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30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

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30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:31 am

Despite what Mr. Leat had said to Button and Smith, Fletcher had not been detailed with extra duties - Edward Leat would have considered himself hard-hearted indeed to punish a boy because of an accident that very nearly cost him his life. After a further short haranguing, in which he still failed to ascertain what had caused Fletcher to be up the mast, he had curtly dismissed him below to find 'a more useful occupation'.

However Fletcher had seen none of Leat's worry or consideration in the lieutenant's furious blue eyes. He had only seen the disappointment and the anger, the disgust at his cowering and inability to answer. He had been doing his best, and it was clearly not enough. Again.

Fletcher had waited for the watch to change and everyone distracted as the hands were piped to their meal before he left the Midshipman's berth and headed below; small and easily missed in the shadows as he headed further along to the close, stinking hole that was the cable tier. Here he would be undisturbed, especially at this time of day when everyone, his fellow Midshipmnen included, would be stuffing their faces with what food they could manage to get their hands on. Fletcher was aware that he would be missing out on his own dinner, but he did not really feel like eating. Misery churned at his stomach, made his throat tighten and his eyes hot with tears as he sat down on a coil of rope, huddling himself into a corner. He had done this so many times before at home, where he had found a deserted corner of the attic away from the wrath of his grandfather and had curled himself into as small a ball as possible. Now he was alone Simon let the tears fall, sobbing softly into drawn-up knees.

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Simon Fletcher
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:22 am

It was impossible not to know of the antics of three boys in the mizzentop, during the watch before. Every man on deck could have seen it and many did. Chase had not paid much mind to it until Mister Leat was heard speaking rather sharply to the trio. Trouble, then. Fingers and Button were always in trouble, though. Mister Midshipman Fletcher, on the other hand...

The boy had disappeared below when the second lieutenant dismissed him. When the crew was piped to supper, however, Johnny Stenhouse reported seeing the poor lad scampering down the ladder to the very depths of the ship. Chase left his half-eaten meal to Chicken Dyer, who was only too happy to claim it, and set off to find the middie. He had no better than half an idea what had sent Mister Fletcher into hiding, but half an idea was better than nothing.

"Mister Fletcher?" It was dark and he had no lantern to light the way. The best he could do was listen intently and hope to hear the lad.

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

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Jacob Chase
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:27 am

The unexpected call of his name made Fletcher gasp, drawing a sharp breath in before he held it, silencing his sobs. He drew back further into the coiled rope, listening and watching with sudden fear. Somneone knew he was down here! How could they know he was here?

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:30 am

Against the usual noise of the ship, it was almost impossible hear much that wasn't loud or obvious. Chase strained his ears anyway and thought he heard a gasp. Was the lad down here after all?

"Ain't an officer, sir." Obviously! Idiot. "Not meanin' no harm anyways."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
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Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
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Location : In the foretop
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:37 am

That much was true. Fletcher recognised the voice as belonging to Jacob Chase. Fletcher wondered whether he should stay silent until Chase went away, fooling him into thinking that he was not there; but then again Chase might have been sent to find him for something important, although Simon struggled to imagine an important situation that would require his presence. It had been made clear to him that he was little more than useless.

"W... What do you want, Chase?" he called. He could not yet see the man, which meant that mercifully he could not see him.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:40 am

There he was. Sort of. At least he was answering, even if Chase didn't know precisely where the boy was. He crouched low anyway, thinking he might as well get comfortable.

"Come lookin' for you, sir," he answered. How best to phrase this? "Checkin' you's all right, like."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
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Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:46 am

Fletcher did not understand why Chase would be looking for him if not been sent by one of the officers, and at dinner time as well. By necessity a huge sniff preceded his next question, as he had no hankerchief on him.

"Why would you?"

His voice sounded so horribly small, muffled against the dense timber and coils of rope.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:50 am

Despite himself, Chase grinned. Poor beggar.

"Well, sir, it ain't hardly natural for anybody to go hidin' away on the cable tier, without somethin' weighin' heavy on their brain, like."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
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Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:57 am

"I'm not hiding!" Fletcher blurted out in retaliation, but even to him it sounded like a pitiful lie. "I... I came to inspect the cable. For rats."

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:02 am

"I'd reckon even rats wouldn't like this place much," Chase ventured. "Smells too ripe. S'no place for sensible boys, neither, really."

Especially not young gentlemen. Just what been said on the quarterdeck, anyway?

