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4 June; A romp on deck

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4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:03 am

His wrist still hurt. A lot. Even after the surgeon had set it and splinted it. He'd even given Fingers a linen sling to help keep the injured limb still. Fingers, naturally, hated it at once. But the surgeon had told him in no uncertain terms that he had to wear it so he was stuck.

Having only one hand with which to do anything was hard. Very hard. He had no idea how he was going to get on now, being so hampered. Certainly he couldn't work for Mister Hennock now. Maybe not ever again. That thought drew his spirits down even more. He liked the gunner and usually enjoyed working for him, even though he did his share of skiving.

His spirits were buoyed when the day's first ration of grog was served out with dinner the previous watch. Instead of drinking his ration at once, however, Fingers saved it. It was better keeping the watered-down rum for when the hands turned up for their skylark, which Corporal Thompson had arranged.

Fingers pattered up the forrard ladder, his lumpy tin mug gripped carefully in his good hand. It wouldn't be too much longer before Timlin the shantyman appeared with his fiddle, and one or both of the Shepherds with their drum and fife. He moved toward the larboard rail and settled down under the pinrail, clutching his mug so as not to upset it. Not much longer now at all.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:37 am

Thompson thought that, on reflection, he shouldn't really be surprised at the response his spur-of-the-moment suggestion had garnered. He wasn't quite sure when their last proper skylarking had been, but he was fairly sure it had been before Oporto and that messy fight at the fort. Messy in more ways than one, he remembered, grinning to himself at the memory of Lieutenant Cartwright, Private Oxley and several other marines and sailors all turning up covered in... well, covered in shit, literally.

No - hadn't it been before he'd sprained his ankle? He rather thought it was.

And thinking about that made him pause for a moment. There was one of the ship's boys - Fingers, to be precise - sitting by the ship's side. He hadn't imagined the sling the lad was wearing and frowned.

"Everythin' all right there, Fingers?" he asked, concerned.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:50 am

Eh? Fingers glanced up, distracted from his private debate about whether or not to conveniently lose this damned sling. It was Corporal Thompson hailing him and didn't he look unhappy about something.

"Oh aye," the boy answered, lifting his misshapen tankard in salute. "Be better'f sommody waz to give a lad a bitta proper rum, though."

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:53 am

"Grog's plenty fine enough for a lad o' your years," Thompson replied. "Don't want you gettin' drunk now, do we?" He pointed the stem of his pipe at the lad's sling. "What've you been doin' to yourself, then? You was as lively as an eel when I seen you this mornin'."

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:06 am

Damn it. He might have known the Marine would say something like that. Adults were all the same.

"Tripped," Fingers replied with a shrug. "D'you got them Shepherds comin' up, Corp'ral?"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:08 am

Thompson nodded. Anyone could trip, after all - he'd done it himself, hadn't he. "O' course - they ain't goin' to miss it, not them. An you'll still be able to join in with the dancin', if you'm careful with that arm - it ain't as though you managed to do your ankle in like I did."

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:27 am

"Course I is." He wouldn't sit this out even if he'd broken his leg. He shook his head and was glad for the hat, even if it did make his head itch. "Whattabout you?"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 am

He grinned. That was the spirit! "I'll prob'ly watch. Him an' me," he indicated de Guarde at this point, "need to have a bit of a talk, an' then he's goin' to join in. Reckon I'd like to as well, but I'd prob'ly put all of you lot off what with bein' a Corp'ral now, an' we can't have that, can we? But watchin' while I have a smoke, I can live with that."

He chuckled. "Reckon I'd be out of puff afore you lot's halfway done, if I did join in, anyway. It's bein' old that does it."

He wasn't all that old, really, but he had no doubt that Fingers and the others thought he was probably halfway to being ancient.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:25 am

Watch? Talk? Where was the fun in that? Fingers' brow creased. "Howzat any fun?" Old or not, even! He'd seen the corporal skylark before. But that d been before he was a corporal, wasn't it, when he had been able to skylark. Fingers felt sorry for the Marine now. Growing up and having rank were two things he was determined to avoid.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:53 am

"I ain't said I wos'." The boy protested, having been quiet up till the moment ago. He knew what happened to Fingers, but he was not about to tell the world what it was. Not unless Fingers specifically told him so.

"...i's jus' come up 'ere fer a smoke." He studied Fingers and his injured wrist. "N' you George. Yer... yer go play with'em if'n you want to. Yer ain't old bones yet." He looked shifted his weight from left to right, adjusting his slops some more till the fabric no longer tugged. "Ye'um near as young'n'em."

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Jacob Chase on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:40 am

"So what's all this standin' around for?" Chase wanted to know, shambling up with his thumbs hooked over the top of his worn leather belt.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:47 am

"We's waitin fer the Shepherds," Terry dared, his eyes widening as he caught sight of Fingers' sling. Corporal Thompson was between him and his friend - and the new chevrons looked very bright and rather intimidating on the sleeve of his smart red coat.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:51 am

"Well, you wouldn't want me taking up deck, would you?" Thompson pointed out reasonably. He looked down at de Guarde. "Won't be long an' then you can join in with them prop'ly."

Maybe the boy just wanted to watch, though? Thompson had seen the care with which he'd ascended the steep steps of the companionway. But the troubled look he'd caught a fleeting glimpse of below hinted at something else that was troubling the boy.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Jacob Chase on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:00 am

The Shepherds. "Them two'll have us waitin' half the night," Chase grumbled goodnaturedly. "Look. There's Timlin, anyway. He'll get us a tune." He headed off to prod the shantyman into playing.

