International Napoleonic Wargaming Club
Founded - 08-21-2002
"Fuego" Lieutenant Brice ,an Englishman attached to Cuestas Spanish army ordered his light infantry company to fire.French troops had suddenly appeared from the shadows of the fading light and had launched a surprise attack on the olive grove in which the Spaniards had been resting.The French were in force and were able to push the lights back.
"Shoot the officers men shoot the officers" ordered Brice.
"Senor we must pull back" pleaded the Englishmans company Sargeant Morientes.
"Hold your f**king ground Sargeant,i say when we pull back understand?"rebuked Brice .
"Si Senor excuzee" replied the Sargeant.
Brice carried a Baker Rifle himself.The rifle was used by the British Rifle troops.He had taken the rifle from a dead rifleman during the retreat with Moores army to Corruna.Since then he had taught himself how to use it and he was a natural talent.Brice took aim at a burly French Sargeant who was battering a Spanish soldier to death with the stock of his musket.
CRACK!!! the bullet hit the Frenchman on the left cheek bone.The side of the Frenchmans face was ripped open.The man staggered like a wounded bull,roaring in pain and shock.Amazingly he was still alive.He spotted Brice the cause of his terrible pain and staggered towards him hell bent on revenge.
Brice a good head smaller than the Frenchman quickly but calmly drew The Claymore sword ,also a requisite from Corruna , and launched his body into a charging run at the wounded Sargeant.The Frenchman wielded his musket in one hand like a club,swinging at Brices head,Brice swerved ,ducked,and rammed the hilt of the claymore into what was left of the Frenchmans face.The Frenchman howled in agony and kicked visciously at Brices shin scraping the flesh down to the bone,"YOU F**KING BASTARD "screamed Brice in agony bringing his knee into the Frenchmans groin with all the force he could muster Brice bit at the enemys ear in desperation.
The Frenchman screamed abuse in French at his assailent.Brice brought the heavy broadsword down in a desperate swing at the frenchmans head,it glanced of the sargeant skull slicing his right ear away from his head,blood spurting in great gouts."DIE YOU FRENCH SCUM" howled Brice.The Frenchman staggered backwards but still would not give up.Amazingly he launched himself at Brice once more desperate to kill the Englishman.Brice side stepped the charging man ,at the same time bringing the sword down in a killing blow.The Frenchmans skull crumpled under the force of the blow,brains and gore splattered into the face of Brice who staggered in pain and effort.
"Fall back men fall back" shouted Brice
French forces under the command of Comte de Launchbury have made contact with Spanish light infanztry near the town of Talavera...
Major Lafayette didn't bother to dismount to accept the Spanish Captain's sword. It was a much-dilapidated blade that had more rust than steel. The cutting edge was scarred and pitted - hardly more useful as a weapon than as an ornament.
Behind him, Lafayette's Dragoons marshaled captured Spaniards to the rear. They had put up no fight. Shattered by an infantry charge and surrounded, Lafayette's men had merely ridden upon the bunched Spanish skirmishers and hacked down anyone who did not immediately throw down his musket. The Spaniard looked distastefully at Lafayette and said in his broken French, "You may have my small command, but the rest of my regiment shall see you dead!"
"Indeed," Lafayette said slowly. He looked down at the defiant Captain and after a short pause brought the flat of the rusty sword down upon the man's cheek. The blade snapped in half and he went down with a scream.
Having already flanked the orchard, French infantry had surrounded the Spanish regiment. Musket balls flicked through the straight rows of trees and ranks of Spanish fell. Already the French infantry was charging into the Spanish flank and their bayonets went in with great enthusiasm.
Lafayette leaned in his saddle. "It would appear that you, Senor, have no more Regiment to see me dead," he said to the shaking Captain sitting on his heels by Lafayette's horse.
With great passion the man rose and shouted at Lafayette. He had no inclination of what the Spanish man was saying in his quick, Iberian rattle, but Lafayette had been alive long enough to know when he was being vigorously cursed. He stopped for breath and Lafayette briefly interjected, "it's a terrible shame that you compel me to do this, but-" but the rest of his sentence was lost to the overpowering Spanish. Lafayette drew his hose pistol from his belt and shot the Captain through the head. The ball blew out through the back of his skull and spattered the ground with brain, skull and hair.
"A terrible shame," said one of Lafayette's Lieutenants.
"Not really," Lafayette replied. The body was bleeding heavily, and it was then that Lafayette realized how young the dead man was - in his early 20's, perhaps. Silly boy.
The Captain's body twitched. Lafayette drew his other pistol and shot him again for good measure. "Ruffian," he said.
