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Slacking off in the Sun

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Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:14 am

It was a nice day, too nice to have be stuck belowdecks, running around for the fat old purser. Terry had put up with Mister Foxley's increasingly short temper and threats that grew steadily worse as the day wore on. By the time he'd been told he'd been late back from dinner, despite having to clear up after the eight-man mess he ate with, and receiving yet another box on the ears, the boy was feeling resentful and rebellious. He took advantage of running yet another errand to get away from Mister Foxley and slip up to the foc'sle to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

He hadn't been on deck for long, studiously keeping out of the way of the sailors, even those off-watch, and his temper had improved with the joyful feeling of Terpsy's motion through the water, the lift and plunge through the waves raising his spirits enormously. This was far better than having to remain in the stuffy lantern-lit darkness of below-decks.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:25 am

The young Tar yawned and stretched his arms a bit, rubbing his temples. He touched his hair, finding it messier than he had hoped to. He found a few strands sticking out at odd ends, and a few lying flat and free along the side of his face rather than actually being tucked away in the tight queue. He spared a glance at his slops. They had been rather clean when he first got them, but now they appeared to need a good doze of pipeclaying or wash.

Work was tiresome, though he was proud about himself, earning some of his keep and his position. He had participated with the unfurling of the sails and learned a few tricks of the trade from Chase. It was still hard, tedious work, most of the time. He yawned and began to walk forward without thinking much where he was going. It was so all till he came to bump against something, or rather someone. He blinked and was surprised he did not need to look high up. He had meant to find a calm, quiet space away from the other Tars, and did not expect someone else to be there as well with a similar plan in mind!

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:35 am

He'd been looking where he was going, but couldn't duck out of the other boy's way in time, and was walked into, solidly. He stepped back, feeling a little nervous when he saw who it was - the other boys had told all sorts of stories about what had happened during de Guarde's first evening aboard, and he'd seen what had happened to Cob Chase. Though, he'd also taken part in their skylarking, and wasn't a middy any more anyway. Still.

"I, um. Er. I's sorry," he said, somehow thinking that de Guarde still somehow had some influence, despite wearing the same sort of rig that Terry himself was wearing... though it was in much better shape than Terry's.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:51 am

"...You's not been lookin' where you was going." De Guarde's voice was autorative and harsh at first, but then it seemed the boy had not thought to be that unkind really. He rubbed his chest and looked at the young lad sceptically. "....uh... Don't need to look that nervous 'bout me! I ain't going to eat ya." He paused and thought he could not continue a joke without the boy looking at him weird so he rather kept his mouth shut.

He stuck his hands to his sides and then tugged at his shirt to straighten it.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:21 am

Terry bit his lip. Why did the boy always seem to try pushing other people around, even though he wasn't a midshipman any more?

"You make folks nervous," Terry pointed out. "Insistin' on talkin' thataway, like it's their fault and you's still a middy." Which you ain't, he added pointedly, to himself. Though it seemed the other boy looked somewhat nervous himself, from the way that he was tugging at his shirt.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:34 am

"...I know I ain't one. .nor's you. " He mumbled and frowned. He was not in the mood for a fight, when he had just come up there to enjoy some sun and some peace. ".... I'm a Tar though,n' you's a ship's boy." He paused and then shrugged. He had meant he was rated able, and was even more, but it did not quite come across that way.

"..anyway... You of watch?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:43 am

"So? Never said I was one." Terry drew himself up to his full height, which was admittedly not much. "Ship's boy third class, me, an' that's only 'cause I ain't sixteen yet. An' I'll be an' Able when I gets to eighteen." Not that he knew for sure when that was.

He shrugged. "Off watch... could say." It was hardly likely that Mister Foxley would venture up on deck. Anyone would think the pusser hated the sunshine and the fine topsail breeze that Terpsy was sailing under. He might get another clip round the ears later on, but who cared? He could survive that.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:54 am

"That'll take you a while." The boy crossed his hands over his chest. "How old are ye anyway?" He asked and tilted his head a bit to the side. ".. Lets shuffle off over there, so's we're full out of t' way." Why he was even deciding to converse with this boy was beyond him, but since he had already decided not to pass without a word, he was stuck with doing the opposite.

He arched a brow and more quietly added: "An so.. your could say can be safe ter be.. without notice." He added not sure if Button was really of watch or not, but certain that the clue hid in what he had just said.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:06 am

"So?" He shrugged. "Dunno. Twelve. Thirteen, mebbe. No idea." He frowned. "Ain't no sense in stayin' on deck. Too many men." He glanced up at the foretop. "Here, you off duty? And what was that you jus' said?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:08 am

"..I'm off duty. Quite." He grinned and followed the boy's gaze to the foretop. "Hm... race you up there?" He asked, but sounded more nervous than if he had suggested that Button does him a favour that was not legal in the terms of ship's laws.

He shrugged then, not explaining what he had just said. If Button caught on, fine. If he did not he could pretend he did not insinuate anything also.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:15 am

"Race? You's on!" Button grinned and leapt for the rail, grabbing the shrouds to help him up before scrambling up them like a monkey. If de Guarde couldn't keep up, that was his lookout and he shouldn't have bothered issuing the challenge in the first place.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:24 am

But De Guarde had liked that kind of a challenge. He loved climbing, did not mind the heights and was prepared to climb dangerously close to falling, if it meant his speed was greater that way. He leaped after Button, and picked his pace.

