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June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

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

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 8:33 am

Sir Arthur dismounted, handing Hercules' bridle to a somewhat astonished nearby rifleman, and strode up to Vickery briefly acknowledging his salute. All appearances did not point to the general being in a good mood.

"Captain Vickery," he said crisply. "I have just ridden into your camp unnoticed and unchallenged. I was wondering if you might offer an explanation as to how I managed to do this?"

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

Post  John Vickery on Thu May 31, 2012 8:40 am

Dammit. How on earth was he supposed to know that - he was nowhere near the picquets, after all. "Somebody was clearly looking in the wrong direction, sir. Please accept my assurances that he - or they - will regret it deeply in a very few minutes from now, and they shall not do it again."

They would also deeply regret landing their officer in hot water with the General, again. Double duty for a week would be the very least of their worries at this rate.

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

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 8:44 am

"That is correct, captain," Wellesley said sharply. "It will not happen again."

A movement behind Vickery caught the general's eye at that moment, and Hunter emerged from the tent. Clearly surprised to see his superior, the aide stopped short and saluted.

"What are you doing here?" Wellesley asked, just as surprised by Hunter's presence. He was also noticing that Hunter was quite improperly dressed... and was that duckweed in his hair?

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 8:44 am

Edward followed, then took a place behind Vickery's other shoulder. He didn't spare a thought for his dress, though. Firstly because he had been able to replace it more or less completely, even owning a second pair of decent footwear. And secondly because the heir to an earldom usually was above sartorial critique. Instead he spared a moment to smile reassuringly at Rottlaender, who peeked terryfied around the edge of the tent.

At the general's harsh tone, he slightly flinched, though. After all, he was partly responsible for Vickery's delay in checking the piquets, and he didn't like his friend being dressed down anyway.

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

Post  George Hunter on Thu May 31, 2012 8:48 am

Hunter winced inwardly in sympathy for Vickery and then felt a very improper impulse to ask the General the same question. He will have words with Sanders and others: Sir Arthur was not a child, but letting him ride behind the picket lines alone and in the dark was not perhaps the safest option.

"I was having a dinner with Captain Torrington of the Engineers, sir." He answered, keeping his face neutral.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 8:51 am

No sooner had Hunter said it than Torrington also emerged from the tent. Recognising the son of a political ally, Wellesley gave a polite nod to the Engineer.

"Good evening, Lord Torrington."

He then turned his attention back to Hunter.

"Dressed rather inappropriately for dinner, are you not?" he said scathingly. The aide was really quite a state. "What in God's Name have you been doing?"

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

Post  John Vickery on Thu May 31, 2012 8:54 am

"I shall go and check on the picquets, with your permission, General," Vickery said, feeling the grip of a cold anger settling over him. Whoever was responsible for his latest dressing-down would shortly be receiving a very severe dressing-down of their own, and they would never again put their officer in such a position through sheer carelessness.

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

Post  George Hunter on Thu May 31, 2012 8:55 am

"Wasn't watching my footing, sir," which was not a lie really, "Fell into the river. Captain Vickery has been kind enough to lend me some spare clothing."

Granted he was not dressed in his full uniform, but surely he did not look that bad? Or was there mud on his face that Torrington and Vickery neglected to mention? He restrained himself from running a hand over his face.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 9:01 am

"Yes. Dismissed, captain," Wellesley bit out, as Vickery beat a hasty retreat. The general frowned at Hunter, narrowing his eyes. 'Missed his footing' - and Wellesley could guess why.

"I would have thought it too early in the evening for a gentleman to have 'missed his footing'," he quipped acidly. His eyes once more returned to the stray piece of duckweed in Hunter's damp blond hair. "And it seems you have obviously not made your acquaintance with a mirror since your tumble."

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

Post  John Vickery on Thu May 31, 2012 9:06 am

"Torrington, Hunter," he murmured in a low voice, regretting the barely-tasted cup of tea... and realising that nobody had pointed out the strand of weed decorating Captain Hunter's blond hair. Oops.

He settled his Tarleton better on his head and indicated that his Lieutenant should come with him to point out the erring Riflemen.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 9:09 am

Torrington had formally, but politely acknowledged the general's greeting, but now looked slightly less composed than usual. He didn't quite squirm like a schoolboy before the headmaster ... But then, he hadn't done that even back then. Instead he had gone a delicate shade of pink.

