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22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

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22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:29 pm

It was late in the evening when they were all hoarded into one of the rooms that served as a prison for the officers before they were to be sent onto the ships. Below, down a set of stairs and around the staircase, coming to a much less ornamented door, guarded by a pair of sentries, were the common soldiers with their own accomodations much more packed. Though the room was smaller than that of their officers, a far greater number had been shoved inside, unarmed, wounded with
those that had given their arms too quickly and far too willingly. A fight had broken out an hour since. The men separated, there was no telling when their blood would boil again.

The young officer that stood gazing through the window looked anything but pleased. His fist had been clenched and unclenched several times and subtle curses had come, in hushed whisper. The news that he was soon to end his career of battle and that he was to be, quite against his will, transported to England did not sit well with him. But he stood amongst his peers and his ideals would be quenched
perhaps, his hopes and wishes not made to be in that of great promotion, but rather in that of poor company and of boredom.


Below another officer had been of a similiar idea in that he did not want to go, but he had protested when told. It was a claim he made that landed him among the common soldiers, his swearing that he shall take his word, in the case that he would be forced to depart the land of Portugal for the land of much more frequent rain. It was somewhat ironic that it rained just then and that the grounds were caked in
mud, cold droplets cascading down cheeks of those outside. Now he was here, watching the men despair, ache and some even be pleased.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Allhands on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:31 pm

'' You are serious about this?'' Pierre asked. The young dark haired man was one of the few that Saint-Hilare found just as unready to go anywhere but back to the field.

''Yes.'' Saint-Hilaire answered stiffly and glanced at the window high above them. It would not fit even the smallest of drummer boys and allowed little light to enter the room. It was a servant's window , in part broken. Andrien studied the old and young men recognising among them even his own, 17th Light Infantry. When they saw him enter, just hours ago, they had gone to him and those who could not, he came to them. Some of the prisoners had gone to sleep as it was quite late. The sentries outside were chatting away, their officers gone for whichever task or reason. They chuckled unafraid that their captives would attempt to flee. They looked beaten, and the men heard stories of how the French feared the Portuguese militia, how they were willing to desert and how they were loosing. Any of those mentioned reasons was enough , certainly, to keep them from any funny business.

A snore announced that the third of their party, slumped in his seat, had finally come to succumb to exhaustion. '' Look at him.'' One of the redcoated sentries commented. ''sleepin' as good as dead.'' The other laughed and nudged his foot against the man's ankle. ''Leave him be. Ain't like we need the three of us for these sleepin' sods.'' He indicated the door with his thumb. ''Frogs won't be hoppin' nowhere but to the ships or wherever else they are intended.'' He smirked and then their conversation hushed into something far less engaging.

'' You say you have a plan?'' Adrien was not as convinced though a good few words had drilled him into near submission.

From a distance a several sets of eyes had watched the group of three. The officers above had been fed well enough, a while ago. Bribery, that's what it was. Feed a pig and keep him tame for the slaughterhouse.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 pm

''Yes. I've seen this house before.'' Being an officer had some benefits even if the insight of servant quarters wasn't the most common area of being. '' .. Rosbifs.'' They were quiet and watched as the sounds of steps were joined with its source and two sentries had come. Looked, changed and the others left. The pair were more louder at first. A few jest comments were spat in their direction and laughter followed, as if the men thought it was just as hilarious that the Frogs did not understand as it was , what they've said to them.

Saint-Hilaire paced across the room, a short distance, just about as long as the carpet would've been if it lay on the bare floors beneath his feet. ''We are French soldiers, meant to serve Him not to rot in the damned Island's prisons.'' He whirled around his eyes halting on the door.
His gestures had become more erratic. It had begun..

Suddenly he pushed Pierre to the ground and cursed him so loudly that it stirred several other captives from their exhausted slumber. A sound of flesh coming in contact with flesh seemed to have been emphesized by the silence of the late night.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Allhands on Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:15 am

Pierre landed with a heavy thump and caughed as wind was forced from his lungs on contact. With a strangled curse he shoved against Saint-Hilaire. Somehow he managed to dislodge his attacker and shove him to the side. Adrien came to his aid but was kicked so that he stumbled back and fell flat over one of the men seated on the floor. Pierre was upon Saint-Hilaire then, with a fist thumped at his belly. The force of it had the French officer caugh. Pierre rolled to his side and pulled himself up into a crouch before running at the officer. He ducked his head to the side, rammed his shoulder against the man's chest and had them both stumble backwards till the doors were hit.

