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6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:14 am

The man looked amused.

"Well, good thing then that you have to write this again anyway. I'm perhaps not an educated man like your engineer, girl, but even I can see that this is some foreign gibberish."

He handed her a fresh piece of paper and began again, this time adding in some seperate claims for the horses.

With an amused twist to the mouth, he pointed out:

"I very much hope your galán likes your horses and will pay for them - it will be the quickest sale I'll ever have done."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:18 am

"...He is English, and the language would have been easier for him." She answered, though she wrote the letter a second time. She disliked the horses being treated into a sale, but at least if Torrington did come, they would not go to these men.

She could only hope that the army would deal with them and no expanses needed to be paid. The finished letter was marked in a similar manner. She held it to the man, looking somewhat impatient.

"Where are we going to remain....until your endangering of Agostinho's life meets a happy end?"
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:26 am

"You will see soon enough. Don't worry. Not what you are used to, I wager, but not too uncomfortable."

He studied the letter carefully, frowned, then took the pen from her and added a few more marks as well as a 'secretly' scribbled 42 on the back and a rough sketch that could be anything from a cat to a woman under a tree. He pushed the message halfway into Agostinho's shirt, then straightened and took Estefania's wrist again.

"Okay, guys, get ready to go ... Miguel, Javier ... get that man near the green English piquets, fire into the air a few times and get away from there."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:55 am

Estefania glared at him, but said nothing. Her mare dutifully walked behind them, following whoever had been given to hold and lead her. The other two horses followed, though the one who Agostinho had ridden seemed to stall and had a harder time moving after his new captors. He peered back at his rider several times. Tugged on his reins, made an attempt to make a full circle rather than walk away, but innitially it seemed he would have to give too.

"Why are you nothing but mere thieves?...Do you not care for the war raging in this land at the moment? The French pillaging and worse?" Estefania inquired, her eyes strictly on the road they were taking.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:05 am

"Tell that horse to come along, or your friend will have to trade whatever comfort the English have for him for a rather rough tour through the wilderness."

Atracador spoke without heat.

"What do you expect me to say? I don't love the French, and this war is as hard on a robber as on a farmer ... well, apart from the deserters, but they usually have nothing worth stealing anyway. But I'm a guest of the executioner whichever side has won when they capture me."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:15 am

"My heart cries for you." The retort was full of sarcasm. The horse had finally decided to obey whoever was tugging it along, though it may just have been that his former rider had urged it so or, that he did feel safer in a group of three and the other two had gone ahead.

"...Why do you not change your profession temporarily? I am certain that there should be a lot to gain if you assist the allied, and hunt the deserters." She glanced at Atracador. "French deserters too.. if they are cowards enough to turn their back on their own...they cannot be trusted to serve the opposing side loyally either. Wind turners." She hesitated, having heard a similar expression before and hoping she had used it correctly. "They turn by the way the wind blows. And the British buy into it."

She shrugged. "...The irregulars would be glad to receive any one of them though and deal with them appropriately. The locals too."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:09 am

The man laughed out loud, as if she had said something terribly funny.

"Girl ... the last 'deserters' I encountered were some silly lads from our own country, locals, their bags stuffed full with silver and food and clothes they had taken off the English. They had their chance to fight the French and ran away, stealing from their allies instead. Why should I now go to the trouble and danger of catching French soldiers and deliver them to these cowards, so that they can rip the Frenchs' guts out slowly in the comfort of their own home?"
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:35 am

"They...were the soldiers we were looking for. They of the Spanish army that had fled in cowardice." Estefania spoke, though the expression on her face suggested that she understood and in small part agreed with his point.

"Not all locals are such. Most locals, those who do not serve in an organised army, who may be commoners not soldiers, not much but people of the land, those who listen to their priests, they are the ones more eager to become the rather gruesome end of the French. They are the ones you should have addressed and who would have welcomed your finds most graciously. "

She nodded. " The soldiers had caused quite some havoc in camp not more than few days ago. I don't think it sat well with their commander.." She paused. "The bignosed Englishman."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:40 am

The robber seemed rather amused by this conversation, but replied readily:

"Would you feel different? There are more effective ways to put a knife in an army's back, but not too many. If he has to start looking over the shoulder of his own men all the time, he won't have any eyes to spare for the French - not to mention that he has to turn his back to the enemy to do so."

