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Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

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Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:38 am

It was early morning and though the breakfast would not be soon, and he had no duties to attend to, Bailey was up unusually early. He stretched and glanced at his fellow midshipmen.

"Good morning." He whispered, quietly enough that he would not disturb any of the young fellows. Hopping off of his hammock he steadied it. He could put it away once everybody else was awake. No point in making a ruckus.

After a few moments of shuffling around, to find a book in his chest, he quietly tiptoed out of the cabin. Truthfully there was enough noise caused by the ship itself and by those who were still awake above and on duty, that he would hardly be heard, but it was all done for his very own amusement.

Reaching the deck he breathed in the cool morning air and sighed contently. He could catch sight of the sea creatures if any were to be seen. It was the better time of the day, late evening or early morning. The mist had not completely cleared so that the view was still with an air of the mystical.

His step was quick as he moved to the railing, there bringing from his pocket, his spyglass. "Lets see, if there's any of you out there." He spoke softly and raised his glass.

He scanned the horizon carefully. It was a slow process, and the rise of the ship demanded that he scan the same area a couple times only to be sure that there was no whale, or other strange sea creature hiding in the gloom of the oncoming day. The first study of the horizon and the closer inspection of the vastness of the sea produced no result.

He tried again on the other side..and caught sight of a little speck, but which proved next to be nothing. Somewhat disappointed he hurried to the opposite side again - starboard - and went along the line of the horizon a second time. His spyglass stopped in mid move. He moved it back again.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tom Oxley on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:48 am

Tom Oxley yawned, scrubbed at his eyes with the back of his wrist and tried not to look as though he wanted to fall asleep. There was movement on the deck for'rard of him, and he blinked awake to find that it was Mister Bailey, who'd come up on deck with a telescope and was looking across at the horizon.

"Seen anythin', sir?" he called across, quietly. Of course he hadn't, or the lookout would probably have called down to inform them. But he wanted to stay awake somehow, even if engaging a middy in conversation was the only way to do so - and he really shouldn't be talking when on duty anyway.

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Tom Oxley
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:54 am

Bailey glanced over his shoulder. There was a young marine boy he had not noticed earlier. Of course he would expect one to be there. Marines just always were at certain places, day and night. They were so usual there that he could nearly miss noticing them.

He certainly had this time. "Maybe." He peered through the telescope a second time. "..a moment." He raised his glass again, this time more certain than the first. "A .....a ship!"
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tom Oxley on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:00 am

A ship? Oxley came fully awake - if it was a Frenchy, he'd be beating to quarters any minute now. He nearly pulled his drumsticks out ready, but caught himself in time - doing that could lead to trouble because it would be jumping the order. "You sure, sir?" he said, shifting his drum a little.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:32 am

"Can't be a whale. Too big for the distance." And, it was completely a different shape and it's manner in which it protruded from the background and from the sea itself was also unlike a big whale.

"Who's the officer of the watch again?" He inquired. Clearly he had failed to pay attention to such menial things but that is why people like Oxley were around. "I'll report to him, and you be in the ready with that drum. Understood?"
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tom Oxley on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:40 pm

"Wrong place for whales too," Oxley pointed out, sagely. From what he'd heard people saying, whales were either found a lot further north, or a lot further south. He grinned and nodded. "Mister Tadcock, sir," he replied, indicating the quarterdeck with an upward jerk of his chin. He'd be beating to Quarters the second the word was given.

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Tom Oxley
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:21 am

"No place, indeed. But sometimes the whales don't know it." Bailey answered grinning. "They just follow this ship or that..if the ship's not after them, that is." But this was no time to talk of whales or their habits and preferences.

With a quick nod he took his leave from the drummer boy and walked at a fairly quick pace, towards the indicated man. When he approached him, he cleared his throat. "Sir! Ship's been sighted starboard side,.." He needed a moment before he just pointed. "Over that'away!" No reason why he needed to waste time in long introductions especially if the ship was that of the enemy, or claim his participation in spotting the ship.

He held his spyglass at the ready. He would check the location again.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tom Oxley on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:24 am

Tadcock took one look at the midshipman and snapped his glass open, scanning the horizon where the lad had indicated he should look.

There was definitely a French ship there. "Run down and inform the captain," he said, before swinging around to where the Marine drummer was stationed. "Beat to Quarters!"

~ ~ ~

Oxley wasted no time at all in hauling out his sticks and beginning the regular rhythm that sent Terpsy to Quarters.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:00 pm

Bailey saluted and minding not to run like a young colt, but never the less have the speed needed to inform the captain of their sighting, hurried to inform the captain of their recent discovery.

He heard the drumming begin behind him, and wondered if below people were falling out of their hammocks right now, disturbed out of their sleep.

" Need to speak to the captain, enemy ship in sight." He rattled away to the marine standing watch at the captain's cabin, making certain that urgency was heard in his voice.
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  James Gunn on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:07 pm

As the rattling begun, Gun was still lost in the pleasant world of dreams, where women were plenty and drinks and honey ran in rivers. What began as an annoying buzz of an imaginary bee, that was joined by more and more bees until a swarm was formed, was suddenly recognised as a drum.

Gunn was out of his hammock sooner than he went to open his eyes and nearly landed on the feet of a marine who'd swung his hammock on that side. He pulled his braces over his shoulders, had his feet in his shoes, gaiters buttoned up and then grabbed for his coat and hat. "Rise and shine, lads!" There was a grunt of to his left. One of the men had mistook the distance from his hammock and managed to land shoulder and side first on the floor. There was some laughter, and there was tension, the excitement rising.
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  George Thompson on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:59 pm

"What in..?" Thompson wanted to know, opening his eyes as the drumbeats resolved themselves in his head into the regular beat of Quarters. He rolled out of his hammock and dressed as hastily as he could, grabbing his hat before realising that Sergeant Quinn had the keys to the arms room.

