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Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

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Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:45 am

The idea that Thompson had was not an unusual one, for him; he'd thought this before. That he was seriously considering it, especially now, was more unusual. That he had spoken to Sergeant Quinn and been told to take it to the officer was the most unusual part of this whole thing, and was proof, in its own way, that Thompson's new rank meant something, at least to the Sergeant.

If he'd still been a Private, he'd have kept it to himself, or at least, not done anything in the official way.

He sighed, straightened his hat and tugged at his jacket before heading aft through the Marines' part of the berth deck to the wardroom, where Grattan was on sentry-go.

The other Marine stiffened at Thompson's approach and the Corporal nodded at him before opening the wardroom door and heading for the Marine officer's tiny cabin.

"Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please," he said, tapping on the door.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:59 am

There was a kind of snort and then some shuffling in the cabine, during which the words "Come in!" were heard.

The command sounded not angry, but not particularily inviting either, and not quite as clearly pronounced as was usual for Sewell - but then, when a man was trying to wake up properly and get his too tall frame out of the hammock while pulling on his boots and jacket, he was entitled to sounding a bit muffled.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:02 am

The order 'Come in' was muffled, though distinguishable enough to a man who'd spent countless sentry-goes standing guard outside the cabins of various ships' captains.

Thompson steeled himself and opened the thin door.

"Sir, I... um." He blinked, fixed his gaze on the bulkhead opposite and swallowed. "Beg pardon, sir. Shall I come back later?"

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:15 am

"No."

Sewell straightened as much as he could under the low ceiling, pulled his jacket closed and began to do the buttons up.

"What do you want?"

Being woken obviously made him even more economical of words than usual.

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:23 am

"It's not... nothin' important, sir. Jus' an idea I had." He'd pulled his hat off - there was no room to salute - and was standing to attention. It sounded as though the officer was not in the best of moods, and Thompson hoped he hadn't unintentionally let himself in for the first dressing-down since his promotion.

"I can come back later, sir?" When the officer was in a better temper and more likely to be receptive to Thompson's idea, he meant, though of course he was not about to say that aloud.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:30 am

"Spit it out, man!"

If the idea was enough to interrupt him at all, he prefered to hear it now, since he was awake now anyway, instead of being interrupted again later.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:37 am

All right, he was probably going to be told 'no' in short order, judging by the officer's brusqueness.

He tried to marshal his thoughts so he could present this as coherently as possible.

"Well, sir, I was thinkin' that since us Marines don't have to go aloft for duty like the sailors, an' them that do go up are volunteers - an' since we've taken aboard several Marines who's new to the Corps, sir..." He took a breath. "I was thinkin' that it might be an idea to get all the Marines who've never been aloft to go up, jus' so's they know they can do it, sir."

He paused, looking at the officer's face.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:37 am

As this was a very sensible idea, did not interfere with any other business and had no drawbacks Sewell could see (apart from somebody falling down or getting ill, of course, but then better now than in battle), he nodded decively.

"Good. Who and when?"
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:48 am

"Well, the younkers, sir - Whyte an' Terelly, for two, an' anyone else who ain't been aloft at all yet." He took a breath. "I was thinkin' tomorrow, mebbe, sir - me an' some of the older men could show 'em how to climb the ratlines an' all."

He was warming to his subject now and hastened to explain his thoughts and reasoning. "Y'see, sir, in me first ship, it was me Corporal took all us greenheads up aloft, three times each in the first month or so. He said, we didn't have to do it again, ever, if we didn't want, but if we never did, we'd be missing out on something, an' I reckon he was in the right of it, sir. An' it was 'cause of him that I was a sharp-shooter in Calypso and Surprise, both, sir, with me station in the maintop at Quarters."

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:07 am

Sewell seemed slightly bemused at having poured this wealth of personal information at him. Buckling on his swordbelt and deeming himself sufficiently dressed, he strode out of the cabine.

"Deck. Fresher air", he said by way of explanation, clearly expecting the corporal to follow him. "Take MacTavish. He couldn't keep his mouth shut about soft and weak southerners again. Make him work a bit - no soft skylarking for him while he's off watch."
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:18 am

"Sir?" Thompson said, blinking as the officer pushed past him, heading topside. He crammed his hat back on and hurried to catch up to the officer, who'd taken him by surprise.

"McTavish? Aye, aye, sir. Was thinkin' of Robinson, McEwen an' Grattan, too, sir."  He wasn't sure precisely how many greenheads he was going to get, but thought that five experienced Marines, including himself, should be enough.

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:31 am

"If they volunteer."

Sewell nodded. He climbed up the last few feet, stepped unto the deck, took a quick look around and stretched properly.

"If the wind holds, do it tomorrow, but take them up once later when the weather is rougher."

Nodding to the marines standing sentry as he passed them, he walked towards the bow, checking that all was as it should be.

"Do you want them to fire a shot from there as well?"
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:38 am

Thompson followed the officer as he considered that. "It'd be good if we could, sir, though I wasn't plannin' to ask for the powder. But if you don't mind?"

He'd have to go up himself to check the cartridges kept in the chests up there, ready for the use of the Marines stationed in the tops in battle.