He shrugged.

"If he wants information about his men from me, he can get it at a fair price, and if those priests want to know about their own flock, they can have it too, and as I am a good Catholic, I'll even give it to them for a prayer. But don't expect more."

They had reached what probably were the Montes de Toledo and the walk became harder.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:50 am

With the doubled efforts their progress slowed. Manuel had slowed even more, his shoulder aching with the injury and the strenuous movement causing the ache only to worsen. The horses needed more time to find comfortable footing, though sometimes they hurried up a slope then slowed, tiptoeing around slippery rock.

Estefania had been quiet after Atracador's last reply. She picked his path as well as she was allowed by her captor, saving breath for the path instead. She gazed around them, her eyes searching for any traces of the army, any signs that it was out there raising dust or smoke. She turned again to the direction they were taking and the path.

"It is not information that is needed, it is the physical presence of these deserters, be it French, Spanish, English or whatever other men are now with the army. The French need be questioned before they are slain, the others to be slain for their is little need of them." She shrugged.

"...and by desertion they may replenish the forces of our enemy that steals, plunders and seems willing to destroy our homes. Does that not..bother you? Do you not have a home here, and a family, stranger?" The other had not yet introduced himself, and she persisted in calling him so until he chose to do it.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:10 am

"You don't know me, girl. Don't ask such silly questions. I'm a robber. A thief. Some even say a murderer. Do you really think it should bother me that at the moment nobody has much time to spare to hunt for me?"

Atracador held out his hand to help her over a particularily steep patch while two of his men took Manuel between them.

"They say the French have a rule that you are innocent until you are convicted by a proper court, and that you are allowed to defend yourself there."

He fell silent again; while his voice had been outwardly calm, there had been a hint of underlying anger in it.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:18 am

"I may not know you.. but I have yet to hear of one being borne from a rock, so you must have had a parent before you have turned to these ways." Estefania said simply.

She brushed past his offered hand even if it cost her time and further effort to climb over the obstacle.

A chuckle followed moments later, one not filled with happiness, only amusement. "Really? And you believe that they are so 'kind'?" Her gaze lingered on his. "Who has told you this? A Frenchman?"

Manuel accepted help where he needed it, and where the help would prevent further jarring of his injured arm. He had not thanked them but only pushed on in silence.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:32 am

El Atracador chuckled.

"Kind? ... Let us settle for 'in theory they are so fair'. And that contraption they have to cut your head of is supposed to be quite quick and painless."

He patiently waited until she had climbed up the rough patch, his hand outstretched all the time, quite obviously amused by her independence.

"Before you go on, gatita, ask yourself what you would be doing right now, if there wasn't a war. And then don't tell me that you don't prefer the freedom you have now."

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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:42 am

She would certainly not have been in a forsaken middle of nowhere, high enough though to make the climb a tiresome adventure but did she have reason to believe it the worst possible predicament? Well, she had certainly had better days and better places, her life prior had been in some ways with fewer worries, yet in others...

She scoffed and looked at the next hurdle she needed to pass. "..I would have been at home." She paused and looked at Atracador. " A funny word you preach about... freedom... when you hold me captive here, stranger."

She looked ahead again, then spared a glance back at her mare to see how she was doing and if she was treated well by the man she had been made to follow. The animal looked up, her ears flicking forward. She watched Estefania then flicked her left ear to the side, the sound of a grunt and the feel of a pull at her reins indicating that she had to move again.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:39 am

"The moment your lord pays, you are free to go wherever you want, and until then, as long as you don't try to escape or endager my men, you can dance naked in the moonlight for all I care. More freedom than you will ever have if you marry that Englishman. I doubt that you will be allowed to wear those very alluring trousers then."

The men up in front called out and pulled Manuel up a last step of nearly sheer rock and into a small cave opening above it. The men leading the horses went on, up and to the left, but el Atracador laced his fingers together to create a stirup, and once more offered his help to Estefania.

"There we are, gatita. Will you be sensible and accept a boost up, or do you need to proof that you can walls higher than you are?"

It was not quite true. But only by the height of a good heel.


Last edited by Marashar on Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:51 am

"You and your men would perhaps enjoy it.. but I have decency, stranger, and I have pride. "A comment made to the suggestion of a dance in the moonlight without a garment to cover the flesh. She chuckled and tilted her head to observe the leader of this strange group.

