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Wounded in action, 1 June

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:02 am

Maggie stared at Bertschinger with eyes as big as saucers, trying to comprehend what he had just said.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Ben Blackwood on Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:03 am

Blackwood had, during this conversation, swung down from his horse. "Perhaps you'd best sit, sir," he suggested. He had little idea of what was being discussed, but for the moment did not care. "Hawley, your canteen."

From the look of it, all three greenjackets could use a cup of water.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:06 am

What was going to hurt was the getting into the saddle. There was no help for it, though, and he gritted his teeth, determined not to give away just how painful it was.

And somehow he found himself sitting on the side of the road. Which wasn't quite what he'd meant to do. Damn.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  combatjacques on Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:54 am

"Stabbed, sir. But not badly," Bertschinger said as Vickery tried to get onto the horse, as if he could not quite believe it himself. His eyes widened as Vickery fell. "I'll go and look for a surgeon again, sir. I may have missed him when I first looked."

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Ben Blackwood on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:02 am

None of them were swift enough to stop the Rifles officer from tumbling gracelessly backwards onto his rump, but the young bugler, being closest, made an admirable effort.

"Your pack, Hawley," Blackwood said curtly, reaching out to take the canteen from the wide-eyed Guardsman's hand. Vickery would need something to brace himself up against.

Then he glanced at the older greenjacket. "If you please, Rifleman. I suspect he is in rather dire need of one."

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:14 am

Surgeons. Maggie's mind had wandered in disbelieving shock, trying to comprehend her husband's capture, but now she spoke again, albeit in a flat, dull voice. "The surgeons with the baggage got took by the French."

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:19 am



At least sitting on the ground meant that he couldn't fall any further down. He hoped. Cavender was bending over him, looking very concerned, from what Vickery could see of his face, which looked rather blurred for some reason.

He was pretty sure he ought to be doing something rather more decisive than letting other people make decisions for him. The problem was that he couldn't seem to think straight, and that was worrying him, too.

"Anyone got any more news of my Company?" he asked, hoping like hell that somebody had. Because he didn't have a clue what had happened to them - and he should have.


Last edited by John Vickery on Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:34 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  outis on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:36 pm

Hawley fumbled with the straps of his pack, unable to get it off fast enough. Dropping into a crouch, he set the pack on the ground and braced it carefully against the greenjacket officer’s back before glancing back up at the captain for further instruction.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:42 am

Maggie seemed to shake herself awake. It would be better to concentrate on the matter at hand than to let her mind dwell on Cotton just now. There was nothing she could do about Cotton at the moment, but there was something she could do for the captain.

"Right, sir, let's get that jacket off. This side first." She was not going to let some surgeon come along and cut it off. She knew she would be the one mending it.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:48 am

Jacket. That made sense. He fumbled at the buttons, wondering vaguely why he was finding it so hard to concentrate... and why his head was still hurting. Though he thought his side was hurting more.

And of course his sash would be tied over his jacket, wouldn't it?

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:03 am

"Let me do that, sir," Maggie said, belatedly noticing his trouble with the sash. "Joe, help me with them buttons." As she unwound the sash from his waist, she realized that it might make the ideal temporary bandage, poor thing. At least it was red already, and had plenty of folds to hide whatever blood stains might remain after she washed it. She draped it carefully around her own neck to keep it out of the dirt.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:17 am

"I'm sorry to be so much bother for you," he said, though he was rather grateful not to have to try to concentrate on undressing. At least it was easier to get things off than it was to get them on - which was another reason he'd needed a batman.

He hoped that Cotton had got out all right. There would be some sort of truce soon - there generally was, after all - and then he'd be able to get a proper list of who'd been captured, as well as who was dead, wounded or had got away.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:23 am

"Hush sir. Never mind that now." Later Maggie would be quite surprised at her bossy attitude to the captain, but for now she was in the mode of a mother hen. "Lean this way. Oooh, that does look sore. Never you mind, sir. We'll get someone to sew you right up."

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Ben Blackwood on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:26 am

Blackwood held out Hawley's canteen. "It is mostly full, Missus," he said. "For washing his wound or for drinking."

There wasn't much else any of them could do, though. Or maybe there was. "Nickerson," Blackwood added, looking up for the other redcoat. "Run ahead and catch up Major Croft. There may be other wounded in hiding along the road."

If nothing else, they would need assistance here. Where was their own cavalry, anyway? Croft had sent for them some time ago.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:33 am

It felt rather nice not having to worry about anything, and for some reason Mrs Cotton's fussing felt motherly. It reminded him a little of his nurse, when he was a small boy.

He leaned over a bit, and couldn't prevent himself from hissing with the pain of it. Now that he'd stopped, and sat down, it hurt every time he moved. He supposed it had hurt even before that, but he hadn't been so aware of it.

