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7th July: Come along by horse

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:22 am

"No.. I'll remain with the horses." Atkins said politely. "...We will keep you safe and covered, but.. I'll hardly be of use with your measurements." He was not interested in them really, not as much as he was in relieving his bladder. He had not of course given any indication of the problem,having too much pride for it.

"...Should there be anything you need from us, just give us a shout. Kenley and..." He indicated another hussar. "Will accompany you however."

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:30 am

Edward nodded and motioned the two hussars to follow him. When he - after a brief fight with bushes and small trees - reached the top of the outcrop fromwhere he proposed to take his measurments, he pulled a notebook out of his sabretache and asked the two youngsters:

"All set up and ready?"

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:03 am

Pye nodded eagerly. He had been so grateful to be off the horse that he had now followed Freddie like a very obedient and well trained pup. He was excited too, of course. Being let to go outside, when he had been condemned to remain at the camp when not marching, was something that had the youth grin and bear the necessities of riding.

"All set, sir." He said and shown how well they had done with the tools that they needed to use. The two hussars stood on either side of them, with their backs to Torrington and the boys, and eyes on their surroundings.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:09 am

Atkins looked bored. The remaining hussars had been made either to guard the horses that were riderless or left to glance about, making sure that nobody approached them. Willoughby was standing beside his horse, Herrero looking at the grass beneath his hooves and giving that a taste.

".. keep watch." The cornet murmured and indicated that he shall not be long, but would make use of the bushes. He would certainly have hidden so keep his decency, more now, that Torrington and his grasshoppers were out of sight too.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:49 am

Edward had his little helpers rather well trained in the routine of getting prepared for measurments, and he also knew that they would faithfully keep watch - whether the hussars were there or not.

So instead of worrying, he got down to quickly taking all the measurments he needed.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:13 am

Atkins had walked across the clearing. The hussars had made sure no Frenchman was near, so he did not feel like he needed to worry about getting surprised in a precarious situation. He was bored already. They were not going to go anywhere soon. The other officer would go and play with his little toys and he would have to stand wait for his call. He sighed. So many things that he could be doing right now , instead he was stuck waiting on a captain that did not even quite deserve the title.

He unbuttoned the top two buttons of his trousers, adjusting his dolman enough to comfortably reach them.

Willoughby glanced towards Atkins. He had skimmed the area again , as had others, but movement was not expected from that direction. Just as he was about to turn away a glint caught his eye. It was too late in the day for it to be morning dew reflecting in the sun.

"Cornet Atkins!Watch.." He had begun, shouting when the glint revealed itself to be part of a blade stabbing upwards at the young officer. Atkins, who had turned to scold the hussar for the cheek, felt a sudden sharp pain spread from the point of impact. Willoughby had already begun running towards their officer when he heard not far off from them a shot fired.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:16 pm

When the shot rang out, the engineer spun around to see Freddie aim his rifle and fire at something in the bushes.

"Franzmaenner!", the young German cried, disgust in his voice, and Torrington shook off his shock and tried to think. Running back to the horses through the thick undergrowth without any clear idea what was happening did not seem a too brilliant idea, especially as they had some cover and a very well guarded back here. And he had to admit he did not relish surrendering expensive and sensitive equipment to the French. Making up his mind, he called out: "Take cover! Fire at your own discretion! You there, hussar! What are your orders for such a case?"

He was glad that he had remembered to take a pistol out of his saddle holster, and now drew and cocked it, then waited. A pistol was not the best weapon over a longer distance, but the first enemy who would decide to put an end to the far more effective rifle fire would be in for an unpleasant surprise. He was rather amazed how steady his hand was.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:30 pm

The hussar had his carbine and he was loading it. The second hussar, Kenley, had for a moment appeared torn between charging with his sabre or using his own carbine. They had not expected someone to actually appear , but they were smart enough to take a few balls and some gunpowder with them.

The two riflemen were better equipped, and Pye was already loading his rifle aiming for any unfamiliar face to fire at. He heard shouts from the main clearing. "Sir... they've been attacked too."