Her next reply had to be postponed. She watched him shift so that his hands could support his weight for the momentary push upwards. "I can, but I will save myself the trouble." So instead she placed her foot against her hands and then with the momentum moved upwards, pulling herself over the ledge. She wondered why the horses were lead another way. Perhaps there was a separate cave in which they would be held, or a simpler entrance that she was not supposed to know. The temptation to kick him or knee him while his face was so close was there, but remained ignored.

Once  at the entrance of the cave and seeing that Manuel was certainly still there, and relatively safe and without much additional harm to his person she turned again to Atracador offering a hand this time. "What? .. is it that you would like to suggest that I should remain here and that I could expect a freer life?" She smiled and looked amused.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:26 am

"As long as you don't get caught, certainly!"

The man swung up the ledge easily, long practice telling him exactly where to put his hands and feet, before reaching out for Estefania's hand.

"We would certainly enjoy it - what is there not to enjoy if such a pretty girl as you are dances? But if you are too proud for that, then I guess you will have to come along and stay near me. My men are a decent lot, but ... they might have a more casual approach to touching than such a fine lady."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:03 pm

Estefania clasped onto his hand and pulled. Again she could have at a certain point merely released him and he would have fallen and possibly injure himself badly at the very least. But there was common sense in keeping him, not the least that he appeared to be the leader of the others. They would listen to him and if he was beloved, also not take it very lightly should he be injured.

"Should your men dare... you shall soon have not a single man in your group. Not one at least, that might call himself a full one." She said simply and with confidence. "..Do you presently have other prisoners?" She then inquired looking at the mouth of the cave.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:12 pm

The man grinned appreciatively, but didn't answer, pulling her towards a little fire his men lit up before the cave.

One of them pointed to a place near the cavemouth, where a small tree had rooted deep in the rocks, and told Manuel:

"Sit there."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:19 pm

Manuel sat down while Estefania followed their captor. He kept a closer eye on her and Atracador. A man could pretend to be kind and revealed to be cruel when it suited him and he did not believe that Atracador was any better. He was a thief.

"I will need to see to Manuel." Estefania said glancing in his direction. "Why had you not let him go, if it is me that you wished to keep. He is no use to you..nor harm, of course."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:04 am

"Until he reaches the nearest body of men he can lead here and cause trouble. I'm not going to insult him and think he would just meekly disappear, leaving you in the lurch."

The big robber guided her to where Manuel was just being tied up to the tree, then made an inviting gesture.

"Here ... you'll even get something to feed him with. We are civilized people, after all."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:37 am

Estefania nodded. She thought as much. Atracador was not foolish. "Then.. he will eat. Could you allow him to dine like a civilized man?" She indicated the arms that were bound. "..he will not run.. nor attempt escape." He paused again and looked at the leader, her eyes averting from him only briefly.

"I have another request. ..Should you know a doctor or someone versed in wounds of his kind, that lives close, can you bring him. Please."
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:03 am

"Fancy doctors don't cater to folks like us. All we get is what little medicine we can steal, buy or barter, and that is too precious to be wasted on some temporary guests."

The man softened a bit.

"Don't worry. It's as well bound up as can be under these circumstances, and a clean shot, no more than a graze really. Keep him quiet and change the dressings regularily, and in a few days it will be as good as new."

Atracador turned around to address Manuel directly.

"Do I have your word for that? No attempts to escape, fight or endanger my people or help that lovely lady to do the same?"
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Allhands on Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:58 pm

Manuel glared at Atracador. He did not respond at first and muttered something to Estefania in Portuguese. She answered back, telling him that there was no other choice but to do this now, also in Portuguese.

Before any further protest could be made, be it because they spoke Portuguese, or because they hesitated Manual sighed and nodded. "For now.." Was all he said.
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Re: 6th August, 1809: Chaos breeds vagabonds

Post  Marashar on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:48 am

"Good!"

The robber, who seemed to have understood well enough, nodded and pulled out a long sharp blade of the kind huntsmen preferred. He sliced through the ropes around Manuel's wrists neatly, whispering to him.

"Remember that she is more likely to suffer for your misbehaviour. And that your life means nothing to me at all!"

Straightening, in a seemingly careless fashion he waved towards the fire and addressed Estefania again.

"There will be some water there. Clean up a bit until the food is ready."
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