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Prisoners marching - 6 June

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Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:15 am

[From Headaches]

Jenny was confused when she awoke. Something was different. It was dark, but the sounds she could hear were not night noises. Men were talking - in French - and there was the sound of horses and mules and creaking wheels and even birds. And motion, a swinging, swaying motion. Then she realized that she was in one of those surgeon's wagons again. She did vaguely remember visiting the surgeon, some time after that wretched dinner. It must be morning by now. She sat up and slid open the shutter on the little round window. Yes, they were on the march, and it was light. A strange sort of gray green light, but day nonetheless.

And then she remembered who her fellow passenger was. By the light of the window, she could see Christian, still asleep, and she was startled by the dried blood on his head and the gash across his face.

She realized the reason she had awakened was that the wagon was slowing to a stop. The door opened and a French soldier gestured for her to come out. It looked as though there was a wounded man who needed her spot. She crawled past Christian, careful not to wake him, and asked, "What is the problem?" The soldier gestured at the other man and said something she could not understand, but she shook her head. "What is the problem with him?" pointing at Christian. The soldier shrugged and again said something incomprehensible, and held out an impatient hand to help her down. With a last glance at Christian, she accepted the assistance and stepped down from the wagon.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:05 pm

There was a slight commotion in the line as one of the wagons rolled to a stop. Polly stared worriedly as the Frenchmen ushered a wounded man towards the stopped wagon. She really did not want to think about what would have happened to cause all the blood on the man's bandages. Things were scary enough - the guards watching them march were a sure sign of that.

Then, to her surprise, they pulled a familiar figure from the wagon.

Jenny!

It was certainly a relief to see that the older woman was alive and relatively unharmed. When she had been taken away - again - and not brought back, Polly had feared the worst.

The guards moved away, and the wagon started rolling forward once more. Glancing at the soldiers watching the women to be sure that they weren't looking at her, Polly hurried to catch up.

"Jenny!" she said, grasping the edge of the woman's sleeve. "Are ye alrigh'?"

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:27 pm

Jenny looked with some surprise at the young woman who had grabbed her sleeve, and then she recognized her as Polly. "There you are, little one," she said mildly. Then, somewhat to her own surprise she answered, "Yes, I'm all right. I'm fine."

In fact, she felt quite light and alive. It was a strange feeling, but good. Her very long sleep had refreshed her, and the sky was dim, not blindingly bright as it had been before. It felt like they were walking through a cloud, though the heat and humidity were strangely not oppressive. "It's going to rain." And she did not mind.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:13 am

"Rain?" Polly repeated, confused. She looked up at the sky momentarily, distracted. It was rather wet feeling, she supposed. Still, it seemed an odd remark just then.

Looking back at Jenny, Polly bit her lip. The older woman did look well, which was a relief. Truthfully, seeing her at all had Polly feeling much more at ease. She was convinced that Jenny would know what to do about everything. It was not something she could entirely explain, given how little she actually knew of her companion.

"'M glad ye're well," she said, suddenly feeling a little shy.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:20 pm

"Well thank you, Polly," she answered lightly, linking the girl's arm through her own. After such a hellish headache the evening before, and such exhausted sleep all night and all morning, it felt good to be alive, awake, and walking about.

"Look." She pointed at a bird, something that seemed enormous though she did not have a clue what it was. It rose up, flapping its great long wings and flew off in a leisurely manner, low above the heads of the men marching ahead. When Jenny heard a few startled male cries, she laughed and laughed.

"Don't you worry, little one," she said mirthfully, swinging Polly's arm with her own. "There's nothing for us to worry about if these men are afraid of birds."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:36 pm

Janet burst into a very unladylike guffaw and turned to see who had spoken, a grin spreading across her face. "Well, well. Jenny Ross."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:51 pm

Jenny's smile continued, and she gave the other woman a nod. "Janet. You've been taking care of yourself, I see."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:52 pm

Her grin retracted into a knowing smirk, "Oh, I've been gettin' by." She peered at the younger woman beside Jenny. "Polly, innit?" She had hardly recognized her in the light of day.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:43 pm

"Hullo again," Polly said, smiling shyly. She was pleased to see the other woman again. Between Janet and Jenny, Polly was quite certain that things would be alright.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:15 am

A large drop splashed onto Jenny's arm. She held it up to look at it. Yes, it was a rain drop. Finally. "Thank God," she said, looking up at the sky. Another fat drop of water splashed on her cheek and she laughed with something like relief.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:17 pm

Janet tilted her head back to catch the first drops on her face. "Just as long as it stops 'fore we do. Else I'll have to find me an enterprisin' lad to make friends with tonight."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:07 pm

