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June, 24th: The plot thickens

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June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:19 am

Nearly two weeks had transformed a rather raggle-taggle group of soldiers who had never seen a theodolite before in a smoothly working surveying team. Edward was proud. Of course there were hiccups, and occasionally he doubted that they would ever reach Barcelona, but on the whole they were making good progress.

While his indefatigable batman struggled once again with the tripod to set it up on a new location and the pole-parties were patiently waiting on their respective spots, quite a distance away, the engineer allowed himself the luxury to view the landscape for a moment purely for its artistic beauty. It was nice to see it without the round frame of the theodolite or the telescope, for a change.

_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:29 am

The odd group of men in the distance finally provided some distraction from boredom. His short ride ahead of the army, - just making sure there was anything unexpected waiting for them, - proved singularly uneventful. Hopefully others had more luck

He rode towards the group, having by now decided that they must be British.
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George Hunter
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:41 am

Edward had been so concentrated on the landscape that it took a moment before he realized that the lonly officer riding towards them was something to take note of - especially since he came from the wrong side.

With a snap, the engineer shut the spyglass and turned to Trueno, lazily grassing a few feet away.

Informing Rottlaender and Roper of his intention to find out this was about, he gathered the reins and mounted the big stallion. The horse playfully gamboled a few steps, but Edward, by now quite used to his horse's antics, didn't mind, as long as Trueno allowed him to choose the direction. When the horse realized, however, that it was allowed to run in said direction, it happily did that instead, closing the distance rapidly.

His rider reined him in a decent distance off the other horse, which caused a disappointed snore, and called out:

"Hullo there! Friend or foe?"

_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:01 am

George reigned Firebird in, bringing her to a walk. By now he recognised the officer, whom, though they were not acquainted, he had pointed out to him. His first thought was to snap at the Captain, for only a very stupid foe, in his opinion, would ride this non-nonchalantly so close to a British camp and wearing a red uniform to boot. But he was in the mood to be diverted rather than enter into a quarrel. He smiled and lifted his hand in greeting.

'Friend, Captain, definitely friend. Though, I own, I should be asking you that question, the Engineer's uniform having such a confusing appearance.'
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:17 am

Edward's brow slightly furrowed in an unhappy frown. He could remotely understand the Portuguese making that mistake (and even then it became rather tedious), but a British officer should respect the blue of the Board of Ordnance. Even if his profession was often belittled by 'fighting' officers, he expected some formal respect for his uniform.

He gave a rather stiff salute and said coldly, his back very straight:

"Captain Torrington, at the moment attached to the Second Division, sir."

_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:20 am

George returned the salute, smiling in amusement at the rather obvious huff the Captain was in.

'Captain Hunter, 52nd Foot, currently doing duty as Sir Arthur's aide-de-camp,' he grinned at Torrington, 'and pray don't take issue at that as well. I was only funning and I am sorry if I have caused any offence.'

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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:44 am

Even more stiffly, Edward replied, a slight blush high on his cheekbones:

"I hope I know better than to make fun of the General's staff. Can I help you in any way, sir?"

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:51 am

'Am I to take it that I don't know any better than to make fun of General's Engineers?' Hunter grinned, but the other man's stiffness was starting to pall a little. He entertained the notion of excusing himself and going about his business, but that would mean coming back to headquarters bored and vexed and that would not bode well for his determination to be on his best behaviour around Wellesley.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:13 am

Edward's upper lip twitched briefly, but he answered as cooly and haughtily as before:

"As I have heared that the General prides himself in the intelligence of his ADCs, I would think that you ought to be your own judge in this matter, sir."

_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:20 am

'An admirable hit!,' acknowledged Hunter, though he was briefly tempted to tell Torrington that he was forced on Wellesley by his friend's well-meaning father, but that would only meant digging himself into a further hole. 'I see my hope was not in vain and you are after all able to make fun of the General's Staff. But be not afraid, not a word of this shall pass my lips. We wouldn't want him thinking that his admirable Engineers are capable of levity, would we?'
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:36 am

"No, we certainly wouldn't. Otherwise he might require us to use this trait in our efforts to breach the enemy's lines, and I find my levity not quite Indian enough for that. Although an ADC might have more luck in this respect - after all, you supposedly occasionally find that you have crossed the lines without treating on French toes."

Feeling his rider's stiff posture relax somewhat, Trueno stretched out his neck and snorred, then took an unobtrusive half-step to sniff at the mare.

_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:46 am

'Well, I have to admit that I have not tread on any French toes today, more's the pity. One of them gave me quite a concussion a while back, I would dearly love to repay that debt.'

