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5 June; Settling Quarrels

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5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:28 am



He was not away from the sick-berth ten minutes before he was forming a plan about how best to get a hold of the boy called Button. It was apparent that the lad was important to De Guarde - that snivelling trickle of pig's snot had said as much when he made his pathetic threats - and, accordingly, Seward reckoned it wouldn't go amiss to have a word with him.

The time for this chat would be when all hands were piped to their messes for dinner. Button would be as close to alone as he'd get then. The soft-hearted quartermaster, Evans, would be away in his own mess and thus absent. Jimmy Squeak had told Seward how the quartermaster was the one Button went running to after the flogging, which was something else Seward meant to find out about.

With his shirt hiding his well-bandaged back, Seward worked his way through the chattering crowd of men drifting toward their respective messes. Finding the table where the ship's boys typically ate wasn't hard. He simply had to look for the one place on the messdeck where it didn't seem as though anyone was sitting.

"Here," Seward said in greeting as he idled up to the table. "Button about?"


Last edited by Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:35 am

Terry shrank in his seat. Why, oh why did Seward have to come over here? And asking for him, too? He had a sick feeling in his stomach now, and pushed his plate away.

He hadn't told anyone his suspicions, apart from Mister Evans, and he'd had permission for that.

"'M 'ere," he managed, his mouth dry.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 am



There he was. The other boys at the table were utterly silent, staring at their comrade as he shoved his barely-touched food away. Not that Seward cared.

"Got time fer a chat?" It was phrased as a question, even though it was anything but.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:49 am

Shit, no. Just... no.

He shoved a piece if hardtack in his shirt and reluctantly got to his feet, muttering to Fingers as he did so, "Get..." Who could Fingers tell? "Um. Tell Cob Chase as I might be a bit late," he added, hoping that Fingers would be quick enough to pick up on what he was saying that he wouldn't give him away.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:20 am



Seward's eyes narrowed a little but he managed not to scowl. Clever little dropping. "Won't be long," he promised, not giving the dirty-faced Fingers a chance to speak up.

"C'mon then."

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:26 am

Hopefully Fingers or one of the others would tell Cob Chase - or anyone! - and quick.

"'Arrigh'," he muttered reluctantly. He did not want to have any sort of talk at all with Seward.


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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:34 am



"Move, then." Seward stepped back and glanced pointedly toward the ladder. There was no hope of a suitably private conversation down here, but up on the weather deck, it would be possible. Not that he expected this to take very long.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:42 am

Crap. Hopefully the officer of the watch might see them... Who was the officer of the watch, anyway? He couldn't remember. And probably he wouldn't take any notice of them anyway.

He was moving, just not fast. He was... dammit. He was scared, and feeling a bit sick.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:49 am



A helpful shove was called for here, but Seward was not fool enough to give one. Instead, he growled, "You got iron in yer feet? It'll take longer gettin' topside than it'll do talkin'."

Just what was it that De Guarde considered worth protecting in this sorry heap of boy, anyway?

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:00 am

Terry didn't care how long they would end up 'talking'. Any talk at all was too long, in his opinion.

He emerged into the cool shade of the forecourse and wondered where to go next, trying to think why Seward had come after him in the first place - he hadn't told anyone on the lower deck his suspicions, apart from Mister Evans. He hadn't even come right out and told Buckles. Though maybe he should have.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:13 am



"Now what," the maintopman began, impatient to get this whole thing figured out, "d'you got that's special 'bout you, boy, so's that rat turd mate of yers goes pickin' fights 'cause of you?"

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:25 am

"What?" Terry said, stunned. "I don't got any idea whats you's talkin' 'bout, Mister. Honest I don't!" Who was picking fights because of him, and why would they want to?!

Buckles... Hadn't he seen the other boy going off to talk to Seward the other day? He had - and had tried to warn him off.

If this was Buckles' fault, he was going to thump him, no matter that the ex-middy was bigger than him.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:34 am



Of course he didn't. "Course you don't," Seward grunted. "Ain't no smarter'n the deck yer walkin' on, I'll wager. Makes a lad wonder if there's somethin' else worth notin' about you."

