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26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:25 am

Edward composed his features back to suitable disinterest and pointed out two other horses to Hunter. Then leaned in, too, and asked, a touch of concern in his voice:

"Sir Arthur hasn't expressively forbidden this, has he?"

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:29 am

"He hasn't forbidden this, no." Hunter's smile was mischievous. His fingers squeezed Torrington's shoulder. "Let's get closer, shall we?" He started towards the paddock trying to "drag" Torrington alone.
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:50 am

Edward wrapped his own arm around Hunter's upper back to have some influence on their movements, too, but getting closer was quite in his sense, so he followed Hunter's lead there. Letting him pick the way, Edward shook his head to clear it a bit and surveyed his competitors. Even though he had already quite set his heart on leaving with that gray mare, he didn't want to get in trouble.

His hand felt the reassuring stiffness of the small breastpocket where he kept some money for emergencies. Together with what was in his wallet, it made a substantial sum to bargain with. Enough for the mare, he hoped.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:08 am

Gypsy leader grabbed the reigns of a smallish elegant looking brown mare and called out a price in Portuguese. Immediately there were responses from amongst the crowd, some were jokes, some complaints over the steepness of the price, some counter-offers.

Hunter had already chosen a horse he wanted to buy, so kept quiet and watched the crowd. He was in no hurry to let go of Torrington. The girl may have been joking when she called Torrington a lord, but gypsies didn't survive by not being attentive to their surroundings. The leader of the gypsy band had recognized the name of the other gypsy band leader Hunter named and acknowledged the very slight connection. Hunter could not think of better way right now to show the rest that Torrington was with him and under his protection.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:17 am

Round numbers were a bit easier to understand, and Edward put in a few bids himself to establish his interest, but unless they had kept the big prize out of the ring, there were only two horse he was really interested in. The gray mare and a sturdy little pony that would perhaps give him some independence with his baggage. He didn't mind Hunter's closeness. After all, the side where Hunter was would be safe from pick-pockets.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:21 am

The turn came for the grey mare that Torrington had his eye. The price was named. It was somewhat steeper than the prices for the previous horses, but than the mare did look magnificent, a Lusitano or an Andalusian certainly.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:29 am

Edward waited until those who were bidding on every horse in the hope to get it cheaply had withdrawn, then began to join in. He reckoned that a studiously bored demeanor wouldn't work here, so instead he went for a cheerful professionalism one would perhaps expect from a highwayman - at least in a novel. The higher the prices went, the carefuller he timed his bids to appear more and more considering whether the mare was worth it.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:35 am

One by one the bidders withdrew leaving one determined looking man bidding against Torrington. Hunter whispered practically into Torrington's ear.

'How badly do you want this horse? I could discourage him from bidding.'
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:38 am

Edward smiled and twisted his head until he could whisper back:

"Badly! But not badly enough to let you to anything I might owe you for for at least another 30 pounds."

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:45 am

Two bids later even the other man subsided leaving Torrington a winner. They started to prepare the horse Hunter was eyeing: it was an ugly-looking brute, large and muscular, which looked more suitable for pulling a wagon or a cart than any saddle-work.

Firebird was a splendid horse, but Hunter could see that the distance a march covered in a day in addition to whatever 'expeditions' he undertook alone were bound to take a toll on her. He needed another horse, perhaps not fast, but strong and hardy.
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:55 am

Edward tipped his non-existend hat to the other man. He would collect his horse after the bidding for Hunter's horse was over, but he felt it best that they were not separated. So instead he kept his arm around Hunter and took over watching all the movements that hadn't to do with the actual bidding, leaving Hunter free to concentrate on that.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:38 pm

There was some 'fighting' for Hunter's chosen, but it was a lot less determined than the fighting for Torrington's beautiful mare. Hunter got his way after several bids and at quite a painless price.

'Are you done bidding? Or has another horse attracted your attention?'
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:14 pm

Edward shrugged.

"That pony over there. The one that looks like a miniature Fresian with its feathers. It might make a good pack horse - the one mule the quartermaster provided for me gear is barely enough, and either the men I send off to hold the poles have to carry everything by hand - something that will hinder them considerably if they need to fire their rifles, I gather - or I am left stranded with my tripod and all the more sensitive gear."

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:48 am

Hunter relaxed his grip on Torrington's shoulder and shifted a little, stretching his legs.

'Pony it is then.'
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:41 am

Edward shrugged apologetically.

"Unless you would prefer to go? I won't insist if it bores you."