A few shots were fired in quick succession and a nervous neigh of two of the horses were heard. The horses were impatient to get them to run or move somewhere, but certainly NOT to stay put! Willoughby had charged the man who had meant to finish Atkins off. He sliced at the man with his sabre shoving him further back. Another of the hussar's escort began running towards them, while horses had been mounted.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:02 am

"Where is Mr. Atkins?" Edward shouted over the shots, folding the whole tripot with theodolite still attached and praying the equipment would survive that rough treatment.

"And what is attacking us?"

He had sofar not been able to get any clear sight.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:19 am

"Must be the French sir..." Kenley answered quickly. He was no more sure of their attackers than his partner and did not want to risk the officer in getting out into the clearing further to see.

---

Willoughby had stabbed at the attacker, his slice parried, he elbowed the men pushing him further back, knowing that speed was of the essence now, should he want the officer not to fall into the hands of the enemy. A lucky stab to the leg had brought the other man down and then Willoughby turned quickly. He had had to elbow a second man, shove him back so that he tumbled over the fallen camerade. Another blind slice before the sounds of dry branches cracking announced the arrival of more men. He hoisted Atkins up and draped his arm over his shoulder, another under his other arm.

A shot was fired from the Brown, the fellow that had run towards them to offer assistance and gave the two just enough cover that the distance from the bushes had been made greater. He had to duck down behind one of the boulders though, just in time for the balls to whiz past.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:20 am

"Sir, the hussars are under attack." Pye gazed at Torrington expectantly. Will they be allowed to go ahead and offer assistance until they were all in their saddles and ready to run. He was ready to defend the delicate equipment or even to attempt getting a horse to them under the risk of either of them getting shot.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:30 am

Edward bit down on a curse. He indicated the hussars.

"You two. Back to the horses. We'll give you cover! Tell Atkins to clear off and meet us down there at the little chapel. We will fire a few more rounds and then take the stony way down!"

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:35 am

It was a direct order from an officer. Although they had been told to accompany and protect the captain, they were not going to question him, when sent off to get the horses. The two hussars nodded quickly and then, one after the other, disappeared through the bush in the direction of their horses, as the riflemen got ready to fire as well.

Two carbines were later heard firing again. A somewhat more distant. "Cornet Atkins is injured!" Was heard. Fire was exchanged again. Horses neighed but , several at a time, they were already taken to safety by the appointed hussars. Others offered the cover with smoke and shot.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:53 am

Edward carefully took the theodolite from the tripot, stored it away, then calmly chucked the tripod down the cliff into what he judged to be a a bush suffiently large to break its fall.

"Rottländer, Pye, keep up your fire until the hussars are safely away or more enemies come towards us than you can handle. Then we we will move quickly in that direction, about three hundred yards. There the cliff ends and we can scramble down. Hopefully at the food of the slope the hussars will already be waiting and the French never see us. I'll always stay with the one further back. Understood?"

_________________

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:06 am

Pye nodded quickly. He watched as the horses were being moved, hussars running back to get the rest though some of the animals had been helpful by following the first group. He fired again, forcing the French to keep their heads low, which also made it much harder to get a clear shot at any of the retreating hussars.

"Sir, I think I heard Atkins was down." He was not sure, but he might have even caught part of the scene with the corner of his eye. He glanced back. Had Torrington really just thrown something over the cliff that looked like a tripod?! He stared at the officer then quickly turned around again. Mad officers, the lot, though he really did like this one!

"The horses have been moved to safety sir.. the hussars are drawing back slowly."

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'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:14 am

"Damn!"

Edward briefly thought through the possibilities of trying to get Atkins, but as much as it turned his guts, he could not see how they could with a more than infinitisimally small chance of success do that now. Either the hussars had managed to take him along, or he ... well, if Atkins was still alive, he hoped the French would treat the cornet well.

"Alright, go then!"

That part he had to leave to the riflemen. They had practiced that often enough, he hoped.

_________________

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:33 am

Pye had had his rifle loaded and walked a little to the side then knelt and fired. He waited for Torrington and Freddie to retreat. Freddie to fire next while he would go back, and Torrington to go behind them so that he would be kept out of danger. It was the fighting in pairs, only for once it was not advancing, but going backward.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:41 am

Some of the shots had caused casualties. One of the hussars had been shot in the thigh, a second one had had a musket ball glance off his arm. One was fortunate too. The pellisse had been just thick enough to diminish the damage that the musket should could have caused. Willoughby had been able to half drag half carry Atkins across the ground towards the horses, keeping himself low and moving when the next salvo of shots was heard.

