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11 June; Strangers

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11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:28 am

Being back with his officer after a week needed some adjusting to, McIntyre found. He had started to become used to the grasshopper's routine and the unique demand of looking after a wounded officer, which made returning to his usual duties a bit troublesome at first.

Mister Cobb was happy enough to have him back though. He minced no words bemoaning the difficulties he'd encountered with no batman, which amused the old Irishman. Officers didn't always know how good they had it with lads like McIntyre around to keep them straight.

He was busily working on repairing the lieutenant's shako, a task that was entirely too delicate for Mister Cobb to even contemplate. Not, he mused, that the lieutenant had any idea how to fix anything, never mind good felt. The poor beggar could barely brew a cup of tea!

The army would do well if it went back to those reliable old cocked hats though, McIntyre thought. He missed those. Shakoes were entirely too cumbersome. Besides the obvious fact that one could hardly wear them on a ship!

There was a spike in the noise of chatter from the lads around their fire nearby but he didn't look up to see what had caused it. This was one task he dared not interrupt without due cause.
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:46 am

Pye's mood in the past few days had gone from terrible to great. Not too long ago he had learned that he had his very own partner. It was a bit like getting his rifle. The thrill, the excitement and the novelty of it all added to the grin that was plastered on his face and wrinkled his skin a bit around the unsightly scar.

Of course, now that he knew he would not face a trial and that he had even been rewarded, he had no qualms but to share that news with his old friends. Barely keeping the excitement contained, his whistling to a minimum and his walk at a steady pace, he had not realised he'd reached the fire of his former regiment until he was called by one of the men. He waved and laughed.

It did not take much time before the conversation became animated and quite loud. The lad gesturing with his hands, what he could not explain quickly enough with his words. His coat was still in tatters, but very soon even that would be remedied and he would wear a new one. Money would be stopped from his pay, but who cared. He was back with the army and life was good!

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'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:58 am

Their runaway comrade was back amongst them, looking as though he had been dragged through brambles. Wilton Johnny was the first to greet the boy and the others were shortly gathered around him, all smiles and questions. Rumour had supplied them with all sorts of wild stories and they were keen to know the truth.

The persistent buzz from them was what finally drew McIntyre's attention away from his work. He looked up to see a decidedly-tattered green jacket at the heart of a cluster of red. Now what, he thought mildly, was a Rifleman doing here over here?

"What's alla this, lads?" The oldster enquired, deciding to give his aching fingers a respite from the delicate needlework. He got to his feet and joined the group.
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:05 am

"Our lost boy has come to prove he has not completely forgotten us yet." Wilton answered and chuckled. "Though give him a day, and he'll be all high and full of his grasshopper self!" This made Pye scowl. The lad did turn to look and recognising McIntyre, the batman to Mister Cobb, he waved.

"Don't lissen ter him! " He spoke. "I only came this late 'couse there was all sorts of business needin' takin' care of!"

"Right so, brat. All sorts of lying about doin' nothin' that's what you was taking care of!" Wilton earned another scowl but shrugged it off with a grin.

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'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:20 am

Closer study of the lad revealed why he was familiar. It was the boy who'd been with the Riflemen who'd been delivered to their officer by redcoat guard.

"Business, eh?" McIntyre lifted an eyebrow in curiosity. "Looks like a rough bit of business t'me."
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:41 am

".. Aye, but it's all perfectly sorted now!" He smiled. "I've got meself a partner too. See, s' how t' rifles operate. They's got two a pair.. ter fight together an' all." He nodded his grin only growing bigger.

"Wierd folk, those greencoats." Wilton mused.

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'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:00 am

"That's light infantry," McIntyre observed with a slight smile. "I seen it 'fore now. Ain't just the Rifles, lad."

He folded his arms over his chest and gave the young Rifleman a closer study. "Y'know, if you was one of my lads, I'd have you sewin' up a brand new coat now. That one you got on ain't fit for swabbin' a deck!"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:05 am

"Only t' Rifles have rifles." Pye answered and then realising that it sounded rather bad, scoffed. "We riflemen have rifles. N' t' other infantry don't." He was sure of that.

He gazed at his coat as McIntyre did and felt his cheeks warm up, the colour on them noticeable. "Ah.. I would have. Only I don't have no wool to do it with." He only had blue, and he did not know whether that could be changed into green. It was a good coat and would need some alterations, but the blue was the worst part of it.

"I was t' 33rd 'fore." He added. "Been servin' longside him there." He indicated Wilton and a couple of the other lads with his finger. "Gone ter t' Rifles not long ago."

"And what a terrible company he was. Good riddance, I say!" Wilton said, and he was joking. The lad had not been as bad, though he was much more timid and quiet then.

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:18 am

The old Irishman shook his head. "Rifles ain't that special," he remarked. "Special-trained light bobs is all."

It was a jibe, plainly enough. That this lad had gone to the Rifles from the 33rd was no news. McIntyre had heard of that when it had happened. He shrugged and, with a grin, added, "That'll be 'cause you ain't thinkin' right 'bout it. Not that I ain't surprised. Soldiers never was much for thinkin' for themselves!"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:23 am

"What wasn't I thinkin' right?" Pye inquired. Soldiers were not meant to think, when standing in the line. Rifles on the other hand seemed to desire atleast some thought. "Weren't you.." He paused. "There. When we arrived. With our captain?"

