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On duty in the dark

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On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:02 am

Pye clutched his rifle more firmly in his hand, careful not to make sound. They've started the move a short while ago in the dark, sometime after he'd seen Cotton by the fire with a cup of tea in his arms. He looked lost, but there was this hope in his eyes too. It was just too distracted that he'd have noticed a man handing him a cup. He wondered about that, right till he caught his toe on a sharp edged stone. He didn't make a sound, but had to gritt his teeth very strongly to prevent himself from doing so.

To say he was distracted now, was not exactly fair, though he'd gone and looked left and right and listened. He was excited. It was his first time that he'd have gone and done something of the sort with the rifles. Ignorant of all but the present he glanced towards Roper then Zeb Palmer a step back. He smiled. He'd missed meeting the 33rd that night. Didn't really matter. He was here and learning with all ears and eyes at attention!

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:32 pm

Roper grinned back at Pye. It was still early - it had only just grown dark a bit ago, after all.

"C'mon then, mate," he said. At least Zeb Palmer was bringing up the rear. "We're goin' to relieve the picquets up here so they can get back and get a bit of supper. What we'll be doin' is watching out for anythin' out of the ordinary. If folks are around in front of us, it means trouble. We're the furthest forward of the whole army, see."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
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Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:39 pm

Pye nodded. Furthest forward, with anyone further than that meant it was almost surely an enemy.

"What if they're Portuguese?" He murmured timidly.

His tummy was already full, which meant he'd have been alert at best of his ability. His spirits quite high he knew when to bounce and when to walk with seriousness and a purpose well enough. And he did the later now.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:56 pm

Roper grinned, hefting his rifle. "In the dark, out here? Not likely we'd run into any Portuguese out here, not at night."

They came up to the picquet and Roper responded to the challenge before leading Pye forward. The Corporal in charge of the picquet exchanged a few quiet words with Roper, who nodded, and turned back to Palmer and Pye.

"We're watching this side of the path, then, lads. All the way between the path here and the boulder on the left is the ground we're coverin'. We've got other lads on either side, so we don't have to worry about the other side of the path or the other side of the boulder. Pye, you stick with me. You see anythin' out o' the ordinary, you let me know, all right?"

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:14 pm

Pye shifted his rifle in his grip and looked at the path quickly. The boulder on the left was an easy marker. Anything passing inbetween it and down to the side of the path was to be kept under watch.

He grinned and stepped closer to Roper, his shoes making only a soft grinding sound as the small pebles under his foot had been ground together under the weight.

The darker it was the more sound one could hear , or imagine to hear, and so now breathing seemed just as noticeable as anything.

"Yes si... Roper." He answered with an excited smile. "Jus' warning, no firing?" He confirmed what he thought would be the idea of it, looking at the two to follow their lead to a tee.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:22 pm

"Aye, just tell me, so's I can take a look meself, see." He grinned. "Don't need to set the whole Division on alert jus' 'cause you saw a shadow move, see, and that's easy done when you ain't used to things, after all."

Roper moved over to where the old picquet had been, and found that they'd discovered a slight dip in the ground near a bush, where they could be out of the wind, and remain unseen.

He sat down with his rifle across his legs and looked up at Pye. "Best sit down, lad. We're goin' to be here for a bit, and we don't need folks seein' us right away if they do want to go sneakin' round, after all."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:34 pm

With a nod the boy shuffled close, careful that the rifle didn't slip or bang against a body or thing as it was unslung and placed perched by his side. He pulled his feet close, and made as much space for the third of their party, before looking to the path that they were to watch.

His collar was still the most prominent red of the riflemen gathered, and his coat wasn't faded at all, and for the moment without a speck of dirt. His trousers had just gotten some of it where he'd sat, and he had to shift again till a few stones came at a better end to him sitting.

"What's it?" It didn't take more than a moment before the youth was pointing at direction of several trees and a bush. He thought he saw something move. A breath of wind ruffled the leaves around them and moved on past the first line and to the path behind them.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 12:01 am

Roper looked where the lad was pointing. "Think it's just a bush, movin' in the wind, lad. Keep watchin' it. If there's a shape or summat there that don't seem right, or you see a bit o' movement that ain't caused by the wind, that's when you ought to start thinkin' that there's summat there that shouldn't be."

