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Slacking off in the Sun

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:08 am

"No, I din't," Terry said again and thought for a moment. "Can't think of any... Oh yes, I can. Put butter on Mister Foxley's spectacles once. He couldn't work out why he couldn't see his books that day."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:54 pm

De Guarde could not help but chuckle at that." He didn' realise he had butter on em? Silly sod." He grinned and began to climb. "Wot' do ye want ter achieve as.. with t' work n' uh.. career on t' ship?" He asked peering at Button. He knew a boy that was not to become a midshipman had not so much choice as what he could become and how high he could climb.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:53 am

"Dunno. I'll get to be an Able Seaman, I know that. Might even make mast captain - captain of the foretop or summat." He scrambled up and into the fore topmast crosstrees, and shifted over, sitting cross-legged on the platform with an arm around one of the shrouds to secure himself there.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:46 am

"I see. N' after t' war. ..If they let us off. What do ye think you'll do?" He looked ahead, thought he caught a glimpse of something, but realised it might've just been a bird. "..I mean.. eventually t' war might end, an' ships will be.. discartin' t' crew n'all."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:05 am

"After the war?" Terry gave de Guarde a blank look. "We bin fightin' since afore either one of us was born, reckon the war'll still be goin' on after we's both old and grey. Prolly be dead'n'buried a long time 'fore it's all over." He shifted his position a little, getting a bit more comfortable. "If it ain't, reckon I'll go to sea in a merchant ship or summat - they allus need sailors, them. And there ain't no danger of gettin' pressed out o' a merchant ship in peace time. So I've heared, any'ow."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:36 am

".. That's right better pay, wot' I heard. If you go on a merchant ship. Even now. S' why not many people like ter be workin' in t' navy. Bad food, n' not such a good pay. wot' they say." He Studied Button. He sat himself down and sighed. "...Button.... can I ask you summat. Jus' if you don't know. .don't think i'm accusin' you or thinkin' you know. I'm jus' asking couse.... nobody knew so far. An'.... that askin' got me in trouble before, but... if you dun' get upset, I don't get in trouble neither. Right?" It just made it sound worse than it was.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:56 am

"Yeah. Though there ain't so many men and, well, there ain't the guns so they don't need so many men. Means there ain't the prize-money too, o' course." He looked at de Guarde curiously. "What you wanna ask, then?" he queried, cautiously.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:06 am

"...You...d' you remember t' night when you's had to turn t' ship 'round.. .couse there was a man overboard?" He asked, trying to sound as nonchalant as he could about the question.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:18 am

"Ye-es," he said uncertainly. That was the night of the captain's dinner, when the other boy had still been a midshipman and had bullied Johnny Stenhouse, giving him a bruise that had lasted for days afterwards.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:23 am

".. How much... do you know of that night?" He inquired still rather vaguely. He wanted Button to know that he was not accusing him. How could he? Button was too small, too weak and he did not appear a boy with a mean streak the sort that would cause somebody else a death. But above all, Button was just too small and he was certain he would have felt the different of height just as well.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:26 am

"I know... I know there was dinner in the Cabin that night," he said, hunching his shoulders a little, glad they were way up in the fore crosstrees. "I know you wasn't 'appy with Johnny, an' then you was drunk. An' I 'eared that someone tried to do for a middy in the night."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:31 am

"..There was two." He thought it was two. Nobody much believed him and some supposed it was he who stumbled out of his hammock and managed somehow to cross the railing, perhaps thinking he was going to the heads. But he knew he was not. He knew it had been someone else.

"Did you see anyone missin'...then , when t' alarm went up? Anyone that should'a been there?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:45 am

He shrugged. "It was dark an' there was a lot of folks wanderin' around," he said slowly. "But I did see summat that night..." He trailed off, trying to remember what it was he had seen. "I was... I was in me 'ammick, when someone come bargin' past, knocked ag'inst me - I thought it was someone to get me up to go on watch."

He'd sat up, reaching for his clothes and realised that there wasn't anyone else stirring, so he'd lain down again.

