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4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

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4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:33 am

It was the second time that evening that the young ex-midshipman chose to see if there were any more familiar faces in the marine's mess. However, as he arrived, he found none of the ones he was looking for. Nor did a closer inspection offer any further clue. Perhaps his bad timing could be excused as he had missed the best portion of it, back there, skulking after the boys and seeing water spilled. And thereafter, having to help clean it too.

He was not in the worst of moods. His head was feeling a bit strange, but the fresh doze of laudanum, albeit small, seemed to be taking care of that little problem. he had had nothing to drink either. Which he did not admit with pride, but rather as fact. He lingered at one end of the mess for a bit longer as if expecting his luck to change. A final scamper through it, only met him with a few tired faces of men and a few animated, or with some intention on where they were going and what they came down for.

But for that, it was a rather quiet and empty place. The weather could not be left wholly innocent of that.

He grumbled and muttered something to himself , before realising he had spoken out loud and then tugged his shirt down and straight. The ends of his trouserlegs were dirty. There was a distinct stain where they had sucked up some of the water and enabled the dirt to be much easier in clinging to the wet fabric. Similar the patch on his knee, now dry. He rounded a corner, lost in thought.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:58 am



"Boy." The curtly-spoken summons came from behind the lad. The speaker himself was not yet immediately visible.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:47 am

The lad jumped and whirled around blinking at...nothing. Well, whoever had spoken was not exactly in his view, and he had to tilt his head about a little. "Who's.." He began to demand, but was cut short, his voice showing more unease than he wanted to betray.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:47 am



Uncertainty and an obvious hesitation to speak. Leaford felt unduly cheered. Perhaps he might have two fruitful conversations today.

"Lurking about where you shouldn't, I see?" He strolled lazily forward, hands clasped casually underneath his coat tails. Judging by the state of the lad's clothes, he'd been damp very recently. Interesting.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:53 am

"Oh...Oh no." He shook his head, forcing his hand from grasping the sleeve of his shirt. "I'um not lurkin'. Honest, no." He held his hands out as if that would reveal their innocence for they were quite empty. He took a few steps back subconsciously gazing nervously at Leaford. He ought to have nothing to fear from him, but his gaze and manner did not calm his nerves any. "Been jus' about ter return ter m' mess."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:10 am



"From the Marines' deck?" Leaford shook his head slightly. "Now what, a body might ask, would any self-respecting seaman be doing consorting with the bullocks?"

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:17 am

"M' got friends ther'." Ah but he was gaining some courage and confidence. He could only hope to see how long it would last. " s' only cous'a that." Still. He could not feel safe. He could not be sure that Mister Leaford was satisfied with such an answer and he did not appear to eb at all.Yet again the boy wished he was just a bad judge of character and that all was well.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:44 am



Friends, eh? Leaford shook his head. "I find that rather difficult to believe, I'm afraid. What use has a sailor for one of a Marine's sort?"

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:35 am

"..ain't t' use fer why I'um..friend." He said timidly. "Friend sain't that couse o' summat." He said, his voice even quieter. "I.....I..,I'um speakin' honest. Am!"And yet he wished he could disappear as if he had never been there before.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:45 am



Such unthinking innocence. Or willing blindness. It was impossible be sure which was true.

"Certainly you know that one cannot merely be friends with a Marine," Leaford observed. "They never glance at a sailor unless they want something of him. I should have thought an intelligent young lad like yourself would have been able to recognise that."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:18 pm

"...Ain't.. Ain't true." He could not imagine what Thompson would want of him. Certainly it could not be something of value when he had nothing now. He was a Tar with the rest of them. But, could others? He bit down on his lip. He could not begin to doubt them so easily ,only because one man suggested it. Not without proof and reason. And he had yet to put any of that forth!

"..What could he , they expect something from someone like me?.." He said with confidence that Leaford could not answer that."I've got nothing they don't have, and possibly less than they do have!" He'd even talked much better, just now.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:29 pm



Did the boy think Leaford was so ill informed? Honestly.

"Think, lad. You were a young gentleman, come from a family of standing. What do you think you have that the common bullock does not?"

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:53 am

"..Nothin' n'less I'um a middie again soon." He said knowingly, though more than fact, this was his own conviction. "...N'... they don't. He ain't a friend 'couse of me family. He'd never asked fer nothin'." He scoffed. Nor did the other one. They were friends with him, because he had none. And some were so becoming. He hesitated with that thought. No. This man was trying to play him. That was all!

"N' I'd gotten somethin' 'stead. A gift!" He bit his lip. Ought he have betrayed that? "They've never said it, see. Never asked fer summat." Here it was, some manner of speech creeping into his own.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:59 pm



"Is that so?" A gift. Of course. Leaford could easily imagine what sort of 'gift' Marine would be likely to give. It wasn't a very pleasant thought.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:37 am

"IS so. Was a simple gift, ain't nothing he wanted in return. Ain't nothing he asked for neither!" The lad exclaimed then stopped himself and began more quietly. "Is wot' i experienced thus.. don't mean you've got t' same with them marines. No." He finished with a polite word.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:23 am



The connotation there was decidedly less than pleasant, Leaford thought.