He'd had his suspicions about De Guarde before now, having seen how much time the former midshipman spent with that jumped-up Marine. Maybe there was more to that than he'd first thought.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:40 am

What on earth did Seward mean? Terry couldn't think of anything that Seward might be referring to - unless he had been seen that night. But he hadn't stirred, hadn't made any indication at all that he was awake. He'd certainly done nothing to arouse anyone's suspicion at all that he might have witnessed anything untoward.

He gulped. "I dunno what you's talkin' bout, Mister," he said, wishing he sounded firmer and more convinced than he did. It was no fun at all being a kid, sometimes. Grown men had much more convincing voices, after all.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:47 am



Of course not. Seward curled his lip. "That so. Now, see, there's a problem wi' that. Sommody like yer puddin' head mate don't do nothin' 'less there's somethin' backin' him fer it. That somethin's you. You're really sayin' you got no thought 'bout why he's makin' trouble where he don't oughta?"

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Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:50 am

Terry shook his head. "Said it yourself. 'E's a pudden-'ead, ain't 'e?"

And he was going to get thumped if Terry got out of this!

"I din't do nuffin'."

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:05 am



"Aye, so he is," Seward agreed stiffly. "An' you're a bleedin' liar."

Suddenly, he wished they were not on the weather deck, so he might box this idiot boy's ears. He was all but convinced now that these two - Button and De Guarde - were up to something unspeakable. Why else would that rat turd try coming up to the scratch with Seward for no clearly-expressed reason?

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:20 am

"I bleedin' ain't!" Terry retorted. He could lie, of course - he didn't know anyone that couldn't - but this wasn't a lie. He really hadn't done anything. Just seen something - and he was trying not to think about that.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:30 am



"No?" Seward sneered. "Then don't be tellin' me that yer precious close mate ain't just got me a few more stripes fer nothin'."

His temper was getting up now. He disliked ship's boys at the best of times, but this one was really getting on his nerves. " 'Cause I damn sure 'member that rat turd sayin' plain's day to leave you alone. Now why'd he do somethin' like that if you ain't done nothin'?"

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Elijah Peters, Private, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:40 am

No. Oh no. That wasn't good... "I... I dunno," he murmured. He didn't think it had been 'for nothing' - nobody had a flogging for nothing, after all, and he remembered Mister Boyles stepping in. But why de Guarde should tell Seward to leave Terry alone, the lad couldn't fathom.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Keiju on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:58 am



No? Rubbish. Pure rubbish! Seward's face darkened in a scowl. "Don't you. Well. You ain't got yer fightin' rat 'round now, I see. Mebbe you'n'me oughta clear off this deck now."

He reached for the boy's sleeve.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Elijah Peters, Private, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Tide Evans on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:01 am

A closed fist lanced out of seeming nowhere, finding its mark squarely on Seward's jaw. Immediately following the fist came an open hand, which grabbed hold of the trailing ends of Seward's neckcloth. In an instant, the stunned maintopman was sprawled on the deck.

"Somebody let a swine outta the sty," Tide snarled, flexing his left hand experimentally.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:09 am

Terry's breathing had quickened as his sleeve was tugged, and he had started to flinch away in expectation of receiving a box on the ears, or worse.

Nothing.

No. A thump wasn't 'nothing', was it?

He opened his eyes - when had he closed them? - to find Seward sprawled on the deck with Mister Evans standing over them both, a look of intense anger on his normally cheerful face.

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Tide Evans on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:19 am

In the handful of seconds it had taken for him to knock Seward down, the few men left topside for the duty watch came pressing close in, with Colburn the boatswain's mate being amongst the first.

"The hell is - " Colburn cut himself off when he recognised the dazed seaman on the deck. "Oh."

Tide snorted. "Aye."

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Re: 5 June; Settling Quarrels

Post  Terry Button on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:24 am

Terry was shaking now, wondering what on earth was going to happen when Seward had recovered - Mister Evans couldn't look after him all the time, it'd look all wrong.

"P... please, I din't do nuffin'," he mumbled, unable to tear his eyes away from the Tar sprawled on the deck and look up to see who was there.

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