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Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

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Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:15 am

If there was one thing that Calderón hated most about having a broken leg, it was the inability to get up and move around freely. The surgeon in whose wagon he had been confined was insistent that the scout not walk unaided. Worse was the man's annoying tendency to turn up exactly whenever Calderón was attempting to do just that.

The two days following the battle inched past. Calderón was restless and wanted to get out onto the road where he might walk under his own power, but at the same time he was grateful for the surgeon's offering of a wagon to ride in because he could not walk. It was only for a few days, the surgeon assured him, until the bone in his leg was sufficiently healed enough that Calderón could limp around with a crutch.

At least the wagon was sparse enough to be considered comfortable. A couple of straw mattresses and a few blankets were spread about in the back, alongside the surgeon's boxes and a scattering of other things. In Calderón's view, it was as close to the ideal for a sleeping space as was possible. He'd folded up one of the blankets to help cushion his leg and moved one of the mattresses so he could sit up to watch the goings-on outside the wagon.

It was not the same as being out amongst the bustle of redcoated soldiers, but it was something of a close second.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Keiju on Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:22 am

It was pure good luck that Finch, one of the assistant surgeons, had secured a ride in a wagon for the day. Ordinarily, he walked alongside the wagons or rode one of the old mules that carried extra pieces of kit. An unexpected bonus of riding in a wagon was the discovery that there was another passenger as well, the Portuguese fellow who had broken his leg somehow during the battle.

There had not been much chance for conversation, though, as the surgeon driving the wagon apparently disdained small talk, so Finch had to content himself with reading an old copy of Bichat's treatise on anatomy. It was a fine work but he found it increasingly harder to follow as the hours dragged on, until he finally gave up reading and laid the book aside. Eventually, he grew weary of the interminable silence and leapt down from the driver's bench to walk alongside. It was good to stretch his legs anyway.

When, at last, the long trailing column of wagons and mules plodded to a halt for the night, Finch was grateful for it. The terrain was less easy than it had been coming out from Lisbon, or so it seemed to him, and his feet were aching and sore. He made his way toward the back of the wagon, where their single patient rode. That man, at least, had no choice but to remain in the wagon, though he had made several attempts to slither out and hobble around over the course of the day.

"A halt at last," Finch remarked as he came around the end of the wagon. "I should imagine you would be glad for it, after being jostled around so by this road."

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:17 am

Outside there was quite an animated conversation of few that spoke Portuguese and a few that conversed merrily in English. Laughter soft and high must have belong to no other but girls that came to see the wagons that had stopped. "Hello?" One of the young ones had peeked in with a merry expression on her face.

"Hush, Maria." Spoke one of them and rose to peek inside herself. "Is there anything that you need sewing? Cloth to be bought for banda..."She turned to look more thoroughly at the men that were inside of the wagon. They could be sure that one of them was not a surgeon but a patient, his leg bandaged as it was. He wasn't dressed as a soldier. No, she did not think he was!
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:27 pm

Calderón pushed himself up slightly against the straw mattress when the assistant surgeon appeared, remarking on the column's finally halting for the night. It was indeed good to have a respite from the rattling about of the wagon, which had been gradually fraying Calderón's nerves.

"Indeed so, sir," the scout replied. "Any rest from travel is often a boon."

Though of course he had hardly been exerting himself since unofficially joining the British column. He wished the surgeon and his assistant would go away long enough to let him at least attempt to walk around. His leg was not aching as badly as it had been the day before and he was curious to find out if it could support any weight yet.

He watched the assistant surgeon as the man carefully checked the splints and then the leg itself, interested as he ever was by such a brief glimpse into the medical man's world. The man made no comment about the leg or the splints, but simply nodded. That was probably a good thing, he supposed. No report was a good report, usually.

Voices speaking in Portuguese drifted close outside the wagon, which perked Calderón's interest. Then a face peeked around the back of the wagon. "Hello?"

"Hello," Calderón replied in Portuguese.

"Hush, Maria." Another voice said, before a second face appeared to gaze into the back of the wagon. "Is there anything that you need sewing? Cloth to be bought for banda..."

A slight grin tugged at the corner of the scout's mouth. "You are collecting sewing? I have a coat that requires mending at its seam."

The assistant surgeon smiled at the two newcomers and said in English, "I must deliver some reports to the headquarters section. Do not let this fellow run away, if you please!" He nodded briefly at the women before moving out of sight around the other side of the wagon.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:18 pm

"You are collecting sewing? I have a coat that requires mending at its seam."

