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Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

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Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:10 pm

It wasn't too long after the lieutenants had departed that a selection of men demanded that they were to be permitted to talk to the captain. Their uniforms were hard to mistaken for anyone other than what they were. Sour faces, angry looks, if they hadn't been dressed as they were one would think them a band of dissatisfied soldiers bringing the quarrel home. But, as much as they were indeed upset there was an air around them more foreboding than that of the threat of fists.

The young face of the lot was leading them, highest ranking and with a stiff step indicating the feeling of his great self importance. His uniform was impeccable now. Almost as clean as if it had just been sewn. The rest were mostly resembling the same sort of attention to their coats, though atleast one amongst them may have just a day before worn a very dirtied cloth.

People who had seen them come spared them curious looks. Men, seamen off to head ashore looked apprehensive and avoided them as much they could. Never was a good thing to catch the attention of any of these men. Terpsy's own seamen were gathering by the railing peering at the small crowd indicated to them by their friends. Earlier, there might have been doubt as to where these uniformed men were intending to go. But all of that was made clear as the Terpsy's name was called and that boat approached.

(I went by the thought that Terpsy was anchored a bit from land (but not that far as to be unable to see the commotion going on) and that all the going back and forth by a smaller boat!)

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Cross Johnson on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:01 am

The evening's libertymen had only recently departed for the docks, but Corporal Johnson loitered about the weather deck, wishing he had been fortunate enough to secure a spot on that boat himself. It had been months since he'd been on a liberty run and he was itching for some sport. Maybe he'd get out on the next run ashore.

He fished his pipe out and lit it, determined at least to enjoy a smoke before going below to retrieve his musket so it could be cleaned properly. Anything to fill his time until the watches changed. Johnson made his way slowly toward the foc's'le, then down along the larboard rail. There were plenty of boats coming and going around the harbour. Water lighters, bumboats, ships' launches, and local craft filled up the spaces between the larger ships. It was a scene no different from any other anchorage Johnson had ever visited. Except for a little cutter pulling determinedly toward the frigate.

Johnson frowned and turned toward the rail, to look more closely at the cutter. It was filled with men wearing uniforms that he didn't recognise, and they all looked angry. That in itself was something worth being suspicious about. He took the pipe from his mouth for a moment and called out, "Boat ahoay!!"

The reply of "Terpischore!" was entirely wrong. Captain Bolitho had not gone ashore, and there was no other officer in the harbour who warranted that response to the customary challenge. This cutter had failed the test, which even the dumbest landsman could pass.

"Stand away, there!" Johnson thundered at the men in the cutter, knocking the dottle out of his pipe before shoving it back into his coat. He turned briefly and looked for the two sentries by the quarterdeck stairs. "Grattan, Higgins!"

The two Marines quit their posts at once and in only a moment were standing at the rail, staring down at the offending cutter with blank-faced intent.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:16 am

"You will allow us to board. That is an order!" The man at the front of the boat shouted, his hands balled into fists. But as much as he attempted to stand upright in the boat at first, it began to rock violently enough that he dropped to one knee and then sit. He kept glaring towards the ship.

The other men looked no more eager to stand than their officer. If not for the humiliation that they had to endure the other day, if not for the anger that the said feeling had provoked they would possibly have hoped to turn and return to firm grounds. There was another wave or two that raised and lowered their cutter so that the large ship beside them looked even more foreboding. The feeling that they might well end up beneath it, if they weren't careful or drown quicker than they could shout for help, was present. Still, it wasn't enough to clear their faces of anything else.

"We are provosts!" He identified himself at last. They glared at the blank-faced marines. If they had been on land there would be no such cool treatment of them. But here they weren't exactly in their element. Certainly not as much as.. even the marines were, the soldiers of the sea.
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Cross Johnson on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:23 am

They would what? Johnson blinked in disbelief. Who was this fop to give him orders? And what the hell were provosts, anyway?

"Present!" Johnson barked, and Grattan and Higgins lifted their muskets to their shoulders. Whatever those men were, they clearly were thicker than a plank of wod. "I said stand away there!"

He glanced over his shoulder again and this time called over one of the ship's boys, gruffly bidding him to go and rouse the officer of the watch. Then he turned back to glare down at the men in the cutter.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:49 am

The lad nodded quickly, and turned on his heel running to find Mister Bush. He spared a jealous glance at his friends, who could continue peering over the railing to see what these strange men wanted. Damn his luck to be picked! What if he missed something, perhaps some firing or one of those strangers falling into the water and flailing before the depths would have claimed him.

"Provosts?" The word traveled rather quick across and under the deck. "Provosts are here!" Or. "Some.. odd landlubbers are bug'in our marines." Or similar, more or less crude explanations of what was going on. "Oy, Chase." One of the men had shouted to his fellow Tar. "Come and see what's dropped for visit! Be quick too,.. 'fore them Bos'un's mates come wieldin'!"