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/jacob-

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:05 am

A couple of involuntary sobs escaped from Fletcher's throat. So Chase didn't believe the thin lie either - wouldn't even pretend to - and knew why he was really down here, and thought very little of him for it.

"I am not a sensible boy," he said miserably.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:07 am

Now that was no good, Chase thought.

"No," he agreed. "Maybe not now, sure. But you had a hard mornin' of it, as I hear it. That'll make anybody feel low."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:14 am

Fletcher's breathing caught in a gasp again. Oh Lord, so others had seen, and heard! Well, it would have been difficult for them not to have heard Mr. Leat; but he had hoped they would not have seen...

"What did you hear?" There was an edge of despair to his quiet voice. Oh, why could he not be left alone? Why could he not be miserable in peace? Things were bad enough as they were already without people rubbing it in.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:28 am

"Nothin' clear," Chase told him. "It don't have to be though, really. Anybody coulda seen you three was in it. Just over a bit of skylarkin' an' all."

He shrugged and added, "Even officers go off skylarkin' too, y'know. So they can't very well be angry at boys who does the same!"

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/jacob-

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:47 pm

Fletcher sniffled again, the sobs tightening his throat once more. So they didn't know the truth, and Chase was unjustly implying that Mr. Leat had bee unfairly angry with him. Fletcher had little pride left to defend, but he felt that he ought to at least not cause any officer's name to be blackenedon his behalf.

"I wasn't skylarking," he said wretchedly. "I fell!"

The tears started falling again, and he curled up into a tighter ball, shifting and making one rope slither out of its neat coils.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:32 pm

This brought a frown onto Chase's face. Falls were never good, especially for young midshipmen.

"Fell, sir?" How could...? "Pardon me askin', sir, but how'd you do that?"

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:30 am

"Slipped," Fletcher managed to say between tears. "On, on the mizzen t'gallent yard! B-Button and Smith came to help me when I-I was scared up there and c-couldn't move! But I slipped and fell anyway!"

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:47 am

Scared? Something like an idea of what had actually happened blossomed in Chase's brain. "But you made it down a'right, seems," Chase pointed out. "Bein' scared up aloft ain't bad, sir. Happens to all of us."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:45 pm

Fletcher very nearly laughed scornfully at that, only he had never been very good at scorn, so it simply came out a horrible gurgling rattle.

"Not true! I've s-seen you all! Cap'n, Mr. B-Bush, Kinsella, Slater, M-Mr. Leat! Y-You're all up there, born to it and I'm... I'm..."

Here Fletcher's voice dried up. There wasn't anything else he could say. It was clear to all that he was less than useless.

"I don't want to go home!" he whispered.

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Simon Fletcher
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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:57 am

The poor lad. Chase shifted a little closer and sat down properly. "You ain't seen some of us when we was boys," he said. "It ain't always natural or easy, sir. Not at first!"

It was clearly a good thing that he'd come down here. Stenhouse was a sharp lad for letting him know. "D'you think you'll get sent off home, sir?"

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:41 am

Fletcher sniffled again, raising his head slightly to peer over the top of the cable to see if he could catch sight of Chase. It was very dark down here.

"Don't know," he said. He didn't know how these things worked, but he certainly knew his grandfather wouldn't be pleased in the least to see him.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:53 am

"Well, if you ain't wantin' to go home, sir," Chase mused, "I reckon they can't make you."

Which didn't quite resolve the problem of the poor lad's inexperience aloft, but that wasn't something that could be helped down here. Later, certainly.

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/jacob-

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:01 am

The news that Chase didn't think he could be sent home stilled Fletcher's tears. Couldn't they send him home? He thought that it was possible, but then...

"I-I don't want to let the captain down," he stammered. Mr. Leat's severity had implied that he was more than capable of letting down the ship's officers, as he knew he had done by being too afraid to answer back. Cowards could not be officers.

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Jacob Chase on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:06 am

Chase nodded. That was a feeling he could understand very well. "Aye. Same for every lad aboard, sir." He paused and thought a moment. "Been aloft much, 'fore this mornin', sir?"

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
avatar
Jacob Chase
Commander

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 1351
Location : In the foretop
Member since : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/jacob-

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

Post  Simon Fletcher on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:41 am

"Once before," Fletcher admitted. "With... with Mr. Yates."

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Re: 30th May, Afternoon Watch: In the Cable Tier

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