Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Autumn (3 cont)

Autumn (con.t 4) \

Intendent Bastille had strolled into town to take his morning coffee and there met L’Comte d’Beauphaup. As they walked back out the gates to the Gallian stonghold, d’Beauphaup wondered how the Soweiter League was going to take the violation of Offenbach’s neutrality.
Bastille winced internally and casually asked what violation could the good count mean?
“We’ve intelligence that the 5th Porque Line and the Libbenstal Dragoons intend to use their crossing of the Main to move around the congestion around your depot,” the count answered.
“We’ve no such units in the Gallian Army,” Bastille protested.
“Really?” the count asked. “V. Mack reports than his team has intercepted their advance men in the Offenbach outskirts near our batteries.”
“But, we have no such units!” Bastille protested.
“Interesting,” the count responded nonchalantly. “We thought that they were another batch German recruits as only their officers spoke any French, at it was pretty vile .... Oh! Excuse me, m’Lord, I must intercept those flower carts I promised Madame V. Kern an excellent selection for today.”
Bastille strode purposefully back to his office. As he passed the guards at the door, he caught the eye of an ensign. “Get contact with Maistre Pierre,” he commanded brusquely and climbed up to the chart room, where he began spreading out local charts. Lt. Legume stepped helpfully forward and was handed an hastily scribbled note for Gen. Chevert.

Meanwhile, in the fields northwest of Frankfurter, the parish of St. Gertrude was being swiftly transformed into St. Gertrude of Jesus. Nice new statues were added to the graveyard and the nave. Close inspection might reveal that they’d been painted so swiftly that bugs were stuck on them. The congregation was in an unusual state of excitement. Even though few of them were really Catholics, the presence of the polite and healthy young advanced seminarians undergoing some field work experience under Fr. Umlaut was causing some comment. Even the local Anglerican circuit rider was jealous.
To placate him, Fr. Umlaut promised to take some Protestant men in to study Rubrics too. This may have been a mistake as the local frauleins soon realized the later young seminarians were eligible. The Vespers services and benediction began to attract a small crowd.
Fr. Umlaut let it slip that he was looking for a good Mission team (Revival for Protestants) to better minister to the temporary crowd.
An Italian merchant who happened to overhear him at the inn mentioned that he might soon be meeting with an abbot who would probably gladly provide somebody. Fr. Umlaut was grateful, as the merchants usually pushed on through to Frankfurter. The merchant assured the rustic cleric that it was no problem. The merchant had simply been too tired and a little unwell and didn’t want to have to deal with the Frankfurter gate hassles in the late evening.
“Such an experience is bound to leave a Mark on someone,” the priest agreed.
“Well there’s marks and there’s Marks,” the Italian philosophized. “Some are easier to deal with than others. Most of them you can cover up.”
“Just so long as one doesn’t make a Habit out of it, “ Fr. Umlaut agreed. “Ah well, I hope you have good luck, friend. Alas, I must return to read my office before the light fails.”
The Italian toasted him with his stein and watched the priest amble back to the Rectory. Then he rose and went around to the stables where his servant was caring for the horses. “V. Mark is here,” he told the lad.
“For sure?”
“Yes, the priest tried to warn me. I suspect he’s being watched rather closely.”
“If V. Mark is here, then surely the Apostate is not far away,” the youngster enthused.
“That is quite possible,” the merchant responded. “Anyway,” he continued louder, “you need to take the mare out for some exercise tonight. Steer clear of all these military patrols, won’t you, I need the horse back in the morning, and it would be helpful you came back too.”
“I’ll do my best,” the lad grinned as the merchant returned to the beer garden.

A few moments later, he rode an aging mare out of the paddock and down the road. Soon After the road had turned around the hill, he came on an hussar who was inspecting his saddle straps. “Guten Abend!” he called cheerfully.
“Depends on how and to whom you’re bending,” the hussar joked as he straightened up.
“I’ll drink to that!” the lad responded, to which the hussar quickly produced a flask, took a swig and offered to share with “Proust!”
The lad thanked him and took a drink. As he handed it back, he apologized, “I didn’t mean to drink the whole thing.”
“The whole thing?”
“That’s my guess, I’ve got to find the good merchant’s train to give them their Marks.”
“On your Mark, then,” the Hussar responded. “I’ve to to get back to my billet too.”

As the lad rode on into the dusk, SomeRussian Guyovitch mounted and turned back towards the hunting lodge. Events were developing again.


Bluebear Jeff said...


I believe that you're in Arkansas . . . did you know that "Nomadic Old School Gamer" lives in Porter, Arkansas?

I don't know how far apart you two are, but it might be worth finding out.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Almost promising a quasi-'Pulp' aventure!

Gallia said...

Mein lieber Artur,
Delighted to read your story and apprehend you are back in the saddle again.
Kind regards,