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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 Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:26 am

"Certainly!"

Edward guided Trueno in a tight circle until he was next to Hunter again. Then, with a last salute to the Colonel and his aide, he urged his horse down the hill towards the street again. He didn't speak until they were well out of earshot, but then he chuckled.

"Would one of the things you tried to warn me about include the inefficiency of army communications? But better that way around than that one place doesn't get surveyed at all."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:35 am

"Indeed. I dare say the communications will improve once the army settles into routine, it's early days yet."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:41 am

"Well, same could be said for us ... I hope our little discussion the day before yesterday didn't cause you any further discomfort?"

Edward gave Hunter an apologetic smile.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:27 am

"Not anything that I won't live through," said Hunter, "I meant to answer your note yesterday, by the way, but things got away with me. I would be delighted to accept, but perhaps you would allow me to treat you to dinner instead."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:43 am

"I would be honoured!"

Edward half-bowed in the saddle.

"Where and when shall I present myself?"

A trace of mocking lay in his last sentence, but also real delight at the invitation.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:01 am

Hunter gave Torrington a slightly secretive smile.

"Why don't you come to the Headquarters tonight? Around eight will do."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:07 am

Edward raised an eyebrow.

"I will certainly do. Shall I bring a brace of pistols as well, or a bottle of rather decent port?", he asked lightly, as if he was giving Hunter a perfectly sensible choice.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:10 am

Hunter smiled smugly: "No, no. Bring a cloak. And your horse."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:42 am

"I dread to think what you might have planned!"

Edward was only half jesting, but he was smiling.

"There's the road ... and what a row of holes it is."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:47 am

"Ah, you mean those holes with bits of road around them? None of us will have a good time marching here, but I dread to think how the artillery will manage."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:39 am

"We should probably take the easy way and just remove the remaining road!"

Edward commented sarcastically; he wasn't at all pleased with the state of affairs. He jumped down from the saddle and scratched the surface of the road with the heel of his boot.

"If it rains, this will turn in one long stretch of mud. And if it is dry, it probably will break the artillery's wheels. I must have misunderstood what caminho means!"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:49 am

Hunter made sympathetic noises. "I am afraid I've seen worse."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:01 am

"For a faint moment, I had hoped that you would say that you had seen better. - And just round the corner."

The engineer swung into his saddle again.

"No, if that's the way the whole surface of the road is, there won't be any artillery going that way, save perhaps the lightest pieces. But even they will have trouble. Let's see whether this is only a short stretch, though. I still have some hope ..."

He urged Trueno forward again.

_________________

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:43 pm

"If it's only a small stretch that's affected, I suppose something could be done about it?" Hunter said in the saddle lazily, holding the reigns with one hand, the other resting on his thigh.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:46 am

"If somebody can spare some men and a few shovels, we could fill in the holes. After a few rainfalls, it will look like now again - nothing to be done about that unless someone builds a decent base layer and some drainage - but if it's only for a short time and not too long a stretch, we should be able to put the surface in decent order."

Edward smirked.

"As I said, I need only men and shovels. It is a somewhat disconcerting thought that the shovels may be harder to get ..."


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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:12 am

"We might talk to the local villagers, they may have some we could at the very least borrow." Hunter wondered if his servant, Fernao would be up to helping them get some shovels.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:53 am

"That would certainly be helpful. - Do you think the army chest is full enough to pay for that?"

Edward bend down, nearly hanging from the saddle, to inspect a water channel across the road without dismounting, then pulled himself up again and searched the nearby slope.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:57 am

"Well, depends on how many shovels we'll manage to rustle up. I doubt it'll be a great number."
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:13 am

"Or whether we really need them. If this goes on for much longer ..."

Edward sighed.

"Let's try whether over that rise there might proof a shortcut. And if it isn't, whether there is something more usable behind it."

He snorrted.

"If all fails, we will have a nice spot to have a break, at the least. My batman packed something he called 'Kalter Braten'."

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:44 pm

"Your batman is a treasure! Sometimes I think I should have one." Hunter directed Firebird to go over the rise, and leaned forward in the saddle a little, as she started climbing.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:42 am

"You are not going to lure Rottlaender away!", Edward replied immediately with an extremely stern glance in Hunter's direction.

"Otherwise I'm in complete of accord with you. A good servant makes camp life infinitely more agreeable."

Trueno suddenly slipped on the dry grass and bucked, climbing the last bit in a few large gallop strides. Edward had instinctively hung on with his knees and accommodated his horse's mouth, but once the stallion had climbed the hill, he checked him, and swung his leg over Trueno's croup. With a grand gesture towards the only slightly lusher grass under a large cork tree, he asked grinning:

"Would this elegant setting suit you for taking our luncheon?"

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:09 am

"No, I am not going to. My servant is perfectly satisfactory, except that fine cuisine is beyond his ken." He laughed a little at Torrington's grand gesture and the setting which did not fully live up to it.

"Yes, it would suit me perfectly, my dear Captain Torrington. I thank you," replied Hunter in a suitably grave tone.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:34 am

'Kalter Braten' turned out to be army beef, cut in thin slices and arranged on bread. To make the tough army bread more eatable, Rottlaender had produced a paste of herbs, local olive oil and some salt, and also included two apples - probably with an apologetic duck of the head at not being able to offer a better meal.

Edward arranged the food on a convenient flat stone, sat down beside it and opened his canteen.

"Help yourself - I'm not allowed to bring anything back."

_________________

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  George Hunter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:20 am

George got his canteen and joined Torrington at the stone, after arranging Firebird's reigns so that she wouldn't tangle herself in them as she grazed quietly beside them. He helped himself to some food gratefully and took a couple of bites.

"What do you like, Torrington?" He asked suddenly.
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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:26 am

"I beg your pardon?"

Edward was visibly startled by the question.

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Re: 26th June, They are upon the road

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