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6th August 1809: Moot point

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6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:18 am

The pelisse rested comfortably on his shoulder, while his dolman had been buttoned up. Coming from the direction where the 15th Light Dragoons (Hussars) were stationed, he was at this time on foot. The knapsack he left behind, though it was not in a place that people would trip over it. He quite liked the uniform. It was amusing how many officers, that were not in the hussars, could find themselves adopting their style of wear too or a different colour as was found in regulations if they were a little less adventurous. Just earlier he saw one, and then there was even a 'minister of peace' whom he had heard was nicknamed the Fighting parson, of all things, that wore a red hussar coat!

He reached the tent that belonged to the engineer, who went to see the cornet and then another captain. He was still with that captain at that time. This left Josef with an empty tent. He glanced around to make sure that nobody was there, though the action was done in such a manner that it did not look suspicious at all, and then he ducked in.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 am

There was nobody inside the well-sized tent and no indication that its owner expected to be only away for a few minutes. The small table was as empty as the large mapping desk, and the tent uncluttered, most possessions locked away in chests. The only thing of interest seemed to be a small unlocked writing desk, but even that only revealed a few coins, a selection of writing materials, a pack of paper and some plain wavers.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:42 am

Josef looked mildly disappointed to find the tent not cluttered with piles of things strewn about, maps of all sorts lying at any open surface. While listening to the sounds from outside, he went to check if there was anything that he could open easily. The only thing that budged to his tug and shove, was the writing desk.

He glanced at the entrance again, and skimmed its contents quickly again, ready to stand and pretend he had not been snooping about, should someone enter the tent without warning.

He could see a few coins, there were the quills, the pens, some paper that was not covered in letters and no little key that he could snatch and use on those things that had been locked away.

He quietly closed it and straightened again. The chests that he could attempt at opening, were a bit like playing the lottery. He could open one and win the grand prize or merely find a pile of socks, shirts and trousers.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:42 am

Perhaps most promising looked a small irregular casing marked off as property of the corps of engineers and painted with various arrows and admonishments to keep this side up, treat carefully and not immerse in water, and a larger chest marked similarily.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:54 am

He could not take anything with him since he hoped to return at a later time and have a more thorough look through these things. If engineer's tools were in those boxes they were of little use to him anyway. He did not intend to sell them and they looked like they might weight enough to make carrying them, less appealing.

Still he moved closer to the small casing just to be certain that it might not pretend to be something, while it carried an entirely different sort of contents in itself.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:12 pm

On the lid was a small copper plate with the inscription "J Ramsden London", and somebody had written in red paint "opt. theodolite <1°" above it in a fair and easily legible hand.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:21 pm

Josef mentally marked the little casing down for a later time, when he could return and perhaps claim it as his own. For now he was satisfied with just knowing that it was here and that it could fill his purse, should he need it. He carefully weighed it for a moment just to get the idea how heavy it was and how easily it might be to transport it.

Leaving it where he had found it he looked at the second, larger box. He nudged his foot against it lightly, tapping it. If the other was the instrument, could these be....more instruments or maps or something entirely different that an engineer still needed in his profession?
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:26 pm

The case didn't budge - it was obviously very heavy, and was carefully secured with two locks. It bore no helpful inscriptions, but was clearly marked of as Torrington's property - bearing the sign of the Board of Ordonance and his full military title, unlike the chests presumably containing his personal gear, which bore a crude rendition of his coat of arms (a simple device to help illiterate soldiers to recognice them) with "Torrington" underneath.


Last edited by Marashar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:34 pm

This chest intrigued him. It piked his curiosity and he quite desired to have it opened as it seemed it might carry something of much greater importance than any of the other chests. Of course the greatest problem that he now saw, were the two locks that kept it shut. While he could attempt to pick them, the rattle might draw attention to the tent as well as if somebody was to walk in on him, it would be much harder to explain why he was kneeling there.

He was torn. Could he endanger his chances at learning more about where the engineer was going and why the Hussars were meant to asked to train as a different location, at a distance from the army? It was an opportunity he could not miss and he would certainly return as he had several times. Perhaps he could find the tent equally empty with both the Engineer and his batman far from it. He smiled and felt along the chest just to see if there was any other way at all, that would allow him to peek inside before he gave up completely on it.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:54 am

Unfortunately the chest was very well made. Constructed to survive transport, weather and other incidents one might find in a war, it turned out to have no cracks or easily destructible parts and in fact was as secure as it was possible to make these things.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:52 am

Well, that chest was certainly worth inspecting at a later time. He glanced at the entrance to the tent. He knelt briefly at the locks to see what kind they were and how hard it would be to unlock them. He needed to make a few inquiries after this. If the locks were easy work, he would perhaps try to open them anyway.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Marashar on Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:31 am

Outside the tent, hoofbeats approached, and a voice assured the horse in a mixture of German, English, and the occassional Spanish word that he should stay here and it would only take a moment to get all the things that was needed.

