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25th May Coming early

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25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:38 am

The cantine was full with water and heavy. It swung and tapped against his side as he walked and he was still early when he entered the grounds presently occupied by the 60th. Men asleep for the most part, he sat outside instead, glancing up at the guards by the door. Slipping his hand into his coat he brought the little chick out and gave it a scoop of water. It wasn't loud when it chirped. Quietly observing him, the small animal squirmed back into the confines of his coat.

The rain would be clearing up that day. He wasn't sure how soon, but it wasn't looking as bad already and his coat felt nicely warm, even if it were at the very least, moist. He felt that with the officers as tense, another trip to the 33rd - the wherabouts of which he wasn't quite sure of - would not be in a while. Not unless something drastic would have happened. If there were any more deserters from the ranks, the control might just turn into a tight sort. Shuffling further under the part of the roof that stuck out offering him full shelter from the raindrops, he sat there for a few moments then stood. Carefully tucking his coat he entered their 'cottage' and from his pack took his kit and from its place against the wall, his rifle. Out in the fresh air again he made himself comfortable under the same bit of roof, and began pecking away at his weapon, just to make sure it was all well, once the rest were up.

He needed to inform his friend that he wasn't dead just not coming for a while. He frowned and looked down at the lock of his rifle, checking the pan and the flint. The latter should be good for a good number of shots more. Couldn't be sure with any of them flints of course.

"Ey." There were some young ones about, hopefully not thieving away at soldier's belongings. He thought he recognised the child. "Come 'ere." Whatever reason the lad was even up here. "Can you do something for me?" He asked lying his rifle across his knees. The boy perked his head up looking at the green coated man curiously. "Sure." He said after a few moments coming closer.

"You know Wilton Johnny don't ya? ..he's in the same regiment as your pa." The boy nodded, his face clearing a bit. He recognised the rifleman now. "Do." He answered simply. "Well, can you tell 'im that I'm not going to be around for a while.They're all worried about us straying places so I best stick close to t' rifles."

The boy nodded. "Will do. " Pye smiled and ruffled the child's hair. "Be on your way now, before you get shot for being so far." He nodded. "Go."

And the child, though making a face at the young rifleman turned and ran in the direction that would eventually lead him to his family and home.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:31 am

"Was were you on there?" A low tone of a rifleman was heard, stirring the young lad out of his thoughts. "You planning on leaving?" He indicated the child that acted as a messanger all too obviously. He had been by the door and so was able to hear the young upstart easily.

"Or just being all worked up over the changes?" He arched an eyebrow. "Been awfully quiet for a time now." He indicated for the lad to remain seated, just as he would instead take his place by his side. A German by the name of Weber had spoken all that and was now calmly observing the Englishman.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:36 am

His cheerful demanour was quickly fading into a look of uncertainty and discomfort. He hadn't felt any ill feelings from that man, that German but in the past day or more he felt the rest to have been decisively rude.

"..No. Wouldn't leave." He said subtly, timidly and dropped his gaze to the soft chirping under the warm wool of his coat. "Is my duty to stay..." And he said no more. A while passed and the young lad still remained quiet, staring at the floor and then at his shoes. They were worn, damaged a bit by the grounds that were littered with stones and sharp rock. He could've said it was his loyalty to the captain, Mister Vickery, that kept him there, but perhaps even that would anger a German.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:50 am

"..Right." Weber seemed to know more than he let on. Men did talk no matter the use of the language, they did complain, they did voice their opinions and thus, although not as much as women did, they made situations much more widely known.

"..Don't listen to them. I've seen you shoot. Might not have the courage to speak up your mind, to be loud like them Volk.. aber.. you've got the things that count." He placed his hand on Pye's shoulder and blinked as he heard that chirping again.

"So, don't take it to heart." He nodded in the direction of the fluffed beasty. "And don't chirp with it either." He laughed. They still had time. He had taken care of his gear, packed it up, had his rifle safely away from the water and thus while others would begin to wake, he could freely chat there.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:53 am

Pye raised his hand defensively over the chick, till he saw that Weber meant it no harm. He was laughing, not cruely or as one who had just made a fool of the other, but merrily.

"..Thanks." The youth murmured and reached into his coat slowly allowing the little thing some more air, even if he still shielded it from the worst cold. "...Why?" Still quiet he observed as the bird looked on curiously at the large man.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:55 am

"Because.. there ain't everyone who's bitter about themselves." He grinned and held his hand out so that the bird could jump to him if it so chose. "There's also some of us who can see beyond that." He reached up and ruffled Pye's hair as he would to his son. "Get your rifle ready..there's breakfast soon and then we're off."
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:56 am

The boy blinked, flinching at first till he realised he was not about to be struck. He stared at Weber for a moment and then nodded. "..Thanks..." He looked on embarrased, not knowing the name of the German who'd been a bafflement to him so far.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:00 am

Weber grunted in reply and stood. "Be ready when we march out, not a speck on that." He paused. "We aren't the 95th..the motley crew if ever I saw one." Before Pye could protest he turned on his heel. He held his hand out, and in it he held a bit of feed that would be useful for the chick, letting it drop in Pye's palm he went back for the door. The weather was improving, he noted. Never perfect, but anything was better than a thorough downpour.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:13 am

Holding his palm to the chick he waited as it pecked away at the food, gazing thoughtfully infront of him. Marching out would happen pretty soon. Atleast all his things were ready too. Somehow getting up earlier than most seemed like a fine idea, though how long he could master that he wasn't sure. A body would take just a certain amount of little sleep. He'd been waking up earlier with the riflemen as opposed to the 33rd. Even earlier if he wanted to be done by the time the rest were up and yawning.

