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The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

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The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:30 am

(Thompson and De Guarde moved over from here)

"Now, what's eatin' you?" Thompson asked, once he'd settled down against the carronade slide. "Because summat ain't right now - an' for sure I never met a lad who'd rather be below than up on deck on a nice day like today." He offered the pipe to the lad. "If you want a puff or two, you'm welcome, though I daresay Mister Bush won't thank me for lettin' you." He was smiling, despite the words, though the cheerful expression was mixed with a look of concern.

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George Thompson
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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:22 am

"..Nothin." De Guarde accepted the pipe gratefully and made a few tentative puffs. He was very proud to realize he was not hacking and coughing this time around.

"...Mister Bush won't mind wot' won't hurt 'im.. an'...you'um a corporal, so you can tell ..let me do.. this." He tried to smile, with some success. "..i'm jus'.. tired see. N'...n' m' rump aches so.. I really ain't right for a skylarkin'." Only in truth it wasn't that at all. Not at least, the only reason. He had had his dose , so the pain was almost not there and his rump was healing nicely.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:30 am

"Summat ain't right, though. An' it's much nicer on deck than stuck down on the messdeck anyway. Even if you don't want to join in, an' I don't reckon for a moment that you don't want to join 'em."

He looked at the lad a little closer. "If you don't want to talk to me any more 'cause I'm a Corp'ral now, it ain't changed anythin' - I'm still me. It just means I have to make sure the other Marines ain't up to no good."

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George Thompson
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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:41 am

"No.. no it's not that. I know you'um a corp'ral.. but..." He frowned. "I treat you t' same if I may. S' not... that." He fingered his own shirt's sleeve and tugged at it thoughtfully. ".....why do ye think I.." He turned quiet.

"...George. You know I don't belong here anway."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:50 am

Thompson sighed. "The lower deck? I know, I've bin tellin' you that since, well. Since you was disrated. Thing is, to get back to where you bin is goin' to take work."

That didn't seem to be what was bothering the lad now, though.

"Here, Mathew. You tell me what's botherin' you, prop'ly, why don't you? I can't help if I don't know what the problem is, after all."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:54 am

"No.. not.. that I dun' wan't to be here... it's that.. I don't belong." He insisted with a slight frown. "..They'um.....I'm.... ...I know you ain't a friend with me couse it benefits you. ...or would benefit you." he hesitated. " You ain't. Right?.... Couse I think you ain't." And he sounded hopeful, pleading. "...N'.. you'll be m' friend.. proper friend even now that you'um a corporal... right? And you came to visit me couse you was.. is ..are m' friend. Even when I wasn't too aware you were there...you came there 'couse of that.. even when I hit your foot."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:58 am

"I told you, lad, I don't want anythin' from you. You need a friend - more'n one, really, but I know it ain't easy for you 'cause you ain't used to it all." He shrugged. "I told you one of me old captains had the same thing when he was a middy, didn't I? I mean, I told you he was disrated himself. I'm sure I did."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:02 am

The lad's face brightened some, and there was a certain feeling of relief seen, clear and true, untill the boy caught himself. Then his emotions became more guarded and concealed again.

"....Thanks fer.. fer sayin' that. AN'.. you...you'um differen' than them. Others...they're .. I'm sure they're thinkin' they'll benefit later... they'll gain summat. But.. not you. Even if I do become a midshipman again sometime."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:08 am

"I'm sure they ain't. Why would you think that, anyhow?" He frowned. "Y'know, most of 'em ain't thinkin' of when you become a middy again, not at all. 'Specially the boys. They'm too young to worry about things like that, see."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:02 am

"That's not true. If they can worry 'bout them gettin' in a pickle if they seen with me after I been punished.. .they certainly can and .. and they will think 'bout what they can gain o' me being a middy again." He made another puff with the pipe and caughed.

Pursing his lips he looked away. "s' nice ter think like that. Only.. they've got their own friends...ain't me."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:55 am

Thompson indicated young Button, who had just taken a mouthful from Fingers' battered tankard. "If six months is a long time for you, don't you think it's a long time for him, too? D'you really think he'm that worried about things? And d'you really think the officers'd want you to have no friends at all for six months?"

