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A dirty business

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A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:46 am

(Mid-morning Friday 19th, after Sunny Morning and In the Sickbay)

There were some confused rumours going around that had piqued Thompson's interest. Two lads had fought, or been caught fighting, or playing a practical joke on somebody, or everything before mentioned, or something else entirely. If there was a practical joke involved, Thompson would have bet his last farthing that Andrew Shepherd was involved somewhere, though the name he wss hearing was Tom Oxley's, linked somehow to that of Mathew de Guarde.

What had happened between those two lads, Thompson couldn't say. Apparently, Oxley was under the close supervision of Lieutenant Cartwright - a fate that Thompson knew the drummer was not happy with. But then, none of the Marines would happy with that.

And de Guarde... de Guarde had been sent to look after the horses. Johnny Stenhouse's thin face was lit up like a beacon, he was grinning so hard at that bit of gossip.

Thompson put his new shirt away in his sea-chest and got up, slipping his crutch under his armpit to make his careful way down to the hold. He might get in trouble himself, but talking wouldn't distract the lad from working, and if it did, Thompson would just have to get his mind back on the job again.

One step at a time... at least he could put his foot down a little on the companionway, now. And there was the boy in question, his back turned to the approaching Marine as he worked.

"Hello there, lad," Thompson said.

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George Thompson
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:54 am

Cleaning up after the horses was a terrible job, smelly and dirty and it seemed the horses knew when it was time to hold it in, and when - near in spite - they could let it all out. Just a few moments ago he'd thought he had been near done. So close he was even, that he was about to give himself a pat on the back, when good ol' mare - not Noix at this time - decided to release her full load of water she'd drunk. In answer Noix herself had left a warm pile behind her.

De guarde didn't see it happen, for he stood trying to negotiate his way around the stallion. With one eye in use he was having more trouble than the animal was worth. He muttered something under his breath, which earned him a neigh and a stomp. It was perhaps even more unpleasant as he were barefoot.

"Easy.."He was just saying when he heared a voice come from behind him. De Guarde turned and blinked. He couldn't see anyone in sight till he tilted his head just a little and saw the marine. If it had been Oxley, he might've been tempted to pick some of the filth from the floor and fling it at him.

Instead though his face brightened a little. "..Thompson?" For he saw the crutch and the familiar face of that marine fellow.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:01 am

"Aye, it's me," Thompson said, coming a little closer. His first thought had been right: de Guarde did not look at all happy in what he was doing. Well, why should he, really? It was, from what little Thompson had heard and been able to piece together, a punishment, after all.

Thompson steadied himself with his free hand on a deckhead beam. The stallion (at least, Thompson though it was the stallion - it wasn't easy to tell, down here where it was dark) gave him a malevolent glare.

Thompson cast about for something to say, and gave up. "So how're you findin' it, then?" he said in the end.

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George Thompson
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:07 am

"Wot'?" He dropped the mop taking the lantern with him so that he could ease the way for his visitor:"..muckin' after 'em?...bein' a Tar?" He sounded displeased about either of the topics and yet the look on his face did say he was glad to have a friendly face down here, where it was smelly, stuffy and filthy.

"Come 'oer. Here ye can sit. " He invited Thompson closer. "Jus' keep yeself away from 'im." He nodded to the stallion. The animal was uncharacteristically calm and composed, which only meant that it was inviting anyone daring to come closer into a false feeling of security. And the marine, who's ankle was already a pain, didn't need to leave hopping with crushed toes.

"...ye came ter see 'em?..." Or to see the former midshipman? The last part of his question remained unsaid.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:15 am

Thompson grinned and came a bit closer, keeping away from the horse as told. He'd heard that one of them had a vicious streak a mile wide, and though it looked calm enough right now, the Marine wasn't about to chance it.

He looked at de Guarde, who was still holding the lantern. The lad was much improved already, to his mind, offering somewhere for him to sit. Though maybe it was because Thompson had befriended him first - or tried to, anyway.

"Ain't bin so close to an 'orse since I was a nipper," he said, easing himself down and stretching his injured foot out in front of him. "But I mostly came to see you."

In the lantern-light, he saw that de Guarde had a patch or something over one eye. So, the rumour was at least partly true, then.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:23 am

A smile played on young upstart's features as he returned the lantern to stand, far enough that the horse could not hit it and tip it. It wouldn't do if there was a fire started here, less so when it would so easily go up in flame. Hay and the like in abundance.

