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With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

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With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:48 am

(Again, a thread that will follow Captain Vickery and his men around. Unless they are in a stated place, other players can meet them in their bivouac here.)

Captain Vickery sighed. He had finally caught up with his paperwork, including sending a list of his men's requirements to the QM of the 62nd. His batman, Rifleman Cotton, was out buying the last few bits and pieces he needed himself, and he hoped the man wouldn't be away too long, though if he fell in with any of his mates there was no telling how long he'd be away. And it was their last night in Lisbon, so he was entitled to say farewell to people.

He was a little concerned about how his company would be able to fit in and work with the 62nd, who were Line and therefore unused to Riflemen. Working with Lieutenant Sharpe was also going to be interesting; he had heard stories and rumours about the man, but was trying to reserve judgment until he knew him a little better.

What little he did know led him to think that Sharpe was a remarkable officer, though not everybody who spoke of him did so in complimentary terms. Some of them, indeed, were downright scathing. Vickery had seen very little of him, but anyone who could bring thirty-seven men across country in the dead of winter had to have some good qualities.


Last edited by John Vickery on Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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John Vickery
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:01 pm

By God, he was doing a lot of leg work today! But Padstowe had promised he would talk to Vickery for Cotton's sake, and talk to Vickery he would. He and Edrington had parted ways outside the gaol and now he was heading to where the Rifles captain was billeted. He was uncertain whether Cotton would be there as well, but either way it did not matter - having seen the general orders for the Second Division it was now more urgent than ever that he delivered his warning; the 3rd Company of the 60th containing Sharpe's Rifles, combined with the 27th and 33rd could prove an explosive mix,and he did not wish to be the man responsible for not treading out the fuse whilst he had the chance.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:56 pm

Vickery wondered where Cotton was. He had just finished updating the Order Book when there was a knock at the front door. A few minutes later, the Portuguese house-owner opened the door of his room to admit a redcoat officer, who Vickery recognised as Captain Padstowe of the 50th.

They had exchanged a few words in the Mess before now, but he could think of nothing that warranted a visit from the man, and he thought his curiosity mus be written across his face as he stood up to welcome the man in.

"Captain Padstowe, isn't it? To what do I owe this pleasure?"


Last edited by John Vickery on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:01 pm

"Captain," He shook hands with Vickery. He saw the curiosity on the young man's face a decided not to beat about the bush. "I must apologise for my intrusion, but there is something I wish to discuss with you. Something of a... delicate nature regarding one of your men."

God, but Vickery looked so young. He was, what, 24 years old? A full decade younger than Padstowe and the Exploring Officer suddenly felt very old.


Last edited by Jonathan Padstowe on Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:34 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:07 pm

Vickery frowned. "I hope they haven't been causing you any trouble. And will you take a seat? I'm not sure where my man has got to, or I would offer you tea. Or would you perhaps like something stronger?"

Vickery was young for his rank and position, but he'd joined the Army straight from school and applied himself to learning his chosen trade. And he was very new in his rank of captain. He sometimes wondered if he'd grow old in it; he certainly couldn't imagine transferring to another regiment just for a promotion.


Last edited by John Vickery on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:11 pm

"It is about your man I wish to speak," Padstowe said, taking a seat at the table. "Gabriel Cotton. I fear that he may be in severe trouble and not realise it."

Cotton probably did realise, but probably did not realise how much trouble and the phrasing was calculated to have more of an impact on Vickery.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:21 pm

"Cotton?" Of all his men, Cotton was the last one Vickery would have suspected would get in trouble. He gazed at the other man in sheer disbelief. "Gabriel Cotton?" He blinked and gathered himself together by a sheer act of will. "What sort of trouble and how serious?"

If the man were under arrest, he needed to see him just as soon as possible,


Last edited by John Vickery on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:27 pm

"It is not imminently serious," Padstowe said, seeing the shock on the young captain's face. "Not yet, anyway. Do you recall hearing of the court martial that was held last week for a private in the 27th? A young Welsh lad accused of assaulting Lieutenant Sharpe, who I believe will be marching with you?"