He paused before continuing, "Seems to me that if you do, you'm makin' the officers a lot more cruel than anyone else aboard thinks 'em to be - an' that young Button there, he'm servant to Mister Leat now. Don't look too upset over that, does he?"

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:00 am

"Oh, he is?" So that was the reason of him bringing the basin and skulking about Mister Leat's quarters. It made more sense now. Button was on the rise and could in the long run become much more than he dreamt for.

Or maybe he'd just become a Tar, when older."He's not worried 'bout them now couse he's with them." He indicated Fingers. "His friends. Couse they can't gain nothin' from each other....that's why they can only be friends." It made sense in his mind. "..but...." Six months. It still felt like a lifetime. So long. Six months. Longer if he believed that after them, he would still not be promoted back.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:08 am

"I dunno what's made you go right back to how you was when I first started talkin' to you," Thompson said. "But if the officers didn't expect you to make friends while you was a Tar... Well, they didn't expect that - nobody would expect that. If the officers expected you to be all by yourself for six months, and not to make any friends at all, that'd be downright cruel of 'em to have disrated you. An' they didn't expect you not to make friends, an' they ain't so cruel as you make out."

He sighed and leaned back. "Let me have me pipe back a minute, seems I'm goin' to need to think about all this here to tell it you over again."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:38 pm

"If You'd ask them you'd know they did not expect that I would make friends. Real friends." Which he had not known that much about except for perhaps his more idolised version and what he had learned from the man he considered a friend.

Obediently he held the pipe back to George, thinking he had probably angered the man with his talk, and at the same time lowered his gaze murmuring a very soft and quiet: "M' sorry corporal."

Leaford planted the seed of doubt in him again. And it was his own imagination which was giving it water and making it grow. His own past experiences which made scenarios which could have been wrong, but for with his logic and in his mind.

He averted his gaze to see the boys dance and the music went nicely to the ear. Lively, happy, much unlike his own mood. He sighed. He wanted to dance, even if he knew it might ache. He wanted to join in, any boy would, wouldn't they? But, instead he shook his head and drew a step back, glancing at Thompson.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:53 am

Thompson blinked and shook his head. "I ain't angry with you, Mathew, don't be silly," he said. "Mebbe I said it wrong. What I meant to say was, I don't think they didn't want you to make friends, if that makes sense." He took the offered pipe and sat back, puffing on it contentedly.

"You was doin' all right afore, seemed to be gettin' on with the other boys all right," he said after a moment. "What brought this sea-change over you?"

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:05 am

".. New winds...." He murmured faintly. He had to raise his voice just a little, now that the music was loud. "...made me think. Rethink my course." He bit his lip. "Maybe...I ..followed the wrong... wrong star... thinking it would bring me home but 'stead it brought me further out to open sea.....an'.." Did any of that make sense.

"..I realised that too late...and now there's nothing but mist and thick clouds...and I don't know.. I'm lost." He lifted his gaze. "I was in t' hold...n' then lookin' for you..an'.. .." He hesitated. "There was lots of time to...uh to think."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:18 am

"You do know you can talk to me, right?" Thompson said gently. "Even with these on me sleeve, I'm still the same George Thompson as I was last week." He offered the pipe back, a bit sadly, wishing he knew exactly what to do or say for the best.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Tom Oxley on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:23 am

Oxley couldn't help glancing over towards the new corporal and the boy with him. Once or twice he made as if to cross to them before thinking better of it. Finally he steeled himself and moved over, shuffling his feet a little. Corporal Thompson wasn't Cross-Eyes - he was much nicer and easier-going than the other corporal or Oxley wouldn't have dared interrupt. Even so, it was nerve-racking, interrupting a conversation that a corporal was having.

"Um, beg parding, Corp'ral," he managed. The only response he got from Thompson was a curious look and a raised eyebrow, which somehow gave him courage to continue.