George unconsciously patted Firebird's neck, feeling her stir under him. He had noticed the remarkable resemblance between his and Torrrington's horses, but paid no heed to that. God knows, Torrington might fly into a tiff, resembling that of a woman, who found another one dressed similarly at a ball.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:00 am

Shifting into professional mode again and pulling out a sketch fixed to the back of his sabretache, Edward asked , already wielding a pencil:

"May I ask how far you have proceeded into that direction, Captain? Have you by any chance seen the bridge of Sao João Baptista?"

His horse made another half-step.

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:15 am

[OOC: Ok, I hope I am not talking non-sense about the bridge/area, do tell me, if I am]

Hunter chuckled.

'I see I am to play second fiddle to your professionalism. Admirable quality, but a trifle hurtful,' he forestalled any possible protests by continuing quickly. 'I must have ridden twenty miles or so. I think I did see a glimpse of a bridge from a hill's top, I certainly saw a settlement in the distance. It was quite early though and the fog has not lifted off the river yet, so I am afraid I cannot tell you much.'

Firebird's ears twitched and she turned a baleful eye on Torrington's stallion.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:40 am

"I would surely not wish to hurt you, but perhaps you would consent to double my pleasure by uniting your admirable wit and exhilarating company with the slaking of my professional curiosity?", Edward deadpanned, starting to enjoy this little battle.

He pulled a copy of the map they had finished so far out of his sattle bag and handed it to the other Captain.

"I would be particularly delighted to hear your wit applied to this, though perhaps in a more comfortable setting. Are you going back to headquarters tonight?"


_________________

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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:47 am

Hunter narrowed his eyes in mock anger.

'Oh, you are willing enough to admit that I have wit, if that means that I can do your job for you?' He took the map out of Torrington's hands and unfolded it, letting go of the reins in order to do so.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:10 am

"If that would mean having more engineers in this area, I certainly would!", Edward answered with a mock bow.

He made Trueno circle to end up side by side with Firebird and leaned over to point out some features in the map to allow the other officer to quickly get his bearings.

"We had no time to visit each valley and canyon, so if you have any information on them, it would be most helpful. Especially if one should turn out to provide a practicable pass over this mountain range."

The stallion quite liked his new position and snorted in friendly greeting at the mare, then in a very gentlemanly manner offered to dislodge a fly from her neck with his head..
---
The surveying group was by now ready to take the next set of measurements, but as their officer was otherwise engaged, they were sitting down and enjoying the break now.


_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:17 am

Hunter only huffed at the last sally from Torrington, his attention focused on trying to reconcile the schematics of the map with what he'd actually seen. He let the map hang from one hand, as he unbuttoned his jacket in order to take out the pencil.

Firebird chose that moment to throw up her head and snort at Torrington's stallion. 'Would you stand still, you horrid creature?' Snapped Hunter and tried to balance the map so that he could make one or two marks.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:29 am

Without looking, Edward brought his horse back under control and backed him a step away from the mare. He squinted his eyes, trying to make out the markings despite the distance, but had to give up on it.

"Would you perhaps mind discussing your comments later on? We need to take this last set of measurements before the light is gone, but I would be very happy to hear your input afterwards."

Edward fiddled with the button on his cuff.

"Should you have no other plans, I can also offer a decent dinner, I think. My servant is a small marvel in this respect."

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:35 am

Hunter hummed for a moment, then smiled.
'Well, if you promise me not to make me draw you maps during the dinner, then I will be delighted. Being attached to Headquarters is no guarantee of a decent meal.' Hunter folded the map.

'Would you mind if kept that until tonight? If I have a spare moment I shall be sure to study it. Then I will have more time to spar with you!'
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:42 am

"By all means!"

Edward waved him to keep the map.

"It would certainly be more than unfair should you have not enough time to go the whole distance of the fight."

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:50 am

Hunter put the map and the pencil away and buttoned his jacket. He gathered up the reins and Firebird danced a little, sensing her rider's mischievous mood.

'Let me warn you, Torrington, it is a fight I intend to win, by hook or by crook!' He gave the man a cheerful salute and let Firebird break into a canter.
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Re: June, 24th: The plot thickens

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:27 am

Edward returned the salute with precision and solemnity, but his eyes sparkled at the challenge.

"Very sensible, since no-one had done so before in a fair fight!", he answered dispassionately, urging Trueno into a short gallop towards his men.

"Then I hope to see you tonight, weapons sharp and ready!", he called over his shoulder, supressed laughter making his voice trmble vibrantly.

_________________

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