"No," he said slowly. "I can easily imagine most of them would be rather more demanding in their ideas of gifts."

This was more than he had thought he could get from the boy, certainly.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:37 am

"Don't see wot' you mean." The lad studied the other man thoughtfully. He was suggesting something and yet he could not point a finger at it. Perhaps, because he was thinking about his friend when he so considered what demands that man could make. Nothing vile could come to mind, not with that marine.

He looked up expecting a better description of Leaford's thoughts. "I've seen nothing to suggest they would ..." It was something of a bait. An attempt to make the man finish his sentence.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:15 am



"Oh but you wouldn't, would you?" Leaford shook his head. "You'll find that rats are remarkably adept at concealing their fouler deeds and thoughts. Unless, of course, they are after something."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:19 pm

"Of rats I know that. They will try so eat you as soon as eat something you gave them. " An unfortunate experience of one, having fallen asleep in the hold, with his wounds still rather fresh. " But him. Them. ..They ain't rats. THey'um human an'... i hardly have anythin' ter give them now. " Chase did not expect anything else from him but better behavour and a willingness to learn. Thompson expected similar, but the gift was not a manner of buying that. It was merely that. a gift.

"They won't bite. I.. really don't see what foul thoughts they could have!..Geo...m' marine friend would never want anything that'd hurt me. He isn't the sort. Honest!" In this he may have betrayed trust, but which had not been so easily given. He also did not know, why he did not want to betray the name of the marine just then. Surely this man knew who his friends knew, just as he knew what his standing in society was.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:51 am



It was tempting to smile but he resisted. "If you insist. Which you do, perhaps too much? But of course. They are your friends and would never misuse you."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:40 am

"How praytell.. could they missuse me?" He did not rise to his bait. Perhaps a more direct approach could entice him to betray his concerns. It did not help that his own fears were tempted now to reawaken. His own experiences from a ship that delighted in just such actions as this man suggested wished to resurface yet again to haunt him when a moment was right for thought. He bit hard on his lip to force those straying thoughts back, replaced by the discomfort of his abused lip. This he released again soon after, gazing stubbornly at the man. Perhaps he could convince him into dishonesty of some of the folk on board. But there was one man that he could not yet see flaw in. He clung to that fact alone. And then there was another who, he was now certain, was to thank that he survived his first days of his place before the mast. Neither had asked for anything of value.

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:46 am



"Do you not think it suspicious, my lad, that they should be showing more willingness to be on friendly terms with you now, than when you were a midshipman?" Leaford shook his head, slowly. "Certainly they are aware that you are doing well as a sailor and no doubt suspect the captain will make you up to your former place again. And then what do you imagine should happen? They would then have a friend who has authority. Someone they could wheedle favours from... or seek protection with."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:03 am

De Guarde paused and then gave Leaford a good hearthy laugh for his speculation, though it did sound bitter at times. When he eased himself into a chuckle and then a smile he shook his head and answered: " I wish it was so and that my promotion.. my return to my proper place would be so quick and certain. But i sincerely doubt that I should become a midshipman soon no matter my efforts.. to accomplish the opposite." He gazed up. "They know that... Not that I could, as a midshipman much help a marine. He being under the command of a different chain than t' one I am t' be.. if such fortune might ever befall me." And the last he said quite bitterly:" But this.... I doubt it will."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Keiju on Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:17 am



It was at this point Leaford began to wonder if this boy was too stupid to be of any use.

"Certainly, with as deplorable an attitude as that, you should never be made up again," the master's mate told him. "Perhaps you are better left to your fate, then, if that is your desire. A career before the mast might just be what you need, after all."

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:28 am

"No! It is not." The lad answered sharply then with an apologetic look on his face he lowered his gaze. "Please, pardon me for the.. ..this." He sighed and shook his head. "It is solely, that I may have doubts.. as you know just as well as I what has recently transpired and hardly shed a good light on myself infront of everyone.. and worse so.. infront of those who can make such a decision." He paused and gave the other man a light shrug.

"You have been present , have you not?" He was glad for the mercy of the relief the laudanum brought him. "This however has also given me reason to believe you speak too ...unkindly of some. Thompson.."Perhaps he should not have named the marine, but even there he believed the other man fairly better informed than he gave himself an appearance to be:" came to visit me, when I was in sickbay even when I had thrust my foot onto his...with every intention to cause him pain or injury. This a friend would do... and.. one seeking advantage and believin' there no longer to be any... would not." Was that not what friends did? He was one to talk. When his experience was so much more limited. But maybe Leaford did not know that?

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Re: 4th June: A nice sway and patter of feet

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