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June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  James Duff on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:40 am

Duff smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Sir Arthur, this is most welcome." Duff started eating with a bit more gusto than was entirely acceptable in polite society. As he satisfied his appetite a little he was able to turn his thoughts to other things. He wondered whether he should inform Sir Arthur of his unorthodox escort, since they were less than twenty miles away, waiting for him.
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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:52 am

As Duff ate Wellesley made his way through the dispatches, reading quickly but with attention. He grunted at the assurances of support, but very little commitment as yet to active supply of food or troops. He as going to have to meet with Cuesta in person again. He had not relished their first exchange a year earlier, and he doubted the second would go smoothly either. Corunna may have eroded all the credence he had gained with his victory at Vimeiro in Spanish eyes.

"You have been with General Cuesta much of late?" he queried, not taking his eyes from the page.

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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  James Duff on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:09 am

Duff swallowed hurriedly. "No. General Cuesta spent a while recovering after the Medellin business in March, and I, myself, spent the last couple months on the road between Blake's army and Cadiz."
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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:27 am

Wellesley clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, betraying his displeasure. It was unfortunate that Duff had not been with Cuesta of late; his communications with the Spanish by courier, whilst talking of decisive action against the French, had led to nothing but the Enemy stealing a march on them. If Wellesley were to take the army into Spain, he felt he would prefer to do with something a little more than assurances of support and supplies.

"You came with an escort?" he queried.

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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  James Duff on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:32 am

Duff smiled ruefully. "Of sorts. The army was not particularly willing to let its men go over the border, but Jovellanos and Mercandotti put me in the capable hands of a guerrilla band, one of whose member used to be a on local junta. I had them leave me quite far from the your camp."
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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:38 am

At this Wellesley did look up properly from his reading. Ex-member of the local junta or no, the general somehow felt that leaving a Spanish colonel without official escort was not the best indication that all was well with their Spanish Allies.

"What is the name of their leader?" he asked. He had not yet really begun to network seriously with the Spanish 'guerillas', as they called themselves, but a few of his exploring officers had made contacts here and there. Reliable allies must be sought at every opportunity - Lord knew they were going to need them. Especially if the Spanish army would continue to show unwilling.

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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  James Duff on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:46 am

Duff's face grew serious and a little apologetic. "I do not feel at liberty to give you his real name, Sir Arthur. They have taken a risk, bringing me here and they have taken a risk trusting me. I will speak to him, when the opportunity presents itself, I am almost certain he would wish to offer you any assistance he can."
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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:22 am

The general inclined his head, indicating that he understood.

"I would be much obliged if you would do so. I have appointed Scovell to co-ordinate communications and the gathering of intelligence; he has some good ideas for a corps of guides which he generated under Moore, God rest his soul. You will probably be aware that I have been sending officers forward to speak with the locals and record the terrain; another task which I should like to assign to them is that of seeking out guerrilla units who will likely be of use to us."

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Re: June 25th, early evening: Joining the British Army

Post  James Duff on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:03 pm

Duff allowed himself a small smile. "Some rumours about your officers, Sir Arthur, have indeed trickled down to me. But I've made a point of not showing that I pay attention to them. Some of the guerrilla bands may prove of great assistance, but some are no better than bandits. Worse, if what I heard is true. Local juntas may not be best pleased if the British army is seen to be in communication with one of the worst ones."
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