"Kenley." Willoughby gazed back at the bushes where the enemy had assaulted them. " Check any horses for injuries... help him.." He indicated the hussar that had limped towards them. "Get into the saddle. I'm taking Atkins. Keep the fire going, give or take a few shots and then retreat towards captain Torrington's position. Got it?" The youth nodded quickly and glanced at Atkins. "Is he?.."

"No he isn't dead. Not yet but if we don't hurry, he just might be. Move!"

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:01 pm

A few balls had come closer than he liked,but they had mostly been stray balls. Sofar, they had been lucky: they had managed to take out those soldiers that had come towards them (mostly accidentally) and remained undetected.

"Good. The hussars are away. Only shoot now if somebody threatens to see us!", the engineer instructed Pye while Rottlaender darted up ahead. In one arm he cradled his precious theodolite, in the other his pistol, ready to fire should anything come too close.

Two more changes and they had reached the point where the cliff became a steep, rock-strewn but on food manageable slope.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:08 pm

Pye nodded somberly gazing at the bushes behind them. He was bringing up the rear and while the going had become slippery and steep all too soon, he was keeping his eyes still for a large part of the time on the bushes behind them. He could heard French shout to each other. He did not understand a word, really, even if he tried. There was no 'merci' or 'adieu' or some of the words he had heard in camp and was able to connect with their meanings.

The voices were becoming more distant now, but his rifle - loaded and ready - was not lowered. His eyes were still alert and only gazed ahead of himself not to run into the captain, or trip. The last he wanted was to come down the steep slope ahead of both Torrington and Freddie, because he'd fallen.

The voices were more to the right of them now. It seemed that some of the attackers had wanted to follow the hussars, while the others were looking for anything that the hussars might have left behind. There were even a few loose stones that bounced their way when one of the men came to the cliff. He had not looked past it though, just kicked the stone unable to see the Hussars better from that vantage point, and retreated again.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:12 pm

Willoughby and the remaining Hussars with their and captain Torrington, Pye's and Rottlander's mounts were following the road. Most were now mounted, though one made a fuss of the fact that he had to ride the horse, his thigh bleeding and hurting him terribly. The one with the injured arm was left to ride alongside another that had not been injured, Atkins rode , cradled against willoughby, a hand firmly pressing against the wound, his horse held with two others by Kenley.

They had their tail covered too, should the French choose to follow them. Horses on an open road however , had been faster than the French on foot. Equally had two assaults by the rear party at the attackers, pushed them back and left several with slice wounds from the sabres.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:45 pm

With two fit riflemen, Edward had to struggle to keep up, especially with his heavy equipment, and not to look totally flustered and out of breath.

After a short but uncomfortable climb (at one point a rock under his foot had even given way and he had slipped, catching the theodolite to his chest while he tumbled a few feet and praying the sounds wouldn't alert the French), the engineer was on level ground again.

"There is the chapel. Now we wait for the hussars to bring our horses. Pye, can you see whether the hussars are at the cliff or whether it is safe to retrieve the tripod?"

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:54 pm

Pye nodded and disappeared for a few moments back up into the bush and to a better vantage point. When he returned he shook his head. "None on the cliff sir. Must've gone 'long the other way.... none of the French there neither." He looked towards Freddie then more than eagerly added. "I can go retrieve the tripod if you want me sir.. but i think we need ter wait 'fore getting into the chapel. What I mean. Wait for us to check it out firs'.. n'all. Just to be sure!" He looked rather shy at suggesting that.

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:46 am

Torrington nodded.

"Yes, of course. If you two would please get the tripod, preferably without getting shot? I will just stay here in the cover of these trees."

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Re: 7th July: Come along by horse

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:01 am

"Right away sir!" Pye said eagerly and then turned to Rottlander to hand him his rifle. He would be quicker there and back, if his hands were not hindered by the weapon and, really, he could hope that Freddie shot at an attacker, should he come under fire.

He did not even wait for a confirmation of that idea, and disappeared in the bush again, climbing over rock and bush, even the few thorny ones, to get to the tripod.

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