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5th October 1814: In company of horses

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5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:45 am

The training of the second day had been finished and Willoughby had returned home, greeting his grandfather briefly before he disappeared into his own rooms. There he  changed from his uniform into something that was equally elegant, only it was cleaner and fresher. Herrero had already been cleaned up, brushed, unsaddled and returned to his stall. There he was given feed and drink and left to rest. Willoughby soon departed again and returned a couple hours later, first going to his room.

When Willoughby left his room, he had sheets of paper tucked under arm, and a violin in the other, with the bow clutched firmly in his palm. He sat on one of the wooden stools that could be used for the ladies to get onto the backs of their horses more easily but found it quite low. Instead he chose a higher perch and gazed at the stalls that held some of his horses. He smiled at them. It was one of the nicer, quieter spots where he could practice and horses mostly did not mind as long as he hit the notes.

Propping the papers up to see the notes, though he knew most of the memory by heart already, he propped his violin to his chin. He made some adjustments of the sound, warmed up by a few melodies and tunes that had no connection with any existing song and after that began with the melody he had brought with him.

It was Tartini's Violin Sonata, the Devil's trill which he had chosen. He had had a collection of foreign composers, and played only the ones that he really enjoyed the music from and only those pieces. This was one of those. It was nice. The stables were mostly quiet but for a snort or a sound of shuffling feet. Some of the horses peered from their stalls, twitching their ears here or there.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:58 am

It took him a while and some small mistakes, but finally the song was finished and Willoughby lay his violin beside the pile of papers, looking for the other piece of music that he had equally enjoyed playing, bringing him a peace of mind.

This one had been called Adagio done by Tomaso Albinoni. He closed his eyes and began to play, more by ear and more by memory than from the notes. His grandfather used to loathe the day he had succumbed to his grandchild's wishes to let him learn the violin, though once the same child had learned to play better than as if a cat had been skinned alive - and even tried to impress rather than intentionally cause the nerves of his grandfather to fray - he had quite enjoyed hearing those performances.

Well this was one of them, and they were his fine audience.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:08 am

Finishing the piece Willoughby gazed at his animals. Two in particular had accompanied him through thick and thin. Herrero listened to him, his head raised, his dark eyes returning his gaze calmly. His ears were both turned in his direction as if awaiting more. He flicked his tail then walked around his pen only to appear at the door again, peering at the Hussar.

He neighed softly and shook his head back and forth as if inviting him closer. Willoughby smiled and lowered his violin. Silent footsteps lead him to the speckled animal and he lifted his free hand to caress his head. "Hey, you. Missing Spain, Portugal?" He asked softly. "I know it isn't as warm here for you though I hope the accommodations now are adequate at least."

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:29 am

"Cousin?.." It was Lady Anne. They had come to visit the grandfather a little while ago, and for most of that time the ladies sat with their mother while they talked. Timothy chose to appear briefly, but then excused himself when he thought it convenient and proper.

Now she was sent to find him while Catherine went with her mother and the two men had a moment for themselves before they were to be called for dinner.

"Here you are!.. I've been looking all over for you." She chided him just as she hurried through the stables and past the sheets of music.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:35 am

"And yet you did not look in the most logical place first?" Willoughby asked smiling. "What is it? Has grandfather decided I need to answer all the requests and invites by the end of today? Or has he given up and you are here to tell me so and to send me off?"

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:43 am

"Do not jest,.. dinner is going to be ready soon." She paused and reached towards Herrero who snorted and pulled back then watching her, rather slowly moved closer again.

"There is another thing I wanted to ask you." She added in a quieter voice, leaning closer to form that air of confidentiality to which Willoughby would have to swear now and at a later time.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:30 am

"Ask then, Herrero is not going to betray your secret and the rest.. are equally inept of speaking human." Willoughby spoke quietly to match her own.

Patch, the feline that had a rather more noble name, but which had ever since been called Patch, or Patches by Willoughby, came strolling up to them and arching her back against Anne's ankle. She was a cat rather true to her name, while the predominant colour was white her body was littered with patches of colour, black and some striped and with a more carroty hue.