"Was a bit later when two men come past, carryin' summat 'tween 'em," he said. "Dunno what I thought it was, bein' I was 'alf-asleep at the time."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:49 am

"Two men?.. Did you see their faces? " The boy straightened and tensed. This was the first time that he had found someone who actually had seen something. He doubted it would mean anything to the officers, but the little speck of hope was there.

"Why did you not tell it to the officers, Button? Or me? You saw me inquiring, surely you had heard me looking for the culprits, and ..even if you did not want to speak to me. The officers.. you ... why did you not tell them?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:55 am

He shook his head. "No... and I din't know what it was I'd seed, see. Only, I bin thinkin' about it since - and there was all that fuss about a man overboard jus' a bit later. I din't know it'd 'ad anythin' to do wiv that."

He made a gesture of helplessness. "An' you think anyone'd lissen to me? You cracked or summat?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:03 am

"If you tole me, they'd 've lissened to me. I was a middie then. I had t' influence... well more n' you at least. " He frowned and peered at Button. "..Can you remember anything, anything at all of what you saw?...couse I think you saw t' two men who'd done it for me. There's no reason why someone would go abouts at that time of night.... carryin' stuff."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:13 am

"I didn't know what it was I'd seen - and I forgot 'bout it, what wiv all the excitement of launchin' the boat an' everythin'," he said, feeling defensive. "Was two men... Um. One was taller'n the other, was wearin' a striped waistcoat, I fink. T'other one 'ad... 'ad..." He closed his eyes, trying to think. "'Ad a queue tucked in 'is belt. An' there was summat strange 'bout his knife..."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:17 am

"Wot' was strange 'bout his knife?" He looked sternly at Button. Here was the sole witness which could find the culprits. It was just a boy though. Not many would believe a boy's word over a man's. And not many would care, whether the culprits were found or not. Some possibly even supported their deed.

"Could you,... Button. Could you point them out fer me?..if you saw 'em again. Would you know 'em by sight?"

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:29 am

He frowned, thinking back. And scrambled up to stand, holding to the shrouds with his left hand while he put his other hand down to the back of his belt. he shook his head and frowned, turning around so he could switch hands. "His knife. It warn't on the right like most folks have it," he said slowly. "Was on the left instead. He was a thin sort of man, too, him. The other cove was bigger built. Seemed... rougher, sort of." He shrugged. "Dunno. Could try."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:32 am

He did not want to tell Button that if he identified the two men, they would most probably be hanged and he could feel responsible for it. They had to pay. By what Button described the man could have been one who used his left hand more than right. If that was so, surely there weren't as many on board.

"Please do, Button. 's .. if you can.. .it will mean a great deal an'.. it'll be right... just right!

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:41 am

He bit his lip. That'd mean talking to Mister Bush at some point, and that was nearly as bad as talking to the captain.

"A'right, I'll do it," he said, dropping to sit again, though he really didn't want to have to talk to any officer, especially about something as bad as accusing someone of trying to commit murder.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:46 am

"You.. will identify them too? Right?" He wanted those men to hang. As much as he may have learned that some were innocent of their criminal predisposition, those who have nearly had him drown were deserving only of the punishment that came with an attempt at a middie's life.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:06 am

He nodded, reluctantly. "Yeah. I will." He didn't want to... but neither did he want a murderer - or two - running around loose. Even if they hadn't managed to actually do it, they'd still tried to. They'd hang for it, of course. He shivered a little at that thought.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:08 am

"Good. ..Button. Can you point them out ter me now?.. I won't talk t' them. I swear to that. Don't dare t' do that.. but till you report it.. i'd like ter know who to avoid." And if the boy could point the out now, he was assured that he knew who it was. If however he could not... then the search would take longer and the success might be less certain.

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

Post  Terry Button on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:24 am

"I... I ain't sure... it was awful dark an' I was 'alf asleep," he said, a note of uncertainty creeping into his voice. "I'd do me best, like, but I ain't prop'ly sure of who they was. Not right this minute, anyhow."

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Re: Slacking off in the Sun

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