He examined his palm and the amount of food left in it and decided his pet had had enough. Slipping the remains into the pocket of his coat he stood up. "In." He murmured tucking the fluff of feathers under the side of his coat. He'd already decided where else it could travel, and be safe from being squished.

Slipping inside he avoided the several legs that jutted out, and ducked around to his pack.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:39 am

+++

Not too long after, the riflemen were seen fastening their knapsacks, and checking that all of their belongings were packed safely in them. Weber swung a rifle over his shoulder and took a stand beside Braun and Schreiber. Koch was cursing whomever had mislaid his shako.

A few others have been ready and slipped out to gather shoulder to shoulder, and wait till the orders were given. The lieutenant wasn't there again, though few looked surprised.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:44 am

Ducking under an extended arm of another rifleman, dark haired and burly, Pye moved to take his place with the men he was assigned to. Right on time. He straightened himself, gazed ahead along with the many others, a hand with his rifle and in complete silence. There was some clanks heard from those still hurrying to reach their post. A few murmurs at the back, which were quickly ended when their sergeants and corporals came into sight.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:28 am

Silence prevailed, as men stood and waited in perfect order. Rifles slung, their eyes ahead. And then the shout came, even if the lieutenant was not yet with them. The German officer's wherabouts were not speculated on. He would join them later, if.

They broke off as one. The order had been for the 'scout's march'. And thus they ran a few steps, then walked a few, and again ran, as the pattern repeated itself. They could see the Hussars appear and take over their billet. Since nothing was left behind, their attention returned to the direction that they were taking. A good run to wake one's limbs and warm up their bodies. And later, they'd probably have been given a standard rifleman's march. Still faster than that of the normal infantry, it would be less tireing than the present.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:58 am

Pye felt quite warm rather quickly, adjusting his rifle as it slipped and rode lower as time progressed. The knapsack was the usual way of uncomfortable, and sadly not yet that of the French. Those were by far more comfortable than these, they rode less into the shoulders and over the chest.

The chick was quiet, and seemed to be getting used to the strange sort of travel rather quickly.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:46 am

Another order was issued and at last the men slowed from their part run part walk. They still walked briskly. Germans and a few English together, though they refrained from talking to one another. The men who fought in pairs, walked close to one another for the most part.

A couple hours later, and there was a short break for the riflemen. Schreiber uncorked his canteen and drank from it briskly. Braun commented quietly on what he believed was there along with the water and recieved a faint shrug which turned into a curt shake of Schreiber's head.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:17 am

"Hey, any'body got any water on them?" It was one of the younger riflemen, a skinny German by the name of Bachmeier. He'd thought it best to carry light and thus not to fill his canteen full. A smart idea at the time it was now proving to be less so. Even with the moist air and their surroundings, he felt the thirst just start.

"Hat jemand ein bisschen wasser?" He went quietly from one to the other, careful that a sergeant would not hear him. He'd seen what they could do with men who were as 'smart' as he. March them with their throats dry and themselves feeling as sick as hell. Pye watched him, but as he was about to offer his, a hand stopped him. "Save it..."

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:18 pm

Bachmeier didn't think to ask for permission to get the slip of paper which allowed him a few moments from his company. It was a wise choice even if his previous one had been flawed. Braun called the lad over and gave him a sharp smack, which remained hidden from the view of the sergeant.

"You idiot. That's been the third march atleast that you've been leeching off of the others." He whispered sharply to the man. "You are getting this much of it now." He tore Bachmeier's canteen from his grasp and had some water poured from his own. A little went past the neck of it too. "But that's the last time. " His eyes narrowed on the boy."I find you begging for it again and you'll get a damn thumping."
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:00 pm

Pye observed the exchange in silence. Bachmeier looked to have some of that threat sink in. He might not have said much to it, but he was rather swift in taking his canteen and corking it up.

The hand that held the lad back earlier was gone, and as he turned he could just see Schreiber's back. He drank some water, having a vague knowledge , be weight, how much he could take each of the stops. With it safely stored away, by his side he adjusted his rifle. A small less than a palmful of water was given to the chick before it too was placed out of sight. It was still warm, and looked lively. He relaxed gazing to their left at the raugh terrain that hid as much as it revealed on the ground.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:44 pm

Bachmeier took a few miniscule sips from his canteen. Schreiber and Braun knelt by the side of the path that they were on, studying the marks in the moistened floors. The imprints were much deeper than usual thanks to the great amount of rain. There were a few which they reckoned could be of animals, and some of horses. Still however it was quite possible they were made by their own cavalry, even as a report was made to the sergeant.

