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Training Day, Evening, Rifles

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Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:29 am

The riflemen were in a festive mood tonight. They had given an excellent account of themselves today, and with the purse they had won were out to find some entertainment.

The Grand Review was tomorrow... far away yet. Nevertheless, Lt. Jaeger had told the men they would be roused two hour before sunrise to be ready in time.


Last edited by Gabriel Cotton on Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:48 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : tense)

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:02 am

Cotton, no less than the other Rifleman, was proud of the day's achievements. It had been a good day for all concerned, he thought, though news of a review tomorrow put a bit of a dampener on his spirits. He had to clean his rifle of all the accumulated powder residue, and make sure that Captain Vickery's sword was cleaned and polished and that the officer's uniform was as good as it could be, all things considered.

Right now, he had the lock off his rifle. The screws were wrapped in a piece of rag to keep them safe, and he was scratching at a stubborn area of black with his pricker, whistling tunelessly as he worked.

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Gabriel Cotton
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Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:54 am

Lt. Jaeger was preoccupied as he was striding along the alleyway to Captain Vickery's billet. A list of things to be done before the Grand Review was still running through his mind and would the Rifles make a good impression in their worn uniforms? Their weapons couldn't be better, they took great pride in that, but...

He ran straight into someone.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:01 am

"Watch..." Philippa dropped the book she had been reading as she walked, and staggered slightly as the young man in green cannoned into her.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:15 am

Lt. Jaeger immediately steadied the young lady he had run into. He had a hand on each of her arms and let his gaze travell upwards past brown hair - the same colour as his own - to an open face and steady hazel eyes.

"Pardon Miss! I... I am terribly sorry."

He wanted to smack himself. Eloquence was not his middle name.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:26 am

"So am I," Philippa responded equivocally. But the startled look in his eyes was apology enough, and she responded more politely. "I am sorry. I was reading A Traveller's Guide to Portugal. They don't think much of the place." She bent down to pick up the book.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:33 am

Galvanised into action, Jaeger bend down as well and got an elbow in his eye as the young lady was aready picking the book up. The cut on his brow started to bleed again.

He straightened and searched his pockets for Lossow's handkerchief.

"I'm sorry!"

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:38 am

Philippa started to protest as her elbow was knocked, but the blood seeping from a cut stopped her. "I can't... Here," she said, fishing in her reticule for a large white handkerchief. "Use this. It is pretty clean."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:53 am

"Oh no, no, I have a used one somewhere, I could not possibly get blood on your handkerchief, Miss!"

Finally finding said item, he pressed the stained cloth to his brow, but immediately took it away again to offer a clumsy salute.

"2nd Lieutenant Jaeger of the 3 Coy, 5/60th Rifles. And I am very sorry to inconvenience you. I was thinking..." sheepishly he ran out of words.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:59 am

Philippa smiled back. "Philippa Blacklock, daughter of Major Blacklock of the 5th of Foot. I could tell you were the 60th though. There were a lot of you at the Rifles exhibition." She gave him a serious look. "It was one of your men that won the competition. I am just sorry I missed it. Piano lessons," she finished with some chagrin.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:41 am

"... daughter of Major Blacklock..."

Jaeger felt his stomach drop a few feet. A shiny toysoldier? He hoped not.

"Yes, that man is our best shot! The best shot in the Peninsula, no doubt. I am sorry you could not see out Exhibition yourself."

And how many times had he said 'I'm sorry' now? Inwardly he groaned.

"May I escort you back to your billet, Miss Blacklock? To prevent clumsy fools from running into you... May I carry your reticule?"

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:59 am

Philippa regarded him solemnly, then smiled. "Thank you, Lieutenant. The reticule I will keep. You do not want to be seen carrying one. We have a room in a rather dirty house in Avenida da Almedina." She looked at the Rifeman, and added, "That's in the High Town - if you were in a hurry to go somewhere, I don't want to delay you."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:14 am

"Oh, no, not at all, I have plenty of time, plenty... and I am sorry to hear your accomodation is distasteful."

He'd said it again. Miss Blacklock must think him a dimwit.

