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8 August; dans la plus haute chambre

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Post  sans nom Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:16 am

"They should find their own food!  They may be using our houses, but we're not their slaves."  

Manuela was not actually sure how the food situation would be managed.  Her aunt had been feeding Dominic and Paol, though Paol had barely eaten anything since the army arrived, but she had not fed the other three so far as Manuela knew.  But she herself had spent most of the day in this room, and she was not sure.  She had heard them coming and going at the front door, though, and she thought they must have gone to eat with other soldiers.  Perhaps they simply had work to do.  How did soldiers spend their days when they weren't fighting or looting?  

"They should go to market and buy food for us. And cook it."

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Post  outis Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:51 am

"But then we'd have to eat it!" Maria laughed. "Can you imagine Don Tibodo cooking?"
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Post  sans nom Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:18 am

Manuela burst out laughing, momentarily forgetting all about the sleeping soldier in the bed. "I didn't mean him! I meant their servants!"

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Post  outis Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:52 am

"Ah, now that would be something," Maria agreed, smiling, "But I still don't know if I would trust a soldier's cooking. Especially one named Dog."
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Post  sans nom Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:36 am

She laughed again. "Is his name really Dog? That's what Martita said but I didn't believe her."

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Post  outis Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:44 am

"Martita!" Maria exclaimed with an exasperated sigh, "She won't say a Christian word to the man, she insists on barking at him!"
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Post  sans nom Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:19 pm

"I can imagine," Manuela replied with a laugh.  "I caught her making animal noises at the blind fellow earlier when he was trying to sleep.  Though she did have some little wooden animals with her.  But they probably wouldn't understand her chatter anyway!"

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Post  outis Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:19 pm

"Charcot?"

Maria looked in alarm at the bed and then at Manuela as the soldier began to stir.
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Post  sans nom Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:29 pm

Manuela covered her mouth with her hand. How could she have been laughing so loudly and carelessly? She sat very still, wondering if he would perhaps fall asleep again. Perhaps he was asleep anyway.

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Post  outis Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:01 pm

Maria watched as he shivered and blinked his eyes open. He seemed confused at first and she held her breath, willing him to go back to sleep, but then his eyes focused on something unseen across the room and widened with fear. He shrank back into the pillow, stammering out a weak, pitiful babble of sounds. She could make out the word for 'no', but it was otherwise incomprehensible to her.

She looked nervously at Manuela. "Is it like a dream? Should we try to wake him?"
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Post  sans nom Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:10 pm

Manuela watched him intently. "I don't know. Poor thing. Paol?" She knelt at the side of the bed where she would be in his line of vision. "Are you awake? Do you want some l'eau?"

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Post  outis Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:26 pm

The Frenchman pulled away from her with a frightened cry, pulling his arm up to try to shield his face. He flinched as if from a blow, tossing and twisting on the mattress.
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Post  sans nom Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:35 pm

It was like a stab to Manuela's heart the way he reacted, even though she knew it wasn't a reaction to her. He was probably imagining some battle. But why, when it was daylight and he ought to be able to see her perfectly? She was obviously not an enemy soldier.

"Paol, it's me, Manuela!"

She looked back at the door, wishing that one of the soldiers would be passing by, or better yet, the surgeon, but there was no one. The blind one was in the kitchen still, but he would probably fall to pieces as soon as he laid eyes on his friend.

"It's all right, Paol, it's fine!" she continued, looking at Maria helplessly.

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Post  Paol Kerjean Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:45 am

Paol shut his eyes, shrinking away from the blows and the snarling laughter. Then abruptly it seemed to fade. There was someone close by, but it was not Decoste or any of his other barracks mates. It was a woman, a girl. He blinked. Manuela? Had he been--

"She's a right pretty one, ain't she?" came Decoste's sneering voice. Paol started, his gaze snapping away from Manuela to the foot of the bed. The other soldier was just a few feet away.

"No. No, leave her alone! Please, Decoste--"

"And what are you going to do about it?" He laughed, "You're shivering, Rafale, you cold? Or just pissing yourself as usual?"

Something was wrong with one of his arms. Paol fumbled with the other, trying desperately to push himself up.

"Very pretty," Decoste continued. "Dark hair, dark eyes, fine skin..." His voice sounded almost like Bright's.

"Stay away from her!" But the words came out more as a plea than a command. He was helpless, just as helpless and pathetic as he'd been in training.
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Post  sans nom Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:44 am

"Shh, it's fine!" Manuela repeated, attempting to take gentle hold of his hand. She looked up at Maria. "Can you go and fetch the blind fellow?"

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Post  Dominic Charcot Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:26 am

In the kitchen, Charcot was sitting at the table watching the old woman as she instructed Martita in the art of cooking.  He could not follow their conversation, and the woman clearly thought he should not be allowed to interfere in their food preparation, so he sat at the table, nibbling the bread and cheese that she had bestowed on him to stay his appetite.

When the bread and cheese were gone, he turned his attentions to the girl's little wooden animals.  It was marvelous to look at them and see all the details of the grain, and to see tiny cracks in the wood's surface that he could also feel with his fingers.  He never would have imagined that looking at a little wooden horse could be so extraordinary and wondrous.
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Post  outis Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:30 am

Despite her best efforts to concentrate, Martita remained easily distracted and she kept craning her neck to see what the Frenchman was up to.

"What are you doing with Horse?" she demanded, catching him playing with one of her wooden animals.
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Post  Dominic Charcot Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:33 am

He grinned and made the horse trot across the table. "Neigh!"
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Post  outis Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:41 am

She blew out her lips, making a loud whuffling sound back at him.
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Post  Dominic Charcot Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:47 am

Was that supposed to be a horse noise?  He laughed.  Then he looked at the horse thoughtfully.  "It was a horse that made me go blind.  I think.  Like this."  He made a man with his two fingers, and then made the horse tip over and trap his hand.

"Augh, help, help!" Then he pointed at himself. "That was me."
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Post  outis Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:07 am

"Oh, no!" she cried, "Be careful, Horse! Uh oh..." He now had her full attention and she turned away from the table where Doña Castillo was working and stood watching him. "You? A horse fell on you?" she demanded, her eyes round with fascination. "Is that how you became blind?"
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Post  Dominic Charcot Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:06 am

"It was me, yes.  Under a caballo.  A dead caballo I think.  And my legs," pointing at the limbs in question, "were stuck.  So I shouted help, help!  And then Paol..."  His other hand formed the walking legs of another figure.  Then he pointed upstairs.  "You know Paol?  BIG tall strong Paol."
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Post  outis Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:05 am

"Paolo?" she repeated, creeping closer, "What did he do?"
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Post  Dominic Charcot Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:23 am

Charcot smiled. "Yeah, Paolo. He came over and he pushed and lifted and pulled the horse off." He accompanied his commentary with appropriate actions for his finger men, dragging the horse aside. "And then I got up, and I couldn't see anything." He closed his eyes and waved his hands out in front of him, pretending to nearly grab the little girl.
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Post  outis Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:55 am

Martita gave a little squeak of laughter and leapt back out of reach. "Paolo really lifted a horse?" she asked wonderingly, "A great big one?" She spread her arms wide to illustrate.
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