Out of the corner of one eye, he spotted a movement just below waist level. Once he realized what it was, his first impulse was to cry 'Pickpocket!' and try to catch the young boy himself, but then he remebered that for one night, he was Eduardo the highwayman, and relaxed again, settling for keeping an eye on the boy. He leaned closer to Hunter and whispered:

"There. Seems my rival for the mare will go home without his money anyway!"

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:55 am

Hunter looked at the pickpocket, then made eye-contact with one of the gypsies helping with the horses. He made a brief sign to him.

"Well, your rival just might get it back."

They brought out the pony, but few men seemed interested in it in earnest.
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:09 am

Edward was surprised, but he instantly chided himself for it. It was only reasonable that the gipsies would like all good traders see to it that their auctions were safe. He tried to see what was happening to the boy ... although frankly he wasn't quite sure why.

But then the bidding began and he had to focus on that, and only occasionally could try to look.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:17 am

Hunter kept an eye on their immediate surrounding and so didn't bother watching what happened to the boy. Especially since he was convinced that the boy would be told off and made to replace the money he'd taken and nothing more.

Torrington won the bidding easily.

'Shall we go collect our prizes?" Hunter let his hand drop from Torrington's shoulder, but almost immediately placed it on his elbow.
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:29 am

Edward allowed himself to be guided by Hunter to where the sold horses were standing. He already knew how much money he was owing and which pockets to empty so that the gipsies would see only a little more than the actual sum he owed.

"i must compliment you, Hunter! This really was a brilliant idea", he complimented his companion, his voice barely loud enough to be heard over the background noises.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:31 am

"Why, thank you, I live to serve." Hunter grinned paid for his stallion and took up his reigns. The horse snorted derisively, tossed its head, but followed Hunter obediently enough.
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:51 am

Edward quickly completed his own purchases.

The mare and the pony eyed each other rather doubtfully when they were led to where Trueno was tethered, like two children who had been assigned their least favourite classmate as a companion for an outing; but when the large stallion snorted and neighed in greeting, they instinctively closed ranks, nearly squashing Edward in the middle. Trueno's attention was quickly drawn to another horse, however. While he was quite willing to greet and be friendly to any mare, and even to a gelding pony, another stallion was immediately viewed as rival for their attention, and Trueno wasn't going to have that.

So he blew his nose and arched his neck, challengingly showing off his powerful muscles.

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:07 am

If horses could be described as rolling their eyes, then that was what Hunter's new stallion did. He turned his rather ugly head to look and sniff at Firebird, since she was the closest, and seemed quite happy to ignore all the other horses from then on.

Hunter got out a lead and attached stallion's bridle to Firebird's.

"Are you faring well with your seraglio Torrington, or do you want me to lend you a hand?"
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:22 am

"You just want to get your hands on the lady, Hunter, but thank you!",

Edward laughed, handed him the mare's brittle and took his trusted rope from his sattle.

"I rather hope this little eunuch and my lady here here will consent to come along on a lead as well. Even if it is only a simple rope, in the pony's case."

He skillfully knotted the rope into a head-collar and passed it over the pony's head with a few whispered words and caresses. The little beast, obviously being a friendly sort, snorted and nuzzled Edward's hand, then went back to establishing friendly relations with Trueno, who seemed to be of the opinion that he had won and now could be magnanimous.

Another knot fixed the rope to the sattle, and Edward had his hands free to attach Trueno's own lead to the mare's bridle. Patting her glossy neck, he surveyed the arrangement.

"It rather looks like a badly matched troika-team now", he commented and set his foot in the stirrup. "Could you catch the names the gipsies gave my 'seraglio', as you call it?"

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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  George Hunter on Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:36 am

"I already did, because I at least try to learn the names of those I put in my seraglio. It is just good manners." He smirked looking over the 'herd' of horses Torrington was now in command of. "The pony is predictably called Shorty and the mare's name is Anha."
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Re: 26th June, late evening: the Dinner Trip

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:11 am

Edward grinned and bowed in the sattle.

"I knew there was a reason I put up with your company - you remind me of my manners."

He looked at his new posessions thoughtfully.

"I think you will stay 'Anha', my dear, but I simply refuse to call any horse of mine 'Shorty'. But I think I will leave the naming of you to the person who will have to feet you. I rather hope he will like at least that part of the whole business - and if you end up being called Maximilian, then remember that emperors have borne that name."

The pony didn't seem to care. It was more interested in a bit of succulent grass.

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