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10th June: The misplaced

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10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:51 am

Just before midday, the small square around which the 86e Infanterie had arranged the waggons carrying their sick, received an unexpected visitor: Lieutenant Prayon of the 17ème loped in, his jacket open and his cravat askew, and gracefully tipped his head to a nice-looking camp-follower.

His face settling into his most charming smile, and with an appreciative glance, he asked:

"Would you be tending to one of my own men already, or is there a chance that your heart is not yet taken, mademoiselle?"


Last edited by Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Allhands on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:59 am

The lass smiled pleasantly, and greeted the officer with a light nod of her head. "This is the 86th camp, sir. I do not think that you will find your men here."

She glanced at the wagons. The sick were also of their own, and this officer appeared quite healthy, uninjured and well. She wondered what brought him here, and whether it was boredom, or the want to meet one of the fellow officers.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:07 am

"Yes, I know, but I think some might have come here to enjoy your charming ministrations."

Prayon bowed flamboyantly, took her hand and gave her light kiss on the back.

"Would you know of any man who's not from the 86th?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Allhands on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:16 am

"Hmm.." Her cheeks coloured a bit. She was not used to the attentions of an officer. A pleasant man, over the top, but then the French could be famed for this if for nothing e lse.

"Now.. I do recall there being such a man." She answered at length. "Ah yes,... he was brought in a while ago. Found out in there, had a run in with those bastards.." She indicated the open land of the Portuguese countryside. The bastards of course were the Portuguese themselves.

"Poor dear. We thought he would not make it." She shook her head, still unsure why the officer would come here inquiring about a mere private soldier, a soldat. But then, they were the stranger the higher they climbed.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:30 am

Taking her hand in both of his, Prayon looked at the girl with large, soulful eyes:

"Then would you give me the immense pleasure of your continued presence and accompany me to his side?"

Suddenly casting off his histrionics, he pressed another, much more honest kiss onto her hand, then let her go and added cheerfully:

"Or at least point me in the right direction?"

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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Allhands on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:36 am

"It is not far sir." But even so, the lass smiled and motioned that he ought to follow her to the wagon. She had not been inside, but she saw the wounded man come out once, and remembered that it was there one of his visitors came to see him.

Just as she said, it was not far, and with another turn, she paused by the wagon, smiling pleasantly at the handsome officer. She lifted the entrance flap of the wagon and nodded. "Here he should be, sir."
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:53 am

"Mademoiselle, you are a true angel. Should you ever feel the need to tend to another poor soul, you'll be always welcome in my tent." The young man made an even more outrageous bow than his first, his hat sweeping over the stubbles on the ground.

But when he climbed into the dimness, the laughter left his face. Something close to apprehension in his eyes, he quietly went down the narrow space in the middle of the waggon. In a low voice, he asked:

"LaRoch! LaRoche, are you here?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:01 am

The wounded man had been staring at the ceiling of his wagon and though he heard hushed murmurs from outside, he ignored them. He was awake, if barely, and lost in thought. When light was allowed in through the opening he tilted his head just slightly. Still he did not turn to look what it was that disturbed the fabric, and only began to pay some attention to it, when the light was disturbed again by the shadow that bundled in.

"There is no LaRoche here.." He murmured. It almost sounded...no, it could not be.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:15 am

On the sound of murmured words, strangely familiar, the insouciant grin on Prayon's face was quickly fixed into place again. Turning towards the shape under the blanket, he asked: "Are you sure? He likes to fool around in places where he ..."

Prayon stopped in mid-sentence. Now that his eyes had adjusted to the dimness, he could see the face of the man before him. His grin was replaced by pure shock, compounded with unbelieving recognicion.

"Sainty?", he asked in a hoarse voice.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:22 am

Saint-Hilaire froze. The voice had been familiar yes, but he had thought himself a fool when he first heard it. That it could not be, was certain. He had not told anyone to go and see to it that the 17th were informed of him being here. Not yet. His uninjured eye blinked and he tilted his head so that only the seeing side could be seen by the officer.