Colonel Dionez of the Cazadors Madrid could not believe what he had just seen through his telescope.He had witnessed the brutal execution of a Spanish officer surrendering by a French officer.The Major felt sick in his stomach at what he had seen.Deep within his soul emerged a dark and seething hatred for the French enemy officer who had done this despicable deed.
"MEN" he beckoned to the assembled Cavalry around him." We are going to attack the French filth in front of us,NO PRISONERS ARE TO BE TAKEN UNDERSTAND??INCLUDING OFFICERS.No quarter is to be given.Ride the scum into the dirt.......................
Major Lafayette could not believe this was happening.
A short while before his men had wiped out a Spanish light infantry battalion .Now he and his men were surrounded in the same way.Spanish cavalry had smashed the flanking friendly battalions in a surprise attack.From out of the fading light thousands of Spanish Infantry had launched a massive attack.The brigade was on the verge of bieng wiped out.Men all around him were dying,the terror had taken hold of his men and now they began to falter,the rot was setting in ,men started to lay down their weapons or they turned and ran to the battalions behind them,causing mayhem amongst the reserve troops.This was a mass rout.
Lafayette knew resistance was useless."Men lay down your arms the day is lost"ordered the French Major.
A Spanish Cavalry Colonel on a large white stallion walked his horse towards Lafayette."Sir i surrender my troops to you "bowed Lafayette removing his hat.
"Hear is my sword Colonel"the Frenchman smiled.
The Frenc troops were hoarded together at bayonette point."Your name sir?" asked the Spanish Colonel
"Major Lafayette Colonel" answered the Frenchman.
"Sanchez!!" barked the Colonel.
"Si Senor Colonel!" replied the massive dark skinned Cazador with a wicked scar from his nose to the top of his balding head.
"String this piece of French dung up from that olive tree,and make sure you cut out his foul tongue before you do." The Colonel pointed at a lone olive tree at the bottom of which lay the body of a young Spanish Captain.
"What you cannot do this i am an officer"pleaded Lafayette desperately.
"Ruffian" was the answer he recieved.
"What about the troops Colonel?"
"Kill them all ,every last one of the bastards"
The Colonel watched as Lafayette had his tongue sliced out.The Majors body squirmed as it dangled from the olive tree.Blood from his mouth dripped onto the body of the Spanish Captain.REVENGE!!
Horse's hooves pounded across the arid Spanish field. A frantic French Dragoon, driving his steed at full gallop waved to Major Lafayette. "Major!" he cried, bringing his mount to a sudden, rearing halt, "There is something you must see!" The Dragoon Captain handed Lafayette a telescope. "In the Orchard, sir, the Spanish are stringing up your cousin."
Lafayette steadied his horse and took a good, long look at an Officer being hoisted up a tree. Well I never..." he bagan. "In my 12 years of warfare I have never seen a battlefield execution before. My word, that is something isn't it?" He looked for a few moments more and returned the telescope to his Captain. "I wouldn't worry about that. I never liked him anyway. He was always a bit of a runt. Never any good at chess, either. Serves him right for joining the infantry." Laffayete patted his horse affectionately. "He joined the pawns. We're plenty safe as the knights, however."
Another rider came up, this one from Division Headquarters. Lafayette took the paper and nodded - he had already forgotten about his cousin. "Assemble the men," he said to his Captain, "we're assembling for a charge."
Ten minutes later Lafayette had his saber thrust deep between the ribs of a screaming Spanish horseman, and French cavalry was swarming over and killing or capturing hundreds of Spanish mounted units with nowhere to run.
He wiped his brow briefly and commented to a passing trooper, "I always feel better after I've chopped someone's head off. Don't you?" The man gave him a big grin as he took a shot with his pistol at a dismounted Spaniard. He missed, and so wheeled his horse and he and Lafayette charged down hard upon the man to see who could gut him first.
(A note to Andy: Had you actually attacked the unit that Lafayette was in, you post would be justified. Tough balls mate!)
(Have a feeling I´m going to be seeing a lot LAZARUS LAYFAYETTE)
Wellesley could not believe what he was reading
"By the hairy balls of my greyhounds the Spanish have captured General Sabastiani Daddy old bean.By god who would have thought ,that old Spanish fart would have the brains to have pulled that off"laughed Sir Arthur gleefully to General "Daddy Hill".
"Thats unbeleavable Sir Arthur how did they do it?"asked Hill astonished.
"Dont ask me but they captured him and Brigadier Rey,in an olive grove ,slaughtered just about the whole brigade and more while doing it.What the hell was a good solid general like Sabastiani doing attacking without Cavalry support at this time of day Daddy?By god its almost dark ,the silly French sod must have been drinking too much Cognac !! "laughed Wellesley snorting through his nose like a horse.
