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26th June, They are upon the road

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:08 am

Edward chuckled self-deprecatingly.

"I'm afraid not. The snake simply refused to keep still long enough for a proper portrait!"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:10 am

"Oh, how damnably unobliging of it! Are you terribly upset? Should I catch for you?" Hunter opened his eyes wide and let his voice get higher-pitched and excited.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:15 am

Edward nodded solemnly.

"That would indeed be very helpful. And if you could just recreate the scene where it was biting into your leg, I would be infinitely in your debt!"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:18 am

"You are developing an unhealthy obsession with things biting me, Torrington, it is a little bit worrying," shot Hunter back.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:40 am

"Things? Are there more than just the snake?"

Edward inquired in dulcid tones.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:42 am

"I am not sure of the details, but I have no doubt that your devious Engineer's mind will come up with something," answered Hunter in equally sweet sounding voice.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:13 am

"I certainly don't want to disappoint you, but in this instance I think I will go for the simple and poke you with this sharp weapon of the wicked if you don't get up now. We still have a few miles to cover!"

Edward held his pencil in a suitably threatening manner in front of Hunter's face.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:17 am

Hunter stepped backwards lightly, almost dancing. "Oh, you are too cruel!" He exclaimed, but then whistled for Firebird, who came trotting from a few yards away. He patted her neck and then mock-whispered into her ear: "You would not believe the despicable way this man treats me, my dear. I am nothing but kindness itself to him and he only wants to poke me!"
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:06 pm

Trueno followed Firebird on his own accord, but before he could crowd her again, Edward caught his bridle and stroked his soft nose. In a confiding tone that matched Hunters, he told the stallion:

"That Hunter is really a tease. Always inviting banter and then playing the wounded. We shall wash our hands of him, shall we? And not give him any more of our precious coffee either!"

The stallion flicked his ears and snorted.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:10 pm

Firebird flicked her ear in annoyance as Hunter retorted: "I invite banter, my dear, that is true, I do not invite bodily harm."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:26 pm

"Oh, I hope that only some sides might ache afterwards ... and I very much hope that your's are among them. I only poke very special things ... my fun for example."

Edward twirled his pencil through the air to indicate in which ways he intented to use it as a weapon.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:32 pm

"Well, as long as you only poke fun...," Hunter swung himself up into the saddle with practised ease. Firebird snorted. "I think we better get on, I'll leave my revenge till tonight, Torrington."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:40 pm

Edward followed suit.

"I look forward to it. Until then, what shall we do next? That encounter with Colonel Preswitch has upset our time-table somewhat, but I think we might still manage to accomplish everything if we get to that bridge next and leave the pass until the worst of the heat is over, although ..."

He shaded his eyes with one hand and squinted, then pointed at the horizon.

"I don't think those clouds there look too promising."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:50 pm

Hunter glared at the horizon: "Frankly, I do not have any desire to get soaking wet again. Here is hoping it will hold off until we get back," he thought about what he had planned for that night, "actually, here is hoping it will hold off until the morning at least."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:00 pm

"And here's hoping that it will come down in a nice, gentle bit of rain, and not in a deluge for once then!",

Edward agreed. He pulled out his map.

"Down that way, following that path there, and we should get right to that bridge without having to follow the large curve the road makes. Actually ..."

He pencilled in something.

"If the army follows this road, this hill will make a nice lookout, and if the shortcut works ..."

He shrugged.

"As hard to march as the road, but at least shorter. Before we start filling in the holes there, it might be worth a thought whether it wouldn't be easier to make this route passable for artillery."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:07 pm

"What I am mostly worried about is the bridge. If it is not structurally safe enough, it'll have to be pontoons. At least a road, no matter how full of holes it is, rarely sinks anyone."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:30 pm

"Have you taken a good look at these rivers after a heavy rain went down upstream?", Edward said darkly.

"They are a better defence then than anything my branch can come up with. Pontoons would be carried away in an instant. So unless the weather is with us the whole time during the crossing and until we don't need a way to get back to the other side, it will have to be a sturdy bridge or none at all."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:34 pm

Hunter laughed. "Well, you are the engineer here, so you'll have to forgive my mistake, but I dare say the bridge will be in a decent shape, it is after all on a main route. Of sorts."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:42 pm

When they rode around the foot of the hill and the bridge came into view, however, a slow, satisfied smile spread over the engineer's face.

The bridge gracefully rose and fell over a large central arch and two smaller ones on each side, a reminder of the cathedral roofs of the Gothic time. Indeed, it had most likely been build at the same time by the same people.

"Now you are a beauty!", Edward whispered, his eyes gleaming. He urged Trueno into a light gallop and in a large curve guided him onto the road that led up the bridge.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:13 pm

Hunter smiled to himself at Torrington's enthusiasm, but the sturdy bridge was indeed a pleasant sight. It certainly looked like it would hold up under the weight of their guns. He followed Torrington, but at a slower pace: somebody had to keep a look out for any "man-made" dangers.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:36 pm

Edward rode over the bridge twice, checking the deck and the sides before swinging down from his horse at the foot of one side. Taking a rolled-up rope from his saddle, he explained:

"She really is in beatiful shape. Now if only the pillars' foundations aren't bared by the water ... Here, hold that, will you?"

He handed Hunter the rope and divested himself of his hat and coat.

"I will try and check at last the nearer ones from here. If there's any cause for concern ..."

The engineer followed the tall central arch down with his eyes.

" ... Well, then I better hope that you like me enough to pull me up again."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:05 pm

"Do you mean you hope that I'll be strong enough?" Asked Hunter waspishly. "Is this wise?"
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:26 pm

"Well, I think I would prefer to drown on my own, if it is to be so, and not in the company of half a battalion and two guns", edward answered dryly.

He knotted the rope around himself in a simple harness.

"You have pulled me out of the water before ... I know you are strong enough. And if all else fails, there are two horses at your disposal."


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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:30 pm

Hunter saw that Torrington would not be deterred from his enterprise. He sighed and grabbed for the ropes. "I tell you, Torrington, if you fall and survive, I will kill you myself."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:37 pm

"In this case, should I fall I will aim for the biggest bolder available to spare you the trouble! But first I propose not to fall, but to be carried away by the water ..."

Edward grinned and tested the rope, then wadded into the cold water beside one of the side arches. After a few steps it reached his thighs and he had to fight the current.

"Well, the weather at least is just perfect for taking a bath!", he quipped when suddenly he found a hole in the ground and the water splashed nearly up to his waist.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

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