He came to inspect them himself, an old seasoned rifleman who was in his past a poacher and since had served a good deal in the army. "If it's French." He muttered in his accented English. "Then there's too few of them. They'll be masacred by the militia."

While the brief conversation went with the higher ranked, the lower ones speculated on its origin as well. But Fuhrman's suggestion that it could've been a lot carrying valuables was smoothly dismissed. The tracks of the sort were in great abundance elsewhere. On the path that they were taking.
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:55 pm

"Could be that pair too. Remember? One of them has a horse that follows him around like a dog. The other.. well didn't know who it was, only that he looked Portuguese and dressed as a civilian. Think they went this way or that, ahead of us. Or atleast one of them sort." Kirsch with an equally odd nick name supplied quietly and shrugged.

It seemed that the officers were not giving the tracks more thought, as the order was given to form a column and march again. Two riflemen hurried back, buttoning their breeches and cursing their luck.

Pye joined with the rest , sparing the marks one final glance.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Allhands on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:36 am

"Where's the lieutenant.." Whispered Kirsch to the man that walked by his side. "Shouldn't.." He was silence with a glance. The attention was to be most on their surroundings and so it was.

"Busy." Farber answered. "With them others probably. " He shrugged.

"Others?" The question was spoken as softly, quietly.

"Not our officers, if that's what your asking. Not of our colours either. Barely notice he's ours if not for his coat n' collar." Farber muttered under his breath indicating the direction from which a flock of birds rose to the sky. Dark heads, greyish bellies, thicker beaks and some other markings that distinguished them from the other species. The reason for their flight was soon known. A bird of prey appeared and made a sharp dive for them.

"..So.. I see." He nodded and confirmed the sighting as probably did several up ahead of them. "Just nature spooking its own."


Last edited by Allhands on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:46 am

"Here he comes." Kirsch indicated the young lieutenant and the men straightened again, their eyes ahead. He couldn't help himself but to add a near silent. "...was about time."

The march was continued. Pye noticed that the ones who had earlier whispered most , though he didn't hear what they were saying, were now quiet and bent on doing their duty. Set an example perhaps, or just simply concentrate on what they were meant to be doing anyway.

The 95th were ahead of them probably. How else would they learn - at a far later time of course - that they've found a wagon filled with loot. Good loot, but placed under guard by the officers so as nothing would be taken by the good honest soldier.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:39 pm

Cotton whistled as he marched along. It was a lovely day... not weather-wise, admittedly, but still a good day. He uncorked his canteen, taking just enough to wet his mouth before corking it again, and winking at Pye.

"You all right there, mate?" he said. "We ain't goin' too fast for you, are we?"

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:18 pm

Pye turned his head about in surprise and not little uncertainty at being addressed. His cheeks were warm, his breathing - even with all the best effort - still a few breaths faster than that of the seasoned riflemen. The redcoats had a different, slower paced sort of march which left the young lad, even if trained well, still short of breath if enough time passed. He grinned, seeing it was Cotton that spoke. The man left him feel at ease.

"Ah no..yes... no.." He stumbled over his words, undecided whether he would be better to lie or admit to it. "..A'right." He nodded and pulled a bit at the straps of his pack to ease their pressure on his shoulders. With the leather of the rifle riding low, he gave that another tug.

"A bit fast.. but not too fast. "Honesty seemed to be the better choice after all. "I will manage." He added in earnest.

"N' yourself?..I mean." He dropped his gaze as far as he felt comfortable to. "Today..wasn't bad sleepin' eh?"

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Gabriel Cotton on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:26 pm

"Make your mind up," Cotton said amicably, adjusting the straps of his own pack a little. "You'm either all right, or you ain't, simple as that." He seemed to be coping all right, anyway.

He whistled a few more bars. The going wasn't so easy, but he didn't mind a little thing like that, not when he had the lovely Maggie for his wife. He almost couldn't believe that she'd said yes to his clumsy proposal.

"No, it was a good night's sleep last night," he said, though maybe it wasn't quite as good as the night before, when Maggie had slept beside him.

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Re: 25th May Coming early

Post  Zachary Pye on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:52 pm

(smacks the wrong button.. -.-)

"I'm alright." He confirmed with greater confidence. He would be better in a few days, if he still lived through the fighting that might occur. But for now, alright was great, and as he forced his chest to steady into a slower pace for a few moments, and his breathing to remain more quiet he felt rather triumphant. "How's your lass?" He asked with a fond smile.

Lifting his foot over a stone, he heard and felt the drag and pull of the mud as it tried to rid him of his shoe, or secure him to the spot. It failed and the rifleman continued, a bit of mud flying and splattering all that was close enough. The bottoms of his trousers were protected some by the gaiters, yet even those felt heavy and damp.

Ahead of them the path would veer and become somewhat harder to walk on and even more slippery, with marks that suggested the enemy's army must've crossed the same land. It wasn't so fresh though as to suggest they were a stone throw's distance away from 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
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Species : British Riflemen; 5/60th Rifles
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Location : Waiting for dinner
Member since : 2009-02-14

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