"Captain Sanchez,send my warmest congratulations to Generlisimo Cuesta and inform him ,he is to be my guest at dinner this evening,oh yes he is to bring General Sebastiani with him also"
"Si Senor i will inform him" Captain Sanchez mounted his horse and rode off in the direction of Talavera.
" What a great bit of news Daddy!"
"Aye Sir Arthur"replied Hill ""Mind you" frowned Hill " Ive heard rumours that the Spanish didnt take any prisoners!!Hung them all from Olive trees they did ive even been told that they ran out of trees, so the poor French sods they couldnt hang, had their goolies cut off,could you believe that Sir?They cut off the poor bastards goolies,what a terrible way to die,not even the French deserve that
Lafayette carefully adjusted himself in his saddle. His rump had fallen asleep but nevertheless it felt heavuly bruised. His legs ached and the wrist on his sword arm had been badly twisted in the fighting. He yawned hugely to the point of violent shuddering. Nothing had happened in over half an hour and he was growing bored. There was nothing to do but stare across the field at the Spanish cavalry who were, in turn, staring back at him.
All of the excitement of the orchard had ended. General Sebastiani had paid heavily for his gamble there. He was missing and his Division smashed. The few lucky troops who had managed to escape the trap were the ones who had broke and fled just before being surrounded, and they were now about 50 yards behind Lafayette's Dragoons, trying to reorganize themselves. An Officer was carrying on about the honour of France, and the honour of Napoleon and the honour of their mothers and their loved ones and this and that and whatever else he could think of.
The men, however, were not to be swayed. They had simply collapsed on the grass and given up. The Officer walked to each man, shaking him by the shoulder or slapping him lightly and pleading about the same old honour of France. Lafayette had heard it all. It had been the same old story at Rivoli and Marengo, Ulm and Austerlitz. Jena had been no different, either. Since he had been a young Lieutenant it had all been the honour of France. Now he was tired of France. f**k France.
Lafayette suddenly realised he had said that outloud. He looked around - no one had heard him. Behind him the infantry Officer rattled on. Lafayette looked over to his Captain. "Stay here," he said, and cantered over to the gathered infantry.
"Captain," he said sternly.
The Captain rushed up and saluted. "Yes, Major?" he asked quickly.
Lafayette stared down from the saddle, letting his presence become slightly intimidating. He leaned heavily over the man. He stank of cordite. "Shut up!" he roared into the man's face.
The Captain took two steps back. He cleared his throat and saluted. Lafayette cantered back to his Dragoons. When he looked back the Captain was gingerly avoiding his men.
"What was that about?" asked Captain Fumonnes.
"Keeping France's honour intact," said Lafayette.
Across the field a Spaniard was waving at him. Lafayette took out his horse pistol and shot at him. The ball bounced about 100 yards in front of the man. He smiled grimly. His bum had woken back up.
"Is that curry ready Guptah?i could eat a scabby donkey between two pieces of bread,im that ruddy hungry"
Captain William Blunts man servant,Guptah Bung,a native of northen India,continued to stir the pungent smelling meat gently cooking in the black cast-iron pot on the fire.
"Almost Sahib,you will be liking this curry very much indeed you will Sahib Blunt sir." replied Bung gleefully to his master.
"mmmmh smells bluddy good Guptah,hope its nice and hot as usual " Blunt licked his lips in anticipation of his fisrt hot meal in days.
" Hotter than the bottom of a Punjabi monkey Sahib" Bung giggled childishly to himself feeling pleased with his little joke."Here Sahib and a Chapati to go with it"
Captain Blunt scooped the hot steaming spicy goats meat into his mouth."f**king hell thats hot,but bluddy deliscious Guptah" Blunt spluttered between mouthfuls.
"Thank you Sahib" Guptahs face reddened with embaressment and joy at the kind words from his master.
" By the sound of that gunfire over there on the Spanish side it looks like well have a bit of fighting to do tommorow Guptah "
" I am hoping to be slitting the gullets of many Frenchmen, Captain Blunt Sahib, that i am" ,boasted Guptah enthusiastically.
"Aye Guptah my lad theyll be plenty of the boogers to kill dont you worry about that sunshine"
Blunt continued to finish his meal.
"By heck that was good lad" Blunt raised a flask to his lips and washed the spicy meal down with water taken from a spring not far from where they sat.
Blunt lay back stretching his tired bones.He lifted his right buttock and let out an enormous blast of fetid wind from his rectum.