"I would be honoured to be your escort."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:23 am

"Thank you, lieutenant. As for the accommodation," she said, slipping her book back into the reticule with the handkerchief, "I think there is not a clean house to be found anywhere. The monasteries may be better, but they do not admit women, nor the convents men. But we slept in worse, before this."

"You've only just arrived here," she said. "You will find that moving about the city is easier if you stay with the avenidas. The lanes are liable to take you anywhere." The hill up to the Cidade Alta rose steeply from the riverside, the houses lining it improving with each rise in altitude.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:27 am

"I will have to rely on your superior knowledge of the ground. Lead the way, please."

Well, at least he had not said 'I'm sorry'. Desperatly trying to think of somethingt to say, he fell silent as he accompanied the young lady through town.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:46 am

Without looking at her guide book Philippa was not prepared to give any local information, so except to point out one ornate building as being where some of the Staff were stay, she too kept silent on the way up the hill. The rifleman had moderated his pace to hers, but she was glad not to dawdle up the hill, as she had with Mrs Crompton, who had taken it upon herself to escort Philippa for the first two days in the town, before the steepness exhausted her. Eventually they reached the Avenida da Almedina, close to the old town wall.

"It's just along here," she said, almost regretting the end of the walk. "At least the air is fresher up here - which I suppose is why all the rich people lived here, when Coimbra was important."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:01 am

Jaeger had enjoyed the peaceful walk. As he was not tall, he usually had to make an effort to keep up the riflemens pace, and a stroll with a lady was far more pleasant than any marching. He deeply regretted the end of the walk.

"That is very likely. The river probaly turns into something of a swamp in summer. I'm sorry that..."

He bit his lip. He'd done it again.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:05 am

"I'm sure it 's not your fault. And at least we won't be here for the summer. Papa thinks we'll be leaving very soon." They had only been waiting for the General and the 2nd Division to arrive. "This time I am going with Papa - I was left in Lisbon last summer, and it was terrible waiting for news."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:29 am

The Lieutenant looked alarmed at that. While the battles last year had not been bad for the people in the train, the expedition into Spain and the return of the baggage to Portugal had been a terrible ordeal for the women and children. And those had been the officer's, traveling in relative comfort.

"But you mustn't! It would be much safer to stay in Lisbon. It's a very uncomfortable life, following the army."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:33 am

"I have done it all my life," she said simply, "although I am glad we did not go with Moore - that was more than uncomfortable." Her face grew grave. "I still have not heard from all my friends - whether they got safe home to England. But if the Army has to retreat this time, it will only fall back on Coimbra or Lisbon. And in the summer, too."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:57 am

"You are very brave to stay with your father. He must be very proud of you. And I really hope we do not have to retreat again. I'm ... I hope you can find all your friends again."

Privately he thougt that unlikely. He had seen too much in Spain to believe that everyone had made their way home.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:09 am

Philippa smiled. "I think I would need more courage to live with my aunts in Harrogate. It is much better to be with the Regiment. Unless it is a complete ... Well, you know what I mean. And this time we will go forward." She shook her head slightly so the braids swung, and smiled at Jaeger. "Following the riflemen."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:31 am

She was smiling at him. And said they were all following the riflemen. Them. Him. Us. His men. Vickery's men, really. But he was one of them.

"I'm sure we will. With Sir Arthur in command, we'll have Napoleon out of Spain in no time."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:39 am

"That is what Papa says." She frowned slightly. He had said that before, of course, after Vimiero and Rolica, before Sir Arthur left Portugal. She would not repeat what Captain Crompton had said - or what Mrs Crompton said he had said. She smiled again - it had been as easy talking to him as to her own Regiment's ensigns, not like some of the bumptious young officers you met. "Thank you for seeing me home," she said, and held out her hand, with the scar on the thumb where the knife had slipped as she made a cage for her ferrets.

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:59 am

Oh, she was holding out her hand. What was he supposed to do with it? He really wished he had payed more attention to the other young gentlemen's antics in Lisbon. But he had spend his time on the firing range...

He settled on carefully touching her hand and giving it a slight shake, feeling very selfconscious doing it.

"It has been a great pleasure. I am very sorry you are home already."

Oh no. That was bad.

"I mean, I am not sorry, no I am very sorry I said that, I..."

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Re: Training Day, Evening, Rifles

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