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To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

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To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:52 am

It was something that had been bothering Thompson ever since he'd been so unexpectedly promoted. He'd been worrying at the problem like a young boy worrying at a loose tooth, and hoped he'd found a solution - though it would only work if the other party agreed to it.

By all rights, he ought to ask Mister Sewell as the Marine officer had more time for this sort of thing, but Mister Mowett was not his direct superior officer, and he already sort of knew him - they'd been shipmates together in HMS Surprise.

Anyway, the worst that could happen was that Mister Mowett would say 'no' and suggest he speak to his own officer. Which he would then do.

And so it was that he found himself standing outside the wardroom door as soon as he had a spare few minutes.

He braced himself and knocked on the door. "Corporal Thompson to see Mister Mowett, please."

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George Thompson
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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:46 pm

Peace aboard a ship full of raucous midshipmen and jack tars was rare - almost a blessing from the Almighty himself. It was especially a blessing to Mowett who had sat almost a whole hour hidden away in the wardroom which was abandoned by other officers for the time being.

That undisturbed peace however, came to an abrupt end with the brisk knock on the door. Mowett decidedly called out to the closed door. "Enter,"

He hesitatingly awaited the 'trespasser' of his peaceful reminiscing.

As the door creaked open, Mowett looked up with a jerk of his head, with slight surprise at the newcomer...

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William Mowett
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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:57 pm

Thompson came in, saluted, and then realised he wasn't quite sure how to phrase his request now that it came down to it. The reality of asking was rather different from his imagined version.

He took one breath, opened his mouth to speak and discarded that particular beginning. "Sir... I got a favour to ask, please," he began. "I... Would you help me learn to read an' all, sir?"

He'd begun to learn, sort of, from de Guarde, but he needed to learn more than the boy had taught him, and he needed to learn quickly - or as quickly as he could - if he were to make anything of his recent promotion.

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George Thompson
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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:32 pm

Mowett, who was stopped in his tracks by Thompson's request, slowly minced over it in the deafening silence of the wardroom.

"You would like me to teach you to read?" Mowett stood up quickly, breaking that silence and looked at Thompson. "Yes?"

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:11 pm

Thompson nodded. "Well... Yes sir - though I bin shown a very little, an' how to write my name. But only if you don't mind, sir."

It wasn't enough for him to be able to discharge some of his duties with any confidence or ease, however - he had a vague feeling that it would be a necessary skill when it came to making reports or checking lists.

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George Thompson
Commodore

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:41 pm

Mowett nodded over Thompson's words, listening compassionately.

No doubt, the man most likely felt slightly dubious coming to him to ask him of a favour. Mowett knew it would help Thompson's future prospects of advancement - he couldn't deny the man, twice shipmates.

"No exceptions Thompson, you can start straight away if you really wish." he burst out, quickly holding out his hand to shake on it.

"Lets call it a favour for a shipmate." he smiled in his mysterious, kind way.

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:32 am

Thompson's return smile was a little hesitant and he blinked at Mister Mowett's hand before reaching to shake it. He hadn't realised quite how much he hadn't dared hope for a favourable answer until now.

"Yes, please, sir - if you don't mind? An' thanks," he said, feeling a little - unexpectedly - shy.

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George Thompson
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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:26 am

Mowett offered Thompson a reassuring smile as he firmly shook his hand. "I might as well put myself to use. Since being aboard I've felt more out of place than ever. I've got to put a good impression on the crew, I know." and changing the subject quickly, "If you would, I'd be happy if you didn't breathe a word of this arrangement or I'll half the ship wanting to learn to read and write before I know it."

He offered one more slight smile to Thompson and turned his attention back to his confusing pile of scattered papers on the table.

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:39 am

Thompson paused, feeling a little unsure. "Ah... did you mean, to start right now this minute, or would you rather I come back later?" he asked after a moment.

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George Thompson
Commodore

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:19 am

"Ah..oh I see. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I have to actually be on deck right now to watch over the midshipmen at their navigation class." Mowett turned briefly, to quickly scan Thompson's facial expression.

"Actually, Thompson I wondering when would you feel free to start? No pressure, you see."  He then went on to quickly gather up a pile or sorted papers and his hat.

Mowett turned round purposefully and clapped on his hat. "So, when is a suitable time?"

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:43 am

"I got this watch an' next watch off-duty, afore I'm duty NCO again, sir," Thompson said. "Though I ain't sure when you'm back on watch. So, any time today, if you'm ready, sir." He gave the officer a relieved sort of smile, glad his request hadn't been dismissed out of hand.

Sergeant Quinn was on duty now, then Corporal Johnson would be, before it came round to being Thompson's watch again. And the sooner they could get started, really, the sooner Thompson would feel a little more up to being able to fulfil his new duties properly. Well, he hoped he would, anyway.

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George Thompson
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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  William Mowett on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:33 pm

Mowett stopped in his tracks, thinking fast. He let out a soft "Ah."

"Well..seeing as its just watching over the mids at their lessons, perhaps we could stand somewhere in view of them on deck? Plus we'd get some air, and it'd be easier to clear your head to think. What do you say, Thompson? What do you say?" Mowett looked at Thompson hopefully - hoping he wouldn't be off-put by the idea of being in full view of the crew on deck.

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Re: To ask a favour of Mister Mowett, 17th June

Post  George Thompson on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:38 pm

Thompson's natural instinct was to check at that suggestion, but then logic asserted itself. He might not be able to read, but he was at least taking steps to change that, and that was nothing to be ashamed of. Surely it was worse to be ignorant and to remain so?

He nodded. "All right, then, sir. It's nicer on deck, anyhow," he said, and couldn't help smiling at the officer.

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George Thompson
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