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26th June, They are upon the road

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Thu May 31, 2012 6:20 am

"Could I respectfully suggest, sir, that you return to camp?" said Captain Needham, just barely restraining himself from head slapping his superior officer out of his mulish mood.

"I can do my job here just as well. If I stay in camp, I will be pestered by idiots."

Needham sighed and was about to bet on their friendship and say something to Prestwich that normally a Captain would never say to a Colonel, but he was stopped by the sound of horses approaching.

Prestwich and he both turned to look at the approaching. Fortunately one was wearing a red uniform so at least they didn't have to wonder about their allegiance. Needham raised a hand in greeting and shouted a hearty hello, while Prestwich grumbled and glared.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 7:23 am

Edward answered with a similar gesture, while Truneo climbed up the slope.

"Hello there. This is an unexpected surprise, Gentlemen. Captain Torrington, attached to the 2nd division. for surveying purposes at the moment ... Sir!"

As the other man had moved, Edward had seen the second epaulette, and drew himself up straighter now, offering a formal salute.


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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Thu May 31, 2012 7:38 am

"It is good to make your acquaintance Torrington, Hunter!" Said Needham grinning, after the red-uniformed Captain introduced himself. "I am Needham, of the Royal Engineers, as you probably know already and this is Colonel Prestwich. You must be new Torrington, otherwise I should have made your acquaintance earlier."

Prestwich acknowledged Torrington's and Hunter's salutes, nodding gruffly and wincing a little at Needham's tone, which clearly indicated that the man was out to make friends.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 31, 2012 9:37 am

Edward had for a moment to count days himself - it already appeared to be like a long time, but he was only a little over a month in Portugal now, and just over two weeks with the Rifles.

"Yes, quite new, Captain, I'm afraid, but very pleased to meet you. Although I must admit I'm slightly confussed. I didn't know there were other engineers hereabouts. May I ask what you are doing here?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 am

"I should be asking you that, Captain," interrupted Prestwich, "Needham is here to do his job, shouldn't you be doing that as well?" He threw a look Hunter's way, implying that Torrington was gadding about with friends rather than doing anything constructive.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:08 am

Edward frowned, both at the tone and the statement, but he kept his tone very neutral, as befitting a captain answering a colonel.

"I believe we are, Sir. I was ordered to survey this stretch of land, to which end Captain Hunter agreed to join me in inspecting the possible routes the artillery could take to cross this ridge of hills."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:17 am

'Oh, for God's sake! Can nothing go right today? Well, at least this frees you up for the other sector, Needham. So I suggest you make your way there on the double and do some work!" Prestwich rather raised his voice at the end, but Needham didn't seem to be affected.

'Certainly, sir. I will get right on that, if you would kindly agree to my earlier suggestion.' A suggestion which boiled down to stop hiding out and go sort things out in the camp. Prestwich harrumphed and turned to Torrington and Hunter.

'My apologies, Captains,' he said with rather bad grace, 'There must have been another miscommunication somewhere along the lines.'
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:30 am

Edward frowned.

"I take it, then, that Captain Needham was doing the same? Then perhaps we could compare notes for a moment, so that we don't do the same things twice accidently?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:40 am

Prestwich nodded at Needham, his mood at little less black now that he came across someone in Engineers who seemed to actually know what he was doing. He did know that Engineers on the whole were a well-trained and efficient lot, but today did not start off well and he was ready to call even Fletcher an idiot if he happened to come across him.

Needham made his horse fall in beside Torrington's and pulled out his papers ready to compare notes.

Hunter meantime wondered off a little, looking like he was keeping a look out.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:51 am

Edward had marked out his area of survey, the progress made so far and the areas he wanted to check on a small-scale copy of the compiled map, which he now folded out and showed to Needham, leaning over in the saddle so that the other could see well.