"OOOOH by gum thats better." gasped Blunt in relief
The noise of the fart caused a mare nearby to rear up on its hind legs and throw its rider, a young light dragoon trooper, from the saddle.The horse bolted of into the fading light.The trooper cursing visciously, ran after the beast.
"Cavalry!! Bunch of f**king Pansys Guptah" sneered Blunt.
"Yes Sahib extreemly " replied Guptah.
Blunt undid the snake-like buckle of the leather sword belt around his waist and lay the weapon beside him.He slid the great blade from its scabbard and laid the weapon on his knees.From his pack he pulled out a small vial of grease and a dirty piece of linen rag.Blunt oiled the blade lovingly."My beauty youll be slicing through French flesh again tommorow so you will my my darling" he cooed to the sword.Blunt always tended to his own weapons.
He could have had Guptah clean them but he always did this himself.The blade was a cross between a heavy cavalry sword and a claymore.It had been made by a half Scottish Blacksmith who had served with the dragoons in the American Colony wars years before.
The blade was deadly in the strong practised hands of William Blunt.
"Will"Blunt as he was known to close friends,
had been a young boy of 19 in that war many years ago.
Now Blunt ,a veteran of India prepared once again to do battle with the "OLD ENEMY".
The smell of curry drifted through the hills above the town of Talavera.A hungry highlander lifted his nose heavenward and sniffed the air "och what a lovely smell, CURRY!! havent had that for years"
A patrol of Riflemen sauntered past the highland regiment."Lieutenant Richard Sharpe sniffed at the air"Pat!" "Yes sir replied the Irish Sargeant," That bastard Will Blunt is eating one of Guptahs famous currys again,why are you such a lousy cook Patrick?"
" I can cook Tattys Sir" replied the Sargeant." Pat ?" " Yes sir? " SHUT UP"
Spanish troops have given French forces a" bloody nose " near the town of Talavera.Reports are coming in of the capture of a battalion of Nassauer troops.
Darkness has now fallen over the area making further combat difficult.
Lieutenant Brume cantered south down a thin road. His dispatch case flopped at knocked at his side. He was sure he would run into the French line somewhere along this area.
His mother had used her influence with a few Imperial ministers to secure her son's position as a messenger for Jerome Bonaparte. She was convinced it was a safe job, which it was, but it was oh so very boring. This was not young Lieutenant Brume's idea of glorious warfare. He was usually able to see snippets of the battles from Jerome’s vantage points but for the most part he was off riding here or there, delivering this message or that message to dirty and bloody Officers. That is what he hated most about this job: Whenever he delivered a message, the Officers would, for a brief second, show a flash of contempt. Brume found he had to avert his eyes when he handed a message over, which in turn made the Officers think that he had twitch no stomach for warfare. What a girl.
Worse, Brume had, since childhood, a very poor grasp of direction. At Jena he had gotten so turned around in the dim light that he had mistakenly ridden back to Napoleon (for whom he was riding) without delivering his message. "Any more messages, Sir?" he had asked, too ashamed to admit his fault.
"That was most excellent riding, Lieutenant," Napoleon had said, "Most speedy and efficient. To make that distance in that amount of time...Most excellent riding."
Napoleon jotted down a message. "Take this again to Marechal Lannes. Make it twice as fast and I shall give you a medal."
Brume had shoved the message into his satchel and ground his spurs into his horse. It had been only by pure chance that he found Marechal Lannes. He gave him both messages. He averted his eyes. Lannes had grunted as he compared the two letters. "Contradictory orders?"
"Courier," said Lannes. Brume looked at him out of the corner of his vision. Lannes had eyed Brume carefully. "Courier, why do I have, from you, two sets of contradictory orders, one saying fall back and the other advance, dated nearly 2 hours apart?"
"I uh..." Brume faltered and Lannes, dismounted, probably thought him even more of a coward. Brume coughed and recovered. "On my way over I came across another Courier whose horse had been lamed by a..." Brume thought furiously. Musket ball? No, too far from the fighting. Cannon ball? No, no. That would have outright killed the horse. "A...Tree...Branch."
Lannes frowned. "Terribly silly thing to get lamed upon. Still, not that it matters. Good work, Lieutenant, take this message back to Napoleon." Lannes furiously scratched out a message as a storm of French cannonballs thundered overhead. Brume was the only one to look up, by which time they were long gone, and invisible anyway. He felt stupid. He took the letter and rode back to Napoleon. "Did I make good time, Sir?" he had asked him. Napoleon had merely looked at him like he was stupid.