Fingers grinned when he saw Button and saluted with his tankard. "Where you been hidin' at? A'most missed it you did!"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:13 am

Timlin was probably better than the Shepherds - he wouldn't need to pause to breathe, or grumble about playing keeping him out of joining in, not like the twins.

"'Ow can I 'ave almost missed it when it ain't even started yet?" Terry wanted to know, folding his arms and staring down at the other boy. "'Ere, what've you done to yourself?" It hadn't been as bad as that, had it? It hadn't looked that bad, anyway, certainly not bad enough that he needed it all strapped up like that.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:25 am

" 'Cos you're slow," was Fingers' reply. "This ain't nuffin, either. Sawbones made me wearrit, din't he?"

He took a swallow of grog and asked, "You gonna siddown a mo' or what?"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:28 am

Terry rolled his eyes and dropped to the deck, folding his legs so he was sitting cross-legged. "Ijit. I know what 'appened, don't I - I was there, after all. What I meant was, what 'appened to your wrist? I just fought you twisted it a bit." It was daft of the surgeon to make him wear that for just a twist... Maybe it wasn't just a twist, though, maybe it really was something horrible and bad and... He shivered a little, despite the warmth of the sun.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:42 am

Oh. That. "Dunno. He wou'n't say." Not that it mattered really. With the tight bandaging around his wrist and the sling, Fingers reckoned that whatever it was would be safe enough to heal. Hopefully healing wouldn't take too long, though. Maybe he could get rid of the sling in a couple of days if he was careful.

"Where you been hidin' anyways?" Fingers asked and held out his lumpy tankard.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:49 am

"Bin... busy," Terry replied. He couldn't tell Fingers what Mister Leaford had said - maybe he couldn't ever tell anyone.

Suddenly, the sun didn't seem to be shining quite so brightly after all.

Maybe Mister Evans could help? He'd been nice enough about the other thing, after all. Though, maybe he wouldn't, once he heard about it.

"You got grog in there?" he asked stupidly, jerking back to the present as Fingers' battered tankard was shoved under his nose. He grinned at the other boy and took it, taking a healthy swig before passing it back and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Fanks - needed that!"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Fingers Smith on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:41 am

Busy. Fingers could well believe it. Working for Mister Leat must not be easy.

"Aye!" What else would he have in there? Water? Yuck! "Good bitta grog'll sort anybody out," Fingers said wisely.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:14 am

De Guarde looked at Chase and gave a small nod of greeting. Only now that he looked at the man he was thinking what benefit Chase had with being friendly with him even after he had had him flogged. There had to be a mighty good reason for Chase to do that.

"...We'm standin' here'bouts." He glanced towards Thompson , his gaze stopping at those chevrons. It was not something the marine gained thanks to him and this oddly made him very glad. Chase was already on the way to rouse the shantyman and so the five were back to four. Of those four two were engaged in conversation.

"..I ..really ought to better go back b'low." He murmured and sighed quietly. "'be in the way o' them anyway." Couldn't right join any competing group and if one picked him, it was because they were to gain something from him. It was all back to square one. The vivid memories of Confidence made the boy certainly lack much of it. They did not come to visit him, because they were afraid of the officers. At first that sounded rather nice. Not so much when it was.. afraid of being connected to him..

"You'um..lend me a smoke..maybe.." He appeared to say it more out of having to than out of expressly wanting a smoke. "..An' then you ought to join in with the folk. You're liked, George. They won't mind those things on yer sleeve, corp'ral. ..not unless yer...uhm.. yer shout at them."

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:26 am

"It's much nicer topside," Thompson pointed out. "C'mon over here aways," he added, indicating a spot by another carronade, where they could have some privacy without missing out on the sunshine. He pulled out a flint and steel and lit his pipe, taking a few puffs to make sure it was drawing properly.

"You can go below in a bit, though why you'd want to, I dunno," he added, taking the pipe stem out of his mouth so he wasn't mumbling around it.

(They head here.)

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:39 am

"True 'nough," Terry said. The alcohol of even the one mouthful he'd had was already making him feel a bit better. "Where's them twins got to now?" he asked, twisting around to see the tall Marine corporal leading Buckles to a slightly more private spot. He couldn't see either of the Shepherd twins though, but Cob Chase and Timlin were heading towards them, and the shantyman was carrying his fiddle.


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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Keiju on Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:17 am



"Oi," one of the twins said abruptly, appearing like a cannon-shot up the forrard ladder. "No fiddlin' wi'out a drum goin' with it, a'right?"

Chase grinned. "No drummin' without a fiddle. You two sort out your tunes, but make it quick or we'll be standin' around all watch with nothin' to do!"

There was a squeaky giggle from Fingers. "There's on'y one've you, Shepherd. Dontchyoo come in twos?"

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

Post  Terry Button on Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:26 am

"Matchin' twos an' all," Terry added, giggling at the way the twin - whichever one it was - had appeared like a cork from a bottle.

A good bit of a skylarking was just what he needed to dispel the worrying feeling he'd had ever since his not-so-friendly conversation with Mister Leaford.

He just hoped nothing bad was going to happen during their fun.

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Re: 4 June; A romp on deck

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