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:31 pm

"Yes. Cotton told me of it. I believe the accused was an acquaintance of his, and I gave him leave of absence for the day."

Though what that had to do with it, he did not yet see. But Captain Padstowe would surely enlighten him, and he took some comfort in the fact it was not imminently serious.

But not imminently serious, yet more serious than Cotton realised... If the truth were known, his curiosity had been piqued. He leaned forwards, hoping Padstowe would elaborate.


Last edited by John Vickery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Location : Leading from the front
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:37 pm

There was a knock at the door, and Cotton put his head round. "Landlord said you had a visitor, sir, an' I wondered if'n ye wanted anythin'."

He noticed Padstowe and shot him a smile of recognition, but waited for Vickery's answer. Vickery looked at Padstowe.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:42 pm

At least Vickery was acquainted with the circumstances, which meant that he would mercifully not have to explain all that. He was about to speak when there was a knock and Cotton put his head round the door. Padstowe knew he would not be able to explain things satisfactorarily with the man present. At least not at first.

"If you could wait outside for a minute, Cotton?"

He waited until the rifleman had put the door between them before he continued.

"Lieutenant Sharpe was convinced that he was attacked not by Private wiliams," Padstowe said, leaning back. "But by the chief prosecution witness, Sergeant Hakeswill of the 33rd. You see, Sharpe was before he received his commission a rank and file soldier in the 33rd, and Hakeswill has a grudge against him."

He paused to reorder his thoughts.

"A serious grudge; one that has lasted over a decade. As a friend of Lieutenant Sharpe I acted as defending officer and got Williams acquitted - the evidence was unsatisfactory anyway - but in so I believe I have angered Sergeant Hakeswill and made him more bent on revenge."

He paused again.

"Hakeswill is a dangerous man who has made bearing a grudge an artform, and I believe as William's friend Cotton may be in danger from him."

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:43 am

Ah. Sergeants bearing grudges were to be avoided by the rank and file if possible, but Cotton's position as Vickery's soldier-servant would make avoiding the man tricky, if Vickery needed an errand running to the 33rd for any reason. And while he knew and trusted Cotton, other officers would take a Sergeant's word over that of a private soldier every time.

"Do you have any idea what sort of tactics this Sergeant Hakeswill is likely to employ?" he asked. It would be well to be prepared for any eventuality.
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:55 am

"Before it has tended to be generally small things; stolen goods or equipment, beatings, threats, floggings, blackmail. Usually pre-meditated but he is just as much an opportunist as he is a strategist. Very rarely would he resort to outright killing, as he prefers to get others to do his dirty work for him."

Here Padstowe scrutinised the younger man's face intently.

"Because what you must understand is that Hakeswill is the embodiment of Iago. He is a foul, twisted and crafty man, but because he appears pristine in his uniform, pulls off drill like a clockwork soldier, toadies and never puts a foot wrong in front of an officer he gets away with murder. Which Sharpe believes he has done several times."

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:01 am

So, he was a dirty gutter-fighter who'd toady to the officers to get his own way, and because they saw the perfect Sergeant, he could get away with anything. An extremely dangerous man, then, for those he thought had crossed him.

"I appreciate the warning, Captain. What course of action would you advise me to take? If, of course, there is in fact anything I can do."
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:10 am

"Just to be vigilant," Padstowe said. "Especially as Sharpe is now under your command. Have a good guard kept on the officers' baggage; Hakeswill may seek to use Cotton's position of trust as your batman against him and endeavour to frame him for theft, or maybe do the same for one of Sharpe's men. Make sure they keep an eye on their kit and their wives, in case things go wandering. I am taking measures to try and have Hakeswill removed from his position, but with events as they are at the moment it is proving difficult to get anything done."