Brume jumped in his saddle from shock. He had realized he was daydreaming. He spurred his horse. There had to be someone around here. Five minutes later he found someone. "General Milhaud, please," he said. "End of the line," the Colonel replied.
Brume jostled down the road, keeping well behind the lines. He had no intention of running into the British now.
He ran into a gaggle of Dragoons. He rode up to a Major who looked to be the senior man. Brume saluted. "Can you take me to General Milhaud?" he asked. The Major, awful tall and a bit mean, looked around. Brume recognized him instantly. Major Lafayette. Oh, Christ.
"I'll take it, man," he said.
"Sorry, for the General only," replied Brume.
Major Lafayette merely leaned across the small gap between their horses and pulled the dispatch case right off of Brume's shoulder. Brume said nothing. Lafayette took out a handful of messages. They were all the same. Duplicate orders.
Lafayette muttered as he read one. "Glory of France...Divine right...A minor setback in the south...Great victory in the north...Tomorrow morning...All-out attack on both flanks...Good luck and don't get killed." Lafayette snorted. "Quite the master of words is his royal eminence Jerome the Stupid." Lafayette rammed the message back into the case and tossed it at Brume. It was a purposefully bad throw and Brume had to dismount to pick it up.
He rode off to find General Milhaud. He delivered the message, but he felt shamed. He rode off north. Damn cavaliers.
He was brooding and not watching where he was going. He had no inclination of where he was going, and was therefore totally caught by surprise when a British rifle bullet tore through his back and shot him off his horse. As he lay on the ground bleeding and coughing, a British officer dressed in an ornate green uniform came up to him. He tapped Brume's dispatch case. "Hello, lovely," the man said, "I know someone who would like to have a look at your contents." He smiled a big smile at Brume. His front teeth were missing. "And I know someone who would like to have a word with you."
He was bustled through the night. He didn't try to get away. Soon enough, he found himself delivered before a series of commanding generals. "A rather important prisoner for you, General Wellesley. You'd probably like to have a chat with him," the green officer said.
"Be still Men,do you hear that?" whispered Major Fernandez,in the darkness to the front of the withdrawing battalion panicked voices could be heard,GERMAN voices.
A unit of Baden troops which had fled the battle now stood surrounded on all sides by Spanish troops. The Germans were pleading for mercy having earlier been witness to the slaughter of their French comrades in the olive grove.
"We take these men prisoner" ordered Major Fernandez.
The Germans were shoved and hustled at bayonet point into the darkness towards the rear.
Wellesley saluted General Cuesta and his staff greeting the Spaniards graciously.
"General Cuesta you and your Armys deeds this evening have been truly magnificent i welcome you to be my guest of honour this night ,come and sit here on my right.Cuesta nodded his head curtly and took his place to Wellesleys right.Cuesta puffed his medal covered chest out in pride as he swaggered past the British staff officers applauding the Generals arrival.
"Aaaah General Sabastiani,what a pleasant surprise" General Wellesleys eyes rested on the bedraggled and smitten looking French commander."Do come and sit on my left general"Wellesley directed the Frenchman to the chair on his left.Sabastiani looked dejected and bitter but replied "Merci Monsieur, i am honoured".
" Gentlemen a toast,a toast to our illustrious Allies Spain,and their Wise and magnificent General Cuesta"
Cuesta once again puffed out his chest with pride, slightly resembling a peathingy ready for mating.
"TO SPAIN AND GENERAL CUESTA " the toast was echoed around the tent.
Sabastiani continued to look dejectedly at his feet,but did have the manners to take a nip at the glass of sherry in his hand.
"Ah here comes the food Gentlemen."smiled Wellesley expectantly ."MMMMMH my favorite ,Filet of Beef coated with goose pate wrapped in pastry ,deliscious i love it"beemed Wellesley hungrily."
General Sabastiani looked distatefully at the food on his plate and thought to himself
(What a terrible day,ive lost a division to a Spanish Baboon,i got myself captured and now i have to eat this pigswill, that Wellesley calls food.I wish the Spanish bastards had hung me with the rest of my men,ill never live the shame of this down.)
The officers merrily tucked into the splendid meal before them.
Suddenly the flap to the Officers mess tent was pulled open and a bleeding and battered French Lieutenant was pushed into the tent.The man fell to the ground groaning with pain.He looked up blinking at the candlight brightness around the tent and held a hand to shade his eyes.
Entering the tent opening came the huge figure of a man dressed in black.
"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS " roared Wellesley furious at the interuption of feast.