It was easy, very easy, to get jumpy at night, with a bit of moon and breath of air, as Roper knew all too well. Down here, they were out of the wind a bit, and wouldn't be silhouetted against the sky, or the brighter area of the road, and that was something else the lad would pick up. It was easier to teach by doing something, after all. Anything that needed explaining then would be easier once the lad had some idea of what to do, if not necessarily why it should be done.

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Guest on Fri May 01, 2009 12:03 am

A redcoat lieutenant slid down into the space where they had concealed themselves. "Have you taken over from the 95th?" he asked.

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 12:08 am

Roper managed not to sigh. Typical redcoat officer, showing up were he shouldn't be and maybe giving them away - if there was anything out of the ordinary out there. He straightened and saluted. "Aye, sir, we have that."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Guest on Fri May 01, 2009 12:11 am

"Good. The last report was that the French are to the front. If they advance, fall back on the bridge." There was the slight glimmer of smile. "The 62nd will protect you."

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 12:12 am

He nodded and had his eyes only on the bush. It did move again, but there wasn't a shape moving in it, and when it moved, after a few moments they could see the leaves ruffle to their left. "Wind." He confirmed, though he gave the bush a few longer glances, just to be sure.

He shifted a little, his eyes wide and curious at their surroundings, he breathed near silently, and move no longer a sound, careful of that. Well, other than speaking at least.

"What if it's..." And then there was a red coated lieutenant and he turned silent, looking quickly at the man. Then he dropped his gaze. Never look an officer in the eyes, or something of the sort, that they've taught. He saluted smartly though, as smart as he could without standing. And listened.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
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Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 12:15 am

"Yes, sir." So there were French out there then. That was something to know. Hopefully the knowledge wouldn't make Pye any more jumpy, or they'd likely cop it from Captain Vickery. And possibly from Colonel Edrington as well. "Did the report say how far to the front, sir?"

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Guest on Fri May 01, 2009 12:23 am

He kept his voice low. "Their picquets are a mile or so ahead, just in front of an advance cavalry guard. The cavalry isn't a problem - you'd hear them coming. And I think they're waiting for us to make the next move." They hadn't made much of an attempt to stop the men of the 95th and the 62nd from taking the bridge, falling back with only harrying fire. They hadn't blown the bridge, either, or set up guns to blast the bridgehead.

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 12:29 am

A mile. A mile in flat country was nothing, but this was hilly, with plenty of cover, though it would take longer to traverse than down on plains. Roper remembered seeing the plain near Salamanca, where they'd spent a couple of days before the 60th had been sent back to Lisbon, shortly before Sir John Moore started his retreat towards Corunna.

He patted his rifle. "They try anythin', sir, we'll hear 'em comin'. You'll know about it as soon as we do." They would fall back to the bridge in good skirmish order and by the time they got there, the 62nd would be on the alert. The bridge provided a natural bottleneck, and Roper thought privately that just the few men on picquet could hold it, never mind an entire regiment.

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Guest on Fri May 01, 2009 12:38 am

Waldegrave nodded, though it was too dark to make out any expression on his face. "Fall back behind us, and we'll hold this side of the river - until everyone is across." The Rifles were there to act as an alarm. If the French moved towards them, they would fire their rifles, or just fall back, and the Infantry would be ready. At least now the rest of the column had arrived there was a chance for the three advance Companies, and Sharpe's band, to rest, to be replaced by men who had at least not been up since midnight the night before.

He returned the men's salutes, and moved away, keeping to the south side of the trees and bushes, towards the position of the next picquet, a round he had made several times already since they had established themselves here about an hour after sunrise.

