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27th May with the provosts

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Post  Jenny Ross Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:49 am

(From morning with the wagons)

Jenny stumbled as the provost pulled on her arm. After the initial altercation they had tied her hands - the irons would have slipped off her slim wrists like bracelets - and it was difficult to keep balance every time the man jerked her forward. "Is that really necessary?" she protested, holding up her hands. "I can walk on my own. Look, I'm sure we can reach some sort of agreement. I'm not even on the strength - my husband died - so I'm not under army rules, or rations. Will you stop?"

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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:56 pm

The woman's voice rose in complaint from behind Lambert, and he rolled his eyes heavenwards and yanked hard on the rope. "Shurrup, you," he said, curtly. In the scuffle they'd had to catch her, she'd kicked him in the shins and gotten her elbow into his gut, hard, before he'd wrestled her arms under control. She was only lucky he wasn't getting his kicks in now. He might have, if the other two provosts weren't there with him.
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:06 pm

"Just... slow down at least! And quit pulling! Will you just slow down a minute and listen to me?"

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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:09 pm

"I'll stop pullin' if you quit draggin'." He snorted. "An' talkin'. I ain't interested in anythin' you has to say. Save it for the Provost-Marshal."
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:22 pm

"But I'm saying, I don't need to see the Provost-Marshal, because I'm not on the strength. He'd just get angry with you for wasting his time asking to deny me rations, because I don't get rations. It's just bread, just a loaf of dry stale bread not fit for the birds, and it's not easy for a widow, and I have to feed my baby, my dead Johnny's baby." The baby that appeared in times of trouble; the baby she had carried for the past five years.

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:28 pm

"Just one? You sure? Not twins? And hoverin' at death's door, the pair of 'em?" sneered a voice from behind her. If Sykes had heard one excuse, he'd heard them all. Multiple times. He wasn't sure why anyone expected him to care. He didn't. It was above his pay grade.
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:31 pm

"I don't know," she said, giving him the look of an anguished angel before nearly losing her footing again. She held her crossed hands over her belly. "I don't know yet. I've never had a baby before. It's all I have left of my Johnny now."

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:48 pm

Sykes gave a harsh bark of laughter. "Eyes for'ard, lass. 'Less you fancy bein' dragged the whole way."
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:55 pm

This time when she stumbled she was unable to steady herself. She fell to the ground with a curse. "I said slow down! You oughta try walking in long skirts. Shift your foot," she grumbled, looking up at the man who was standing on the hem of her dress.

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:04 pm

Rolling his eyes, Sykes removed his foot from her skirt, before bending down and grabbing her by the arm. "You could always take 'em off," he smirked, yanking her upright.
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:10 pm

She studied his face for a brief moment, trying to read his intent. What was the best card to play in this situation? She glanced at his companions and then back at him. "I'd never manage on my own," she said, holding up her hands. Then she smiled. "You'd have to let me go."

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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:40 pm

Lambert glanced sideways at the woman and her smile. Then he gave Sykes a warning stare.

"Ain't gonna let you go," he said shortly. "No matter what you says. You can have a dozen little 'uns for all I care. If you ain't got nothin' to worry about, then you ain't got nothin' to be feared of...have you now?"

"Sykes, keep yer mind outta yer britches," he added.
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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:51 pm

Sykes shrugged, grinning ruefully. "Right," he said, twisting her around by the shoulders and giving her a shove in Lambert's direction. "You heard the man. Nothin' to worry about."
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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:06 pm

"I only meant - well I might have something to worry about if the Provost-Marshal isn't as understanding as you lads are. He might not listen to me or believe me. You know what it's like. He probably ignores your explanations all the time. All the same, those officers. They're not like us."

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:13 pm

"Ya hear that, Lambert? We're understanding," said Sykes, chuckling at the idea. "And o' course he ignores our explanations," he added, addressing the girl, "When we're just repeating the half-baked yarns you lot spin us."
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Post  sans nom Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:38 pm

"Yarns ain't baked, ya daft toad," Stephenson observed, speaking for the first time in several minutes. He had been examining the bread and dried meat to judge whether or not they were commissary issue. It had taken considerable quiet examination. "Tastes French, I'd say. That be looting."

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:55 pm

"Finished chewing, have you?" remarked Sykes, glancing with mild irritation at Stephenson, "I tell you what, you "taste" much more o' that an' there won't be nothin' left to charge her with."
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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:02 pm

"Give it here," Lambert snapped at Stephenson, snatching the food out of his hands. He nibbled a bit of it himself - just testing the evidence. "How does you knows it tastes French?" he demanded of the other man.
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Post  sans nom Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:05 pm

"Cause I knows," he retorted. Then he looked back at the girl, remembering what she had said earlier. "Course we're understanding. We can be very understanding. A lotta women say so. They're very grateful to us."

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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:12 pm

"Like who? Your mum?" laughed Sykes, giving Stephenson a light shove.
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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:15 pm

Lambert snorted at Stephenson. "I unnerstands I'm sick of all the yappin'."
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Post  sans nom Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:16 pm

"Sykes! You're both daft," Stephenson replied, shoving him back with interest. "I mean like this pretty little woman. You'd be grateful, wouldn't you, missy?"

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Post  Jenny Ross Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:19 pm

Jenny had been attempting to free her wrists while they were distracted, and now she looked up with surprise.

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Post  boots Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:24 pm

Lambert had already appraised the woman, and his shin was still sore. It put him in a bad mood, and not one in which he was very willing to be understanding, 'gratitude' or no. He came to a halt, folding his arms. The negative was clear on his face as he glared at all three of the others.
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Post  outis Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:33 pm

Sykes withstood Lambert's glare for several moments. Then, with a shrug, he dropped his gaze. "If you say so," he mumbled. It was a waste of a perfectly good opportunity, but what could you do? "Come on, then. Get moving," he told the girl, giving her a swat on the backside.
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