"Was just wonderin' if Buckles wanted to join in with us, Corp'ral?" he said, not quite able to ask de Guarde himself, not with an NCO present, despite the relaxed appearance their chat had.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:35 am

De Guarde accepted the pipe silently. He gave Thompson a small nod and made a few slow, tentative puffs. He still managed to cough briefly. He braved up against the smoke however and made sure he did not burn his throat. He could not express the gratitude he felt towards those words, being reassured, yet again. Leaford was wrong in this man and always would be. No matter the stripes or squares, or dots, George Thompson would be an honest man, and friend.

He looked up startled when he saw Oxley appear or rather when he had heard him. He wanted to tell Oxley that it was no need to pretend and all that, but something made him keep quiet instead.


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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:45 am

Thompson smiled up at Oxley. "Don't ask me, lad, I don't know. It's fine with me if he wants to join in." Privately, he was pleased that Oxley had interrupted to ask; maybe it would help de Guarde realise that he was wrong, that the other boys could be friends, if he would let them be.

Oxley shifted his gaze to de Guarde, a startled look crossing his face as he realised the younger boy was smoking Thompson's pipe.

"D'you want to join in with us, Buckles?" he said, and hesitated before adding quickly, "Oh, do say yes. It ain't right, you sittin' out like this an' not havin' fun when you could."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:57 am

De Guarde was rendered speechless. Although he did not look as stunned as he could have been, he was lost for words. What could he say? He was drawn towards the music, the merryment and the dance, no denying that. On the other hand however he was supposed to distrust the lot and was now trying to not let suspicion creep into his mind.

He used Thompson's pipe as an excuse not to answer right away and mull over the question, the sort of invitation. He knew he could not prolong it indefinitely. "Me?" He asked holding his pipe close to mouth. "..'s...terribly crowded a'redy. I'd be....in the way." Only, his mouth was saying one thing, and his eyes another. The only good reason he might have had of staying, was, to be in the corporal's company.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Tom Oxley on Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:07 am

"Oh, c'mon, do! Dunno why you wouldn't want to - 's'more fun joinin' in wiv summat," Oxley said, and went red as he glanced at Corporal Thompson. Thankfully the older Marine hadn't seemed to take offence at his words.

He nearly bent to pull de Guarde up bodily, but decided that might not be a good idea, not right in front of a Corporal, even if Thompson was newly-promoted and a good sort.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:06 am

"I..." Oxley seemed rather eager to take him into the fray of things. He just did not know. Was this genuine want of dragging him over there? He gazed at Thompson. He did not want to leave the man, truthfully, but..

"Wot' about him?" He asked lamely. "Can't leave a corpral standin'" ..Only that somehow sounded very different than he intended to, and he looked embarrassed. He did not mean to smack Thompson over the head to make him not be the last man standing.

The music though, it was so enticing. And he could be reassured of himself that the laudanum kept him perhaps not as steady as 'sober' but certainly not feeling as much pain as without it. It was said pain went away, when people were having fun too. "You'um sure yer wantin' me t' join this time? Might get t' Officers seeing it."

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  George Thompson on Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:32 pm

Thompson chuckled. He hadn't said all he'd meant to say to the lad, but joining in with the boys' skylark would do him far more good than being talked to by a grown man.

"I'll be all right, lad, don't you mind me," he said, leaning back and smiling up at the drummer, who looked a little nervous. "You run along and have fun - seems you need it. An' I'll still be around to talk with afterwards. If you want to."

He couldn't make the boy talk to him, of course, but something wasn't right and he wanted to find out what, and help sort things out if he could.

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Re: The Foc'sle in the Sun - 4th June

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:16 pm

"I'll want to!" Mathew answered without actually understanding or knowing what Thompson wanted to talk about exactly. He knew he enjoyed the man's company, and he felt safe to trust him. That was enough. So perhaps if he said he ought to go, he ought to?

He glanced at Oxley. "...I'll come." He hesitated. The voice of Mister Leaford echoing in his mind with its suggestive words. "...I will..but I dun' know all your skylarkin' games or..dances." He hesitated again. "Aye?" He glanced at George. He wanted the man to join in the skylarking only he did not know how to suggest it and how to make it so it was alright. maybe after a dance or two he could drag him over like Chase who'd been dancing all seriously with another man to the laughter and delight of the boys.

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