He struggled up, and managed to get so, half way. "...Saint-Hil..." He began and frowned, knowing a few that would call him Sainty. He was torn. Perhaps he could lie and claim he was also not that man. But for how long and with what reason?

"...Yes." He murmured at last. "But it is.. Saint-Hilaire. Not... Sainty."
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:48 am

There was a moment's silence, but then Prayon had donned his usual frivolous stance once more. Only his eyes betrayed that he had seen more than he liked, but the dimness hid their expression from anyone but the most observant.

Laying a friendly hand on the other man's shoulder to stop him from getting up, he sat down on the edge of the cot. As if he was just looking in on a friend taking the sun on his veranda, he said:

"Oh, don't get up for me. What are you doing here instead of home? Has that fair maiden outside captured your heart?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:59 am

Etienne would have entered if not for the hand on his shoulder. The wounded shoulder that was covered by the thin sheet of fabric that in truth had been his shield of decency for a time, allowing all else an easy heal.

He grit his teeth and drew his shoulder back, twisting his back in the process of this, made him yelp in pain. He looked ashamed and upset with himself, but hurried all the same to answer and act as best as if it had not happened at all.

"...Home? We are in Portugal.. it would have been a long walk home.. should I have wanted to go there now." He lowered his gaze. "I have not seen the maiden you speak of.. are you certain she was there?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:09 am

Bastien let his hand drop, but either he had not noticed Etienne's distress, or he did not care to react any further to it. Crossing his legs and clasping his hands comfortably around them, he chided mockingly:

"Home with us, you dolt! And I'm glad you haven't seen her. I wouldn't want to share."
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:19 am

"She's all yours... if the 86th let you have her." Saint-Hilaire averted his gaze. "...They don't know." He murmured then, shifting back on his bunk so that he was more comfortable and less in pain. "Mind... I tell them, not you?" He indicated the other man's coat as if to explain what he was talking about. They certainly did not know of his rank.

"What has.. brought you here? It's not the... mos' usual place to find you. Not even with a charming young maiden.. unless ?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:15 pm

Bastien laughed. "Oh, do, by all means. I wouldn't want for the life of me to spoil such a dramatic scene. Dashing young hero, suddenly remembering his exalted rank - admit it, there's a girl somewhere!"

He shrugged out of his jacket, folding it carefully and placing it over his knees, before he continued, his voice still light and unconcerned:

"Of course it is the charming young maiden! But my pretence was a lad I lost sight of in Oporto. Name of LaRoche, scrawny and with an accent from the Picardy that curls your toes. You don't happen to have stumbled across him? It would be nice if I had at least one missing to report back."

The last sentence held a faint question, and Prayon's eyes studied Etienne's face attentively.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:39 pm

"..It is not for that. Prayon." He answered with a small scowl. It was strange but the light spirit of his new visitor, and him being of the 17th somehow made him feel in a better mood as well.

"If I could choose for all this to not have happened." At this he lifted his bandaged hands, the rest on his face and back was obvious enough even if he did not specifically show it. "I'd gladly have done so. No woman would have been worth this effort." Having only half of his eyesight perhaps hurt most. Other wounds would heal and hurt, but his eye would never regrow itself.

"I think I have seen one lad, as you describe him. But it was back in Oporto." And at that he tried to think, if he had seen him since. "LaRoche." He mulled over the past days, weeks even. No, the boy was not one of the killed, among those that had escaped. "Last I've seen him, he was alive and well." He concluded. "But if you think that he might be here, it would be best you check the other wagons as well."

After a few moments of silence, and his eye downcast he added, offhandedly:"Chevalier and Pierre, they are dead."
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:50 pm

Bastien exhaled slowly. Quietly he said:

"I'll check. Thank you." Picking a speck of dust from his sleeve, he added:

"We lost enough as it is. It is good to see that some survived. Whatever might have been thrown at them."

