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30 July, Une maison renfoncée

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri May 03, 2013 12:31 am

That wasn't French being shouted at them. It was Spanish. What the hell? Weren't they chasing escaped Frog prisoners?

"Shut it," the grenadier snapped, swatting firmly at the boy's head. "Sergeant!"

This was definitely a matter for Sergeant Peters to sort out.

~



"As if it ain't already." The protest was for form's sake only. Even a brief resistance had sapped Bright's energy. Jesus. He should have just run, instead of stopping to try getting off that one final shot at the redcoats. If he had run, he wouldn't have been captured and thus not in this sorry state now.

~



"God in Heaven."

Despite himself, Todd found himself stopped short, surprised at the scene he had been fetched to. The nervous Guardsman who'd accompanied him nearly walked straight into him from behind, such was Todd's abrupt halt.

Even in the dim, shifting lights from the handful of lanterns present, he could see the telltale stains of blood on many of the prisoners. The fact that they were all now outside the barn and under a more numerous guard gave weight to his sudden suspicion.

Then he spotted Captain Vickery. "Sir. What, in the name of mercy, are your men doing?"

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  John Vickery on Fri May 03, 2013 1:24 am

Ah, the surgeon.

"Somewhere a little more private," Vickery said, taking the surgeon's arm to lead him a little way away from the mass of men. "Right. These men were asleep, under guard in the barn there until about half an hour or so ago, when a person or persons as yet unknown took it into their heads to throw what appeared to me to be dismembered, ah, bits of body into the barn onto them - I have just come from there. I do not know how many of these men, if any, are actually wounded, but I suspect that the blood on most of them is not their own."

And the fresh air outside the barn was helping settle his stomach; anyone who had survived a battle or two developed a strong stomach, but the little he had seen in the barn was likely enough to make even the most hardened man feel a little sick. No wonder the prisoners had been screaming.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Fri May 03, 2013 9:44 am

Matias yelped, reeling off balance. "Bastard!" he spat, twisting in and attempting to sink his teeth into the redcoat's arm. Where were Juan and Andrés and the others? Surely they wouldn't leave him?

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri May 03, 2013 10:40 am

The grenadier howled a surprised oath when the little wretch bit down on his arm, the pain like a knife even through the wool of his sleeve. Bastard had some nasty teeth on him!

His mate had by now recovered and dealt the boy a much more solid cuff to the ear, just as Sergeant Peters and the others barged onto the scene.

"What's this you've caught, my lads?" Peters asked with a businesslike frown.

~



Whatever sense of righteous indignation he had previously felt evaporated. This was a wholly different set of circumstances than those he had been about to denounce.

"I see," said Todd gravely. Damn it all. "I may be bold, sir, and hazard a guess that the Spanish are responsible. Earlier, there was an attack made by them on these same prisoners. From what I was told, the mob was successful in carrying off one unfortunate fellow."

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Fri May 03, 2013 12:15 pm

Matias sagged under the blow, an angry howl of pain rising in his throat. Yet another Englishman had appeared in the alley and, unable to shake his captor's grip, Matias turned his spite on the newcomer, roundly cursing him and all redcoats and their whore mothers to the blackest depths of hell.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  John Vickery on Fri May 03, 2013 6:55 pm

"I do apologise for having you woken for this," Vickery told Mr Todd, although he was not precisely sure who exactly had done the waking, nor why. "Would you be so kind as to remain here to ascertain whether anyone is injured? I shall detain you here as briefly as possible, you have my word on that."


Last edited by John Vickery on Sat May 04, 2013 1:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri May 03, 2013 8:30 pm

Sergeant Peters regarded the lad for a moment. "Take him back," he said. "That grasshopper'll want a word, I'm sure."

He became aware then of a distinct, uncomfortable feeling of being closely watched. A slight shifting amongst his lads suggested they felt similarly. Despite not being one easily unnerved, Peters thought it best to get out of there.

"Well? Get a move on! And keep an eye out, we might catch another."

~



A wry grin briefly turned up the corner of Todd's mouth. The why and how of his presence hardly mattered, in his own opinion. Better him than anyone else, since he'd tended these men earlier.

"It's hardly a bother," he replied. "Shall we?"