Outside the senties were not as alarmed as one thudded the butt of his musket against the door. ''Knock it off , you in there!'' Andrews hissed. ''Break it up, Froggies!''

Giving his friend a meaningful look. '' No wonder they're loosin' jus' look at them.''

'' Isn't that their officer that?..What's he doin' in there?'' Smith muttered as he peered in.


''Officer? You ought to be joking. We've got all them officers up in the gennle'man's quarters. Don't even know why.. but there you have it.'' Andrews indicated the ceiling where, about as vaguely as was his knowledge of the layout of the house, the rooms of the rich must've been.

''Well they missed this one al'right.. don't know Frogs much , but I'd have known the officers wouldn't I?'' The best bodies to steal from of course, if one was the first to get to.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:21 am

Saint-Hilaire fell and ducked to the side as Pierre attacked him again. Adrien and a second pair of Frenchmen had come around to grasp a firm hold of the arms of their officer. He couldn't move. As he looked at the two men the beating began.

''Jesus.. they're going to kill him!'' Andrews uttered as he saw the officer's head bounce to the side, limply.

''What do you care? It's their officer.'' Neither had been told much of whom they were guarding. Not really. '' If you want to take the..'' He hadn't even finished as he thrust the doors open pointing his musket threateningly at prisoners. ''Break it off.. you three.. away from that Froggy. You understand? AWAY from t' Froggy officer. Come on, hoppin' you go.'' Adrien and Pierre slowly stood back leaving the limp and lifeless looking lieutenant on the floor.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Allhands on Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:32 am

''Ey.. wake'up... '' Andrews turned back to Smith. ''Come here you big oaf!'' He knelt by the lieutenant's side. He was still breathing. Good. Hmm, maybe he had something in his pockets that hadn't been taken by them damned officers. He reached for the coat when Smith entered his musket poised at the general direction of the crowd.

''Ha ha.. look what I've found.'' Andrews began with a smirk. But as soon as his hand had gripped onto its prize a different one grasped at his wrist and twisted. Working as one Adrien and Pierre jumped forward, one covering his hand over the lock, the other forcing his arm around Smith's neck. There was a struggle where a pair of mouths were gagged before they came out of the shock at was was transpiring, and a sickly sound of something breaking as the wrist was twisted beyond the point that it could go.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:51 am

Saint-Hilaire pulled his would-be-thief down to the floor, and rammed his elbow at his windpipe, driving it hard into the skin. Already men were pouring – those that had been convinced that flight was their best option – through the door and a few more had made good with the sleeping soldier. Many were wounded, too injured that they could follow, others had been unwilling for fear of the Portuguese, and some just fled deciding to make it out on their own, drunk with adrennaline pumping through their veins.

The small group that gathered around Saint-Hilaire was lead down the hall, past the stairs, around to the second door leading outside. The disobedient men's flight worked in their favour. ''Down' round here.. no.. Duck! The other way.'' By the time they've reached the first houses of the slightly poorer inhabitants the British in port had already begun their prosecution.

''In here!'' They slipped through large set of doors and stopped. No more than eight men had squeezed into the smaller room where as luck sometimes has it, clothes were left to dry. ''They'll be looking for us. What now? There's no way we can run through the damned city wearing this.'' Pierre hissed as he wiped his lip on his sleeve nodding at their own clothes. ''If the British won't, the Portuguese will kill
us...''

''Prime time to have second thoughts.'' The lieutenant answered and nodded to the wet piles. ''we'll take this.''

''But those are dresses.'' Protested the private.

''Indeed they are.'' He could not believe he was going to suggest it, but pride had no place in an escape plan. ''.., they'll be looking for men...in French uniform. '' It was enough. Pierre understood and the others, though silently protesting followed their lead.
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Re: 22nd May, late at night, Leaving in a Hurry

Post  Allhands on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:53 am

'Sir.. a house is burning!.. We've managed to round up five escapees so far.'' The redcoat stared nervously at the young lieutenant. He'd been chosen to give the report by simple damned bad luck. ''And how many more are at large?''

''We think that atleast twenty, sir.''

''Think, or know?''

''.... sir... don't know sir.''

++

That night 12 men escaped, two of which were caught the next day. What happened to the rest nobody knew, though there were no reports of French prisoners attempting to leave the town. There were sightings of a collection of women though, but as that was hardly noteworthy the news did not reach, not even the sergeants. Those ten that managed to leave the city went to take a different route to where they believed the French to have gone.
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