Getting up and shaking out the coat, he added, laughing:

"And you are wrong: There is a woman worth it. You just haven't met her yet. Are you comfortable enough here or would you prefer to have your own shaving kit to attack those overgrown whiskers of yours? I believe there's also a chest of clothing belonging to you and terribly clattering up our camp."

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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:01 pm

"Oh, and I would speculate that you have met plenty, sir. Lieutenant Prayon, the charmer of gigantic proportions." Saint-Hilaire found himself chuckling alongside the other officer.

"Why then do you not settle for one so worthy? Hmm?" He was put at ease. He knew a report to his superiors about the lost men would not be as pleasant, but ..it would have to do.

Subconsciously he touched his hand across his chin. With all the things going on, he had quite forgotten that he might have left certain things unattended. One of these he still could not feel, as fabric might catch slightly on the hairs, but certainly not allow the feeling to carry through it.

"I had thought my belongings were lost, since Oporto. Do not say that you have had someone take care that they would come along?" He was impressed and surprised, but in a small way pleased as well.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:09 am

"Oh, we thought that we might auction the whole thing off, but no-one was willing to pay a sous for it. Your chest was ditched in some trench and got a bit dirty, you see. And of course I was promoted and had no longer any need for a lowly sous-lieutenant's things."

With an elaborate gesture, Bastien presented his shako to Etienne; even in the dim light, the high plume and the broader golden band at the top were discernible. Twirling it on one hand, he continued quite unabashed:

"I borrowed all your cravats, though. They were better starched than mine. The success I had with that nice little Signorita in Frendéz you may partly ascribe to your superb laundry."
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:15 am

"I am.. pleased that my laundary has served you with great merit." That his things had not been sold off was a stroke of luck. That Prayon had taken possession of much of his belongings, was unsurprising however.

"I must congratulate you then on your promotion, sir." he observed the shako that was presented to him, noting that it did fit Prayon quite well, being just as bashful and flaunting itself with just as much pride.

"Though may I ask that my things are returned.. in due time, to its rightful owner, so that I might be dressed in more than this..." He gazed at his sheet of cloth. "rather unappealing Greek garment." He paused and adjusted at it slightly. "You would not want your sous-lieutenant... to be underdressed in all of your own glory?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:35 am

"Oh, they will. I wouldn't want to have this rickety thing you call your own to take up the space of my tent any moment longer than necessary. Although ... I think my own uniform will show off to much greater effect if you keep your current clothing, don't you think?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:45 am

"It might, but will it not cast a poor image upon you, that your officer has not so much to wear as a sheet?.." He shook his head. "They might wonder what intentions you have... and those not of most noble nature." He slowly attempted to stand again or at the very least, to shift and lie more comfortably. His back still ached terribly and he was only grateful to have been given the concoction that made the pain almost disappear.

"You do not intend to leave me here, do you?"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:36 am

"I might if you continue to cast such totally unfounded aspersions on my character. My intentions are always most naturally and bear their own noblesse!" Bastien looked as offended as any diva. "But you are right. I think I will have to find a silk sheet for you. I can't have my sous wear a paltry linen one."

Uncrossing his legs, Bastien stood up and tossed his jacket over his shoulder.

"But until I manage that, some silver laces will have to do. If you would wait here for a bit, I think I know where I can borrow some very decent things that should fit you admirably!"
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:49 am

"A silk sheet? Men would become suspicious of my true rank, if an officer would come showering me with such gifts." Etienne replied, amused. "I do hope you provide me with more than lace. It is an awfully lacking, cold thing, to be wearing nought but those."

He did tease, and as he smiled he showed he did not mean a word he said. It was all a joke. He laughed a second time.

Then, tenderly he adjusted his coarse sheet of fabric. "I am grateful, you've taken some care of my things. Prayon...Thank you." He said more seriously.
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Re: 10th June: The misplaced

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:17 am

Already half out of the waggon, Bastien poked his head inside again:

"I needed your laundry, remember? And no, the blue of an uniform is more pleasing to the eye than that of your sorry freezing carcass, so you may wear your jacket with my blessing."

With something like 'Don't go away!', the lieutenant then disappeared from sight.
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