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June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

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June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:07 am

[OOC: I hope you don't mind that moved the dinner to the same, night, I didn't want them to run away too much ahead in time. I'm sure we can edit it if you wanted]

Hunter checked that he was presentable for one last time and set off to find Torrington and the promised dinner. He did not normally bother all that much with his appearance, excepting making sure that he was reasonably clean, but he felt sure that Torrington was a person who was quite fastidious.

During the day tried to find out more about Torrington, but it seemed he had managed to keep himself to himself quite successfully, and beyond hearing what he has already been able to observe for himself and the fact that Torrington was, a little surprisingly, two years younger, he did not learn anything new. Well, Hunter liked a mystery. Or rather he liked solving them.

He stopped just before Torrington's accommodation, ran a hand through his hair and stifling the urge to do something outrageous, proceeded to meet his host.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:18 am

[OOC: No, perfect! Smile ]

The tent looked as splendid as any tent in a field camp could - mainly due to the fact that most of the silver and porcelain Edward had brought from England had survived so far.

Edward himself was smartly turned out, but looked quite at home in the stiff clothes and the complicated tie fixed with a saphire needle. When his guest appeared, he immediatly came to his feet, closing the book he had been reading and putting it down on his bed. He gave a slight, formal bow.

"Godd evening, Captain Hunter! I trust you managed to find my humble tent without too much difficulty?"

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:58 am

Hunter returned the bow, feeling a spark of satisfaction at having been proved right about Torrington and his clothes. Hunter smiled inwardly, he himself certainly never managed to look stiff in anything he wore, however much trouble he took over his appearance.

'I had no difficulties at all. I take trouble to know my surroundings well,' he smiled and handed the map to Torrington.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:04 am

Edward accepted the map and offered a chair to his guest, followed by a glass of dark Spanish wine.

"In this case, feel free to drop in for dinner anytime, especially if this infernal torrents once again make it impossible to see more than your own boot-tips. I will take great delight in interrogating you about our surroundings instead of cursing whichever deity had decided to keep me from actually surveying it myself!"

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:17 am

Hunter ignored the wine for now. He avoided drinking as much as possible and usually told his hosts so, but it was too late now. Well, maybe Torrington won't pay too much attention to Hunter managing to make one glass of wine last the whole night.

'I have to admit that I may be pleased that I could be the reason for your delight, but I certainly did not expect you to take your pleasure through interrogation. You seem like a man with slightly more restrained,' Hunter made a small gesture, trying to find an appropriate word, 'interests.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:22 am

Edward lifted an eyebrow:

"You thought the accumulation of knowledge would not be within my scope of interests?"

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:25 am

Hunter gave him a small, sly smile.

'I thought that interrogating would not be within your scope of interests. But I give you permission to interrogate me to your heart's content. You may yet prove more successful than the French.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:35 am

The engineer's eyebrow rose slightly higher, but he kept his feelings well hidden behind his cool mask.

"In this case ... since I believe that the first rule of a succesful interrogation is to put the interrogatee in a position where he might be inclined to talk, let me offer you something to eat. Dinner conversation is a social imperative, and I hope that you are English enough not to be able to shake that conditioning off easily."

He completed his mock threat by offering Hunter a plate where a few pieces of army bread were artfully decorated with some stuff that appeared to be mainly made from tomatoes, herbs and oil.

"Try this! It's some kind of local dish Rottlaender has somehow managed to learn - and managed to aquire all the components."

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:43 am

Hunter stamped on the desire to tell Torrington that he was not all that English. It could wait. Hunter could play the mystery game too.

He picked up a slice of bread and ate with relish. 'Mmm, I think I have tried this before. Rottlaender certainly does justice to this with the resources he has.' He ate the bread slowly while studying Torrington from under his lashes.

'Well, shall I test your English-ness and talk about the weather?' He picked up the wine glass and set it down again, as if nervous. 'Or perhaps we should trade our army anecdotes? No, somehow I don't think you are the type.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:49 am

"Especially since my repertoire of army anecdotes is rather slim. We could of course discuss the weather, but we both have experienced it and I'd say that's enough distinction for it."

Edward's mouth briefly twitched.

"I would assume that you are not the type to talk about your work, which shoots down another topic of conversation, but you have already successfully introduced food, so I will continue along those lines and ask you whether you had found leisure to study the local cuisine more thoroughly?"

The flaps of the tent briefly were opened and Rottlaender's face peered in, but after a quick questioning glance at Edward, who nodded, he disappeared again.

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:55 am

Hunter leaned back in his chair.

'You could say that I have, though more Spanish than Portuguese. I spent some of my wild youth in Spain. I would particularly recommend the hams. And the wine. Oh, just about anything really.' Hunter grinned. 'You see, I am not very particular about what I eat, as long as it tastes good and I've rarely found a dish well prepared that tasted badly.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:08 am

The flap opened again and Rottlaender, balancing two covered silver platters, wriggled through. Edward gave his batman a quick, encouraging smile and indicated the table before turning to Hunter again.

"In this case, you will probably like this. I haven't the slightest idea what's it going to be, but it will be prepared excellently!"

