The Chattery
Our Cbox

Rules: 1. Keep it clean (PG-13)
2. Please do not spam the Cbox.
3. Don't advertise in the Cbox

Please be aware most of our members are in the UK/Europe and may not be around if the Cbox time shows it is very early in the morning.
-->


Calendar
December
January


Staff
Who Runs Things

Credits
Who Made What
Header banner, forum icons and member title legends made by Sharpie

Non-standard forum and cbox smileys made by Kins

Canon characters belong to their respective authors; original characters belong to their players.

We make no profit from this site.

Other Stuff

Protected by Copyscape Unique Content Checker

Pages: (24) 1 2 3 ... Last » ( Go to first unread post )
Add Reply
New Topic
New Poll

 08th May; Waiting to enter Óbidos
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:52 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Tying the reins of his horse to a branch, Stephen gently patted the weary creature - she had borne him on the long journey from Lisbon over a day and a half's tiresome travel. "There, there, honey, you can rest now." She snorted, not angrily, nibbled at wrist of his dirty shirt and then, bending, at the sparse grass. He scratched behind her ear affectionately for a moment, and then wandered over to where his companion sat, in his own filthy peasant's clothes. Stephen, quite at home with filth and dirt, stretched out on the grass, and, cupping his fingers around his mouth, made a sharp bird-call. He listened; no reply - not that he had expected one so early in the evening. Calderón would probably be along in a few hours time to take them the last mile to Óbidos and through the walls.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:53 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe was sitting up against the trunk of a tree, his hat pulled down to shade his eyes. At the sound of the bird call he lifted up the brim of his wide hat, quickly scanning the horizon before shrugging and pulling it back down again.

"Personally I thought that sounded more like a dying duck than a hawk, but never mind."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:53 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Stephen looked at him, amused. "Feeling out of sorts, Captain?" His smile faded. "If you are tired from the ride, sleep a while - I can keep watch."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:54 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe stretched and then folded his arms behind his head.

"Not really, just resting my eyes a little."

He was a little disappointed that he'd had to leave Bethany behind, but such a well-bred mare as she could not have in any way been disguised, so he had left her, along with his sword, in the care of Hogan back in Lisbon. He could trust him to take good care of her. The sturdy nag that took her place stood a little way from him beside the doctor's, cropping at the short grass. His uniform coat lay folded in his saddle bag, just in case worse did come to the worse and they faced capture he would not be immediately shot for a spy.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:54 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Nodding, Stephen leaned back again. He wondered when he ought to bring up the three ampullae in his pocket, but found he did not want to spoil the moment with such an ugly thought. The setting sun had coloured their wooded grove in pink and gold, the horses were content, and while there was a palpable tenseness between the Captain and himself, for some reason he could not quite define, he felt it would be showing the back of the hand to grace to pull out the tiny glass containers of sudden death and offer one to his ally, if one who did not seem to want to consider himself a friend.

He sighed. It was probably wiser like that. He did not know why the Captain's words bothered him so - they had not been isolated on the journey here, but rare enough - and loneliness was a natural state for one of his birth. He let his mind slip into reverie as he watched the leaves above him shimmer into a fiery green.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:55 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
A silence settled between the two as they sat beneath the tree, the only sounds the leaves above rustling in the late spring breeze and the occasional snort or whinny from the horses. It was, in many ways, a perfect day - but Padstowe could not but help sense the cloud of gloom that seemed to have settled over his companion. He removed his hat and looked up at the doctor questioningly.

"Is there anything wrong, Esteven?"

They had agreed on he use of first names for this expedition, and Padstowe was intent in getting into the habit of doing so well before it mattered. A slip of the tongue in the wrong place could prove to be fatal.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:55 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Thoughts on friendship had led him to Jack, and Sophie, and her pregnancy - he had not predicted an easy one, and he should have kept this to himself- "Hmm?"

He propped himself on his elbow and looked back at Padstowe, whose face showed genuine concern. He found it eased him somewhat, and he smiled. "Oh, no, I am fine, João." The sky was getting darker. "I always find nights like this conducive to reverie."