And nor would they until the army was on the march.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:26 am

"Again, thank you for the warning, and I will make sure we are all vigilant. Such a man as this Hakeswill cannot be allowed to make men's lives a misery for some perceived slight or other." Until the bullying Sergeant was dealt with, he would try to have as few dealings with the 33rd as possible. Even afterward, in fact, if the man was as dangerous as Captain Padstowe was suggesting.
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:40 pm

"I thank you for taking such a threat seriously," Padstowe said, the relief clearon his face. "Most officers I know would dismiss this as fanciful or a simple scrap within the ranks; but this man truly is a danger. Lieutenant Sharpe can tell you more about him than I, but I know and have seen enough to be convinced of that what he says is true."

He fell silent, suddenly awkward as he remembered the malevolent gleam in Hakeswill's eyes as he handed back Sarah's letter. He had not told Sharpe, or indeed anyone else about the incident, seeing as the man had far too much to worry about regarding his men and future career without such a petty thing added to the list.

"Let us just say that I do not believe the victims of his maliciouness are solely confined to the ranks."

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:37 am

Could the man be referring to himself? Possibly, but Vickery dismissed the thought. He might ask Lieutenant Sharpe about it himself, later, but he would first have to get to know the man.

"Thank you far that warning, as well," he said. He had a lot to think about. "May I offer you a drink of something? You look as if you've walked a long way, and I would be a poor sort of host if I did not offer you something, at least."
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:46 am

"That is very kind of you." His was feeling rattled enough after his final interview with the French cavalry officer, but now having recalled Hakeswill into the bargain he had not improved matters. "A glass of wine or brandy would not go amiss if you have one."

And Vickery seemed a pleasant enough chap, for all their brief meetings beforehand. He could stay for one drink at least.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:53 am

"I have brandy," Vickery said, fetching a bottle and two glasses. He poured a glass out and gave it to Captain Padstowe, before pouring a glass for himself. "There are not so many officers who would concern themselves over one private soldier enough to seek out the man's company commander, as you have done, Captain Padstowe," he said slowly, looking at the golden liquid in his glass. He looked up. "I think you are a very remarkable man, Captain."
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:05 am

Padstowe very nearly choked on the mouthful of brandy he had just taken and swallowed forcibly, a tinge of red staining his cheekbones.

"I am merely acting on the advice of a friend," he said, his voice gone slightly hoarse. "Besides, Hakeswill's evidence very nearly cost an innocent young man his life; I should hate to see the same happen to Cotton."

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:27 am

"I beg your pardon; I did not mean to embarrass you." Embarrassing or not however, it was still Vickery's opinion, but he would not repeat it and embarrass the man further. Maybe they should discuss the weather, instead. Although, of course, that was something that everybody did, but not in a situation such as this.
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John Vickery
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:45 am

"No, forgive me..."

Padstowe took another swallow of brandy as he trailed off. He was embarrassed, it was clear that he was, but he must not admit to it. There was also an awkward gap in the conversation to be filled.

"Forgive me, I must be keeping your man from his work. Since we are no longer on the subject it should be alright to come back in - it was easier to inform you without him present."

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  John Vickery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:49 am

Vickery nodded and crossed to the door. He pulled it open and had a quiet word with Cotton before sitting down again. "I must admit, when you first said he was in trouble, I imagined quite a different sort of trouble. Though he is a steady enough man, and generally more sober than most soldiers. British ones, anyway."
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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

Post  Jonathan Padstowe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:01 am

"Quite."

Padstowe could not help a small smile curling at his lips, remembering all too well the slightly awkward situation of Cotton helping him home, having gotten hopelessley drunk on only too bottles of wine. Vickery probably did not know about that, yet nor was Padstowe about to tell him. Neither was he going to tell the captain of Cotton finding him asleep at his desk on the morning of the court martial - that sort of thing would get him a worse reputation than he already had. It had only been last week, but it seemed so long ago.

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Re: With 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles

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