And that made Jenny laugh too. Why was everything so funny all of a sudden? She turned her face up to rain, and it was cooling and cleansing. She knew it would not feel that way when her shoes were soaked and covered in mud, but at this moment it seemed to be washing away a stifling heat and the sweat of several days marching. Or starting to, at least. "Come on," she urged the sky. "Rain! Make up your mind and really rain."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:44 pm

The next time he was sensible of anything with any clarity, he was hunched in a corner of the wagon with no memory of ever having sat up. Christian eyed the wagon's other occupant resentfully as he whimpered in his sleep; he had not yet forgiven him for the shock he had received upon waking and finding the injured Frog rather than Jenny beside him. How this was the man's fault, he wasn't sure, only that it was. Somehow. Definitely. In fact, that was just about the only thing he was sure of at the moment. That and a sudden determination to get out of the wagon. The provenance of this idea was equally hazy, but such details were trivial and he had become convinced that escaping from the wagon was desperately important.

Crawling past the sleeping Frog, he sank down beside the rear doors. They were shut, but after some fumbling one of them swung open, letting in a splash of rain. Wooden bars rose before him and to his left, the way was blocked by a chain and some kind of spring contraption. Christian blinked at them in incomprehension, like a child trying to shove a square block into a round hole. This was not how it was supposed to work.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:00 pm

Jenny looked up ahead and saw the door of the wagon being pushed open from within. And there was Christian, looking out in a daze. His bewildered expression was rather priceless. She laughed and ran splashing to the wagon. "Mike, are you all right?"

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:11 pm

"Jenny!" he cried, the wooden bars temporarily forgotten, but checked himself almost as suddenly, regarding her with mild suspicion. "You ain't just in me head again, are you?"

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:21 pm

She frowned. Was his mind addled simply because he had just awakened, or was there more to it than that? "No. I'm walking out here in the mud. Shut the door, Mike - it's raining - and go back to sleep for a while." She looked around, apprehensive that someone might see that he was awake and force him to march.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:21 am

Polly hurried to catch up with Jenny, surprised to find her talking to the injured man in the wagon. Hadn't the other woman just gotten out of the cart? And who was the man? Polly held slightly back, looking to her friend's expression in concern.

"Jenny?" she asked. "Everythin' alrigh'?"

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:46 pm

"Yes, it's all right Polly," she answered absently. Then she gave her a sweet smile. "This is Mike. He's here to look after us. After a bit of a rest in the wagon first. Mike, this is Polly."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:49 pm

Offering a shy smile to the man in the wagon, Polly bobbed a quick curtsey. If Jenny said he was there to look after them, then he was certainly a good man.

"'Ow d'ye do," she said quietly.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:22 pm

Christian nodded a greeting to the young woman, winced and tried to smile, "Hullo."

Slowly, however, the impulse to get out of the wagon -- temporarily displaced by the arrival of Jenny -- clawed its way back to the forefront of his consciousness and he began to fiddle with the chain attached to the wooden bars. One of the Frogs nearby started shouting, but Christian ignored him, at least until the wagon stopped and the wooden bars magically lowered. Another Frog grabbed him by the arm and he instinctively pulled back.

Somehow this had the opposite effect of what he intended. He hit the ground with a splash, too startled by the sudden change in elevation to manage a curse. The mud slurped at his hands and feet as he struggled for enough purchase to rise, but the rest of his body seemed to rebel at the idea and he quickly slumped back to the ground.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:57 pm

"Mike!" Jenny exclaimed, rushing forward to help him up. One of the soldiers forestalled her though, grabbing his arm and giving him what sounded like a severe scolding. Another soldier tried to push Jenny out of the way.

"Mike, dear, are you all right?" she asked over the Frenchman's shoulder.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Polly Smith on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:01 pm

Cringing away from the Frenchmen, Polly hurried forward to aid Jenny in helping Christian to his feet. She cast a worried glance between the injured man and their captors.

"L-leave Jenny alone! An' Mike, too," she told the Frenchman tremulously.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  outis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:11 pm

"Oi! Leave 'em alone!" He grabbed for the man who had shoved Jenny, but only succeeded in being knocked backwards into the mud once more.

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  Jenny Ross on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:13 pm

"Mike, Mike, stop it," Jenny whispered. "We're fine. Take my arm."

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Re: Prisoners marching - 6 June

Post  sans nom on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:19 pm

"Sir!" Charcot bellowed toward the direction in which he had last seen the surgeon. "The English man just fell out of the wagon!"

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