"The dark figure stepped over the prone figure of the French Lieutenant, ,and stepped into the light.The tall man with the look of a hungry wolf grinned at Wellesley,or so he seemed to be ,in reality it was due to an ugly scar,an old wound caused by a french sword many years ago in the old world where the man had fought as a young soldier.The scar ran from the corner of his mouth upwards to his right ear giving the man the appearance of a mocking smile.
"Good evening General"barked the man standing to attention and saluting abrubtly."Im sorry to disturb the festive atmosphere here Sir,but this French officer here"he turned slightly and pointed to the bedraggled Frenchman "was captured by one of our pickets.Hes carry orders from the French command and i think youll be very interested to read them Genral Sir"
" BY GOD CAPTAIN BLUNT WHY IS IT ALWAYS YOU THAT SPOILS MY BLOODY DINNER?YOU SEEM TO HAVE A HABIT OF DOING THIS CAPTAIN REMEMBER?barked Wellesley furiously.
"Aye Sir!i remember,Blunt grinned back wickedly at the glowering Allied commander remembering another dinner he had ruined years before in India.
"Well then bring the French Lieutenant to me Blunt"commanded Wellesley
Blunt roughly manhandled the frightened young man to his feet "Come on Frog on your f**king feet" " the frenchman was pulled to his feet.
" Damn you Captain Blunt this man is an officer.You will treat him accordingly is that clear Blunt?I dont want none of your "Wilderness treatment " here in my mess you scounderal is that clear?" ordered Wellesley furiously.
" Yes General as you say General" replied Blunt sulkily,
he had been looking forward to giving the frenchman a good going over before returning to his unit.
The French ieutenant stood in front of table in front of Wellesley,he raised his head slowly to look at the beaked nose looking English commander,his eyes wandered to the left of the Englishman and widened in shock and horror when they came to rest on the man sitting next to Wellesley "Mon Dieu General Sabastiani ?gasped theFrench lieutenant"in shock and surprise
"Good evening Lieutenant Brume as you see we are both to be guests of General wellesley this evening" answered Sabastiani grimly.
(Laffayette yawned and farted. It was the middle of the night and nothing was happening. NOTHING) ;-)))
Will Blunt and his man servant Guptah Bung moved like wraiths in the night.Blunt had been given orders to send out a couple of squads and occupy the high ground behind the French lines.Blunts patrols were careful to skirt the French campfires across the valley.
"Quiet as a sparrows fart Guptah,i dont like it!" whispered Blunt.
"I am not liking it also Sahib Blunt,my bowels tell me the men with breaths of garlic are up to no good this night."
Bung whispered back.
"We should be hearing snoring and French farting noises or horses or something,but its dead still.Lets get closer to one of those fires" Blunt signaled his men to stay put.
" Come on Guptah,you and me are going to take a looksie over there."
" Sahib i will follow you into the Devils bottom Sahib lead on"grinned Guptah,his teeth a flash of white in the dark.
" f**king hell Guptah close your mouth,the Frogs will spot us a mile of if you keep flashing your chompers about like that."laughed Blunt quietly.
The two men stealthly crawled towards the burning campfires.Guptah slid across the ground .His movement resembled that of a snake,silent and deadly.Guptah reached the fire ,he remained just outside the glow and listened and observed .NOTHING.He skirted the fire carefully hardly daring to breath.Still NOTHING. Blunt touched Guptah on his shoulder ."Oh Mother of a donkey "hissed Bung "I nearly let the curry of last night into my trousers Sahib,you made me jump "whispered Guptah excitedly . "Its ok Guptah you dont have to whisper,the Frogs have legged it.Blunt spat a gob of flem into the fire,"MEN OVER HERE AT THE DOUBLE THE FRENCH HAVE f**kED OFF,TOO ME NOW"roared Blunt.
"The cowardly bastards are doing a runner men we have to find them and report back asp.Lieutenant Johnson?" "Yes Captain replied the skinny Rifle officer.
" You take half the men and go west then north as quick as you can,ill take the rest and go North.I have a feeling the bastards are making for the village of Pocho Velho we have to move fast understand?"
"Yes Sir "Replied Johnson."Okay move out at the double"
snarled Blunt "Lets find the bastards and FAST"
The riflemen split into two groups and headed of into the dark at afast pace.They were riflemen and they could out run and out march the French .
Blunt didnt see the supply wagon until he ran straight into the back of it
"ALORS lANGLAIS" the driver screamed.Guptah moved like a striking cobra and was on top of the fat Frenchman in a flash.His Indian blade slicing the windpipe of the man in an instant.The drivers body was pushed from the seat and Guptah took hold of the reigns forcing the oxen pulling the vehicle to turn.Shots rang out of the darkness .The wagon was peppered with musketballs."Return fire men"screamed Blunt
The riflemen fired back into the darkness.The French skirmishers had been suprised but it would not be long before they regained there senses.