He deliberately said the last bit slowly and clearly so that Freddie would understand the compliment, and the sudden blush showed that he indeed had. The delicate smell coming from the dishes justified Edward's praise already quite well, so he waved to his guest to raise the covers. In his time here, he had found that the various culinary experiments of his batman where a constant source of surprise and amusement, and he didn't want to rob his guest of the pleasure of what he silently called "the unwrapping".

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:12 am

Hunter took off the dish covers and smiled, for once a genuine smile of excitement without any hint of slyness or teasing or threat. 'Oh. Oh! You must want me to tell you all of my darkest secrets. Well, you are welcome to them!'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:20 am

Edward had to stiffle a grin himself when he saw the rabbit there. He had realized that some of the surveying team had taken a couple of shots - he really didn't mind as long as their work didn't suffer, and for the teams sitting somewhere with nothing more to do than to hold a pole, it was a good opportunity. But he had to wonder what Rottlaender had to banter to get the spoils for his table. He would have to make inquiries ...

Outwardly he offered the carving knife to Hunter with a small bow.

"It will be my pleasure to hear them, Captain!"

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:25 am

Hunter took the knife and began carving, making sure to serve Torrington first. 'Well then, what would you like to know?'

Hunter was rarely embarrassed, it was not trouble to share almost anything of his history with others. That way they rarely suspected there was something more under all the confidences. Besides, he had a feeling that Torrington may feel obliged to share something about himself in return.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:35 am

Edward took a piece of bread and settled back in his chair, starting to eat what indeed proofed to be a very tasty rabbit.

"Well, the first question of interest would of course be how you came to know the success of French persuasion attempts, but I think my mother would protest that this is not only cruel, but also no dinner conversation. So would you mind instead telling me whom I have the honour of entertaining? Are you related to the Hunters of Sussex, by any chance?"

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:44 am

Hunter would not have minded telling Torrington about the French interrogation. He really didn't suffer much from them. On the other hand the French did and that was perhaps better kept a secret.

'I sincerely hope not, I have spent my life without interfering relatives and will be quite glad to continue so. No, my father's family was from Devonshire, I believe. I never took much interest in his lineage,' Hunter grimaced. 'He was the third Baronet of Upcott. I am sure I must have cousins, but I am not acquainted with any.'


Last edited by George Hunter on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:43 am

Edward's mouth quirked.

"You might want to stay away from London then ... A baronet, distinguished officer in his Majesty's army, pleasant countenance and manners ... I'm afraid only a ridiculous amount of debts next to an excessive fondness for gambling would save you from the pressure fond mamas will bring to bear on you to continue your line with their daughter."

Captain Hunter's glass seemed still rather untouched. Edward waved a hand elegantly in its direction without making an affair out of it.

"Should you find the wine too strong after such a hot day, I'm sure it will be possible to find you something different."

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 pm

'I would be quite happy with water,' Hunter sounded relieved.

'Really, Torrington, I did not take you for a flatterer. I am not half as eligible a bachelor as you think me. Which suits me perfectly seeing as I have no desire to gamble away my inheritance,' Hunter smiled mischievously, 'Now, what about your eligibility?'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:28 am

Edward first called his batman and dispatched him to serve them some fresh water, gaining some precious minutes before he answered that question. He had to admit that he had invited it ...

Before his deliberation became too obvious, however, he returned to his seat and slowly cut through the meat on his plate.

"I'm not much of a flatterer, I simply describe what the fond mamas will see. I know from personal experience that they seldom look deeper."

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:42 am

And the first thing the fond mamas, especially with longer memories, would see in George would be his father.

'Well, I hope I will live up to your vision of me.' Hunter took a sip of water and wondered if he should press Torrington on the subject of his eligibility, but decided to hold off for a little while longer; instead he would divulge more about himself, in the hope of making Torrington think that he had to repay in kind. 'You are probably too young to remember, my father was quite the pariah in the better circles of London society. Some people tend to see that first.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:05 am

Edward frowned, trying to remember. His knowledge of society was flimsy. He seemed to recall hearing the name 'Hunter' before, but in one of his father's occasional rants, which would make the man a political figure.

So he shook his head.

"I can't say that I do remember. But wouldn't that make your rentrée even more interesting? Rake's son, reformed ... or ready to be reformed? I gather reforming a rake is what heroines in novels do all the time and schoolgirls dream about."

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:15 am

Hunter laughed. 'Yes, but their mothers know better.'

Hunter concentrated on eating for the next few moments, while taking an opportunity to study Torrington from under his lashes. 'Besides, I've never met anyone who succeeded in reforming me or made me want to reform for their sake.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:26 am

Rottlaender appeared with a jug of water, but before he could serve it, Edward took it off him and filled to glasses himself. He offered one to Hunter and smiled.

"Perhaps it is better that way. Reforming a rake seems to be much labor, and you end with quite a different person from the one that has inspired you to take all the trouble. And as for reforming yourself ... well, either you will or you won't, but that's your decision, and I guess that society will have nothing to do with it."

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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  George Hunter on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:31 am

Hunter took the glass and toyed with it a little. He put it down with a sigh.

"We seem to have committed the cardinal sin of straying into serious conversation territory and yet I still know next to nothing about you.' Hunter looked at Torrington intently, waiting for the man's next move.
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