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60th's billet

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60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:05 am

"And so Cotton gets the battle off! Loiters in the baggage - probably thieving again - because his whore is sick. I bet she's sick. I bet she's really sick," said Ebbe Meister, professional grumbler and barrack-room lawyer, and occasional crack shot. His loyal band of brothers lounged around him, holding the bottles of wine that had been pressed eagerly into their hands - foreign stuff, but there was lots of it, unlike the food - and getting drunk in the billet was allowed. They were practically angelic. "Poxed and ravaged - I wouldn't have her if she paid me, I tell you what. Nasty English sow."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:14 am

Willi Stubenrauch pulled on his pipe and looked thoughtful. His own wife was back in England - he hadn't seen her since the battalion had embarked, and she had been left standing on the quayside, waving. Well there were other wives - good German Hausfrauen - who would look after her, and the child, when it was born. But he hadn't had the chance to sit by her, when she needed him. "Camp followers - you don't see decent German girls whoring around after soldiers," he said finally.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:19 am

"And you don't see the German officers chasing whores either," said Meister in agreement. "Fickery's meant to be leading us, not selling off his groundsheet's stock for her when she starts a-wailing. God in Heaven, do you remember the flogging? Jesus."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:37 am

"S'never a good woman what comes whorin' after soldiers," Hakeswill agreed, shaking his head. "Not like Mother. Was an angel she was, my mother; good as gold, an' better."

He did not like Germans - barbaric heathens with their gutteral tongue and moustaches - but for the moment it served his purpose to be friendly; to prise apart further the opening he had found and to see whether there was anything of use to him in the space beyond.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:47 am

Waidmann, not one of Meister's cronies, but within hearing distance, looked up and called out in German: "Don't let the officers hear you. You're asking for trouble."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:49 am

The ring of riflemen nodded at the Sergeant's words. He was a creepy-looking bastard, but he brought drink, and it was pissing it down outside. They were civilised men, after all.

Meister waved his arm dismissively at Waidmann. "Jaeger's out, and God knows what Fickery is doing. Or who."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:53 am

"It's the skin off you back..." Waidmann bend back over his sewing.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:55 am

"And it'd be a thousand lashes," said Meister mournfully, turning back to his friends. "Thousand lashes for saying the officers make favourites of the English, but Cotton gets fifty for beating one to death and stealing. It's disgusting."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:57 am

Pye stirred in his dark spot on the floor, pulling the coat over his head. It was cold, but not too wet. Good enough for sleep.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:14 am

"Officers," Hakeswill sneered. "Them's gets too big ideas about themselves they do - start thinkin' they can run this army by themselves, don't they? When we knows better than that, my lads. English soldiers is good soldiers, as are all 'Is Majesty's soldiers, God Bless 'Im! But when you gets bad officers..."

He shook his head for effect, letting the sentance hand and taking a swig from his bottle.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:18 am

"Not in this compant sarge," Meister said darkly. "Jaeger's all right, for an American - a bit of a "Come on, lads!" weed, but Fickery... The English soldiers in this company... they'd take the war off sick if they could. And Fickery lets them, if he can share their whores. Dunno if things are better in the 33rd - that's where that wretch came from."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:25 am

Hakeswill's eyes glinted in the dim light as he eyed up the bundle not that far off. Pye, if the big ears in silhouette were anything to go by.

"Just remembers I's English too, my lad; but I'm one of the good English, see? One who doesn't shy from 'is duty nor lets 'is mates down. That runt, though-" He lowered his voice to a harsh whisper. "-that little bugger's not even 'sposed to be here! Colonel Simmerson didn't give 'im permission, see; went crawling to bleedin' Milord Edrington, and Vickery's kissin' arse to let 'im in. Workshy little bleeder he ever was - him and old Sharpie!"

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:31 am

"Don't know Sharpe," said Meister. "Looks like a hard bastard. But Fickery - I can believe it of him. Pye's a simpering little wretch; Fickery takes a shit and Pye's begging him to let him lick it clean. But he's English, of course. They'd never sit and have a drink with us - not like you, sarge," he added, passing the bottle. "I'm not surprised Fickery let him off after running like that; Cotton's still his batman after all."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:40 am

"S'well known English Rifles are the scrapings," Hakeswill said. He'd found his opening, and was apply the crowbar. "Swindlers and lazy sons of whores - get put into the Rifles 'cause no decent redcoated officer wants 'em! Not fair on you fine fellows, it's not. S'why Sharpie's in green; Nosey didn't know what to do with 'im, so he shoved him in a green jacket to keep 'im out the way. Rum bastard is Sharpe"

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:45 am

"You don't much like Sharpe, do you?" Meister said with a smirk.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:55 am

The voices were just too loud to ignore and sleep was escaping his grasp, bit by bit. The muffled conversation was becoming more animated. He held his breath then slowly squirmed his arm so that he lifted a part of his coat a little. It made him hear what they were saying better, but kept him covered nicely, as if in sleep.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:22 am

Breitmann took the bottle and drank. It was not like the wine that grew on terraces along the Rhein, but it was drinkable, and it was here. Meister was stirring as usual - he was right, of course, but Hans didn't think he trusted this bald Sergeant - he wasn't just a redcoat, he was a redcoat sergeant - an English redcoat sergeant! And he didn't trust the huddled blanket either - that was another Englishman, the redcoat who had walked into the company a week ago and was already one of Vickery's pets...

He swilled the wine round and swallowed, wiping the top of the bottle before passing to Mommsen, the other Hans in their group.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:25 am

Hakeswill smiled his leering smile.

"You wouldn't like Sharpe much if you really knew him like I does - you can trust me on that, mine hair."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:31 am

Meister nodded at that. "Well, I don't want to then. We've got enough trouble with Fickery and his whore. Riding in the wagon; as soon as Cotton's out she's in - both of them always bloody loitering, expecting the rest to wait on them. We're always doing their dirty work - when that idiot bastard Newbury got nabbed - he was off hunting rabbits with some horseboy when he was meant to be the advance guard - we have to go in to rescue him, and then someone gives him the damn rabbit!"

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:37 am

This was unexpected news of Maggie, and Hakeswill's ears pricked with interest.

"So Cotton's whore's back, is she?"

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:39 am

"Hung about in Coimbra for a while, I heard," said Mommsen, nodding.

"Fickery sent her money," Meister said disdainfully. "He doesn't even bothered to try and hide it. Rumour was she was raped. 'Not paid', more likely. You can't rape a whore."

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:39 am

Trouble. That's what he was hearing. That voice, too familiar for comfort. What on earth was Hakeswill doing in the 60th camp? Why, starting trouble, by the looks of it. He kept his breath to allow not a word to leave without being heard and understood. Atleast, thanks to that sergeant they spoke English. There was an up in that.

Keep as still as possible, he told himself, listening on. Cotton? Cotton's lass, whom they spoke so terribly off! He itched to speak out, but dared not.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am

"Not even that, I daresay." Hakeswill's smile twisted on his lips, letting out a dirty chuckle. "I sees her, I did, in Coimbra taking the pay of officers. Reckon the little hussy's leadin' your captain a merry dance, she is - in more ways'n one!"

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:51 am

"Trying to get a few more buyers, I reckon. Well, she ain't so pretty now, so she came back to Fickery and Cotton. And suddenly everyone is bending over backwards..." Meister shook his head in disgust and took a swig from his bottle.

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Re: 60th's billet

Post  Obadiah Hakeswill on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:58 am

"Someone give her the once-over, did they?"

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