Back in the cutter the men were gasping for some air at the sight of the two barrels pointed at them. Used to having their way this wasn't the reaction they were expecting. "..Did you not hear? Do you not know who we are?! Let us on board!" The Tars, the navy, the less they needed to deal with them, the better it was!
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:13 am



Bush was in the process of coming up the companionway ladder when he heard a sudden commotion. Reaching the top, he encountered a breathless ship's boy who apparently had been looking for him because he had some urgent news to impart.

"What's all this then?" he demanded, wondering what all the fuss was about.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:28 am

"Sir!" Just the man he was looking for. Nearly bumped into him too if he hadn't been more careful. Just luck!He froze at the gaze that the man gave him. LIeutenant Bush was a rather intimidating man, more so when his attention was right on the person in question.

He opened his mouth, had it closed and opened a bit like a fish, till he gathered his wits about him. "There... there's... there's some men demandin' to be let aboard." He hesitated so glad he managed to get that of his chest. "Sa..Said they were.. provosts or something." He looked more frightened.
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:42 am



Provosts? What the devil were provosts doing coming to the ship? The only explanation was that the sailors on leave had been stirring up trouble ashore...but Bush found that rather difficult to believe. The Terpsichore's crew were good men. They were not the sort to cause a ruckus while on leave. But then again, who knew for certain?

"Very well. I will see them at once," Bush said, then he told the boy, "Go and pass the word for the captain. He will need to know of this."

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:55 am

"Aye, aye sir!" The boy nearly bolted from the tall lieutenant, so glad he was that he was relieved from his presence. It was not that he disliked the man, but he certainly felt intimidated by him, as one would by a lieutenant. Especially one of such a reputation and voice as Lieutenant Bush.

His breaths coming short, he had jumped a few ropes and over a few things, had to squirm past a pair of Tars, nearly came in contact with another few, before he was able to approach the cabin. He looked at the marines guarding the door and cleared his throat.

"..Mister Bush sends his regards.." He found his voice squeaking. Where were all the midshipmen when one needed them?! He gulped and stood there. "Need to pass word to the captain."
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:07 am

Upon hearing the boy's request, one of the Marines turned and knocked on the door. Bolitho heard the knock and promptly opened it.

"Yes? What is it?" he said, his eyes quickly taking in the frightened-looking boy standing in front of the door.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:17 am

"Mister Bush sends his regards and.. he says to pass on t'... we have provosts, sir." It sounded a bit as if they had an infestation of lice. He stammered. " By the side... they come to... they want somethin', board us." He added quickly.

He dropped his gaze and blushed. He could feel proud he hadn't messed it all up the way he said it. Didn't much stutter!
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Cross Johnson on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:25 am

"..Did you not hear? Do you not know who we are?! Let us on board!"

Johnson curled his lip. "No," he drawled, "I don't know who the hell you are, and you're not gettin' aboard 'less a proper officer says you can!"

Honestly. If this was how the army operated, he was very glad that he'd gone for a Marine!

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:26 am

Wonderful. That was all he needed, provosts coming to the ship. What did they want, praytell? Bolitho had a sinking feeling it had something to do with the men who had gone ashore, and if so, then he was sorely disappointed in them for having caused trouble.

"Thank you for informing me. I will be on deck presently," he said at last.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:31 am

"Aye, sir!" The boy smiled, gave a quick salute and without wasting a moment more where he was no longer needed, the lad, Johnny by name, made his way back to the railing where the provosts remained, still glaring quite angrily at the marines who offered them an open threat with the pair of their muskets.

He saw the corporal and tried to remember how it was a proper way to address him. It wasn't sir, because he wasn't an officer like the lieutenants or captain, but it wasn't nothing either, since he was a corporal. Well, the smartest and easiest way could just be saying the obvious: "Corporal Johnson." He waited for a moment before he was to deliver his news. "..t' captain and t' lieutenant have been informed.. t' cap'n willl be 'ere presently." He glanced to the side. "They still 'ere?"
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Cross Johnson on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:34 am

"Course they're still here," Johnson grumbled. "But they ain't no smarter for it, I'll tell you."

At least the cutter was keeping a careful distance now. That was better than nothing.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:45 am



After having despatched the boy to get Bolitho, Bush made his way over to the side where the Marines were standing. Looking down into the water, he saw the cutter floating nearby, along with the irritated expressions of the provosts within it.

"Who are you and what is your business here?" Bush called down to the men. Even though he was well-aware of who they were and what they wanted, he needed to hear them confirm it.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:48 am

"What they here for?" The boy asked. It was quite a crowd that gathered to look at the strangers in their little cutter. Some have begun to disperse though, deciding to stay close but not in the way. If there was a change, these provosts trying to board again, they would know it.

Johnny glanced to his friends, but not one of them seemed to have much new to say. The provosts were there. They yelled, they waited and then they backed away. That's how it was. They did not want to face the wrath of no firearm yet they neither wanted to leave before they've made themselves heard. "Not one fell in yet!" One of the boys complained. "Is t' least they could do." Agreed another of the powder monkeys with a grin.