[Waldegrave goes here]


Last edited by Lieutenant Waldegrave on Fri May 01, 2009 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add link)

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 2:56 am

"They're out there comin' our way now, fer sure!" Pye whispered once he saw the lieutenant gone. He'd been quiet and inconspicuous, though he'd listened to every word shared between the two men. They'd fall back if needed and they might sight a Frenchman. Allright, he had to learn to tell wind from foe sooner rather than later. He didn't want to start a false alarm. Would be a flo....it wouldn't be that but it would be no good if he did. Disappoint captain Vickery, and that was far worse.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/zachar

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 3:08 am

Roper grinned and leaned back a little, getting comfortable again. "They're out there, sure. Don't reckon they's goin' to put themselves out to com up here though. 'Member that bridge? A couple of kids could hold that bridge, no matter how many Frgos were tryin' to cross it."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 3:19 am

"They could. But... why didn't t' French do it then?.. Before?" He looked at Roper then back to the path infront of them. There was a dark shadow of a predator that swooped from a branch to catch its pray. It was probably a field mouse or perhaps a different sort of rodent.

"A bird." He murmured, but showed that he'd not thought that a Frenchman had flown down so.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 3:37 am

Roper shrugged. "Dunno. Mebbe they haven't got enough soldiers this far south. Mebbe they don't want to fight in these hills, like. The why don't matter, not really, not to us. It's more the how and when that we're worried about, really."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 3:48 am

He nodded satisfied with the answer. The owl, for he thought it was that, had been pecking at the ground and seemed to have caught its prey. It was too dark to see what exactly it had in its claws, but whatever it was, it was being torn just as they spoke.

"How n' when. And to spot them and warn others." He said with a grin. "What I do if 'um they come?" Other than retreat in the manner and order of the rifles. He glanced at his rifle for a brief moment then his eyes were back on the land. The bird flew off and moved itself to one of the bare branches where it wound its head about, looking for more prey.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/player-characters-f4/zachar

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 am

"If they come, you stick with me and do what I do. There'll be three of us, not two, and we'll skirmish back to the bridge. Us and Zeb'll take it in turns to fire, y'see, and when Zeb's loaded and ready to fire, you and me will go back anythin' up to twelve paces behind him and load ourselves. Easy when you know how." Roper glanced across at Pye. "Chances are they won't come, though," he said, turning to look back across the piece of land they were guarding.

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/characters-f4/rifleman-gabr

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 4:32 am

"Alright." Do all he was told, or he'd seen, that was easy to accomplish. He grinned with faint relief. "Chances." He nodded an affirmative with another grin. "But if they do, we'll be ready." He patted the rifle and beamed at the two men. It was a certain danger up front, and yet there was some light in the situation. He looked on, and saw movement again, but it was of a small animal, nothing bigger than a rabbit.

On a closer inspection it indeed was one, for it hopped forward, wiggled its nose - not that they could see that - sat on it's hind paws with his front hanging loose. It turned , looked about and then hopped a few paces. It halted by the road. Dropped in the grass and out of view. So it waited for a while, then in a staccato of quick hops it crossed the road and disappeared into the bush and out of sight.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Fri May 01, 2009 6:58 am

"Ready? Aye, we'll be that." A bit of movement caught his eye - a rabbit hopped out from under a bush, paused before hopping across the road and then went under another bush, disappearing from sight. Pye had seen it too - would have had to have been blind not to - and Roper turned his attention back towards the boulder marking the other side of the area they were watching.

"We'd hear 'em afore we see 'em, if they decide to come up here tonight," Roper said. "Can't keep a bunch of soldiers quiet. I mean, you can stop 'em talking, but you'd hear the sounds of their equipment. Can't move silently with all that."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Wiki page


And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
"Who'll be a soldier for Wellington and me?" ~ The Rochester Recruit, trad.
avatar
Gabriel Cotton
Captain

Species : 5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
Number of posts : 4145
Location : Over the hills, and far away
Member since : 2008-05-14

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Re: On duty in the dark

Post  Zachary Pye on Fri May 01, 2009 7:17 am

" If they have horses.. We would hear that too." He looked both questioning at Roper as well as with a faint sort of certainty. The men would trip, or curse or just walk with their equipment. The later would not care to be silent, and then. Then they could hear them!

He looked back to the path. "Do as many birds fly.. if frightened at night as at day?" He thought they slept and they wouldn't be an indicator they could be during the day. But he did remember Cotton's lectures on what he needed to look out for.

_________________


'Green is the best colour for light troops and if put on in the spring, by autumn it nearly fades with the leaves.' J. G. Simcoe
avatar
Zachary Pye
Captain

Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2694
Location : Waiting for dinner
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