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13 June; Morning Muster

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13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:57 am

After everything that had happened over the past few days, Vickery had decided that, now he was back with his Company, he needed to hold a parade to see how his men were since the skirmish, and to make sure that standards hadn't slipped in his absence.

He dismissed Cotton once his sash was tied, to give the Rifleman time to get into his own place on parade, and fastened his sword-belt in place before picking up his shako and the muster book and slipping out of his tent. He returned Sergeant Müller's salute; he had already told the Sergeant that he wanted to hear the muster-roll taken himself, rather than merely being given a report on the Company's muster strength.

"Rifles!"

The Company came to attention as  Müller saluted the Captain. Vickery returned the salute. "At ease, please, Sergeant!"

"Stand at... ease!"

The Company relaxed fractionally, and Vickery took the muster book from under his arm and opened it. He began at the Corporals, rather than the Sergeants.

"Corporal Becker."

A shuffle in the ranks as the Corporal came to attention. "Mein Herr!" He stood at ease again.

"Corporal Corves."

"Mein Herr!"


Last edited by John Vickery on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:10 am

Bachmeier straightened a bit. His rifle had been in best condition since early morning, when he had given it an additional scrub and check up. He knew he was to be called very close after the corporals. Of course, ahead of him was still Roper Tom.

He listened carefully. It was never wise to miss having one's name called. Unwise also, to have the captain a need to call it again, thus showing one's attention was not where it ought to have been.

Beside him Fuhrmann gave his coat a very slight tug at the side. The motion was barely noticeable. Further down the line, another man, The German, Koch, struggled to stifle a yawn. He succeeded and relaxed again.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:21 am

"Roper!"

"Sir!"

Vickery had to hide a smile. Despite being surrounded by Germans, his English Riflemen insisted, even without realising it, on setting themselves apart by using their own language. He wondered if he ought to insist on their responding in German on occasions such as this.

"Bachmeier."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:28 am

"Mein Herr!" Bachmeier answered in the nick of time. Of course the English could not have said it in the right way. Then again the English were not all that generous in giving away their water either. But this was the same with his German compatriots.

He had to specifically fill his canteen, just to please them. And a heavy, full canteen was much less pleasant to carry than one, half empty. Koch straightened a little. The air was pleasantly cool still, and it felt fresh rather than the dusty, hot sort that it might become later in the day. It was actually not bad to stand there. His kit had nothing much amiss either.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:12 am

"Bergmann."

"Mein Herr."

Overall, the Company looked happy to have him back - or he thought they did, anyway. He looked up at the next name, wanting to see how Burke seemed to be fitting in with the rest of his men. It couldn't be easy for him - nor for Mayden, although of course the two knew each other and could support each other.

"Burke."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:15 am

From behind his portable table Cpt. Torrington watched the roll call with interest. He had been sitting in the clear morning light, working on the map he was preparing, when the parade had assembled.

But now he had put his compass and straightedge down. He still didn't know most of the men, and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to give names to some faces without having to ask every individual.

Besides, he wanted to know how Captain Vickery handled this and how the men reacted to him. Idly sketching the faces on a piece of scrap paper, he tried to memorize the names as they were called up.

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Brendan Burke on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:33 am

"Sir," Burke responded, coming to attention.

He resisted the urge to fidget or straighten his jacket, knowing that his kit was in perfect order. That morning he had gotten up especially early to take extra care with his rifle and ensure everything was in place. Despite feeling more and more at home amongst the 60th, he was still aware that he was a newcomer and wanted to give the Captain no reason to regret his presence.

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:42 am

Burke didn't look any different, really, to any of the other Riflemen under his command. He nodded absently and carried on with the roll-call.

"Cotton."

"Sir!"

His batman had a slightly worried look on his face for some reason, and Vickery wondered why. He had seemed perfectly fine only a few minutes earlier, after all. It was a puzzle that would have to wait, though.

"Fuhrmann."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:34 pm

"Ja, Mein Herr." Again, as with his fellow Germans, the man would have given the captain a German reply. His voice was fairly strong so that it carried to the officer easily.

Fuhrmann glanced at Cotton and then gazed straight ahead again. It would be another few calls, that would all probably go without much hassle. The Germans were all there. That was a fact. Their kit too had been taken care of, in their own fashion, but with great care.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:09 pm

Edward was just sketching the Captain calling up his batman when he suddenly stopped and looked searchingly at each figure in the line. Then he suddenly put his pencil and pad down and abruptly went into his tent. A few seconds later, he came out again and circled to the back of it. When he re-appeared, a slight frown had settled on his face.

Sitting down again, he took up the compasses again and marked some spot on the map, but it was more for appearance's sake than for anything else. All his senses were fixed firmly on the parade now.

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:50 pm

Jacklin was present, as were Jestel and Koch. Newbury was under the surgeon's care and so was back with the baggage. Both Palmers answered to their names.

"Pye."

Silence.

Insistent and commanding, Vickery called the name again. "Pye!"