Remembering, he sat up. "I had better call for our duck again."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:56 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe nodded. It was strange for him too. Usually nights of waiting like this were spent in one's own company, and in the darkness all sorts of thoughts tended to flood into a man's mind as he watched for shadows. He grinned in response to Stephen's smile.

"Save it for dinner if you do manage to attract one," he said, settling back down. He felt beneath his long, dirty oilskin coat to check both his pistols were still in place. They were rifled pistols, a little bigger than a lady's muff pistol - small, exquisite things that had saved his life on more than one occasion, and their slight weight reassured him.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:56 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"I shall have the Madeira standing ready." Stephen called again, and this time he was answered - though not by his contact. Looking up, he saw his interlocutor in the branches above his head. The light was just enough for him to identify it - Luscinia megarhynchos. "Look, João." He pointed, a look of pleased wonder on his face. "His nest must be in one of the bushes around us."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:57 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe peered upwards and frowned.

"Well that's neither a duck nor a hawk!"
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:58 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"No dinner, but at least a minstrel, hmm?" He lay on his back, watching the nightingale hop on the branch before singing again.

A thought occurred to him. "Calderón - for this is my contact's name - and I would probably converse in Castilian, at least until we arrive inside the town. Are you proficient, or would you prefer Portuguese? It might be more suitable to practice it anyway."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:58 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"I can manage a fairly passable Castilian," Padstowe said, watching the nightingale. "And though I may be a little slow in forming sentences I will be able to understand you perfectly."

He raised his eyebrows.

"But you do not think Castilian will sound out of place in Portugal?" he asked in his Spanish.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:59 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
It annoyed him that he was going to be late meeting up with his contact from Lisbon. He had been only ten miles from Óbidos that morning but had been obliged to delay his journey after crossing paths with a French patrol. Chattering insistently at them in rough Portugese and waving a dented tin flask had soon driven the cavalrymen off, but the delay was proving to be costly. Calderón found it necessary to sneak a ride on the back of a passing sutler's waggon that happened to be going in the same direction as he.

By the time he got near the agreed-upon meeting spot, it was twilight. He had hopped off the waggon and made his way overland, taking care to keep a eye on his back-trail in the possible event of pursuit. Almost any other time, he wouldn't care if he was followed. Tonight was different. Calderón sucked a fat drop of sweat off his upper lip and spat the salty taste out of his mouth. At least his disguise for getting into the city didn't need any work.

In the near-distance, he heard a familiar call rise on the air. He considered answering it but judged himself to be too far away yet. Stirring his legs into a light trot, Calderón wove his way through the foliage, glad as he often was that he was barefoot. The less noise one made out here, the better. But for the slight rustle of his clothes on his body, there was no sound of his passing.

The bird-call came again and this time there was an answer to it. Calderón paused for a moment before deciding the second call was from an actual bird. He slowed his pace back to a padding walk and pursed his lips. Now he was close enough to reply to the hail and not need to worry about obliging his contact to wait for him to appear.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:00 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"Just as we meet here - to prove we are not ordinary wayfarers. We have known each other in places other than Portugal, and Castilian will probably come most easy with him to begin with."

Stephen removed the pistol from its holster - Hogan had lent it to him, laughingly promising death and retribution if he got himself into a situation dangerous enough to warrant using it. Stephen thought on the older man with some affection as he checked it - he had never expected such a welcoming personality.

A call came from the undergrowth, near enough to a bird's for a casual listener to pay it no heed, but Stephen was no casual listener. He stood up, and answered.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:01 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
There was a reply to his call within moments. Calderón grinned and rose up from the crouch he had assumed while he waited. It was safe to approach and greet his companion.

His progress forward was stilled abruptly when the murmur of another man's voice drifted up to his ears. Was he simply hearing things or was there someone else present there? The half-Spanish scout changed his direction, circling the meeting place silently until he reached a point that allowed him to enter the small clearing without being immediately spotted.