"Right, get your muskets and ammunition quick as you can - steady there, Mallory! - an' get to your stations."

~ ~ ~


McEwen blinked at the midshipman standing in front of him, and then the drummer began beating Quarters. "Right you are, sir," he said, and turned to knock on the cabin door. "Though if that drum don't wake him..."

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:30 pm

"Button, Stenhouse, Fisher, Milburn!.." De Guarde called, checking whether the boys had been up already. He had been wide awake and merely took a peek into mess, half way in having gone to retrieve his hammock to bring on deck where there were going to be used in a less convenient way.

The ship came to life. It looked as though an ant nest had been poked with a stick and now the furious creatures burst out to see what was going on and to defend themselves.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Tobias Bailey on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:33 pm

Bailey grinned. " Better it did. Captains tend to be grumpy if awoken by us!" He whispered that more quietly just to be sure a captain was not going to hear him even if he was just standing at that door, ready to rush out.

"Briliant. " And then he put on what was as good an impression of seriousness as the lad could do, when stepping forward.
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Terry Button on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:40 pm

"Hurry up, slowpoke!" Terry said, realising that de Guarde was still trying to work out what was going on and where everyone was. "Reckon a snail could move faster'n you!"

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:51 pm

"Shut yer gob! I've been up sooner n' you." He passed Terry just to give him a light smack over the head, enough to bring his hat over his eyes - if he aimed well - but not enough to hurt. It was not his intention anywhere.

"Maybe it's that Frenchman!" The one, he had been sent to sit down after, the last time they saw him. Because he argued... he shook his head to chase that thought off his mind. Now things were different. Much different. "Come on."

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Terry Button on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:56 pm

Terry had to put a hand up to straighten his hat. "No yer ain't! Yer a slow old snail, y'are!" He aimed a fist at de Guarde's side, playfully rather than hard.

"Wonder if it is?" he added, and grinned. "Betcha don't even know where to go or what to do when you get there!"

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:16 am

"Whatcha wanna bet!" De Guarde challenged rubbing his side and playfully pushing Button out of the way as he started up the companionway. It was a dangerous place for young lads, when the larger seamen were up and about, themselves as much in a hurry as the boys who would soon be bringing up black powder to use with the cannons.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  James Gunn on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:20 am

Soon there was a bit of a line, when as many marines as there could be in one place, tried to get hold of their arms and of their ammunition. James Gunn felt a thump and a bit of a shove , accidental rather then intentional, as the body of marines was joined by Tars going the opposite way.

"I heard there is a ship." James glanced over to Thompson. There was a momentary lapse of concentration then he quickly added. Corporal!" Even with the promotion not having just happened a day ago, they still had to get used to this man, now being more than a common private.
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Terry Button on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:22 am

"Your grog ration!" Terry responded, threading around the bigger seamen before darting up the companionway close on de Guarde's tail.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  George Thompson on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:26 am

They wouldn't be beating to Quarters for no reason, of course. Thompson nodded, hastily buttoning his jacket up before grabbing his crossbelts. "Right. Get to your stations as soon as you can - an' try not to trip over anythin'."

It was still very early in the morning, barely getting light, and that meant that the gundeck was still very dark, and the guns wet with condensation.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:31 am

"Get ready to loose yours then!" De Guarde grinned, quickening his pace to keep the other boy still at his tail rather than overtaking him, or the less convenient, at his side.

Cattling was seen for a moment, but even he had little care for anything but the preparations, for the oncoming chance of battle. There were other seamen, among which the smaller boys had to duck and around which they had to twist. There was a bump here and there, and a curse of a Tar who'd been run into, but for the most part everything was working like a well oiled...well, something anyway.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Terry Button on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:35 am

Terry grinned and skidded to a stop. "These here's mine," he said, patting the cold breech of one of the guns, and grinned up as Corporal Thompson passed him. "Betcha don't even know what number gun you've got, let alone where to find it!"

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  James Gunn on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:41 am

The marines followed the order to a T. They made a grab at their kit, and once they had all that they needed they hurried up the companionways, halting only once they each stood at their stations. There they might have made adjustments to their kit, to their musket, checked for their cartridges one last time. There were one or two even, who were still buttoning their coat. Just a few who had finished buttoning their last buttons on their gaiters, and a couple who found time at last, to place their hats on their heads.

They were presentable. Not all in the same way, but their training certainly had them do a few things without thinking, for which they had earlier had no time.

Now, that they might still need to wait to come near enough to the ship all the haste was almost comical.
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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:49 am

"Want to bet another ration of grog over that?" De Guarde asked with a grin. "Couse I'll prove you wrong right this instant! " He gazed along the number of cannons. He remembered which one was his. The first couple of times he'd passed it, because it was just a cannon out of many. But now he knew exactly where it stood, what number it had and even which crew he would be with. Of course his duties would not be other but to act as a powder monkey. He'd seen it done, he knew how to do it and he was damned if he would show his friend any hesitation at all!

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

Post  Terry Button on Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:00 am

"Shove off!" Terry replied, cheerfully, already slinging his 'salt-box' over his head. The wooden tub was used for fetching cartridges up from the magazine with as little risk as possible from sparks.

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Re: Ribbit, ribbit: June 25th

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