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14th June: Building bridges of humanity

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:27 am

"Halt!" Willoughby shouted when he noticed that the officers had not followed but ridden of mindlessly in their own direction. He pulled Herrero into a stop, having it done so abruptly that the animal reared. He turned it around and Kenley grinned. Silly landwalking officers. Even on horseback, they could not match up with the Hussars in attention to where they were going! Sure the cavalry attacked and went for the wagons of the enemy, but that was a concrete goal right there.

"I'll fetch them. Kenley, stay with the ...Portuguese ma'am." Willoughby kicked the sides of his horse again, sending him off at a sprint after the two officers.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:57 am

Edward ducked low in the saddle to escape being hit by a branch. He had to slow down a bit. Trueno's size made finding a way through the branches difficult, and while the stallion would happily have ploughed through, he would probably regret it later, and his rider was not about to allow him his head there.

Suddenly he realized something, though. While Brandy was galloping quite audible just in front of him, behind him was silence. After making sure that no branch in front of him would knock him out of the saddle, he turned and looked back.

He saw exactly ... nothing. Well, the forest, of course, but their escort seemed to have vanished. Which was, given that they were probably in enemy territory, not a good sign; his suspicions flared up again, but he consciously fought them down again. As long as there was no proof, it was illogical to assume the worst.

Giving his mount more rein and lifting lightly in the saddle, he galloped to Vickery's side. "Captain ..." Trueno wanted to pass his colleague and Torrington had to rein him in again. "The hussars and la Senhora aren't behind us anymore."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:08 am

"What?" Vickery reined in a little as Torrington moved up next to him and said something that the Rifle officer didn't quite catch. He risked a quick glance behind himself. "Ah." He reined in gently to bring Brandy to a halt, hoping that Torrington would keep pace with him. "Do you think we have perhaps missed the path, Captain?"

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:18 am

Willoughby glanced at the ground, and spied for the broken branches, kicked up dirt, imprints of hooves and any mark of careless riding that he could find and was fresh. He spurred his stallion on. How could the officers not have noticed them turning?! Of course they had to loose their heads to...Forbes would have much to say about officers of the Foot Soldiers, and none of it would have been nice.

"Come on, Herrero." He was galloping as fast as he could safely ride in the terrain and still follow the hints of tracks of the two men ahead of him. "Lets hope we find them before the French do."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:24 am

Edward brought his horse back to a trot, then circled back to Vickery. While doing so, he looked around, trying to remember when he had last consciously heard the other horses behind him.

"Possibly, although I would have expected them to cry out, then, not to simply go in another direction. They were not competing with us, after all, and their orders were to follow us."

His mouth quirked in a grimace for a second.

"I guess we should cautiously go back and find out what happened."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:28 am

"If they were supposed to follow us, they haven't exactly obeyed their orders," Vickery said, giving a slight smile. "Going back to find them is probably a good idea." He wondered when their paths had diverged. "I don't imagine they turned off too long ago, though."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:36 am

"No, I fancy I have heard one of their horses complaining just before that large trunk about two minutes back."

In a walk, one hand on the grip of a pistol, Edward set off in this direction. He looked just the slightest bit uncomfortable. Possibly he had made a mistake, and he didn't like the feeling, but he had to tell Vickery anyway.

"The only thing that would excuse them ... Well, I thought it a courtesy to our allies to make them aware of Senhora da Almaida's status as an officer of the Ordonnanca. She might have pulled rank on them."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:43 am

Vickery raised an eyebrow at that. "It is more likely that they felt it was their duty to stay with the woman rather than the hopefully capable officers. After all, I do not think that the men in the ranks have as much experience of the Ordenanca as do you and I. We certainly have more acquaintance with Senhora Lopes."

The sound of hooves caught his attention and he looked up. "Captain!" he called, warningly, seeing the dark blue coat of one of the Hussars. "We seem to have found our escort. One of them, at least."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:47 am

The two figures were finally spotted and Willoughby sighed with relief. He had almost thought that he might have taken the wrong path or that something indeed had happened to the officers, as they were so far ahead of them.

