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Planning for fun

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Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:26 am

(This is on Saturday night, for a skylarking on Sunday.)

Oxley had left Foley on deck, to go below to find some of the other boys. He didn't mind who he ran into first, the Shepherds or one of the ships' boys. They were all going to be involved in the end, anyway.

In the end, it was little Jacky Fisher - not so little now, but the name had stuck - who was the first boy he found, and he told him to find as many of the others as he could, and meet him and the Shepherd lads so they could plan some fun. He made him promise to bring de Guarde, despite the other's obvious reluctance - they all knew what he'd done to Johnny the first night he was aboard, at the Captain's dinner.

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Tom Oxley
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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:08 am

Up on the gundeck, near the mainmast, the meeting place was, and the younger boys all looked excited, in varying degrees. He couldn't see de Guarde anywhere and told the others to wait while he went down to the berthdeck to see if he could find him.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:22 am

De Guarde had gone from enjoying the sights of the sea and the pleasures of the drink to lying in his hammock and gazing up at the ceiling. He was tired, but in good spirits. There was little doubt as to why that was. He stretched out a little and turned. There were footsteps commonly coming and going, at this time of hour. Some men would head for sleep, some went to fetch something before they returned above. Being that it was night and soon to be more peaceful - as much as it could be on a ship - the footsteps and other creeks and sounds of the ship only amplified a little bit.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:43 am

Mainmast topmen of the starboard watch slung their hammocks... Ah, there he was. Oxley went up to the hammock and shook its occupant, who seemed to be asleep.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:45 am

De Guarde swatted at the intrusion with one hand, not expecting to come in contact with anything, though at last he felt he did. What, he didn't even move to check as he turned in his hammock and muttered something along the lines of :"Mind where yer goin', s' not bloody 'ard t' see a hammock."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:55 am

de Guarde swatted at him with one hand. He hit Oxley's chest, though not hard and muttered something at him.

"C'me on, sleepyhead, you'll get left out o' all the fun," he said, leaning in to shake his shoulder a little harder.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:58 am

He wasn't dreaming and there was someone rather persistent. The boy woke with a start, his eyes wide for a moment as they focused on Oxley. Wild, then just startled and a bit irritated.

"Wot' is it?" He asked, a muffled murmur under the pillow and blanket.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:06 am

"We're plannin' a skylarkin' for termorrer - and you're one of us lads, so you ought come an' help plan things," Oxley said, grinning at the boy in the hammock, who was blinking up at him in confusion.

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Tom Oxley
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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:13 am

Work. More work. He was being called so that he could help wo....wait. He blinked at Oxley again and reached up with his left hand, rubbing against his skin.

"..'um comin'." He had with hidden curiosity just there, shimmering at the surfcae. He struggled out of the hammock but fell nearly flat over. He smelled a little bit of alcohol and he was somewhat unsteady on his feet. "Jus'.. where's t' catch?" He asked after he had dusted himself clean.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:29 am

"Catch? What catch? There ain't none," Oxley replied, taking the lad's arm to steady him for a moment. "You're one of us lads, we're planning a skylarkin' for termorrer - Sunday - and we want you to come help. Well, I do, anyways. Are you comin'?"

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:25 am

"Mmph.. I am..." That still wasn't something he completely expected but it made more sense and he could even connect a face to a suggestion. Even so, why would Oxley want him about other than to make fun of him?

"Comin on me own self." he added.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:39 am

"Good egg," Oxley said, and wrinkled his nose a little. "You bin drinkin'? Don't let the First Luff catch wind of it, that's all what I'm goin' to say. And come on, if you're a-comin'. Up on the gundeck, we're at." He tugged the other boy impatiently towards the companionway.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:00 pm

"Jus' a little. Wot' with our ration." He answered defensively and was making his way in the desired direction of the young drummer. He had to rub his eyes again, as they were blurred by sleep he'd been having a moment ago. And when they focused on the companionway he began climbing it, a step at a time, just a bit quicker.