It was so rare to find someone who could speak Portuguese amongst the soldiers. One at least who was neither Portuguese nor perhaps one of the officers. Though even they rarely uttered a word, and even more rarely to them girls that weren't of highest breeding. Maria smiled and bent a knee in a lady like bow before she slipped into the wagon.

"Maria! That English man hadn't said you could come in!" But it was too late. Already the lass, collected her skirts which were neither as lovely as that of a rich lady, but still fairly colourful, and climbed from the step and ducked into the wagon's confines. "Good day." She smiled and gave a critical look of their surroundings, to spot his coat and see what the wagon was like from the inside.

Didn't that Englishman say they should watch over the fellow not to run away? Well, she didn't think he looked like a Frenchman, though she did spare him a suspicious glance. If he was a Frenchman there'd be no mending coats, even if she would take one! He could get it in parts though if he wanted, oh yes!

Dores squeezed in as well, scowling at her friend. "Have I not told you to wait for me?" She turned apologetically to the wounded man and greeted him with a small nod. "You had a coat you needed mending, good sir?" Maria glanced at her friend and then spoke more boldly. "You aren't a French.. are you?"
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:27 am

The first girl, the one called Maria, came climbing up into the wagon without a trace of shame or hesitation. Calderón found her forwardness amusing and simply grinned while the girl's companion admonished her for her boldness. Then, scarcely a minute later, the second girl was up in the wagon as well. It was strangely heartening to watch the girl called Maria look around the inside of the wagon with open curiosity.

"You had a coat you needed mending, good sir?"

He noded. "I do. It is underneath that box there, by your elbow." It took a second or two to reach around the girl and push the box aside, but he managed. The coat was old and very much well-used. Calderón had acquired it shortly after arriving in Porto and the coat had come in useful as protection from the rain and also as a pillow.

"You aren't a French.. are you?"

French? The scout grinned and shook his head. "I do not believe so," he replied. "Unless my mother has not told me of it."

The question was perfectly reasonable and he could understand why it had been asked. There were precious few French soldiers who were fluent in Portuguese, however. He doubted that any wounded Frenchmen would be kept with the British column anyway. But of course these girls wouldn't know that.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:46 am

"I do. It is underneath that box there, by your elbow."

Maria shuffled a bit to the left, and giggled as the injured man tried to come around her to relieve his coat of a large box that covered it. Her expression changed at the sight of it. She might have seen many a coat come from the soldiers on campaign, so her reaction was perhaps a bit theatrical. "Deus!.. What have you done to the poor thing? There'll be a good long time to mend all of that!" She shook her head as her friend took the coat and began folding it into a tighter roll.

They both relaxed when they were certain the man not to be a Frenchman. So his coat would remain in one piece after all, and be mended carefully to look as good as new, or atleast as much as it was possible. Maria giggled at his response and recieved a light slap on her shoulder by Dores. The girl in question, older somewhat than Maria studied Mr. Calderon.

"Oh, does it hurt? It must hurt, ..how it's bandaged! " Maria smiled warmly at the patient leaning to see his leg and the way it was treated. "Is it wounded? Shot? Will you keep it?"

"Maria!... how can you ask something like that of a wounded man!"

But the girl took the best impression of a doctor as she spoke. " Hmm, no. Not loosin' it no. The bandages seem used, so you must've had them on a while. They'd be rid of it already if they meant to!"

Dores shook her head with a heavy sigh. "You'll have the poor man want to have fainted when he had a chance!"
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:35 am

"Deus!.. What have you done to the poor thing? There'll be a good long time to mend all of that!"

Calderón grinned. "It is simply well-used, as a good coat should be." His shirt and trousers were in a similar state of disrepair, but he would mend those himself.

"Oh, does it hurt? It must hurt, ..how it's bandaged! " Maria burst out, examining his leg intently. "Is it wounded? Shot? Will you keep it?" Her questions were met with admonition from her companion, but she went on apparently without taking note of the interruption. " Hmm, no. Not loosin' it no. The bandages seem used, so you must've had them on a while. They'd be rid of it already if they meant to!"

"No," the scout agreed. "It will certainly remain attached, for it is only broken."

In that, he knew he'd be exceptionally fortunate. The bone had not been damaged so badly that it had to be removed, according to the surgeons. He had no wish to think about what he would do had the leg needed taking off. He required full use of his legs - both legs - to carry out his duties.

"You'll have the poor man want to have fainted when he had a chance!" The other girl declared.

"I am not so inclined to such things." Calderón remarked. "For which I am quite glad, else it would have been a most unpleasant scene when the doctors repaired my leg!"