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:55 pm

The gathered remained silent. Quick glances were exchanged among some of the men, but no word was said.

Nobody wanted to be singled out to be questioned even if not one of them knew where that lad was. The Palmers would probably have their own, not too friendly idea of it. Schreiber thought back on the English lad briefly then on the camp which they left when called. He could not recall any body that could have remained curled up and asleep there.

So, he had not overslept. But where was he then? He was supposed to be in camp at all times.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:08 pm

Vickery marked an A next to Pye's name. Had he misjudged the lad? He was sure he hadn't and yet he wasn't here to answer the roll-call. There was no time to ponder it now, or to find out where he might be.

Rahn and Rosenbaum both answered to their names.

"Rottländer."

The silence this time was almost deafening.

"Rottländer!"

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Sam Mayden on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:00 pm

His black facings made him stand out and for the most part Mayden was proud of that. He stood near the back, part of the parade yet somehow removed from it. This was not his company after all.

However, even he felt a cold shiver of unease when two men failed to answer when their names were called. That was never good. Especially in the Rifles. That poor sod Newbury was the only one he knew of with an excuse to not be present. Which, to his mind, meant that the two missing Riflemen had got up to only one thing.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:47 pm

It appeared his batman didn't have any official excuse for not being present at the roll call.

Edward slowly and methodically falted his map and gathered his instruments, racking his brain whether he might have inadvertendly said anything that the lad might have understood to mean that he was excused from parade. But he hadn't any real hope that this might be the case. His own conversation in the morning was seldom extensive; apart from 'Good morning!' and 'Thank you!' he didn't think he had said anything at all.

Which left the question what the lad was doing. Edward hadn't known Rottländer for long, but he hadn't had the impression that the young rifleman was unhappy in his present position or had any other reasons to wish himself away. Which left some kind of lark as the most likely cause of absence; or a lark gone wrong?

Edward felt unease settle in his stomach. Putting his hat back on and shaking out his cuffs, he slowly walked closer to the parade square.


Last edited by Edward Torrington on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:20 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edward had to reattach his head)

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:01 am

The Scheringer twins answered to their names as calmly as ever - Vickery didn't think anything would ever faze those two.

"Schreiber."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:06 am

"Herr." Schreiber replied, it could have been actually Herr or Hier, both though stating the obvious. The man was present while the earlier called were not.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:15 am

"Schroeder," he continued.

"Hier, mein Herr."

There were only a few names left on the list, now, and he marked them off rapidly. Tunschert, Usprung and Verpoorten were all present. Now he was down to W.

"Weber."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:19 am

"Hier, Mein Herr." The last of the batch, was it? The men were present and accounted for. Weber glanced along the line briefly and then straightened up. What would Vickery do now?
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Sam Mayden on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:26 am

What would the captain do now, Mayden wondered? He knew what Mister Sharpe would do, of course, but Captain Vickery was a different sort of fellow. Still. It was going to go badly for those two missing Riflemen. Missing a parade was no small thing.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:35 am

He called out the last few names, marking them off as their owners responded. Right down to Zillich, they were all present and correct... apart from Newbury, who he knew about, and the inexplicable absence of Pye and Rottländer.

He closed the muster book with a snap, his lips pressed together. He was not happy with this latest turn of events - he was not happy with a lot of things that had happened within his Company over the past month or so.

"Does anybody have any idea where Pye and Rottländer are?" he asked, scanning the men in front of him. He was fairly sure that he had made his expectations clear to Pye, and Rottländer had not seemed to be the sort to absent himself willingly.

He would have some serious soul-searching to do if he had misjudged them, and they had deserted after all. And he would have to make his expectations crystal clear to the rest of the Company.

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Allhands on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:11 am

Nobody answered in the affirmative. Given nobody answered at all, but that was just as well to say that they did not know. The Germans had wondered about the whereabouts of one of their own, and perhaps one had a slight feeling that he had seen him earlier that day, but he could not go on a hunch. He would not say it, especially if it might proove wrong, and the boy's absence could be explained in much more innocent manner.

Things were certainly going to go from back to worse. There have been past events that had not cast the best of light on the 60th Rifles. It could not continue.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  John Vickery on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:25 am

He was sure his headache of the previous week was coming back. Were they covering for the two missing men, or did they genuinely not know where they were?

"Right, then." He clasped the muster book behind his back with both hands. "Who was the last man to see Pye yesterday?"

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An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:32 am

Cotton swallowed and came back to attention. "I was with him yesterday afternoon, sir. Well. Into the evenin', anyhow. Sir." Someone nudged him and he paused. "Oh. He was here this mornin', sir, with all the fuss over Newb'ry, sir."

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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

Post  Sam Mayden on Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:35 am

Pye. Morning fuss. After a moment's thought Mayden got it. Right. Pye was that fellow who'd been so stupidly insisting on knowing who Mayden was instead of helping find out what was going on, earlier that morning.

Knowing more surely who the boy was didn't answer the question of where he was, though. Not that Mayden had anything to offer toward an answer.
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Re: 13 June; Morning Muster

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