"How many of you is there?" He asked looking back over his shoulder. He nearly missed a step and cursed under his breath and pulled himself over it. Why was he listening to Oxley.. well Skylarking could be interesting to see, not only being done but being prepared. He reasoned that that was about it for a cause.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:25 pm

"You, me, the Shepherds, a half-dozen or so of the boys, summat like that. An' this'n ain't goin' to be quite the same as the one Cob Chase done. We have fun up in the riggin' first, see." He grinned. "Us have one Marine used to be in the circus, and he does stuff you wouldn't believe, right up there." He pointed up at the yardarm as they emerged onto the gundeck.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:35 pm

"Yer pullin' me leg." De Guarde didn't quite believe the boy. Couldn't imagine a marine coming from a circus as a first, and then doing silly things up high. That was a sailor's thing, wasn't it?

"Wot' kind of fun?" He remembered the sailors singing and drinking, and himself not joining for being a midshipman. Didn't really remember more than that thus. He stumbled a little, scowled and straightened himself, firmly set on not letting his drink show him in a state he might regret. Not that he had any choice, were it to come to it, but hope died last and then there was the possibility it wouldn't too, so that died last as well.

"You're pullin' me leg fer both, I bet. Those boys won't be about, will they?" Not the one who had nice little bruises on his shoulder. Though if he was, was that a good thing? He wasn't thinking about it more, just following the marine boy, looking about along the deck, and then more under his feet just to keep them doing as they should.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:47 pm

"I ain't. Greek Jimmy, we calls him - you might have seen him. Little, and dark - looks foreign, though he's from London and talks English just as well as you an' me. Does some of his circus tricks - used to walk the tightrope, he did. And what sort of fun? Tag, that sort of thing. Or we might have a race between us - two teams, an' we've got to get everyone up and down to the foremast t'gallant yardarm and down again and the first team to do it wins. Though we might have a bit of a sing-song and dance later, if the older sailors decides to come along."

They arrived on deck, where their acquaintance had begun in very different circumstances. There was a group of boys there, chattering, and they turned dark gazes on Oxley and de Guarde. Oxley grinned at them. "This here's Buckles, an' he's joinin' us, being as he's one of us now. An' he wants to see the sort o' skylarkin' Terpsy's famous for." He grinned. "He's a pretty good hand up in th'riggin', too, so's it'll be fair all round."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:58 pm

He didn't feel as if he was welcome. Didn't need to be sober to know that, not with their looks or the way that they've spoken less chatty and merry than before. He looked at Oxley and found, with surprise, the boy grinning as if he hadn't noticed anything out of place at all. Did he even see how they've reacted?

He smiled one - what he thought to be - confident smile. He shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. "..'ey." He looked at the boys, spied out a few familiar faces. He stood in a half turn ready to run if the boys did change their mind and didn't think Oxley's word was enough.

In more of a whisper, leaning a bit to Oxley, he murmured: "Yer sure that's a good idea?"

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:25 pm

"He's one of us, though he hain't chosen to be, and it's up to us to learn him how to be a Terpsy, and that means he's joinin' in with our skylarkin'. And that means you'll be nice to him, 'cause I said so, all right?"

He saw de Guarde turn as if to run, and took his arm. "Look, you all know how to have fun, right. Well, he don't, never even had a friend afore comin' here. So we're goin' to learn him how."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:32 pm

He sure hoped the boys would listen. Oxley was only one even if he'd have all his marine experience to fall back to, and he didn't have a pair of sticks to ward of rabid boys. He stopped at that thought, for it threatened to make him chuckle even if he shouldn't. What with the drink in his blood n'all.

He felt a hand on his arm, which stirred him from his thoughts too, and the first moment it made him want to squirm out of the grasp. Concetrating a bit more he saw it was still just Oxley and the boys hadn't magically appeared at his side. All well then!

He glanced back at the boys. ".." He opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. Better let Oxley talk, his own could just rile the boys and he had no coat to hide behind. Meaning a middie's that is.