Even in the dark, he thought he recognised one small group of Frenchmen. He'd start his work there, with them.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  John Vickery on Sat May 04, 2013 5:42 am

"Certainly," Vickery said, stepping back and indicating the men. "If there is anything you need, you have only to say - with the exception of daylight, of course," he added wryly. "And, I do not know if you can speak French, but if you do, I should be grateful if you could endeavour to find out their account of what occurred."

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Sun May 05, 2013 12:54 pm

"No!" Matias cried, scrabbling at the walls, doorposts, debris, anything as he was dragged irresistibly along by the big redcoated soldier. The spiteful torrent of Spanish spilling from his mouth now started to sound panicked and pleading. They weren't coming for him. They were going to let the English kill him like they'd killed Miguel.


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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Sun May 05, 2013 11:45 pm



A wry smile came and went quickly from Todd's face. "I can make myself understood to them, sir," he replied. "Though I cannot promise they will tell me anything of their misfortune this night. If I may carry on, sir?'

~

Suffering Christ, the boy was a right wildcat, wasn't he? With a grimace, the grenadier hauling the lad along made a snap decision and swung his captive up over his shoulder. Whether or not this would prove to be a wise decision would shortly be learned.

"Shut your face, boy," Sergeant Peters growled at the lad. At least he too seemed annoyed at the unceasing flood of Spanish nonsense.

~

This was not good, Juan thought. This was also not how the plan was supposed to go. But they hadn't counted on the English being so aggressive in their response. Damn. He watched from the deep shadows of an alley, with several others close behind him. In theory, they should be able to overpower those redcoats and free young Matias, but Juan was not sure about the outcome of such a contest.

Accordingly, he was forced to merely watch, until or unless there was an opportunity to act.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  John Vickery on Sun May 05, 2013 11:59 pm

"Of course," Vickery said, stepping aside so that the surgeon could get to work. "If you need me for anything further, I will be around."

What a night this had turned out to be!

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Tue May 07, 2013 2:45 am

Matias let out a savage wail as his captor hoisted him up and over his shoulder. "Bastard!" he cried, kicking his flailing limbs at the man's chest and stomach. "Put me down! Let me go!" Clawing at the redcoat's crossbelts, he tugged the bayonet scabbard into reach. It was empty, but he was desperate.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Tue May 07, 2013 10:35 am



Todd inclined his head by way of acknowledgment and made straight for the hunched cluster of three Frenchmen, the ones he had recognised upon arrival.

"Hello again, lads," he said gently in French as he approached. "Steady now! I mean you no ill." He knelt, then twisted partially around to call out for a lantern. A towering grenadier brought one immediately.

Now with a suitable light source, Todd was able to have a proper look at the trio. They were, to put it mildly, in a state of shock. Only to be expected, considering.

"Here," he went on, addressing the sturdy lad called Paol. "Let me have a look at you."

~

"Sir!" Sergeant Peters had gone ahead of his grenadiers, in search of the greenjacket officer who had sent them off on this errand in the first place. "Got a prize for you, sir."

The lads, with their still-struggling burden, were not far behind him. Their approach was given away by the ongoing torrent of abuse in Spanish, flowing so freely from their captive.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Tue May 07, 2013 1:03 pm

Paol's head jerked up, alarm transitioning swiftly to bewildered disbelief as the newly fetched lantern illuminated the speaker. "Jacques?" he asked after a long hesitation, already more than half convinced that he had lost his grip on things entirely and that this was merely some fiction conjured by his exhausted and frightened mind.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Wed May 08, 2013 5:08 am



Charcot turned his head sleepily. Was Paol trying to waken him? He had just said something. "What?"

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Wed May 08, 2013 12:00 pm



Judging by Paol's reaction, Todd reckoned his presence was an unexpected blessing. He mustered a thin smile. "A man does like to be remembered," he said. "How is your arm - ah, M'sieur Charcot. Are you better, may I ask?"

He avoided mentioning the reason for the prisoners being outside the barn, being aware that it was doubtless a rather sensitive topic.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Wed May 08, 2013 3:00 pm



"I 'unno." Better than what? He could not quite remember. If he thought hard enough he might remember, but he did not want to think hard. Maybe the man would not remember either, and he would leave him alone to sleep a bit longer. I'm drunk, he thought. That's why. But even in his muddled state of mind, he knew better than to say so to his officer. "Yeah. Yes Monsieur Jarreau."