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:17 am

"No," Maria looked curiously at Calderón. "It will certainly remain attached, for it is only broken."

Good, men with only one leg always had it worse. She'd seen them, she heard of them but then who did not? She straightened again and smothered the creases of her dress with her hands.

"I am not so inclined to such things." She heard him say. "For which I
am quite glad, else it would have been a most unpleasant scene when the
doctors repaired my leg!"
Well she did not know if it would be better that he would see how it was done, be awake when the man cut into his leg. Was he?

"I'm Maria Enas, my friend here is Dores Ortiz." She spoke and made a small bow. "You're on odd sort. You aren't an Englishman either, are you? No, you speak Portuguese just too good." She smiled and though that his features, the angle of his face and the colour of his skin was anything but British. "Are you from here?.." Before she could again give a question Dores had smacked her shoulder lightly to scold the girl.

"It isn't polite to bother the man with all those question, Maria. He must be tired." And that earned Dores a scowl. "But if he was tired, why would we be asked that we make sure that he does not walk out of the wagon. He must be just bored! It must be terribly boring indeed here, being all on one's own. I'd have.."

Dores shook her head at Maria's speech and crossed her hands, the coat now neatly folded. "Your tongue shall be the end of you one day, Maria." She looked at José. " Apologies for my friend she is.... " She did not finish.
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:34 am

"I'm Maria Enas, my friend here is Dores Ortiz," Maria said, offering a slight bow. "You're on odd sort. You aren't an Englishman either, are you? No, you speak Portuguese just too good. Are you from here?.."

Calderón nodded. "I am José, but I am not from here. My home is in Spain."

What effect would that have on them? The Spanish were not always well thought of by the Portuguese, but to state that he was from any Portuguese city was folly in his view. It was always better to be from another country and Spain was remarkably handy for that purpose.

He smiled slightly when Maria was again chided by her companion. It was easy to guess who of the two was the more disposed to chatter and gossip. The girl Maria could prove useful in that respect. Knowing what was happening beyond the army, or even within it, was important.

"Your tongue shall be the end of you one day, Maria," Dores stated. "Apologies for my friend she is.... "

"It is no trouble," Calderón said, lifting a hand dismissively. It suited his purposes better for Maria to be talkative. "Is that not the way of all young girls, to be loose-tongued and innocently so?"

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:35 am

Spain? Not the best that he could have chosen to be from, but while Dores showed her thoughts more openly Maria just smiled and nodded, as if aknowledging but also forgetting where he was from. It did not matter? That, or she just thought that the French could be worst.

"It is no trouble," And then he added: "Is that not the way of all young girls, to be loose-tongued and innocently so?"

It wasn't something Dores agreed with. A girl should know when to hold her tongue and show humility. "Innocently so? But shall not men curse the innocence and pollute it with corruption?" She asked while Maria looked about and then at Calderon's clothes that he was wearing. She was clearly not happy with the details of tear and wear that she was seeing, the bits of dirt that should have been most obviously washed out.

"We'll have those off of you, sir. Have it cleaned so that you can be presentable! It wouldn't do. .that you might harbour more lice than a common soldier." So innocent and yet so bold and direct, that statement was.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:45 am

"Innocently so? But shall not men curse the innocence and pollute it with corruption?"

“Some may,” Calderón allowed, “but others may not. A wise man certainly shall not.”

There were precious few ‘wise’ men with the army, of course. Especially with the army. He shrugged. It was the same in any great gathering of men.

"We'll have those off of you, sir. Have it cleaned so that you can be presentable! It wouldn't do. .that you might harbour more lice than a common soldier."

Dores wanted to clean his clothes? He shook his head. He could allow his coat to be taken away and repaired, but he owned no other clothes beyond what he was wearing. “I am afraid they will have to remain,” Calderón said. “For I have nothing else but these. It would be impossible to manage anyway, because of my leg.”

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:46 am

“Some may, but others may not. A wise man certainly shall not.” Dores listened and adjusted the hold on the coat that the two have collected. "True.. but it is not some.. rather it is many. And those wise are few, and they..." She shook her head, perhaps unknowingly agreeing with Calderon, without him ever saying it. "..well they can't be plenty here." She looked more withdrawn and spoke more softly as she added. "..I mean no offense of course, for I do not know you to judge. But I do know well enough the girl should be careful!"

Maria rolled her eyes at her friend. She acted by far too mature for her age, though it should be said that Maria did not act careless as much as she might have spoken. She avoided the men she felt uneasy with, she did not walk alone through the camp at night or at most times. Unlike some of the girls that followed the camp, she offered to trade her skills of sewing, wash and repair and selling some of the wares, such as a few bags and the like.