He did not want Button to beat him to the top even if the boy had been first on the rail, and thus had a bit of an advantage. "Careful you don't fall!" He grinned and hauled himself higher.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:32 am

Terry contented himself with sticking his tongue out at the other boy, saving his breath for climbing. He headed for the futtock shrouds, disdaining the lubber's hole as beneath contempt, scrambling into the top by the same route a grown sailor would use.

"Who's fallin'?" he said, once he'd got safely into the top. He perched on the edge, holding onto the topmast shrouds and swinging one bare leg.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:40 am

"You is, fallin' behind." The lad had just managed to pull himself over as well, ignoring the lubber's hole just as Button did. It was beneath him to use it, when he could do well enough going over the more dangerous and yet more 'sailor' way.

"I see why they call you a monkey though." He grinned. "Or maybe.... that's just a powder one, ugh!" He said playfully.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:46 am

"I's a powder monkey in battle an' a nipper when raisin' the anchor. Mostly I's a ship's boy though." He shifted position a bit so that he was sitting with both feet dangling over the edge of the top, and wrapped his arms around a couple of shrouds, resting his chin on a ratline. "So... how come you's an able, 'stead of a boy too?" he asked. "Oughta be a boy, your age."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:51 am

"Seems I'm more able n' you." He shrugged following the example. He gazed at the sea that surrounded their ship, glittering softly as it reflected light. "..Well. Dunno. I used to be a middie... is' wot' they decided, you see. N' I help out in t' shrouds, right 'side Chase." He nodded lightly, sounding almost proud as that station meant something.

"Why would you think I was rated that, eh?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:07 am

"Oughta be same's me, bein' the age you is," Terry retorted, swinging both bare legs. "How old're you anyhow?" he added, curiously. "Wouldn't have thought they'd let you up aloft when makin' sail - not when raisin' anchor, anyhows. Don't need that many folks up here then."

He shrugged. "Could say as you ain't good 'nough to be a powder monkey like me," he added cheekily. "Not knowin' which way to run when, you only bein' a middy afore."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:15 am

"I've been a middie n' you saw, I can climb better'n you." He stuck his tongue out at Button somewhat childishly. " I wos' learnin' it better. Nobody complained. N'.. I'll be fifteen real soon." He nodded sharply.

"So I ain't really that young as you. I've been in t' navy longer too... so's I know much more 'bout it...even as a middie." Which made sense to have him rated as he was. Not a stinking boy third class.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:30 am

"Terpsy's me first ship. 'M a S'ity boy, me." He looked up at the other boy. "You don' have to talk wiv me if you don' want. Ain't anyone makin' you, arter all." There was something about de Guarde's sharp movements and tone of voice that made Terry wonder if the other boy resented talking with him. He didn't care. He'd got away from the pusser and was determined to enjoy his illicit free time, at ll costs.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:36 am

"..I wouldn't be talkin' with you, had I loathed it. Ain't daft that way." He leaned back, gazing at the sky instead. "..Jus' dunno if you want summat out of this or if yer jus' being friendly. Is all. Is fair ter be nervous of that, ain't it? Terpsy. She's my second ship. First.. that I was a Tar in. Though that's not summat ter brag about at all." He gazed to the sea again. "Why'd you ever get on a ship any'ow. Couldn't have been pressed. Could ya. Ain't a career for a boy not of t' sea either."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:38 am

"No, but you might not've wanted to keep on talkin'," Terry pointed out. "They don't press boys, well, not 'less they's gone to sea in a merchantman or the like, not really. On'y... you heard of the S'ity?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:45 am

"City?...if yer mean that. .. I know what a city is." He shrugged. "You do know wot' I am..or was...though by blood still am really?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:55 am

"No, I meant the S'ity - the M'rine S'ity." He exhaled - it wasn't really a sigh. "See, there's these folks in Lunnon what fink folks oughta be useful .So they take boys what don't have no fam'ly an' give 'em clothes and stuff an' send 'em to sea, as ship's boys. 'S what 'appened to me, that." He shrugged. "Here, you oughta sit down. Ain't so easy talkin' to you when you's up there, y'know. And you ain't goin' to fall off, not if you sit like me, by the shrouds."

He shruged, swinging his legs. "I know what you is, right 'nough. Most middies come from folks wiv a bit o' money, don't they."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:07 am

"Marine city?...." He listened on and decided it had to be some sort of institution in which Button found himself. This institution then sent him to sea. And here he was. "You dun' have any family?" He asked slipping down to seat beside Button. He did not feel like pointing out he knew how to sit up so high, and had done that before, perhaps not as often as Button, but certainly enough times not to fall.

"Yes. I am. My folk ain't poor." Nod slowly. "..ain' boastin. Mind!"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:19 am

City? Who had mentioned a city? Terry did sigh now and leaned his head against the rough tarred hemp of one of the shrouds. "No. S'ity. Um..." He tried again. "S'syty." It sounded like 's-sye-tee' the way he said it, but he couldn't make it any clearer, not with his lack of education. He shook his head as de Guarde sat next to him. "No. I's from a foundlin' home, see. Ain't got no folks at all, not that I knowed of, anyhow."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

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