Meanwhile Guptah was flogging the oxen with all his might forcing the lumbering beasts to pull with all their might.The supplys would be useful to the British.
Lieutenant Johnson and his men realised to late that they had stumbled among a French brigade.It wasnt until one of the darkened shapes beside him asking something in French ,that Johnson had realised they were among the enemy."Fire " yelled Johnson he fired his pistol point blank into the face of the Frenchman next to him ,the man was thrown backwards,all hell broke loose among the French.The riflemen desperately fired their rifles and tried vainly to pull back."f**k this is serious,Davis run like f**k back to our lines the French Army is retreating you must get through with the message NOW RUN "A bullet shattered Johnsons skull.Davis ran like a man with the Devil himself on his tail.THE FRENCH WERE RUNNING!!!!
Wellesley hated bieng disturbed when he slept!
"This had better be good Wallace or else" grumbled the General and yawned."What the hell could be so important that you have to wake me?Dont tell me that Spanish Idiot has gone and lost a division or something like that what!"snorted Wellesley at his aide.
"No Sir nothing like that,the French are running Sir theyve taken to their heels and are scurrying away through the night like rats leaving a sinking ship General" exclaimed Wallace excitedly.
"Outside General, a rifleman by the name of Davis,part of Blunts men Sir,he was sent by Lieutenant Johnson of the Royal Americans,he says they ran into large French formations marching over the ridge towards Pocho Velho."
" By God did he now?? Bring him in man dont just stand there bring the rascal in"..................
Blunt and his men had run quickly away from the French.
Other Frenchmen had appeared and so Blunt ordered his men back.Shots could be heard in the darkness to the north.
"Johnson must have run in to trouble as well "thought Blunt to himself.
Up ahead looming out of the darkness the shape of the captured supply wagon appeared.Blunt looked up to see the grinning white teeth of Guptah Bung ,his Indian manservant grinning down at him ,"Sahib i am very happy to be your new coach driver that i am Sahib"giggled Bung like a small child with a new toy.
" Come on men weve got transport,what was she loaded with Guptah ?asked Blunt
"Oh by the holy HarryRama we have the luck of a goats spleen Sahib, we have captured a supply of food, wine ,and powder." crowed the Indian delighted with himself." Is the Sahib proud of me?"
"Your a bloody marvel Guptah, a bloody marvel ,now get us back to our line quickly we have to make a report."
" As you wish Sahib, ding ding hold tight please"
Guptah lashed the oxen even harder and the supply wagon overloaden with Riflemen hurtled through the night
Wellesley sat in the flickering candlelight, sullenly going over his map. Brume had decided that the man looked like a hawk; vicious and predatorial. Only that kind of man could stand up the greatness of France. Brume had been standing in the tent for a very long while. His feet ached but it hurt even more to sit. He had not been offered a chair, anyhow.
Wellington drummed his fingers gently along the length of his map. "Pocho Velho," he said to himself. He glanced at Brume. "That's quite a long way from here, isn't it, Lieutenant?"
Brume looked blank, "I don't know, Sir," he said quietly.
"No, I don't suppose you would tell me if you did," replied Wellesley slowly. "Tell me, Lieutenant Brume, are you a spy?"
Brume twitched. "Absolutely not, Sir." He hated very much, among other things, spies. They were underhanded people with and underhand trade.
Brume's back began to throb again. The bullet that hit him had actually struck the carbine he had slung across his back. The weapon had been smashed into him with such force that ribs had been broken and a huge bruise was left across his back.
Wellesley scratched his chin. "Your army, assuming it is your army and you are not, as you say, a spy, is marching hard in the middle for the night towards Pocho Velho, while you carry dozens of dispatches that all say what a triumph the French army had this evening in the field, which we know to be a lie, and that all units are to sit tight, post sentries and rest up for a grand attack in the coming morning, which we have also found to be a lie."
Wellesley had started pacing in his tent and Brume was sure that at any moment he would swoop down on some poor rat or field mouse.
"Are you sure you're not a spy? You had a nasty knock, perhaps you've forgotten about it."
"I am not a spy!" roared Brume, and bounced his fist on the table. He immediately wished he hadn't as pain rampaged through his back.
"I see. Very well then, so you're just a pawn. Guard, I say, take this chap away if you would be so kind."
A thin, unimpressive looking man grabbed Brume by the elbow and steered him out. Brume hung his head. He had been most abused by his own army. Wellesley had been correct - he was little more than a pawn. Perhaps one sacrificed so that the Knight might take a Bishop.