"An' I'll ask Grattan and the others to, sir - though I won't make 'em if they'd rather not."

When the weather was rougher - not a full storm or anything, but stronger winds or higher seas. Yes, he could do that.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:52 am

"Two rounds for those who can climb with some confidence and show promise - who hits a barrel on the water below gets a prize. Should keep them eager to learn."

Shaking his head to loosen his neck muscles, he asked, rather to see what the new corporal would suggest:

"What would you suggest?"
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:00 am

A prize? An extra tot would - could - lead to discipline issues, depending on who won, and probably wouldn't be something Captain Bolitho would allow. And as the Marines didn't stand watches the same as the sailors, they regularly had all-night-ins, which the seamen didn't, so that was out.

"A coupla shillin's, in hand, sir?" he said thoughtfully. In hand - not to come with their pay in the far-off future when Terpsy was paid off to be decommissioned or laid up, but in hand to spend when they next made landfall somewhere.

The suggestion was a good one. Whether anyone could hit the target would remain to be seen, of course - and Thompson fully intended to demonstrate that it was possible, at least.

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George Thompson
Commodore

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:20 am

Sewell, who had thought along similar lines and who could spare the shillings well enough, nodded once.

"If they'll make me poor, they'll make me proud. I'll come and watch."

He wouldn't trouble the captain or the purser with the prize - although he would of course inform him.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:23 am

Thompson grinned at that. "Reckon they'll make you proud of 'em, sir," he said. Having the officer watching would make him nervous, at least to start with, but this was something that Thompson had done for years - well, going aloft and firing from there, anyway - and that held no fears for him at all.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:43 am

"They damn well will."

After checking that he was not interferring with ship's business, Sewell grabbed hold of the shrouds and swung himself up. He didn't exactly think that the sailors would not take perfect care of all the rigging, especially as their life depended much more on it, but before he send any youngsters up there, he felt that since he had some time on his hands, he ought to make certain that everything was in order. Besides, what held his weight would hold that of any marine or sailor, he could see that Thompson really was as capable up here as Sewell thought, and it was a very convenient excuse to get away from the suffocating tightness of the ship for a moment and feel some wind around him.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:59 am

Thompson shrugged and followed. He might not be as quick as a sailor, but he was perfectly capable of getting up to the fighting-top of any of the three masts - and by the futtock shrouds, too. He didn't know how many Marines could claim that.

Three points of contact, he'd been told when he'd done the first time along with, "One hand for yourself, and one for the ship, the way the sailors do it, and you'll not come a cropper."

He looked up at the Lieutenant, wondering for a moment whether he would prefer to use the futtock shrouds or the lubber's hole. Thompson himself preferred the futtock shrouds, as being the quicker and more sailorly of the two, but if Sewell chose the other, he was not going to show the officer up.

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:55 am

Sewell defintely preferred the futtock shrouds - for the simple reason that the lubber's hole, being made no bigger than necessary, always left him with the impression he might get stuck. He was certainly strong enough to haul himself around the edge and sure-footed enough to keep his feet on the rigging. Once he had cleared the wooden platform and was safely standing on it, having made room for Thompson to follow, he looked ahead. With eyes squinted, he looked down to the lively deck below, then ahead to the horizon.

In a rather uncharacteristic moment of sharing, he remarked:

"They should see this at least once."

It was no wonder that Thompson had never really consciously seen him up here - as he was no use as a sharpshooter, he kept his feet on the deck in battle, and drills he merely observed. Just to keep in practice, he occassionally climbed up, and even had gone sofar as to learn how to work the sails - just in case - but he tried to stay out of the eyes of his marines and certainly didn't wear his rather visible jacket for this. But this was one of the reasons why he had chosen the marines and never bothered with a commission on land - this endless view and the wind ruffling through his (once again hatless) hair.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:09 am

Thompson followed the Lieutenant up the futtock shrouds and into the top. "Aye, sir, they should," he said, taking a breath of air and looking towards the horizon. It was surprising how much further a man could see, up here.

He hadn't really got up here very often, even less since his promotion, and eventually had to tear his eyes away from the horizon to look at the officer. He thought the answer might be a favourable one - he'd had that impression earlier - but there was still a little uncertainty. He couldn't really push, though, in case that decided the Lieutenant against it.

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George Thompson
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:40 am

Sewell stayed with his hands in the shrouds and leaning slightly against them, taking a few deep breathes. Then the bell below sounded and he shook his shoulders and began to descend as abruptly as he had come up.

"I'll look in tomorrow near the end. Good luck."

His head disappered - the lieutenant seemed to be under the impression of having said everything necessary.
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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  George Thompson on Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:40 am

"Sir?" Oh. Thompson allowed himself a quick grin. "Thank you, sir!"

He waited a few moments, until he was sure he was not going to stand on the Lieutenant's fingers or do anything else similarly lubberly, before making his own descent.

Just like that, he'd been given permission to go ahead with it - more; he could start them firing from the tops. Though he would have to be very careful that they didn't go and do something really stupid, like put a ball through the forecourse or something.

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Re: Corporal Thompson to see Mister Sewell, please - 20th July

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:44 am

(OOC: The actual exercise happens here.)
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