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18th July: Another day in paradise

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:00 pm

Sewell froze, then asked:

"Pull up your shirt."

As far as he knew, DeGuarde had not been punished recently in any manner that would explain those bruises, and while it was nice to be right that there had more been going on, Sewell thought he would infinitely prefer not to see those bruises.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:04 pm

Nervously De Guarde tugged the shirt higher. It was a mixture of relief that it was not he that instigated the reveal but also fear, because he doubted that Cattling or his friends would consider this not his fault.

The bruises were more numerous there. There were some that curved towards his belly and chest, then there were others, smaller, bigger, different shaped, all along his upper body. Quite a few were rather fresh, some had gone yellow and some had just small ghostly marks where they had once been.

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:28 am

His mouth pressed into a thin line, Sewell inspected the bruises carefully, mentally tallying the number of times DeGuarde seemed to have been beaten.

"Why did you not report this sooner?", he asked quietly. "Dress yourself - I want the surgeon to see this, and one of the other officers."

It seemed that there had been a systematic beating going on right under their noses.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:50 am

De Guarde paled and turned, releasing the shirt in the process. "Sir.. please, no officers.....I was just...clumsy." His voice sounded alarmed, his eyes wide and frightened.

"It's my fault...we can't .. it would be unfair to bother anyone about it....." He bit his lip stopping himself before he would have said that he doubted they would have done anything anyway, or if they would have believed him even.

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:25 am

"You weren't clumsy, you were beaten", Sewell corrected. "This has to stop."

And a first step would be taken as soon as DeGuarde was under the surgeon's care - and Cattling should better be prepared for it. There was little that could unleash Sewell's fury so well as cruelty against children.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:32 am

De Guarde hurriedly buttoned his slops again, once the shirt was securely in place. He turned around , feeling more decent though no less afraid..

"Sir..." He began again. "....It's just bruises...they's going to heal. " His voice was quieter. It was clear he was afraid of contradicting the officer or making it as if he was refusing his orders but he did not know what else he could do. If Cattling heard any of it or if he felt as if the youth ratted out on him there would be much to pay.

"Nothin's broken. I can do my duty..." His voice trailed off. He hugged his elbows, sighing. " I don't want any trouble."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:50 pm

Not unkindly, but with a firm hand on his upper arm, Sewell propelled the youngster towards the aft companionway.

"You already are in trouble. If not with me, then with Caitling. Only choice is whether you come out of this a stronger or a coward. We are going to the Captain, and you will tell him precisely what happened. Nothing more or less then the truth. The Captain will do what's right, and if Caitling tries to retaliate, he will find that I am neither intimidated nor impressed by him. Or you can slink back and let him abuse you. I will still try to stop him, but I rightfully can't do much without evidence. And you will have to live with the knowledge that when he finds someone else to torment, you could have stopped him."

The big marine seemed uncomfortable with that long a speech, but he tried to get his point across, and his usual clipped sentences were probably not reassuring.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:33 am

"The captain won't believe me." De Guarde shot resentfully knowing full well that such an accusation could not bode well, but neither would going to the captain.

He lowered his gaze. In the past it was the marines that brought him hope, though less and less in the recent weeks, and this one was even an officer, yet somehow he doubted even that would change much.

"If you take me there..." He said quietly, as if afraid someone else could hear him. "..that'll be the last thing I ever do.."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:20 am

"The Captain can recognize fresh bruises as well as I do", Sewell said curtly. "What will Caitling do?"
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:55 am

"...Isn't.. it obvious, sir. Him, or someone else he knows. You damn me, if you bring it to the captain..." He sighed. He had given up. It was clear in the way he asked not to be taken to the captain and how he had made the matter quite insignificant, or at least attempted to.

"...and while he might see the bruises he may say I have inflicted them myself for want of his attention and to get seamen in trouble." His gaze was kept focused on the ground.

"I mean to say no ill 'bout the captain, sir...never did, never will, but... I do not think Cattling will get anything but a slap on the wrist. I've been thrown overboard as a midshipman and....." He shook his head. "Please... I wish to live."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:05 am

"If you can show me how you bruised your kidney from behind, with the knuckles showing, I will accept that. Otherwise, quite stalling."

Sewell was becoming rather frustrated as well.

"If he tires to attack, I'll catch him, problem solved. If he doesn't, Captain will deal with him, same."
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:09 am

"Sailors the like of him hate me.. sir...I don't know their names, I don't know their faces... but he has friends." He knew because Cattling threatened him with them, should something happen to him. He believed him and did not want to risk it, even if it was not true.

"Can you really tell me, sir,.. that you can keep me safe from 'accidents'? That my life even matters enough for that effort?" He began to tug at the cuff of his shirt.

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:18 am

Sewell stopped and spun DeGuarde around, looking at him through narrowed eyes.

"You think I wouldn't do anything but the best for any crewman in this situation?"
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:24 am

De Guarde tensed up, as if expecting a blow. he bit his lip. "Sir... sacrifices need to be made for a ship to run smoothly..." He recited the mentality of his old ship.