"That tumble was partly my fault, Sir. I'm afraid I distracted Captain Hunter. Our discussion was ... a bit heated."

He looked at Hunter out of the corner of his eyes and only now saw that there was still sea-weed in Hunter's hair. Resisting the reflex to pick it from there, he quickly added:

"We were just now putting ourselves to rights again."

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

Post  George Hunter on Thu May 31, 2012 9:14 am

Hunter wanted to kick Torrington: he doubted his 'defence' would do any good.

"It is as Lord Torrington says. I got somewhat carried away by our discussion. I will make sure to find a mirror as soon as I can, sir." He finally gave into the urge to ran a hand over his face checking for mud. It seemed clean.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 9:15 am

Wellesley turned his gaze on Torrington, growing slightly suspicious of the young man's awkwardness. It seemed it was not drink that was the cause of Hunter's tumble as he had supposed after all, but it was clearly something which the captains ought not to have been doing. Now he looked closely, it seemed that Torrington's hair was somewhat damp as well, though weed-free.

"And may I ask, my lord," his tone somewhat more civil. "What the nature of this 'heated' discussion was?"


Last edited by Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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

Post  George Hunter on Thu May 31, 2012 9:18 am

Hunter just wanted to close his eyes and chant: don't say anything over and over again in his head. It's not that they were doing anything criminal. It wasn't even a duel, but... There was always a but when Sir Arthur was in a mood.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 9:24 am

Edward drew himself up to his full (but not really impressive) height.

"With all respect, Sir, I would prefer not to answer that. It concerned a personal matter."

He had a distinct feeling that this wouldn't sit well with the General ... but then, it would draw the fire away from Hunter for the moment.

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

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu May 31, 2012 9:28 am

The general frowned. So that was it. He would have thought better of Torrington to rise to the challenge, as there was no doubt in his mind that it would be in Hunter's character to pick a fight.

"You are aware, gentlemen, that duelling is strictly forbidden in this army," he said coldly.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 9:31 am

Edward raised an eyebrow.

"Of course we are, Sir. We didn't duel."

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

Post  George Hunter on Thu May 31, 2012 9:34 am

Hunter looked at the General with a hint of a smile playing around his lips.

"Lord Torrington is quite correct, sir. We certainly did not duel."

And apparently he was just as bad as Torrington when it came to choosing his words around the General. It seemed to Hunter that no man in this Army could keep his head straight around Sir Arthur. And of course Hunter's nature just demanded he get a rise out of the man once in a while: if he couldn't hear a kind word from him, something inside him was just hell-bent on at least hearing a lot of bad ones.

"If I may explain, sir." He added, giving Torrington a small look, hoping the man would stop talking just for a moment.
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:11 am

"I would suggest that you do, Hunter," Wellesley said icily. And it had better be good, the general added to himself privately.

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

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:40 pm

'After we dined, my Lord Torrington and I decided to stretch ourselves by having a little fencing practice. It really was just practice, sir. We walked down to the river so as not to draw a crowd. I had the misfortune to lose my footing and fall in. I believe Lord Torrington was simply trying to help me save face just now, sir.'
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:44 am

Edward was just about to open his mouth, but then closed it again. It was reasonable to assume that Hunter better knew how to handle the General, and Sir Arthur's last reply had made Edward feel that the rumours that the general could flail people with his tongue alone was perhaps less of an exaggeration than he had previously believed.

So he settled for standing as correctly and supportively as he could.

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

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:46 am

Wellesley looked between the two captains standing before him, his eyes narrowing.

"Indeed. I am afraid to say, my Lord Torrington, you have made a pretty poor show of it."

Turning back to Hunter he looked the aide over once more, sighing audibly. Then quite suddenly he turned on his heel, motioning for Hercules to be brought over to him.

"Dry off and see that you dress yourself properly, Hunter," he said over his shoulder.

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

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

Hunter nodded. "May I do so at Headquarters, sir? My clothes will require a lot of, erm, drying?"
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Re: June 24th, evening: Having dinner with the Engineer

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:03 am

Edward slightly winced and bit his lip at the reprimand, but didn't move otherwise. He looked ridiculously like a schoolboy in front of the headmaster for a moment.

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

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:27 am

"Do whatever you feel is necessary, Mr. Hunter," Wellesley replied somewhat caustically as he placed his foot in the stirrup to mount. "I am returning to Headquarters now; doubtless I shall see you there later."

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