"We don't want him, Tom." Said one of the ship's boys and a good friend to the one De Guarde had wronged.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:19 pm

"What's 'e got to say for hisself 'bout doin' Johnny's shoulder for 'im?" asked one of the lads.

Oxley looked at him. "If Johnny's here, he'll 'pologise to him, Jacky Fisher. An' it'll get left at that."

They weren't too happy about having de Guarde, he could see that, but his words about de Guarde having no friends at all, and not even knowing how to have fun had left them looking puzzled and slightly shame-faced. Jacky Fisher spoke up again. "Well, if he does 'pologise, he c'n join in with us an' no hard feelin's, eh, Johnny?"

Someone pushed Johnny forward and he scowled at de Guarde. "I was on'y doin' what the doctor wanted me to, an that bloody hurt," he said. "Couldn't use me arm hardly next day, an' I didn't half get a leatherin' for it, neither." That had been bloody Colburn. He was a sight too free with his rope's end at times. Johnny shrugged. "Up to you if you say sorry, but if'n you don't, I ain't talkin' to you. Or havin' anythin' to do with you 'less I can 'elp it."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:29 pm

He looked at Johnny. This was a ticked for him. If he said it, he could join but if he didn't he was probably sent back where he'd come from and Oxley's efforts would be for nothing. But he meant what he did, didn't he? The damned boy took his drink and wanted to switch it, though at the time he thought... he thought he wanted to snitch the bottle and return with a water one to trick him.

"..t' doctor wanted you to?" That he hadn't expected said. But then his reasoning, his poor tipsy mind didn't want to cooperate too much. " hmph." He looked from Johnny. Scowled about the same as he too.

"..You shouldn't ha..."But then this wasn't what he was to say. Accusations would lead down the path that would just make the boys upset. Very upset.

"..I wos' a wee bit under t'... wine, so's why I did it. Wosn't anythin' personal." He looked at Oxley. Was that a good apology? Would that even be considered one?

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:37 pm

"You ain't said sorry," Jacky said. "It don't count less'n you says sorry." The others nodded, and Johnny folded his arms. "I'll shakes when you says sorry, an' not before. Up to you to do it." He was young, smaller than de Guarde, but he was one of the Terpsy's boys and what hurt one of them hurt them all.

Oxley nudged de Guarde. "If you don't say it, ain't anythin' I can do to make 'em want to let you join in, an' you might's well give up. You say it, an' they'll show you stuff you never dreamed of."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:48 pm

The boy frowned and steadied himself a little. He bit at his lip and tugged at his sleeve. Tugged at it and watched Johnny, then Oxley, then the other boys. Each and every one of their faces. He wanted to try it, even in his tipsy state he knew that much.

"...Sorry." He mouthed and looked at the floor, but then decided that if he was to say it, he would say it with pride. Show he wasn't some weak little thing! He lifted his gaze, right at Johnny then. Straight at the boy, but not threatening like he could've or would've before. Just sort of, looking at him because it was him he was to apologise.

"...I'm sorry for hurting your shoulder like I did and hurting you." His voice was clearer - just a bit slurred, so faintly that it could be ignored for sleepyness too - and loud enough that the other boys could hear it to. He didn't know to say more, all else would be an excuse. An explanation why he did it, would turn into an excuse of his actions and that wasn't needed.

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:52 pm

Oxley grinned as Johnny nodded and held out his hand. "'S all right. Only, don't go doin' it ag'in. It hurt summat awful."

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Re: Planning for fun

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:59 pm

"Don't think I will." Not that he could anyway. There'd be no way he were invited to another dinner of the captain, least as one participating in the feed. "...I mean..I won't. " Unless there was a fight, but that was a special occasion anyway.

He took the hand and slowly shook it. He felt a strange sort of relief. And now he could see and be part of the skylarking. And he could try it, that was something. It had to be.

"I know it 'urts." He added then smiled. "..so's.. alright now?"

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