"I...." He stammered. "I WAS a midshipman. I am no longer.. sir. I thought fairness would prevail,..sir. But...." There was a longer pause. "..I gave up, and I am frightened and I don't want to be trouble, yours or anybody's sir." He spoke honestly but nervously. He may not have said all that, had he not been spun around like a ragdoll, with the officer's so close and intimidating.

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:44 am

Sewwll made a harummphing sound deep in his throat and turned DeGuarde in the right direction again, continuing their way to the Great Cabine.

"Sacrifice being you telling the Captain the truth!"

He would sure be talking to in whoever's division DeGuarde was at the moment.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:53 am

De Guarde wanted to thrust his feet forward, crib at at the railing and not let go, he wanted to run too, but he could do none of those things. He could just walk in the direction he was taken while his legs felt like jelly, his heart thumped so hard in his chest that he felt faint, and he feared seeing Cattling at every turn. Even if the man would not be able to do anything, it was the fact that he would see him with the officer and he would fill in the blanks himself.

"...you don't understand.." He whispered quietly. "...nothing will change for the better."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:18 am

"No, I don't. You say I should ignore this? Then make a fool out of me in front of the Captain. But to the Captain we are going!"

DeGuarde seemed to be talking himself deeper and deeper into believing in Cattling's inviolability, and Sewell, who saw just a clever bully, was slowly loosing his patience with this discussion.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:37 am

"...Yes, sir." De Guarde felt frustrated as he could do little more to convince this officer. "...can...can you ..if there is no reaction favourable to..the situation, ..." He sighed. He was not quite sure what he wished to ask of Sewell. He wanted Cattling to think that he did not go to the captain because of him, that he was not a rat, but he doubted that the sailor would come to Sewell for proof of either his innocence or guilt.

"You were a kind officer to me before, sir...and I do not wish to ridicule you." He chewed on his lower lip. "..it is just the problem of this matter. I understand you want to help me." His manner of speech was less wrought with shortened or half spoken words. "..if that is what you want. If it is others that you wish to protect.. then, I only beg you that, should something happen to me, you are the one who writes to my parents." He smiled sadly. "And tell them...that I was a midshipman when I had been lost."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:08 am

"Won't be necessary, but I will. Promise."

For a moment, the hold on DeGuarde's upper arm turned into a comforting squeeze. Then they had reached the door. Intercepting Catchpole, the Captain's steward, who was about to go in at the moment, Sewell send his respects and his urgent request for an interview.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:15 pm

At the sound of the door, Bolitho looked up from his desk to see Catchpole entering. "What is it, Catchpole?" he inquired.

"It's Mister Sewell, sir," said the steward, "'E wants an interview wit' you."

Bolitho nodded, wondering what the Marine lieutenant wished to speak about. "Very well. Send him in."

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:43 pm

As soon as the Steward had relayed the message, Sewell knocked, and when he was bid to enter, pushed DeGuarde into the room in fron of him.

Saluting formally, he began without preamble:

"There is something that you need to see, Sir. I just found Mr. DeGuarde and Mr. Cattling in the hold after hearing sounds of a fight. Cattling excused himself, claiming DeGuarde had asked him to accompany him to taunt the prisoners; it was a phoney story, but DeGuarde supported it. When I was about to teach DeGuarde to keep away from areas he is not allowed to be, I found the following. DeGuarde?"

He squeezed the lad's upper arm lightly, motioning him to get rid of his shirt.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:52 pm

De Guarde gulped and sighed. He moved closer and then slowly turned. He had wanted to protest again but before the captain, any will evaporated and fear quickly replaced it. Tugging the shirt from his trousers, taking another deep breath, he began to pull it up, revealing under the fabric, dark bruises. Some were fresh, some already in the stages of fading, yellowish and paler.

He chewed on his lip nervously while the shirt was fully off and the remaining bruises could be seen.

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Richard Bolitho on Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:22 pm

Bolitho frowned as he looked over De Guarde's bruised body. So it seemed at least one of the sailors was physically enforcing his anger on the boy. That was a sad reality of shipboard life, yet that did not make it any more easy to deal with. The most likely culprit was Cattling, since the was the one who had been found in company with De Guarde. But Bolitho would not have been surprised if there were others, given the lad's reputation during his time as a midshipman.

"I see." He nodded, and turned to the boy. "Would you care to tell me how you came by these injuries, De Guarde?"

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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Sebastian Sewell on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:24 pm

Sewell looked at DeGuarde sternly, silently admonishing him not to lie now, but he kept a comforting hand on the lad's shoulder, assuring him equally silently that he would watch out for him.
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Re: 18th July: Another day in paradise

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:20 pm

De Guarde felt his throat become quite dry and a few gulps and some more time was needed for him to begin talking. That the marine adopted a no nonsense look, rather stern and intimidating did not help him find the words that would get him out of sight even if he wished that he had not been discovered. He knew that bruises hurt, but they hurt less than dying.

He dropped his gaze, holding his shirt bunched up in his fists, his knuckles whiter almost than the shirt itself. "...It was a minor misunderstanding....were.." He tried to downplay it if only to avoid further problems.

One glance though at Sewell and he looked ready to break. He sniffed. "...I don't want any trouble sir...i was beaten...but i don't want any trouble. Can I go, please."

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