But now, he straightened a little, though he did not yet slow Herrero. There was still some ground to cover.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:54 am

At the warning tone of Vickery's voice, Torrington had his pistol out in a flash; when he spotted the hussar as well, however, and the rest of Vickery's sentence registered, he slowly let it sink.

"Which begs the question where the other and la Senhora are."

He was too good a horseman to kick Trueno into walking forward again, but his stiff seat proclaimed that he was neither pleased nor easy with the situation. He approached only slowly, preferring to let the hussar come up, his eyes still searching for the other one.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:57 am

"Let us hope that this trooper will have the wits to tell us," Vickery remarked dryly, resting the reins on Brandy's neck, and idly patting the horse's neck. He was still sitting upright, watching the trooper approach.

"You ride well, Captain," he added. "It has been a while since I last had such an... interesting race."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:01 am

"Sirs." Willoughby saluted smartly as he approached them near enough that he could be heard. Herrero was finally slowed first into a trot, then walk and then finally he was halted alltogether.

"Lady Portuguesa.. is waiting ..." He studied the two men and felt uneasy. True that these were not their officers, but by all means they should have followed them, as their escort, and not the woman, though she had been the one to show the way. He patted his horse and leaned down, so that he needn't look at the faces of the two men, especially Torrington.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:10 am

The memory made Edward grin for a moment.

"As do you, Captain. Unfortunate that we couldn't finish this properly. It would have been quite an honour beating you."

The mischievous smile in his eyes took the barb from his words. For a second he looked five years younger, and not at all like a staid and responsible engineer. Then his eyes were on the hussar and their surroundings again, and his face once more settled in its usual cool expression.

When Willoughby reached them, he looked at him sternly. The first question that clamoured through his mind was 'And how could you have left her with only one guard?', but he bit down on it and asked instead:

"Is there a reason you have not followed us, nor indicated that you would go another way?"

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:14 am

Vickery looked at Torrington, one eyebrow quirked in surprise. "As I recall, Captain, it was I who was beating you."

Brandy shifted beneath him a little, and he pulled at the horse's ear to quieten the animal, deferring to Torrington in questioning the trooper.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:31 am

"We have believed you saw us, Sir. And later expected that you needed a... larger range to turn your speeding horses. It was only later that we realised that you were not with us." He kept his gaze low, though he no longer patted Herrero, nor stroked his neck. The horse snorted and dug his leg into the ground, shoving some pebbles behind him.

He looked rather dismissive of the two officers even if his rider seemed tense because of them. As for the other two horses, Herrero raised his head up high and looked as though he intended to look down on both, just because he could.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:46 am

To be fair, they had sent one of their number after the officers almost right away.

"We were in front of you, Trooper," Vickery pointed out mildly. "Contrary to popular opinion, neither Captain Torrington nor I have eyes in the back of our heads to see what is happening behind us."

Brandy tossed his head and whickered, pawing at the ground, obviously proud of his Arab descent in front of the Hussar's piebald.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:56 am

Trueno, not at all taking kindly to being patronized, arched his neck proudly, using his natural advantage of height to good effect. Edward stopped the contest however by setting the stallion in motion again.

"We'll discuss this further, but first we should get back to Senhora Lopez. I don't particularly like to leave her in the company of a guard who has neglected to notice the absence of two large horses and their riders for quite some time, especially when they were supposed to be following them."

He sounded very much like a noble, but not in the best sense of the word. His tone wasn't impolite, but it had a cutting edge, and his words were an unveiled dart. He probably would be sorry for this later, but at the moment his mind was more on the fact that what he considered the more powerful fraction of their party was here.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:02 pm

And you are also deaf as a dog~ Willoughby thought but did not say. Of course they could only have listened to what went on behind them to realise it was just silence. They could also have watched to where their guide intended to go as this was the idea, but the officers could not be argued with, just agreed even when they were wrong.