She was purring quite loudly and turned to Willoughby meowing at him.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:33 am

"Do you think mama would approve of the commander?...that is...I do not think he would be interested in me nor that he will begin to court me, but should he have done it..." Anne's speech was halting, unsure. "..could you also learn more about him.. should it be... that...well.."
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:43 am

"I will see what I can do." Willoughby answered placing a hand on his cousin's shoulder. "He should be honoured that he was able to meet you." He murmured with a soft and kind voice. "As far as approval goes though..." He shrugged and knew that there were things that worked heavily against James, but then neither did a certain rank in society assure one's place or match.

"..is that all you wanted from me?" He inquired, his gaze on Herrero and then on the other horses that were stationed at these stables. His gaze was solemn, almost sad. "Do not give your heart easily, Anne, " He did not look at her as he spoke in a rather quiet tone: "..think not only of what makes it happy, but also of what will keep you happy, when first infatuation is gone.. Men are children and ..cherish rarely what is given easily and freely no matter how genuine and foolish it may be."

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:50 am

Anne wished to tell her cousin that he was completely wrong and that she knew better than to fear this man could break her heart should he choose to act. She wished to say that he was a respectable man, but all she knew of him was what she saw and what little she could ask her friends about. She did not know him for years and could hardly have been able to judge his character perfectly from the short amount of time that she had been in his company.

This was after all the reason why she asked her cousin to inquire.

"Timothy." She spoke softly, addressing him as her brother, though he was not. "You've grown old in your way of thinking." It was attempted as a tease, a jest, an affectionate manner in which to taunt one's close relative.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:58 am

"..yes..I guess I have." Willoughby answered quietly and pushed away from the wall. "...I wish you happiness, Anne. Don't forget that, and you know that I would and will act as your brother, should anybody dare cause you distress." He smiled faintly.

" Now.... I'd like to be alone. I will not miss dinner, I promise." He turned back to his violin.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:09 am

Anne nodded and bid her goodbye to him. She turned and walked a few steps, her slippers quiet on the hard floors of the stables. She turned again when she was at the entrance and looked at her cousin. She sighed. She missed Timothy's rambunctious nature. This was not how she remembered him. She hoped that given a few days, he would be back to his old self. Silly, temperamental, lively and equally caring.

After a moment longer, she finally left.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:54 pm

Willoughby waited a little longer and then took up the old violin. Tucking it gently under his chin he closed his eyes. Silence was broken by the sound of the violin it's voice suddenly no longer calm, no longer composed but wild in its abandon. He had played a piece from the Four Seasons,  Summer, Presto, of A. Vivaldi and he played it with its raw emotion.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:12 am

As the very last piece of the day that the young hussar wished to practice, was the piece that had had a fairly Spanish flair and which he had learned the latest, thanks to the sheets he had gotten while on campaign. The violin he played now, was also got there and the ornamentation on it made him believe it was worth more than first believed, it's sound confirmed it and in short, he was now in possession of it.

When he was done he laid the instrument down. He had chosen not to fuel the gossip lines as much as he could prevent it and refrained from going outside too much. His grandfather made his displeasure at that event known several times over. He would quite probably do so again at dinner. He sighed.

"Well then.. Herrero...I think it is time for me to go...least I get told off like a child for allowing to have the food cool." He walked to the mare that had accompanied him as well on campaign. He stroked her gently and murmured a few words to her. When Fairplay neighed, almost as a sign to stop stalling, he turned, packed the music sheets and his violin and returned to the house and after, to his room.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:00 am

Anne returned to the house. She peeked into the dinning room to see that the table was set, but that they have not yet gathered to eat. She proceeded to one of the adjoined rooms that was much grander and sought out the library a little after that, where she found her sister. The grandfather was in his study and would arrive later.. Their mother and father would not be joining them today as they had other business that they needed to attend to. It was also perhaps the reason why the pair of girls was present at this house and why they did not remain at home.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:07 am

When Willoughby returned, he had changed from the clothes he had worn while at the stables. His violin was packed away again, as were the music sheets. He was dressed in a more relaxed and yet still respectable manner which would not offend any lady present.

