pay for. He ought to know; they all ought to know before they died, but Carlinho couldn't tell them why. If they understood, then it would mean so much more when they finally died. His eyes bright and intense, he stared at the Frenchman like a snake watching a bird.

The Frenchman smiled. Carlinho's eyes narrowed - and then the Frenchman's body jackknifed, both his legs snapping out at Carlinho and striking him heavily in the middle of the chest. The blow knocked him backwards and winded him, but only briefly; he had landed collected upon himself in a crouch, and in a flash he was upright again with the knife out. In the anger that washed over him, he forgot Mateus' orders, and coiled himself to spring.



Eliézer siezed him by the shoulders and the boy's motion was abruptly arrested; he surged up against Eliézer's hands, snarling, but he could not reach the Frenchman. He strained against him for a few moments longer, but after that the fury had drained out of him, and he relaxed against Eliézer, no longer fighting him, though his eyes remained fixed on the Frenchman with no less hatred than before. The boy's moods were always this way, shifting like the wind.

Holding him a moment longer regardless, Eliézer said to him quietly in Portuguese, "Enough, Carlinho; don't forget what Mateus has said. You should go along and take that rabbit along to Remedios. She'll be happy to have it." He let go as he finished, and the boy turned to him, looking up at him silently before he crouched to pick up the rabbit where he had laid it on the ground.

"She'll be proud of me, won't she?" Carlinho asked, holding it out before him.

"Yes, Carlinho," Eliézer answered seriously; "I'm certain that she will - but go along quickly now." The lad still hesitated, glancing briefly back at the prisoner tied to the tree, before he obeyed, darting away like a small streak of greased lightning over to the cook-house that concealed the smoke of the breakfast fires where Jael was working.

He watched the boy go before he turned back to the Frenchman, who was smirking, a look of triumph on his face. An answering flash of anger swelled up in Eliézer's own breast, though his face and expression gave no indication of it, and this time he spoke in French, his tone even and still polite. "You should not think you have won something here, Sous-Lieutenant."


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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:36 pm

His momentary triumph was made to feel as much less so, when Eilézer opened his mouth and spoke in French. It wasn't his knowledge of French that put a damper to Saint-Hilaire's feelings. Rather, it had been the title that the man used on him. He had told them, that he was a Lieutenant, not a Sous-Lieutenant. It looked as if the cat was out of the bag.

He tried to conceal the recognition of this small fact, and rather to smile at the boy's complete failure. Not only had he not been able to take revenge at that moment because this man stopped him, but he had been struck badly and so the boy did get a little of his back. He was gone now, which left the new arrival and himself alone in the same spot by the tree. The guards must have been close by, but were probably more preoccupied in the small amount of entertainment that they were enjoying, to worry about a wounded prisoner.

There had to be more of them elsewhere, Saint-Hilaire guessed and remembered the ones that had remained hidden but till they came in range and had then appeared as if risen from the earth. "He is gone, with his pride bruised just as his chest,.. and I am unharmed..., indeed. I believe a small victory it must be..." He spoke to draw attention elsewhere. " He hadn't done anything in turn. " Perhaps the Portuguese man would let it drop. His mind raced with where and when he could have wrongly introduced himself as well as who could have seen him. These men could not have known the uniform and what it meant that well, but if they had had another prisoner, he would easily have placed his finger on what it was.

Or perhaps they were just playing and he had to only keep his head cool, calm and composed. Just as now. Still alert he observed Eliézer. Unlike before, he had now to struggle back up with his arms still bound behind his back. It took a lot of wiggling till he was more upright, with his hands still out of view. Keeping them there was not doing any good to the muscles of each arm, but he could not inquire in having them unbound. Not now, that he was nearly through the thread of rope. Just bid him time and then see how far he could run, that was his plan.

Before he could much speak though he heard his belly make his mark, and he cleared his throat to mask the sound and its dissatisfaction.
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Re: 26th May: Camping with the Portuguese

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