"This'un..'s terrible. Ye can temporarily bribe 'im a little." He did look to be walking with a bit less of a bitter streak now, than how he held himself a moment earlier. " N' even manage to go about brushin' 'im...but never turn ye back on him, else he'll bite ye hard 'nough ter get through n' through." He might've exhaggarrated a little, but the horse atleast was vicious.

He picked the mop and looked back at Thompson. "..I'll show ye t' mares later, if ye'll wan't. Ye can get closer n' touch those. " He hesitated, for it wasn't that he'd wanted to talk off. Not the dirty business that he had to do.

"..so.. how's yer ankle?" He asked instead, gazing down where he could see a bare outline of the injured limb.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:30 am

"Here, you'd be best off hangin' that lantern up," Thompson said, picking the item in question up and feeling along the deck beam for a hook. "They folks who built our Terpsy was sensible enough to put in hooks down here in the beams. You just have to find one."

He found what he was looking for and hung the lantern up before sitting down again.

"The ankle's all right, lad. Aches a bit, times, though. Surgeon bandaged it up good 'n' proper, though I have to see 'im every day to get it looked at, an' he'll decide on Monday whether I c'n come off the sick list."

He grinned, even as he grabbed at the crutch as it threatened to fall to the deck from where he'd propped it next to him. "Mares is lady-horses, ain't they?" he said, for want of anything better to say.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:37 am

"Thank'ee." He prefered not to worry about fire when around the stallion. The animal was both very important, possibly very expensive and he was also the most probable to do something along the lines of kicking a lantern across the room if he could help it.

"Ye'um can sleep alright with it? Does it 'urt much?" He asked and again placed the mop down. He had decided to spare the few moments, if only to inspect how well the doctor has taken care of his .. his friend. He held his head tilted though, for the bandaged side of his face was of little use. Seeing nothing with it, and all with the other.

"'s not nice, injurin' a leg, eh?..'specially on a ship." He smiled up. The bruise wasn't pleasant, but the dressing on it atleast might make it sooner to disappear.

He nodded then :" Aye, aye. A Mare's a lady horse. They'um the she's while here, this one is t' he. Stallion. He had a man broke a leg before! N' he bit another I think. Even took a nip at 'is groom." He looked at Thompson and straightened.

"Is it 'ard ter walk with that?"

(have to sadly go now x.x. This middie hasn't been sleeping too well! See you tomorrow!!)

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:56 am

"I can sleep with it just fine. Aches a bit, that's all, really. Unless I go for to stand on it, and then it give me proper jip." He shrugged. "I just have to remember to put that leg in me hammock first an' take it out last, so's I can stand on me good foot."

He grinned as the lad looked at the bandage wrapped firmly around the injury. It was still swollen a bit, and painful enough that he couldn't get his gaiter buttoned. But then, as he wasn't on duty, he'd dispensed with his gaiters anyway, and only hoped he could manage to get the thing buttoned if he had to return to duty before it was properly better.

"Ain't the first time I done summat like that," he said. "Did the same ankle in afore - broke it, tumblin' fr'm top to bottom of the companionway in a storm once, an' was lucky I hadn't busted me neck." He shrugged. "It's easy enough to get around when you've a crutch, and the know-how to use it. An' a bit o' patience. Can't go runnin' around with a crutch, y'know, Mathew, lad."

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George Thompson
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:34 pm

"Ye'um should not be runnin' down t' companionways ter hurt yer ankle whether it be good or bad like that." De Guarde smiled amused. His words were spoken lightheartedly. Unlike with the sailors he looked untroubled by his first name being used by the marine. Then again, he had given him the permission, as he recieved it.

"Careful with that, if ye'um will be needin' any help going up, I'll do that. Would send your Corporal on my neck if summat happened while you were leavin' 'ere!" He was teasing and chuckled softly as he moved to pick the mop. There was shovel that he'd use for the horse's dung and he was less than excited about either. He curled his toes a little and sighed.

" Ye'um doin' fine with.. not bein' able ter do much? Like drill n' such? Oh... do yer sew now?" He hesitated with a deeper frown. "..I'um off t' grog for t' week. You any t' same?"