"Sir.. we were to have Miss Lopez take us to the bridge.. correct?" Perhaps he allowed himself just that tiny bit of a jab at the fact that the two men rode off wildly uncaring of where their guide went! Whom they were supposed to follow.

He turned Herrero about, waiting for the two men to pass untill he could spur his horse forward unless the officers chose him to ride ahead.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  John Vickery on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:07 pm

Vickery nudged Brandy into motion again, content to follow Torrington's lead. I hope I am not going to regret saying that, he thought, reflecting that if Pye and Rottlaender ever found out that he did not in fact have eyes in the back of his head, there would be simply no holding them back from whatever mischief they came up with next.

"Do not be impertinent, Trooper," he said aloud, his words crisp and clipped, a hint of annoyance audible in their tone.


Last edited by John Vickery on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:40 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:21 pm

"Indeed." Edward didn't sound any better now. The jab had registered. His voice became even cooler.

"But if my direction was wrong, and you knew it, that even more begs the question why you found it completely unnecessary to inform your officers that you were going to part company. There are several explanations for that, but I have yet to find one that I like."

He didn't mention 'desertation', the possibly most cutting thing, because even through his haze of anger, he acknowledged that one had come back and the other stayed with their guest. Perhaps not the way he would have proceeded, but it at least showed their good will.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:26 pm

"Yes, sir." Willoughby spoke in that automatic response tone that many of his rank would have done to perfection. Though they might have pronounced it less clearly and sounded more down to earth, the meaning was clear and understood.

He and Herrero moved forward with the officers, though staying just a bit to the back. "We returned when we saw that you were taking longer than we expected to follow us, sir. " He answered with as little emotion as he could master, but certainly it showed in the way he said each word, so clear, proper. "Trooper Kenley remained with the lady."

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:22 am

Edward was still angry, and he hated to be 'Yes, sir'-ed, but the little voice in his head screaming that he was being unobjective at the moment and more piqued by the man's remarks than an officer should be by a simple trooper's words finally managed to make itself heard. Biting down on another scathing remark, he forced his way into a cool inflexion.

"We should rejoin them. Until further orders, you will stay right behind us."

He set Trueno to a steady trot.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:43 am

"Yes, sir." The Hussar answered in a cool, composed tone, he slowed his horse down until he was.. as ordered.. right behind them. Then he allowed Herrero to walk faster again, but only at the speed that the two officers were riding.

He waited to see the area where they had turned, the rock on the ground, familiar to him now as he would have ridden past it the third time, the rest of the land somehow indicating that that was the place and then of course there were some remaining hoof prints, where earth was soft enough, but still wet.

"We turn now, sirs." He spoke and indicated the direction that they were to take, because he was even as the guide, still at the back.

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:39 am

Edward nodded in acknowledgement, turning Trueno in the direction the hussar indicated. Slowly his rigid posture relaxed a bit as he sternly told him to let go of his anger.

By the time they rejoined Estefania and the other hussar, his face and posture didn't show anything. He reined in at her side, and with a polished society half-bow, addressed her:

"Desculpe-nos, Senhora, we seem to have missed a turn."

He didn't say anything else, but with a shake of his head he directed her guard to his colleague. Should he inform him what had happened. Just to make sure that his orders were binding for both of them, though, he repeated: "Stay directly behind us, if you please."

He glanced at the lady, his face politely hiding his thoughts away under a cool surface. "If you would care to lead on, ma'am?"

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Re: 14th June: Building bridges of humanity

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:27 am

Kenley looked questionably at his friend and a moment later nodded with a cheerful: "Yes, sir!" He brought his horse around and away from the senhore, with whom he seemed to have held conversation before the arrival of the officers.

Setting himself alongside Willoughby, both horses now behind the officers and remaining so a few paces, just so that either of their animals would not think to try biting at the flank infront of them.

"They were sour about us not calling out to them." Timothy whispered to his friend, and Kenley grinned. "We best humour them, then." The lad whispered back. They straightened in their saddles, their glances to the senhora Estefania, who would continue their 'guided tour'.

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