"A shirt then? That could be managed and if you are willing to part with a small bit more of money we can have you made a new one too. Well.. a repaired one, but I assure you, you'll not have seen a finer kind!" Maria was indeed quite courageous to say that their work could be so highly praised.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:16 am

Two women here, chatting and haggling with one of the patients, slowing the wagon even more. "You, and you," Stephen said sharply, glaring. "Why are you not at the back, with the other camp followers?"

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:34 am

"True.. but it is not some.. rather it is many. And those wise are few, and they... well they can't be plenty here. I mean no offense of course, for I do not know you to judge. But I do know well enough the girl should be careful!"

That was nothing more than truth, he thought. But he said nothing and simply nodded. Any girl ought to be careful when following the army. Though not so careful that she avoided all human contact out of fear of ‘corruption’.

Maria offered to take his shirt to be cleaned, and even mentioned making him a new one, for the right price. Naturally. Calderón shook his head. When he was once again on his own, he would look after his clothes himself.

Then he heard a new voice outside the wagon. A chill went down his spine, for he knew the voice instantly. He sighed. Wonderful. He should have expected to cross paths with Esteban again, since he was with the army now, but he had hoped, foolishly, that another meeting would not happen while Calderón was a temporary invalid. Just his luck...

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:12 am

The pair turned and looked at the strange new apparition. A civilian was he? And saying something in English. It was almost simple enough to understand.

Maria placed both hands at her hips as she turned to answer the men, naturally it was in Portuguese. "..That good man there , who was here to take care of this one here told us that we were to watch this man." She matched the glare with a polite smile. "..what I am sayin' is.. we were told to make sure that Mister Jose does not leave the wagon, while the... I'm sorry but I wouldn't know the other man's name.. he looked a bit like a surgeon" She shrugged, she wasn't sure. "... well he said we should stay here till he came back. " She nodded.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:29 am

Stephen turned his icy glare for a moment on Finch, then back to the woman, and he replied in quick and angry Portuguese. "Your services are no longer required. Please go to the baggage now; you are slowing the entire expedition."

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Keiju on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:43 am

Finch simply gazed back impassively when the other man glared at him. He had no knowledge of Portuguese and therefore knew nothing of what they were saying, but he was not about to be drawn out into any sort of dispute.

“Do you require anything else from me, sir?” He asked blandly, remembering that he still had reports to deliver.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:46 am

"Not for the moment, Mister...?"

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:50 am

"Do you need anything more, Mister Jose?" Maria turned from the very unkindly civilian to the much more pleasant patient. " If this man shall be bothering you, just give us a shout." She whispered as she leaned closer so that only Calderon could hear her, well that and a very disapproving Dores.

"Was a pleasure to've met you, sir." She winked and got swatted again by her friend to which she just merrily giggled. She waved to Finch too and smiled. "Most oblieged you've let us in." She gave a short bow.
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Keiju on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:51 am

"Finch, sir," the assistant surgeon answered. He inclined his head politely. Then, to the two women, he added, "Good day, misses."

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:55 am

Stephen stared at the woman in cold fury. "This is not a game, woman. You are putting lives at risk for your flirting. Leave, and do not return, or I will remove you."

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  José Ramon Calderón on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:16 am

Were he not feeling particularly despairing that they should meet again in this manner, Calderón might have been amused.

"You had best go," he said to Dores in Portuguese. "Before there is trouble. I thank you for taking my coat to repair it."

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Allhands on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:18 am

Unfazed Maria and Dores smiled kindly instead. "Never a trouble, Mister Jose." Dores said and then added. "Good day Mister Jose, Mister Finch." And with that the two turned, not for a moment looking as though they thought any of the doctor's cold gaze or his words. Maria giggled even at something that Dores must've told her and hopped gracefully of the wagon.

They weren't told they needed to depart, nor that they were in any hurry, so the man, who in Maria's opinion had little manner to speak like that, was just.. high strung. The coat would need a good wash, some scrubbing, some drying and a fine needlework. The pockets too had to be checked. Not for anything that they held but rather for any holes that they may have had.
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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

Post  Jenny Ross on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:35 pm

Jenny had seen the two women moving about, apparently looking for business in the sewing and mending line. She did not recognize them, though there were plenty of Portuguese who had attached themselves to the column as it wound its way through the towns and countryside, mostly men and women looking to make a profit.

She spotted them again when they hopped out of one of the covered wagons. "Senhoras, por favor..." she called, approaching them before they could disappear again.

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Re: Surgeon's wagon, 25 May

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