He plodded along with the lone guard. He was shocked at how dark it was this night. He passed within a few paces of tents without realizing they were there until he stepped on their stakes or stumbled on their lines.
He heard a faint popping and lifted his head. Muskets? he thought to himself. The guard also turned his head to listen. Quickly he whipped his head around to Brume, realizing he wasn't watching his prisoner. Brume smiled pleasantly to the man, who was a good 3 inches shorter than he was and said, in his best English, "Muskets," and beamed another smile.
The guard took a quick glance back to where the firing had come from and grabbed Brume by the elbow, this time more firmly, and bustled him along. It was then that Brume realized he had not considered escape. He took a better look at his captor. He had to be no more than 16. He was frail and his uniform gathered loosely around his small shoulders. They walked past an iron rod, maybe part of a cooking spit, stuck upright in the ground. Brume snatched it out of the ground. His guard didn't notice.
Presently a huge roar sounded in the night and then another. Volley from at least a Regiment or more! In the distance the night lit up. The guard turned his head and Brume reared back and clubbed the man in the back of the head with all his might. With a dull meaty sound the man fell straight down. He made not a noise, just a short rustle of equipment and all was quiet again.
He became aware, as his body relaxed, that he was standing outside a rather large tent. Probably belonging to some up-and-up English officer. The officer was in the tent sound asleep, snoring loudly. Lucky Brume. He walked around the tent. There was a powerful warhorse tethered to a log. Lucky, lucky Brume. He untied the horse, which was curiously still saddled, and trotted quietly away. The horse felt powerful and healthy beneath him. It was a good 5 hands higher than his usual mount. Perhaps the Englishman was a fat git. Perhaps he would have to walk into battle tomorrow. Perhaps Brume would find the French officer that tried to throw his life away and shoot him in the face.
Brume's back had stopped hurting. Muskets roared again and he rode in their direction. He jammed his spurs into the horse's flanks and it took off like a rocket, leaping fallen branches and fallen men. Before he knew it the English camp was miles behind.
"Quiet "hissed Captain Blunt to his men.Through the darkness the sound of horses hooves could be heard coming from the direction of the British lines.
Guptah Bung Blunts Indian manservant pull back on the reins bringing the oxen train of a the stolen supply wagon to a halt."sssssh" wispered Blunt.The men held their breaths and listened.The horse was moving very fast towards them,suddenly the sound started to die away and the horse, past them of to the left the galloping sound faded towards the hills where the French were.
" Oh my golly gosh" exclaimed Bung."That poor devil is heading for very big trouble indeed Sahib!"
"Aye Guptah,yer bluudy right there thou art"grimaced Blunt."Now lets get back to our lines "
"HAAAH" Guptah cracked the wip over the lumbering oxen."Come on my beautiful ones pull the Sahib back to our glorius army"crooned Bung.
Blunt picked a boogey from his nose and flicked it into the darkness."That was a great green bugger that was"laughed Bung.
The night dragged on,gunfire sounded far off among the Spanish hills.
Will Blunt lay on his back wrapped up in his old Indian blanket,a bargain he had obtained from a Calcutta flea market. Blunt listened to the low snoring noises of his Indian manservant Guptah Bung.Occasionally the snoring was interupted by a series of viscious curry farts!! a nasty by-product of the goat curry Bung and Blunt had eaten the evening before."f**king hell Guptah cut out the farting you bloody heathen,the French can hear that all the bloody way across the valley," scorned Blunt as he shook Bung awake.
"What !!what is happening? sahib where are the garlic eaters by golly? " stammered Bung in surprise and confusion." Quiet you turd its me, you were farting so loud Napoleon in bloody Paris could hear you,im gonna have a word about you with that engineer guy ,Captain Spanner ,as soon as the morning is broken Guptah"
"Why ?sahib i do not know anything about building bridges Sahib Blunt" asked Bung puzzled
" Perhaps Captain Spanner can invent a new secret weapon with your BUM Guptah,you know an arsecannon,"grinned Blunt,""or a fartbomb or if we fire you from a mortar over the top of the French,you can fart over their heads ,a sort of exploding spherical fart!!"
Blunt lay back and roared with laughter at his own joke,
Guptah looked puzzled and hurt,
Sahib please do not send me to the Captain from the Engineers,i am not wanting to be secret weapon for Mister Sahib Wellesley,i am wanting to kill garlic mouths.
...to be continued
Rich Launchbury (France) & Andy Barnes (Anglo-allies)
Game: Peninsular War (NIA-Engine) / Scenario: Talavera
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