Pointing out the relevant spots, he succinctly explained what he had done so far and proposed to do.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:04 am

Needham nodded in all the relevant places and showed Torrington what he has been able to accomplish so far, which wasn't much, since his work was somewhat hindered by Prestwich's gloomy presence.

Prestwich reigned his horse in on Torrington's other side and tried to get a look at men's work, noting with satisfaction the excellent quality of Torrington's.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:29 am

Usually trying to help his collegues, Edward had a bit of a problem now: To allow the Colonel to see better, he would have to move the map away from the Captain, which would be just as impolite as the status quo. So instead he tried for a distraction. Pulling a copy of the map he had already finished from his sattlebag, he held it out to the Colonel.

"I do not know whether this has reached you yet, Sir?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:41 am

Prestwich took the map eagerly and in moments was engrossed in studying it. In a couple of minutes he called Hunter over and made him hold the map while he made some notes in his journal. His mood had visibly become better as he worked.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:51 am

"The next one should be complete next week, although I can't say how long printing it will take, Sir. Actually, Sir, there will be a copy send to you as one of the senior engineers, as one from this as should have been. I'm not sure what happend."

Edward shrugged, a bit baffled by this. He hadn't had time to get used to those problems of an army in the field yet.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:03 am

'What happened Torrington is that until we settle into some kind of routine and the communication lines become clear, things are bound to go astray and wrong,' said Needham quietly. Prestwich only nodded to Torrington's words not really paying attention to them. Needham shot a quick glance at the Colonel and then whispered practically into Torrington's ear.

'Don't mind him, he's not always like that. Somebody spilled ink all over his papers this morning and he's still seething about it.'
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:42 am

"Then his irritation is quite understandable. I hope nothing irretrievable was lost."

Edward made the last annotation to his map and put the cap on his pencil again, then looked around to see where Hunter was.


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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:14 am

Hunter caught Torrington's glance and answered with a quick wince: Prestwich hasn't stopped using him as a paper 'holder'.

'Oh, nothing irreplaceable was damaged, thankfully. Otherwise we'd have a lot more than a fit of sulks on our hands,' said Needham a little too loudly.

'I am not having a fit of sulks, Captain,' snapped Prestwich, 'and I would thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head.'
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:29 am

Edward answered with a sympathetic shrug to Hunter's plight.

"Then, if there isn't anything else, perhaps we may take our leave, Sir? If you find it useful, you may of course keep the map - I made headquarters send me several copies."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:02 am

'Just a moment, Captain,' muttered Prestwich, shoved some papers into Needham's hands, who took them in what was very obviously a practiced manoeuvre and took the papers he had Hunter hold. 'Yes, I shan't keep you any longer from your duties, Captains, and I would be grateful if I could keep the map.' Prestwich was silent for moment as if struggling with something.

'Captain Torrington, I would appreciate if you could find time to see me in the next few days.'
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:37 am

Edward was slightly surprised at the careful wording, but answered readily enough:

"Certainly, Sir. When would it be convenient to you?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:53 pm

Prestwich who clearly was already 'exhausted' by all that politeness, just waved his arm somewhat dismissively, 'Whenever you have time on your hands.'
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 am

"Then I will do myself the honour of finding you tomorrow morning, Sir!"

Edward touched his head to the Colonel, then, out of the corner of his mouth, asked Needham:

"Headquarters, right?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Alexander Prestwich on Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:05 am

Prestwich grunted in reply and lost all interest in Torrington and Hunter.

Needham grinned: "I'll make sure he is. He probably just wants to question you about your work so far. It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Captain."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:13 am

One corner of Edward's mouth twitched in amusement. "I'll try to bring enough stuff to impress him properly."

He held out a hand.

"It was indeed a pleasure. I shall hope to meet you again soon, Captain. Now if only my companion would be released of his certainly important and very supportive position, we'll be on our way!"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:24 am

Prestwich glanced up at that, took the papers from Hunter and called Needham over.

Hunter returned to Torrington's side and said quietly with a slightly pained smile: "Shall we?"
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

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