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:41 am

"Makin' a new jacket," McIntyre replied. "Ain't grasshoppers meant to use their brains?"

He winked at the other lads, many of whom were grinning. "Maybe all them stories are wrong, though. And aye, I was. Poor beggar needed a steward, after all."
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:04 pm

"If I knew how, I would. Couse i'td be savin' money. Don't know how, so is' what i get stopped from me pay and get a brand new one. This'un ai't salv.... it's not ter be saved." That was a regretful fact. He did not know the face of the name who he could blame for it, but he would not go looking

"We heard he was injured. T' captain. N' real bad too. Thank yer fer makin' sure he was live an' kickin' by the time we got back!"

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:14 pm

Shaking his head, he replied, "It ain't hard's all that, lad. Find the right colour fabrics and that's most of it there. Either patch them rags on your back or make up a new one."

What were they teaching the young ones these days? McIntyre reckoned it was down to the difference in service. He'd never have allowed such a thing to pass aboard ship. It didn't reflect well on the Corps, after all.

"It were down to me officer sendin' me for it," he clarified. "But it were only right, I s'pose. Poor beggar!"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:25 pm

".Ain't much green being lyin' about." He hesitated. Was McIntyre pulling his leg or did his suggestion actually hold water? "Unless you know how ter turn blue into green." He had not thought of sewing himself a brand new coat, the patching up part was suggested and he had thought to ask Lucy to have another go, but the patched coat looked hardly presentable. This man was an old sort, and his experience counted but could he help with more? "And mend a coat into..a new one." Buttons he could switch easy, he knew how to sew small parts to hide...uh, nothing.

" Grateful you did, even if you was told. His batman was a French prisoner n'..well t' injured don't ever have it light." Not to say the officers did not know how to take care of themselves!

"

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:25 am

"Maybe not that's obvious. But how do you lot get kit for lads that draft in? There'll be green wool somewheres." A frown touched his brow. "Blue, though. The devil d'you have... belay a minute. You was the one had the long coat, weren't you?"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:45 am

"...was..." He wanted to finish that with a not, but lying did not seem like a good thing to do just about then. "I was." He nodded. "Only dressed, nothin' else." He added after a moment. "It helped us."

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:44 am

A couple of the lads were peering at the boy in confusion. "What's he meanin'?" one asked, glancing toward McIntyre.

The oldster shrugged. "The lad had a Frog's coat with him's all," he explained. "But I reckon that's how they cut themselves outta the French camp, like."
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:48 am

"We did." Pye glanced briefly at Wilton and then his attention was back on McIntyre. "..The Frogs didn' e'spect something like that to happen. So it was a sensible idea. I don't think they noticed us at all when we was gone and not for a while after." He smiled proudly. "Was easier to take t' guards out an' ter get t' rifles out where we could take 'em with us." Well, that was not just his uniform that success could be blamed on, but also a French lad, who had been fooled.

"And 'fore that. T' best route o' escape. Easier." He glanced at McIntyre:" So.. do ye think you could do something wif' that fabric?"

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:14 am

Murmurs of approval of the boy's cleverness arose from the others. McIntyre himself could acknowledge the quickness of that sort of thinking.

"Well done then," he said. "You'll have to fetch the material yourself, lad. I'll not do everythin' for you!"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:25 am

Pye did grin, as any young lad would, when hearing approval of his elders. It was nice after near dark looks from his fellow riflemen a while ago. It was better now, but..

"Thank you." His cheeks burned hot. "..I will bring ye some." He'd find it. If he could have a jacket made that would not stop the whole pay of his, that would be splendid. "Do ye think anything could be done with this'un." He tapped his own ragged coat. " ..else I'll try ter get something elsewhere." Though he needed to 'empty' his coat first. No need for McIntyre to break his needle on things that oughtn't be there.

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:52 am

Hmm. That was a good question. McIntyre winked again at the others watching and circled the boy slowly, considering the state of his jacket from every side.

"It might be set right," he mused, "but it'd show. Might be able to use it for pieces though. Depends what you're able to find!"
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:16 am

"A'right." He noticed the wink and looked apprehensively at McIntyre. "Wot' was that for?" He asked, glancing at Wilton and several others, but none of them spoke.

"How soon can I bring t' pieces to ye?" He murmured distractedly. What was that wink for? Was this some sort of joke being pulled on him? Only he did not see what it could be.

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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:36 am

The oldster grinned. "You been away from this lot so long you forgot how things go? Nothin's done free here'bouts, mate. I'll set your jacket to rights for you whenever you gets me the material, sure, but there'll be somethin' in it for me, too."
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:39 am

"Right." How could he have thought it was all for free. He near forgot about the 'exchange'. "Wot' do ye want in return?" No use beating about the bush, if the other man already knew what he wanted. He arched a brow, and studied him. Another glance at the rest did not give an answer to that question either.

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'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: 11 June; Strangers

Post  Brendan McIntyre on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:47 am

Good lad. He caught on again quick.

"Ain't much. Only first pick of whatever you lads turn up next time you're huntin'."
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