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:56 pm

"Wasn't runnin'. It was in a damn storm, an' we got hit by a bigger wave than I was expectin', comin' off duty. I ended up at the bottom of the companionway all in a heap with me musket, and got a broken ankle for it." He grinned. "I'll be all right gettin' back up, lad. I can put a bit of weight on it - enough to cope with companionways, anyhow."

He smiled a little at the boy's expression as he looked at the next part of his job. Horses, the Marine decided, were smelly creatures who had no business being aboard ship.

"It gets a bit borin', being sat around all day. Nearly finished me other shirt, and that's only took me as long as it has acause I haven't spent all me time doin' it." He paused for a moment, looking at the boy. "I got another shirt, me. It's a bit worn out for me to wear it much more, but I can cut it down no problem, if'n... if'n you'd like another shirt. An' it'd be good as new for you."

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George Thompson
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:06 pm

De Guarde understood the boredom Thompson might've felt. Used to the going ons on the ship which where never short of work, to be told he were to do nothing, and without even the company to take one's mind away from the repetitive sway of a lantern above your head. Well, he understood it, just as he remembered having been under watch himself. If it weren't for Thompson, he might've made a walking length of a scrubbed path on the floor.

And Thompson couldn't even do that. He shook his head: "Only if yer fully sure ye won't fall. I'd rather see you healin' then goin' n' breakin' summat else, or making ye ankle a good deal worse." He did sound concerned and as he mopped a good length under the stallion he had to jump back again, as the animal took a swipe at him with its nasty strong teeth.

He stopped and , out of range of the horse, turned to look at his freind. "You.. Aye." He looked at the mop in hand." I'd like that, George!" He smiled. "Would earn me an extra shirt! Um...um, wot' would it cost?" he added.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:22 pm

He shifted a little as the horse snapped at de Guarde. No, horses were not his favourite animal, and that one just looked nasty and bad-tempered. Though he could understand the bad temper, a little. Nobody wanted to be cooped up down here if they could avoid it.

"I ain't goin' to break anythin', lad," he said. "This'll get better soon enough." He wanted to get back to doing routine things with the others as soon as he could and hoped the doctor would let him at least stand sentry after seeing him on Monday.

And until then, he could find something to keep himself busy. Like cutting his old shirt down. He grinned. "Wouldn't cost you anythin', lad. It'd be summat for me to do and you'd have another shirt."

He leaned forward to rub a little at the bandage round his ankle. He couldn't rub where it really hurt, because that was where the swelling was and it was just too tender there. Bother it.

He looked up at the boy, illuminated in the glow of the lantern. "Why was you an' Oxley fightin'?" he asked. "Tell me what happened."

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George Thompson
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:37 pm

A bargain it was, in a way. Well, not that he had demanded it were one, he mused. A shirt whole for himself. If he'd been a midshipman now, perhaps he'd want nothing short of a new, finest material kind. But then he wouldn't have been thinking as a friend nor as a lad. Right now he wouldn't have traded one made by the marine, even if a fine fortune was offered for it.

"Thankee, George." He smiled brightly. "Fer t' shirt... if ye'um make it!" He would like that. Very much. His smile faded at the question, and he turned and made himself look rather busy with work even if it were nothing but a repetitive motion over a spot on the ground which was scrubbed as clean as it could be.


"We... we'um weren't fighting." De Guarde said hastly, and looked down. He didn't want to lie to Thompson though. It was clear how much he had begun fidgeting.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:44 pm

Thompson grinned at de Guarde's denial. "I ain't an officer," he said. "And I ain't goin' to tell any officers, neither. I know you tripped. But it's funny how Oxley tripped last night as well an' got a black eye same's you done."

He wondered if de Guarde had realised that in denying they'd been fighting, he was protecting the Marine drummer as much as himself.

"What were you talkin' about afore you both... tripped? An' there ain't anyone down here but us, so you can tell me."

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:55 pm

"He wos' as clumsy as me.." He agreed. He was silent for a short while then, debating how to tell Thompson and what to tell him too. He was glad that the marine agreed with him, though he knew that Thompson probably well knew where things stood and did not doubt that they've fought.

"...George... promise you wont tell anyone? Wot' I say. Not even t' doctor even if 'e swears silence to ye? N' not even.. well any of ye friends like? We was clumsy like but... but it would still sound odd, if I said it all..n' you'd.. somebody could jump ter wrong conclusions."