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Thu May 09, 2013 12:36 am

He blinked at Charcot in bleary concern. "You're dreamin', mate. Go back to sleep." He looked up at Jacques; the man had asked him a question, he was fairly certain, but he couldn't recall what. Shaking his head slowly as though to clear it, he said instead, "Michel—He's bleeding again. A... lot. I'm sorry."
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu May 09, 2013 1:25 am



That was a curious response, though perhaps not unexpected. Most likely it was the lingering effect of the laudanum. It seemed that Dominic was neither freshly injured nor in a worse state than Todd had last seen him in. He could accept that.

"Let me see," said Todd, shifting so he could look closer at Michael. He would attend to Paol as well in a moment, but the mention of fresh bleeding was worrisome.

Paol's assessment was perfectly correct, Todd saw. Damn. He muttered a rough word and twisted around to address the grenadier who was holding the lantern. "Send for another lad. Now!"

Then, ignoring the impossibly large fellow, Todd stripped out of his jacket and rolled his shirt sleeves up with brisk carelessness. He should have stitched this poor fellow up from the start.

There was a rumbling groan from the wounded Michael, who, it seemed, was on the verge of falling asleep. "Quit shoutin', damn it," the fellow muttered in bleary French.

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Thu May 09, 2013 1:47 pm

"It's just the sawbones," Paol murmured, moving back to give the surgeon room and settling on Bright's other side. The Englishman looked even worse in the lantern light. and Paol uttered a low curse. The blood on his face and matted into his hair -- along with God only knew what else -- did not help the impression. Paol shuddered, feeling again the wet slap of blood on his own face. Christ....
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri May 10, 2013 11:10 am



"Wake up, Michel," Todd said brusquely in French. "You may not sleep any more tonight. Bundle up his coat, Paol, and put it under his head, please. Then - "

A second grenadier had arrived, answering the summons made by the lad holding the lantern. Excellent. Todd addressed the pair in clipped English, even as he removed a canvas roll from his bag. "Give the lantern to that fellow, then I shall need both of you to hold this man down. Firmly, mind. He will struggle."

He glanced at Paol with an expression nearing apologetic, changing smoothly back to French. "Your pardon. Take the lantern, please, and hold it up. I need as much light as possible."

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Fri May 10, 2013 1:16 pm

Paol looked up from bundling Bright's coat beneath his head, starting to find a lantern being thrust at him. He took it wordlessly, holding it up as directed, clenching his fist around the handle in an effort to steady it.

"What are they doing?" he asked suddenly, fear quickly driving out relief as the tall redcoats began to close in.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri May 10, 2013 1:30 pm



The first, arguably most important, task was to clean the blood away from the wound. There was a surplus of this, both fresh and dried. How long had this been bleeding anyway?

"They are to hold him still," Todd answered. "I shall have to put stitches in, so his wound does not open and bleed so freely again."

"What? The hell you are!" Michael burst out in French and attempted to draw away, but the grenadiers were ready for such a movement. Their big hands clapped onto his shoulders and arms, and one of the sturdy fellows saw fit to pin Michael's legs down by kneeling on them.

Crude, thought Todd, but effective. He nodded at Paol. "Hold that steady, please, m'sieur - and do not strain your left arm too much!"

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David Burr, Sergeant, Light Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Nathaniel Peters, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
Timothy Hewet, Corporal, Grenadier Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Foot Guards
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  John Vickery on Fri May 10, 2013 10:50 pm

Seemingly Mr Todd had found someone needing his expertise, which left Vickery at something of a loose end - for a moment. The sergeant was calling for him, and he turned to find two or three Coldstreamers with a prisoner, who was shouting and swearing in Spanish.

Now, that pretty much tied in with Todd's (and Vickery's) guesses as to the perpetrator's nationality.

"¿Como te llamo?" he asked the writhing bundle slung over one of the men's shoulders.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Sat May 11, 2013 9:51 am

Paol glanced down at his injured arm. Little danger of that; he doubted if he could even lift it. But that was irrelevant just then.

He tensed his arm. Steady. Just keep it steady. Which would be a damn sight easier if he could stop his hand from shaking. He was fighting it, or trying to, without success. At least, he hoped, the tremor was faint enough to be more of a nuisance to him than it was an impediment to the surgeon.



*

Matias could not see who had spoken to him, but that hardly seemed to matter. "Go to the devil!" he spat, jabbing the tip of the bayonet scabbard into the soft part of his captor's back with particular vehemence.


Last edited by Paol Kerjean on Sun May 12, 2013 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

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