At the dinner the family seemed rather quiet and formal, for which Willoughby was grateful. He was well aware that his grandfather had received several visits that day that were not of the nature that he would delight in having. He had been scolded about it before. While the preparations leading to the competition were in full swing, it would only get worse.

He sighed quietly and continued to eat though he did not feel hungry.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:22 am

After the dinner Willoughby returned to the stables. There he was found even later in the evening, having fallen asleep, propped against the wall of one of the pens, specifically the one occupied by his spotted horse. Herrero leaned closer to sniff at him and then nudged him gently, but his master did not wake.

If the gossipers would have seen him then, they might have labelled him mentally gone as well, why else would one have been found in such solitude, in the stables that were far from as clean as the rooms of the house.

While afraid to wake the young Lord, a servant brought a blanket to cover him with and then went to inform someone with the authority to disturb his sleep.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:28 pm

Anne and Catherine came to find their cousin still sound asleep. Anne knelt by his side to gently stirr him awake. When she shook him though a hand was flung forward she was yanked downwards and Willoughby's hand was firmly at her neck. His eyes widened then his hold loosened in an instant as he pulled back. Catherine pulled her sister up, less startled than her younger sibling.

"Timothy." She said softly, in a comforting, motherly tone. "It's just us. We came to tell you that you might want to head to bed and that the stables....they are not it." She smiled kindly and lay her hand against his hair. When they were younger this was the way their eldest sister and cousin conforted them.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:35 pm

He looked embarrassed and began to straighten slowly. "My apologies. Anne. Are you hurt?" He asked and his cousin shook her head in reply. "I'm sorry." He said again and then turned. He brushed past them before anything more could be said.

He was angry and he was stressed and he just wanted up and leave. The mood did not improve with the waking, nor with the sore feeling that he now had in his back and arm and possibly leg as well.

It improved even less when he returned, having realised he actually wanted to catch the final bit of light for riding and practicing with Herrero. He hesitated beside his cousins who have not yet moved and sighed. "I am sorry, I am not myself at the moment...and I did not mean to hurt you Anne, nor do I mean to be rude and unpleasant... It's been just so much that has been weighing on my mind, and the word on the street helps very little. They've tried to poison my horses and the horses that I have lent the stables to...And.." He uttered a noncomitical grunt. " Just,.. my apologies.." He finished and pulled Herrero's rope to follow him.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:30 am

Anne watched her cousin go and sighed softly. She worried. She wanted to help him but knew that men would rarely wish to have the company of women to cry in and she doubted that Willoughby would cry at all anyway. Perhaps Herrero could help him or perhaps there was some news that might eventually lighten his mood. He looked stressed and seemed animated only when he wished to let the facade up. He must have been genuinely happy when he left home to visit a friend or when he left for practice, but at other times it seemed that he was not satisfied with some things at all.

She wished to having a brother so that he might have talked to the other, as brothers might. Her father was perhaps not the right one to ask, and the grandfather was not exactly at good speaking terms with Willoughby anyway.
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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:55 am

It was even later in the day that Willoughby left his home with his horse again. Herrero had been left at home for reasons of safety, Bella had been taken at this time since she needed to be walked but also because he wanted it so.

With the light dwindling, the day turning into night he had to ride more carefully but at least fewer people were still outside. He looked for where he could later find a boy to take him back home with the help of his torch. He saw a few and reminded himself that simply looking for an establishment where men would venture to or have a party, would enable him to find them again should he need them.

There was also a letter he had sent and hoped that the answer would be in an affirmative. But that was yet to be seen.

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Re: 5th October 1814: In company of horses

Post  Allhands on Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:42 pm

Later in the evening he returned and had someone acompany him. It appeared as if it had been captain Burlingame that come visit. The same left again on a dark coloured horse even later in the evening.
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