He looked serious as he spoke, his mop held in one hand, his one uncovered eye, straight on the marine.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:03 am

"Look, I said I ain't an officer, an' you know I ain't. And I'm goin' to have a word with Oxley as well, 'cause it was the both of ye. And it don't lead to anythin' good if a Marine an' a sailor has a fight. I might have to talk with Chase or someone, but we'll keep it below decks."

He shrugged. "Can't promise more'n that. We lower decks folks, we keep our problem to ourselves an' don't go tellin' the officers. Unless it's real big. Which this'n ain't, to my eyes. And I wouldn't go talking to folks who don't need to know anyways. I don't gossip like that."

He stopped rubbing at his ankle and sat up again. "I think Cob Chase knows summat - he's the one looking after you, ain't he? An' I want to know that Oxley's got to say f'r himself. But a fight atween you 'n' him could lead to trouble for the rest of us, an' I don't want that."

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:14 am

De Guarde frowned: ".Aye.. t' sailors.. they know or think they know summat. They'um..." He placed the mop down and picked the shovel with which he intended to move all the dung into a bucket. The later of course would go up and its contents then thrown into the sea.

His voice dropped somewhat, yet as he saw that when talked and worked, his voice was lost to the sound of his shovel , he stopped and walked closer. He'd taken the broom there. An excuse as it was that the hay had strewn its way across and he needed to scoop it back up and return it to itsp lace. No fun, walking on hay that.

".. We.. wos' havin' a bit of an argument aye..Talk argument...well at firs' it was.." He shrugged his shoulders faintly. "..He was tellin' me stuff, n' I was replyin'.. n' we didn't intend to meet really. I jus'..went up ..well,yer know. So, he was sayin' some not nice things." He brushed the floor carefully.

"We um... then we tripped. He tripped firs' .. well he went up to t' heads ter trip there... n' so. He tripped worse n'.. a while he was t' one on t' floor from his tripping! See, we were uh'.. clumsy a lot... n' that how he got his eye n' I got mine.. n' he got his wrist turned a bit. N' I..." He looked down embarrassed. "How I got hit ..meself here." He nodded to above his knees.

"I don't want ter see you n' me trippin more for summat like that.."

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:19 am

It was pretty much as Thompson had thought, then.

"So, lemme make sure I got it right. You was talkin', an' he said summat you didn't like, an' you.... tripped." Well, that was one way of putting it.

"Did he hurt his wrist before you got hurt... there?" he asked, lowering his voice a little.

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:28 am

"..aye. Well sort of.. like that. " He nodded. Thompson knew what it was all about and De Guarde had no doubt that one version or another circulated through the lines of lobsters and tars. He wondered if their stories had gotten anything like what really happened or had grown to strange proportions.

"..He hurt his wrist before I got hurt 'ere." He still felt a bit sore and achy, but it seemed he had more luck than anything that he'd stayed up, where it was cold. Of course, he hadn't told it to the surgeon. What with how much harder it would be to think up a good explanation for that.

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Mathew De Guarde
Commodore

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 8004
Location : Somewhere on board, hopefully not overboard!
Member since : 2008-09-02

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:36 am

"I see." he paused for a moment to think. "I'm goin' to say summat, an' you might not like it, an' you might not agree, but you're goin' to think about it, 'cause you're sensible like that. Oxley's older'n you, but he's still young. An' he don't always think straight an' he does says what he thinks. An' it seems to me he come right out an' said summat you didn't like, so you went for him. An' he had to fight back, an' mebbe you twisted his wrist. He's a drummer, he needs to be able to use his hands like I do me feet. So he had to get you to stop hurtin' his wrist, so he kicks you or summat. I ain't sayin' he was right to do it, but then I don't think you was right to do that to him, neither."

He sighed. "But he ain't goin' to be the last person aboard Terpsy who might say things you don't agree with. Are you goin' to fight 'em all? Or are you goin' to learn to take it like... like a man, an' show 'em thet you're better'n them, by the lower deck's ways o' seein' things?"

He smiled then. "Don't worry, I am goin' to talk with Oxley as well, 'cause he was wrong too. Fr'm what I see, it was six o' one and a half a dozen of the other."

(OOC - must dash. I've got to go to work. Sad )

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
Member since : 2008-05-28

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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:57 am

"..lower deck ..does fight when they dun' agree on summat..." He looked from Thompson and slowed his broom. "He didn' like wot' I said neither." He added. "...So ye sayin' it was all me no' actin' n' knowin'....but.." He looked seriously at Thompson.

