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 12th January; Captains Courageous, Vickery, Padstowe, Open
John Vickery
 Posted: Aug 17 2017, 12:03 AM
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Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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It wasn't, perhaps, usual for the Commanding Officer of a Rifle company to wish to take charge himself of a patrol going scouting, but then, Vickery was not exactly a typical officer. Not that Rifle officers were precisely typical anyway, of course, which was why they got under the skin of more conventional officers with the Army. Well, enough of them, anyway.

January also was not the height of the campaigning season - quite the reverse, in fact - but that did not mean that the Army should let its guard down.

"See anything?" he called to the two men on point. They were far enough ahead that a raised voice was necessary, but not so far as to be out of sight.

"Mind you, if there is anything to see, they would have warned us already," he added, speaking to the redcoat officer beside him. Captain Padstowe was not one of the more conventional officers with the Army, despite the colour of his coat. He was more usually to be found roaming the countryside on his own, scouting close to the French lines to discover the whereabouts of the enemy so that he could report their movements back to General Wellesley.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Profile | Wiki page
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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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Friedrich Rottlaender
 Posted: Sep 4 2017, 07:32 PM
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5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
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One of two riflemen who had taken point was already turning around, ready to shout back a negative, when the other suddenly grabbed him and pointed.

It was impossible to spot what had caught his attention, but obviously he deeemed it important enough to signal one of the youngsters of the regiment to him; a short conversion later, the young man was running back at full speed towards the officers, while the two point men dropped into a crouch and advanced in a more stealthy way.

Even thirty feet from Vickery and still hopping like a hare over the sparse clumbs of grass, the rifleman announced in a kind of suppressed, gleeful shout:

"Horses, Captain Vickery, Captain Padstow, Sirs! And Herr Baumgardner says it looks like lazy dragoons and that we should go and surprise them ... Sir."

Somewhat belatedly Rifleman Rottlander seemed to realise that the last bit was probably not meant for his officer's ears - especially since the dragoons belongt to the English side. Rather crimson in the face now, he stumbled to a stop before Vickery and - hoping to improve matters - fell into the most beautiful parade stance.
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John Vickery
 Posted: Sep 4 2017, 08:17 PM
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Whatever Captain Padstowe's reply would have been was lost to the world as Rottlaender came running down the hillside like a young deer, making it look effortless as he jumped various stones and tussocks before skidding to a halt.

"I suppose we must be glad that they are no closer, for they could not have missed that report. Are these horsemen French or English?"

Vickery would be rather surprised if they were French, here in Portugal, but it did not pay to assume anything. He would have to request Cotton teach the youngster how to give a proper report, too.

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King George commands, and we obey
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An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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Friedrich Rottlaender
 Posted: Sep 7 2017, 08:07 PM
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Already seeing their chance to play a little joke on some fellow soldiers disappear, the young rifleman hedged:

"I ... could not clearly see. Sir!"

Which was the absolute truth - the best he had been able to make out where some big brownish shapes with smaller bluishdots above them, moving at a speeed that was appropriate for cavalry. And while the corporal on point had spoken with that peculiar mixture of loathing, amusement and respect he reserved for their current rivals for billets, food and entertainment, he had never expressly said that the horsemen belongt to the detachment of light dragoons bivouacked near them.

Inspiration struck and he added:

"They could be ... in disgust?" Or something like that. The word that meant either drunk or wearing a false beard - Freddie had wondered about that.

<edited to make them light dragoons>
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John Vickery
 Posted: Sep 9 2017, 02:30 PM
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"Disgust?" Vickery frowned momentarily before realising what the youngster had meant. "Oh. In disguise - verkleidet."

'Could not clearly see...' Vickery had suspected that he might need to have a conversation with Cotton and send a request home to Emma, but had no proof of his suspicion. Nor, really, was he likely to get such proof unless something extraordinary occurred; the thing he suspected was not something that any soldier would readily admit to an officer, and a Rifleman would be even less likely to confess.

"Do we know how far away they are?" he asked, although if they were cavalry, they would surely be very close by now.

French, or English, though. That was a question which demanded an urgent answer - the last time they had come across French cavalry things had not gone at all well.

He had not come out with the whole company this time; there had been no need of that, and the patrol was mainly to keep an eye out on things beyond the limits of the town, and to keep his men's skills sharp. There should be no French out here, but it was always possible that some had got lost, or over-confident.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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Friedrich Rottlaender
 Posted: Sep 17 2017, 07:09 PM
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Although Captain Torrington had repeatedly done his best to make him familiar with English distance units, the young German fell back to a more practical unit:

"Uh, nearly double what we can shoot? There is a ... step? in the hill that goes like that ..."

He waved both hands in S-like patterns, one from left to right and one from chin to stomach. Then he waved towards place on the supposed higher ground with his right hand.

"We come here, and they come like this ..."

The left hand indicated movement on the lower ground.
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John Vickery
 Posted: Sep 18 2017, 01:00 PM
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Nearly double what they could shoot - even supposing that 'they' meant 'Cotton' or one of the other sharp-shooters, that would put them at about six hundred yards away, and if they were cavalry, they must be nearly up to them by now.

"I'll come," Vickery said shortly. He would prefer to take a look himself than rely on a report - and despite his best efforts, Rottlaender's reports were not always the most coherent.

Six hundred yards away - thank God for Portuguese hills that meant cavalry (whichever side they were on!) were limited to the roads.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Profile | Wiki page
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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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Friedrich Rottlaender
 Posted: Sep 18 2017, 07:49 PM
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5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
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Freddie eagerly nodded - an officer like Captain Vickery would surely know exactly who those riders were and what was to be done with them. Furthermore, he probably carried a spyglas and would have no trouble making out who these blobs were.

"Yes, please, Sir! This way, Sir ... Sirs!"

He spared a hopeful glance at Captain Padstowe, too, because surely somebody who was rumored to ride even behind enemy lines would be very good at recognizing the enemy, too.

Then his eyes darted back to Captain Vickery, like a dog quivering at the end of the leash, waiting for his master to release him.
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John Vickery
 Posted: Oct 2 2017, 11:21 AM
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Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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"All right, lead on - though at a speed I can keep up with, please!" Vickery might have a long-legged stride, but running here, there and everywhere was quite beneath the dignity of an officer, even one in green.

He did not think that he would ever come up with a scheme to keep Rottlaender from running everywhere - even if he fell over a tent guy-line in camp, he would be up again like a shot.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Timeline | Profile | Wiki page
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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
PM
^
Friedrich Rottlaender
 Posted: Oct 6 2017, 07:51 PM
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5/60th Rifles; Captain's servant
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Group: Riflemen
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Member No.: 21
Joined: 12-May 14

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Freddie really did try - which meant that he more or less led the way in a series of very short dashes and rueful pauses before he adopted a kind of parade march that allowed him to keep to a more even tempo.

Even he had noticed that Captain Vickery as well as his friends - his own master included - got a lot of work done without ever seeming to move quicker than a purposeful walk. But ... well, they probably had weighty officerly things to consider to keep them from getting bored while walking that Freddie himself lacked. - And Captain Vickery certainly had much better nerves, because those horsemen could be GONE!

But the Captain had requested he did not run - although the Captain certainly seemed fit enough to keep up if Freddie ran just a bit? Perhaps he had misunderstood ... no, Captain Vickery was frowning, so Freddie obediently dropped back to a slower tempo. Fortunately for his nerves, they had nearly reached the two lookouts already.

"There is Mueller!", he whispered excitedly, pointing to the boots looking out from a suitably covering.
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