In the cutter the provosts heard the shout and were turning their vessel about so that they could near the ship again. The very same man, the officer most likely, at the front shouted the answer. "Provosts! We need to speak to your captain on behalf of crew!" He must've shouted more, but the wind carried his voice away, so that muffled words were all that came in turn to reach the deck.
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:55 am



On behalf of crew. What had those damned sailors been doing ashore? Bush frowned, not pleased to hear that the crew had been getting into mischief while on leave.

"The captain has been informed of your presence, and he will be coming shortly!" Bush hollered, "In the meantime, I would request that you be patient until he arrives and be respectful when he does."

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:02 am

A real officer, by the looks of it. The provost's own seemed pleased. Atleast he looked more pleased than just a moment ago when he thought that they would be shot.

"Certainly, Mister.... " He did not finish, not knowing the man's name, but rather continued in a different direction: "Could you inform your captain that we request permission to board his ship, and will be honoured if .." Must've been hard to say that:" he would give us his audience."
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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Cross Johnson on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:08 am

Naturally, Johnson hadn't yet bothered ordering Grattan and Higgins to shoulder their arms. He had no interest in letting those supposed provosts get close enough to the ship to get up to any mischief, until Mister Bush or the captain said otherwise.

"Dunno if that lot's worth trustin', sir," Johnson said quietly to Mister Bush. "Came rowin' up, bold's you please, callin' out Terpischore when I hailed 'em. Even landsmen know how to answer a challenge properly."

The corporal shook his head. "Ain't right, t'all."

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:11 am



"Lieutenant Bush," Bush said in response to the provost's initial comment, "And you may make that request to the captain yourself when he arrives."

Blasted provosts. He could not believe the crew had run afoul of them, and now here they were, demanding to be let aboard. Bush was fuming over both of these thoughts. At least he knew he was not alone in his anger. Johnson clearly was just as upset.

"I share your concern, corporal, and I'm fairly certain the captain will feel the same," he replied to Johnson.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:50 am

The provost officer saw that it was lieutenant that addressed him, but saw not the captain yet arrive. With a scoff and a sour, angry expression he sat back into the boat, which rocked dangerously for a moment before it settled to rise and fall on the tame waves.

One of the provosts, perhaps having had some drink the other day, was already resembling the colour of a sickly plant, his expression no longer that of anger but rather of one who might bring his dinner soon to feed the fish.

Impatiently the commanding official looked up at the ship again. He had not yet considered how he would climb it, without falling from it, but knew that once the complaint was made, it was both on this conduct as well as that of the sailors whom he was sure were from this ship. It was indeed to be ashamed of, the way it was run, what it allowed the men to do! Shameful both now, when they were not received on ship but so openly mocked. Poor discipline, he supposed. It could be nothing else but that. But then he was upset as his and his men's pride was tarnished by the handful of muck and the unsuccessful prosecution done the other evening.

"Would you then send for the captain?" He shouted after he'd thought that time passed either at the slowest pace possible or much of it had gone by already.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Richard Bolitho on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:38 pm

"The captain has been sent for!" Bush snapped. The provosts' lack of patience was beginning to make him lose his own patience with them. Thankfully, Bolitho appeared on deck just as Bush had spoken, effectively ending any further debate about the captain's arrival. Bush touched his hat as Bolitho approached; the latter nodded in response.

"Mr. Bush, I take it there are some men here who wish to see me," Bolitho said, peering over the side.

"Yes sir. They claim to be provosts," Bush said, raising an eyebrow slightly, "Apparently some of the crew were into trouble ashore."

"So I gathered." Bolitho shook his head, then turned his attention to the men in the boat, "I am Captain Bolitho. May I inquire as to why you are here?"

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Jacob Chase on Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:52 pm

"Chase!" Taylor hissed. "No, keep down, you idiot! It's them provosts again!"

The topman crouched by the boat tier, his eyes widening just a little. "What're they doin' here?"

"Comin' for us, I think," Taylor answered, his voice barely a whisper. "Never thought I'd be happy for havin' ol' Cross-eyes around, 'til just now, though!"

Dyer appeared nearby and the other two seamen quickly cursed him into joining them out of sight. "We better get below an' stay there," Taylor added, with a pointed glance at Dyer's bruised nose. "Hopefully the cap'n'll send those lubbers packin'."

This made sense, and the trio made their way casually toward the ladder.

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Re: Evening 24th May - Mucked make a visit

Post  Allhands on Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:10 pm

They would have to repeat their reason of being there. The Provost thought how quaint that was, though ne possibly had not known that the ship to which they have sailed, was of a good captain and a fair crew. He hadn't known of their history and how they have brought a prize in early, nor what fine role they had in the attack of the shore and their joint enemy. Should he have known all that, perhaps he would still have been ill at ease, yet atleast ... or well, perhaps it would not have made any difference. He did know many crews and ships took part in that landing so he could not have been completely ignorant of it.

"We are here on the account of some of your men whose atrocious behavour had been conducted on land the other evening. We are to believe that the men are of your ship, having shouted the name as such, and would like that we speak more of this aboard your ship." He called out and had now to breathe easy, shouting doing no wonders to his voice, even worse when prolonging this.
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