Jingling of tack and the scrapping of stiff leather over wood made it likely that the horse was tied to something to the side of the tent.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:25 am

Josef straightened. He knew enough of the lock to know what tools he needed later, but also that he could not do it in the short amount of time that he had. While he snatched a few blank papers from the table, tugged another lid up to see what was inside, he then straightened rather quickly.

He did not know who was outside, but he was better to appear as if having just arrived and waiting for the officer, should one appear. He already had an idea of a plausible excuse of why he was inside and not outside.

Inching never the less towards the flap he peeked outside, enough to have the limited view, but not so much that he could be seen.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:51 am

With a last plea to Trueno not to go wandering, Freddie entered the tent to retrieve the greatcoat and all the other things he was ordered to fetch. As he was still talking to the horse and not expecting anybody inside, he was coming in sideways and with his head turned back, not watching where he went.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:16 am

Widmayer danced out of the way to avoid contact and straightened quickly. Without needing to, he had gave the youth a quick sharp greeting then waited for a reaction before he could continue explaining his business there.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:23 am

Freddie jumped and turned, instinctively levelling his rifle at the unknown intruder.

"What? Hände hoch! Who is you? What are you making in Mylord's tent?"
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:47 am

"Easy there." Josef held his hands up though, and smiled a pleasant, calming smile. "I thought I would find Captain Torrington here. Seems I have been mistaken." He took a step back. "I was sent to bring news to him. From Cornet Will....Gywdyr."
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:31 am

Freddie frowned heavily, checking that the silver was still locked up, the miser's purse in the writing desk still full and the secret stash of first quality coffee still there.

"Mylord is not here! You should have been waiting outside!"

The weight of his status as Captain Torrington's personal servant and matutinal coffee bringer gave him the confidence to confront the older man with a rather comical dignity.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:05 pm

"I am truly sorry. I've just been appointed as a batman and....I was a little curious to see how I might best serve my officer." He looked rather apologetic.

"I meant no harm, please don't tell?" Such genuine emotion was behind those words and the expression on his face no less 'honest'.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:38 pm

"Oh!"

Suddenly Freddie looked much more sympathetic. Of course, if Willoughby was a lord (a fact Freddie was still struggling with), then he would need a batman, and of course that batman would have to learn, just like him. Taking his rifle down, he tried to usher the other out, explaining kindly:

"You have to not let people inside his tent! And keep it clean and find out what he wants in the morning and have it ready. And polish his boots. And you have to run to the Fräulein who does his clothes and bring and get his things."
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:46 pm

"I see,.. aha." Josef looked very interested in what the rifleman was telling him. "So... how do you find out what they like?.. You can't do something as simple as ask... can you?" He left the tent without a hassle, and did really look apologetic at having been inside without permission.

"Can you.. being the batman of your officer, enter a tent of another officer?" He asked as well, just to make sure. "Do you.. maybe know what Cornet Gwydyr likes?" He looked hopeful as if perhaps batmen talked about the people they knew or officers they had, and could possibly learn something as well. Being a fellow 'private' was not the same as catering to a lord!
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:09 am

"Uhm ..." Freddie gnawed on his lower lip. "They tell you ... and if he has lots of coffee, then he probably likes it, so you have to watch, too."

He tapped his lower lip, trying to provide more helpful information.

"Gwydyr ...", he slightly mangled the Welsh name, but carried on, "... he said he liked my tea? And he asked for coffee and breakfast and ate boiled eggs. He does not like being shaken."

Which summed up about everything he knew about the cornet's likes and dislikes.
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:13 am

"He does not like being shaken?" Widmayer arched a brow at that. "...do you usually shake your officer?" He asked, rather bemused at that bit of information. What else was he supposed to do, if not shake him? Alas, he may have been genuinely startled about that, and not simply playing as if he were.

"What sort of tea did you make? Can you teach me?" He asked very eagerly and then smiled. "Oh...what was that all about?..I was told to tell your officer about everything being settled and that we will be training at the appointed hour." He said that nonchalantly.

"Heard someone was kidnapped, but couldn't make out the name.. Do you know?"
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Friedrich Rottländer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:13 am

Freddie shook his head.

"Someone with a long name. Cotton knows. Do you know Herr Cotton? He is Captain Vickery's batman and knows everything! He teached me to be a batman. He can help you!"

Excited, he grabbed the "hussar's" hand.

"Come, we go to Captain Vickery's tent, and then you can tell Mylord himself, and I can intro... introduct you to Cotton!"
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

Post  Josef Widmayer on Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:15 am

"Oh,I would love to go now. .But I need to return promptly. Lord Gwydyr specifically said he needs my assistance." He looked quite unhappy at having to go and not being able to be taught any more by Cotton right now. "The information was for Lord Torrington, so I've been told." He lied and sighed. "Wish I'd at least have known what this was all for!"
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Re: 6th August 1809: Moot point

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