"I tripped n'.. ..he tripped. We were both a'...clumsy so as ye say. We.. should both had taken better care ter walk...n' see where we be goin'. I don't want t' officers ter know if it.. more than 'bout ..real trippin'. " He was admitting to carry some guilt. Openly saying that he had been wrong. That was something the young middie might not have done at all a few days back. He'd have said that Oxley assaulted him, then. That he meant to hurt him and he was just defending himself. But now he was saying they both did it. Well not with the exact words, but surely Thompson would have known!

He tucked the broom under his elbow and crossed his hands over. " I 'um not worryin'.. is jus'." He looked up at Thompson. "..Trippin'.. happened n'. .might'a been bad, but it did...." He sighed: " Is wot' 'e did with me slops, n' shirt. 'tleast.. I think it were him that was worse like! ..I,.. I didn't report it ter t' officers, n' I don't mean to. "He added quickly. " But.. that was t' awful... wot' if sumone found me like it'?...." He looked down in shame. He still wouldn't have reported him and not because he wasn't sure it was Oxley. He'd made a decision. Running over to the officers like a child, wasn't the way to solve his problems.

He was still very upset with Oxley though, of course.

((OOC - awww Sad see you later!!)

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Mathew De Guarde
Commodore

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 8004
Location : Somewhere on board, hopefully not overboard!
Member since : 2008-09-02

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:50 am

"No, I don't suppose he did. And there was no excuse for him to do what he done, neither." Thompson wasn't sure exactly what had been done to de Guarde and his clothes, although he could make a very shrewd guess.

"But like I said, he's younger'n most the rest of us, an' a mite more touchy about what folks say. 'Specially if they say summat ag'inst him as a drummer or ag'inst his uniform." He shrugged. "I ain't sayin' he was right in what he done, o' course. But doin' that to someone... it might be embarrassin', but it didn't hurt like. Only mebbe dented y'r pride a bit. An' it'll be soon forgotten by the others."

He looked at the young lad. "If'n he 'pologises, will you take it... take like a gentleman? 'Cause it'll mebbe help things a bit." He resolved to talk to Oxley at the earliest opportunity - though he wasn't sure whether he could get the drummer to listen to him or not. It would be worth trying, though.

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
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Re: A dirty business

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:00 am

"Dented me pride a lil' bit? ..he's insulted me honour. Thompson. " He looked grave serious as he'd said that. ".. If I were found ...found like that by someone else... n' that someone wanted fer everyone ter see me on some cruel streak... yer know I'd not live to hear t' end of it. " He frowned.

"..I doubt he'd apologise.. n' right now. I don't know whether I'd take it. I don't know." He looked at Thompson again, standing close to the stallion, but by all means it was probably not too close neither.

"No gentleman is found as bare as he were born like that!...Not against him wantin' it.. or so!"

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Mathew De Guarde
Commodore

Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 8004
Location : Somewhere on board, hopefully not overboard!
Member since : 2008-09-02

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/midshipman-ma

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Re: A dirty business

Post  George Thompson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:23 am

Thompson sighed again. "You don't get it, lad. I weren't there to hear all what you said, but you've got to stop seein' yourself as a midshipman, hard as that is goin' to be for you. If that had been any other lad from the lower decks that he'd done that to, they wouldn't be goin' on about honour. Our way of doin' things is different, an' so our honour's diff'rent. Has to be. An' if you want to be one of us lower decks folks, an' be accepted by us, you've got to do things our way. Ain't no gentlemen on the lower decks."

He shifted a little and leaned forwards to tug a bit at the bandage round his ankle. "The officers and us, we'm all Terpsies, right. But there's a diff'rence atween the officers an' us who live on the lower deck. You'm on the lower deck to learn stuff that you can't learn in the middies' berth, stuff that'll help you be a Terpsy without havin' all the officers' way of thinkin' gettin' in the way."

Damn his ankle, it was itchy as all hell today for some reason.

"Lemme put it another way, mebbe. Haven't you ever played a joke on someone else - given a girl a toad or summat like that?"

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I'm a Jolly - 'Is Majesty's Jolly - Soldier and Sailor too!
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George Thompson
Commodore

Species : Royal Marine Corporal
Number of posts : 5581
Location : Up on the fo'c'sle smoking his pipe
Member since : 2008-05-28

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Re: A dirty business

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