He forced his eyes open - when had he closed them? - and looked up into Maggie's face. "I am not a sampler, you know," he managed, through teeth gritted against the pain. It was a poor joke, but it was all he felt capable of right now.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:41 am

Maggie gave Vickery a smile. "You will be when the surgeon's done, I'll warrant. Thankee sir," she said to Blackwood, taking the canteen. "Lie back a bit sir, will you? Joe, ease that pack for him." She poured a sparing amount of water over the edges of the wound, washing away some of the blood to get a better look. "Oh, you poor thing!" she exclaimed softly.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:53 am

Something shifted behind his back and he eased himself down, helped by Cavender who was looking worried. And was that a slightly green tinge to his skin? Probably.

"Don't look, Cavender - you don't have to watch," he said, and hissed again as Maggie poured a bit of water over the wound. He wondered how much blood there was, but didn't think he had the strength to sit up and look - even if Maggie would let him.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:19 am

"You want a bit of a drink, sir?" she asked, passing the canteen to Cavender. What was to be done with that wound? Bertschinger had gone off to search for a surgeon, and the other redcoat fellow had gone to look for someone. But she couldn't just sit and watch all of that blood continue to ooze out of the captain. It wasn't right.

She stood up and untied her apron. The outside was somewhat dirty, especially the bottom, and especially from crouching in the ground underneath that cart. But the inside was not so bad, and the area around the waist. She carefully folded it so the cleanest parts were on the outside, and then she knelt again by the captain's side and pressed it against the wound. Hopefully some pressure would keep the edges of the gash closed together and stop so much blood from leaking out.

"I'm sure a surgeon'll be here soon," she said, giving Blackwood a fretful glance over her shoulder.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:53 am



Cavender took the canteen, had a quick sip from it himself, and waited till the Captain nodded before holding it to his mouth.

It tasted like nearly-cold tea, but the tepid water was heavenly right then. He had a couple of mouthfuls before allowing Cavender to hand the canteen back to its owner so that Maggie could do what she needed to do. She seemed to be taking her apron off for some reason, but it wasn't until she'd rolled it up and pressed it to his side that Vickery understood.

That hurt, but not as badly as it had been hurting, and in a different way, which was probably good. And if a surgeon was coming, that meant that - hopefully - he could get up soon and start finding out what had happened to his men.

He looked up at Maggie and nodded. "Thank you."


Last edited by John Vickery on Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:04 am

Maggie frowned, not knowing what the captain was thanking her for, but she spoke soothingly to him. "Why don't you just take a little rest until the surgeon gets here, aye? Joe, let me have a little drink of that." Heaven knew she could do with a bit of a rest herself.


Last edited by Maggie Cotton on Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:13 am



"Sure thing, Miss," Cavender said and passed the canteen over.

"Rest..." That sounded like a good idea. And then Vickery remembered something. "Would someone mind cleaning my sword off for me? Just needs a wipe down." Cotton could clean it properly tonight.

Then he remembered that Cotton was missing. He hoped he wouldn't have to tell Maggie that he'd been killed. The man had enough sense to circle around in the hills to get back to them, after all. He didn't know quite what either he or Maggie would do without him if it turned out that Cotton had been killed after all.


Last edited by John Vickery on Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  combatjacques on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:59 am

"Excuse me," said a frazzled-looking man in a frayed grey coat, dropping his large black satchel as he knelt beside Vickery. Bertschinger was not far behind, a patch of dark red slowly growing on his new bandages, but his eyes were quicker and more alert. Grey Coat looked over Vickery quickly, prodded his side gently, then snapped to no one in particular, "Hot water. A flame, at least. Quick as you can."

He left his coat on the ground, rolled up his sleeves, and began to work.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Keiju on Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:10 am

Flame. Fire. Right. Hawley stirred himself and fumbled in his pockets, knowing there had to be something he could use to kindle a fire with in there.

Blackwood had risen to his feet again, suitably shaken from his momentary daze by the surgeon's brusque commands. He had a tin mug tucked away in his saddle bags.

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  John Vickery on Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:17 am

To Vickery's mind, there was a lot of fuss about nothing - or nothing very much, certainly not in comparison to the seeming disappearance of a whole Company of Riflemen. And Sharpe's men of the 95th.

Strange that he hadn't thought about Sharpe before. He wondered where the other officer was. He'd brought his men south, all the way from Corunna - no, he hadn't made it to Corunna, had he? From wherever he'd got to, down to Lisbon, in the worst winter for thirty years.

Well, if anyone could look after his men, Sharpe could. And he wouldn't let Vickery's men go wandering around Portugal like a set of headless chickens, either. If Vickery couldn't look after his men, he was glad it was Lieutenant Sharpe who would take charge.

There was a prod at his side and his eyes snapped open. A strange man in a grey coat was kneeling at his side now. "Careful with that, please. It's rather... painful."

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Re: Wounded in action, 1 June

Post  Maggie Cotton on Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:54 am

Maggie tore handfuls of the dry grass growing in patches on the ground and instructed Cavender to do the same. "Can we use a flint to start a light?" she asked, looking at the redcoat fumbling in his pack.

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