"¿Quién es?" He asked, creeping forward to just the edge of the bushes, his short-bladed knife drawn and held concealed against the inside of his wrist. There had been no mention of a third man being part of the mission.


OOC - I have to bow out for now, as I'm on my way to bed. I will, however, be back tomorrow afternoon with more time to play. http://files.jcink.net/uploads/showthecolours/Emoticons/smile.gif
You're welcome to move Calderón about however much is necessary to keep him involved.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:05 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Stephen recognised the voice, coming from the undergrowth around them. "Él es un amigo - un oficial británico. Lo siento cambiar el plan." He held up his pistol, indicating that he was not a prisoner.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:06 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe heard the rustle in the bushes. Obviously the doctor thought the voice friendly, but all the same he touched Stephen's arm and silently indicated the direction with an inclination of his head. He did not move, would leave the introductions to the doctor, but slowly slipped his hand under his coat to rest unobtrusively on the handle of one of the pistols.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:06 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Stephen nodded, and lowered the pistol again. In a voice pitched for more than just Padstowe's ear, he spoke in Portuguese, "That is my contact, João." Looking back into the bushes, he smiled and said "Que no hayan novedades, mi amigo."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:07 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Calderón rose from the bushes and walked forward - Esteban was smiling at him, and the officer still sat on the ground, looking up at him. Esteban smiled rarely enough anyway - he certainly would not do so under duress. He grabbed his friend's hand. "Que no hayan novedades."

Stephen and Calderón spoke in whispered Castilian for a few moments, before the Spaniard walked to a patch of grass a few yards away and lay down. Stephen returned to Padstowe and sat next to him. "He's agreed to let you come. He says we will try to enter the town at midnight, when the guard changes - we'll probably go in by the water-gate. He's been walking all day and hurrying to meet us in time - I told him he could sleep for a few hours, and we would keep watch."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:08 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Padstowe looked at the Spaniard curiously as he settled down on the grass, pulling his hat down as he had done. That was fair enough if the Spaniard had travelled far, and they did have quite a lot of time to kill.

"Are we expecting uninvited company then?" he asked.
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:08 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"I doubt it - we are a long way off the road - but if this is indeed the base of French activity in the south of Portugal then it would do no harm to remain alert."

Stephen looked askance at his companion. "This is not the first time you have done something like this, is it?"
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:09 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Was it that obvious? Padstowe wondered how any clear-thinking man would behave differently even if it were his first time, but he merely shrugged, tugging at a blade of grass.

"Not all my work for Major Hogan has been strictly done with my uniform on," he said absently, twisting the blade into a knot. "Even though for the most part I am seen leaving and returning to camp in red."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:10 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Stephen noticed Padstowe's mannerisms, and wondered if they were born of nerves. At the mission, or the question? "The uniform offers some degree of protection, does it not, if one is captured? Or, at least, is it supposed to?"
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:10 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
"As long as one is caught wearing it," Padstowe said. He'd finished mangling the grass and tossed it over his shoulder, then sat back at stared up at the slow moving leaves. "As an Exploring Officer you have a sense of honour, credibility and are therefore trusted to behave within the rules of war. You may be captured, but there may also be hope for an exchange or at least the treatment due to your rank. That is the theory anyway, but more often than not it is not so in practice."
PM
^
Show the Colours
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 06:11 PM
Quote


Archive Mod
Group Icon

Group: Moderator
Posts: 1,969
Member No.: 39
Joined: 1-June 14

Status: Offline







user posted image
Stephen nodded - that confirmed what he had suspected. His lips quirked - the implication that if one was not an Exploring Officer, one was not credible and honourable, not trusted to play by the rules of war. Ah, well. Stephen Maturin had never been one to follow the rules, save his own.

"If you have yours with you, will you put it on once we have left Óbidos?" It was a request, rather than a question.
PM
^
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options
Pages: (24) 1 2 3 ... Last »
Add Reply
New Topic
New Poll