Joined: January 21st, 2011, 7:25 pm

April 6th, 2011, 6:57 pm #11

"A cup of coffee sounds like it would do wonders right now, Captain," he said as a small chuckle passed over his lips. He looked at Raoul, smiling slightly at the mention of the night before. "It was a long night indeed," he said.

"The men were happy to get a good night's revel in before we had to set sail. I'm sure it did wonders for their morale," Giles wondered if the fact that he actually drank with the crew did anything for morale as well. He wanted to be approachable as a first lieutenant, even if he was higher in rank. Perhaps this was why he would never have his own ship.

He had sent a letter to Marie the day before setting out. He told her that he would think of her to get through the nights at sea. He longed to return ashore to spend another wonderful evening with her. Now is not the time, Giles... he said to himself as he brought his attention back to the present.

"About that coffee..." he said, smiling to Raoul.
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:49 pm

April 8th, 2011, 6:27 pm #12

A bunch of dolphins and flying fish darted over the foamy waves, almost as if they were leading the way to the island. Raoul looked at them, while Giles confirmed the obvious - that he had drunk with the others – thing which he had done many times too, but never during the last night ashore.

”This is perfectly true, it always does wonders for the men’s morale, this is why I use to spend time with them sometimes too.”

”Only that you, mon gars, have spent too much time with your books and too little with them. You aren’t habituated to drink and you can’t hold it, as I see,” he thought, mistaking Giles’ dreamy gaze for one clouded by the hangover.

”And let’s go to my cabin for the coffee, Fanchot always leaves me a whole pot,” he smiled to his lieutenant. ”Was the master gunner with you last night?”, he asked, thinking that Pierre’s grouchiness today might have the same reason.

On his way, he met the not yet promoted sailing master, Gadou. Since Leroux had died following the encounter with „La Princesa”, he had taken over, but as a promotion had to wait for the proper examination...

”Gadou, turn it into the wind, find a good anchoring spot and supervise the manoeuvres!”

Ile de la Gonave wasn’t such a big danger, according to the maps, but paying attention when two other ships were in that small bay was always a good idea.
Last edited by Raoul Duval on April 8th, 2011, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

April 9th, 2011, 5:47 pm #13

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OLIVIER GADOU, master’s mate[/align]


Olivier was looking at the map, then at the blow of the wind across the water, and only finally at the shore line, to locate potential reefs and other hazards in their way. He was happy to be at sea again. The healing process had lasted too long, and he hadn’t recovered yet his usual strength, but he was well and ready to prove that he could be a trusted sailing master, even if he was aware that, according to the regulations, he couldn’t pass the exam until he arrived back to France.

The Canal of Saint Marc was well represented on the map, and the island looked not as tiny as he had been told to be, by contrary. It was hilly, with long stretches of sandy beach and a forest going up a smooth slope, but without dangerous reefs.

He was determining the direction of the wind when the captain passed by him, leaving him in charge. He answered a short ”Yes, Sir!” and he smiled confidently. He was going to do it anyway, he knew his duty. Why did he think that he was admiring the waves, to write a poem or to determine the direction of the wind?

”Drop the main sail, backwind the main sail, then get all sails furled tight for anchoring!” he ordered.

In the absence of a master’s mate, the captain had given one of the midshipmen to help him. A future lieutenant had to learn about sailing, too...

”Check the depth, please!” Olivier asked him, further explaining why it was needed.

He saw already the two other ships waiting for them. Two beautiful ones... pity that they were British.


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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 7:25 pm

April 11th, 2011, 4:08 pm #14

Giles chuckled. It was a wonder he remembered anything from the night before. He shrugged his shoulders. "I couldn't tell you, Captain. My memory of the men who did attend is very stunted this morning. It's hazy, but I'm sure it will come back to me."

The man turned on his heel and began walking to the captain's quarters. "Even if I woke up with a terrible headache, It seems like today will be a good one, captian." he said, feeling very confident.
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:49 pm

April 11th, 2011, 5:47 pm #15

Raoul chuckled, knowing that it had happened to him too, not only once, until he learnt his lesson how much liquor he can hold. A lesson which would come to Giles too, in due time, as he wasn’t used to drinking.

Well, it didn’t matter if Desmarais’ attitude was from a bad hangover or not. He would come to better terms later. Maybe when they would test the cannons, if not sooner.

”Yes, it will be a good day. We arrived here and we can finish our work. Change the rigging on the foremast and mizzen mast, put some fore-and-aft sails there... and who says it isn’t one of the modern hybrids? I guess we don’t have as much work to do as the English Navy frigate had... and, as I saw it from afar, it already looked different - fooling somebody who had seen it before,” he said with admiration.

Once both of them seated comfortably, the captain poured two cups of coffee and showed him the sugar:

”Life is bitter, coffee is better sweet,” he smiled. ”Hot like hell, black like night and sweet like love,” he smiled, without mentioning where he knew from this saying of the Spanish Creoles.

He doubted the proper French officer would think too well of him if he knew that he had a mistress... and that there was even more to the story.
Last edited by Raoul Duval on April 11th, 2011, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 7:25 pm

April 20th, 2011, 10:13 pm #16

Giles put a small amount of sugar into his coffee before stirring it. Always black with sugar. It wasn't as if they had access to cream on the ship anyway. He took a deep breath and sipped at his coffee, listening to Raoul. He didn't have the consciousness he required yet, but with the coffee, it would come.

"I have yet to see it. I will later in the day. Tonight's meeting. It is a formal occasion, I assume," he said, more as a question than a statement. He hoped this hangover would pass before he would have to get dressed up and go listen to men speak about the maneuvers he would have to endure before the week was out. The Alliance was really a lot of talk. Giles had never liked the political game -- which was possibly why he didn't have his own command.

Giles sat back in the chair, smiling at the Creole saying. He had heard it before, but did not expect to hear it from his captain. "I didn't know you spent your free time with the Creoles, Raoul. The saying is a good one, anyway." Giles had read it before in a book, he was sure. Giles loved expressions and proverbs from other cultures, but it went without saying, of course, the best ones were from French literature.
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:49 pm

April 21st, 2011, 6:46 pm #17

Raoul looked smiling at his lieutenant. When the discussion came to the events which were, most likely, in store for them today, Giles asked if there would be a formal meeting.

”I think it must be one. We were the ones who invited them here, unfortunately we are the last to arrive... this is life. We have to plan... and you know these Brits are always formal...” he ended with a grimace.

When he told Giles the words he had learnt from Lucia, he didn’t expect his friend to recognise what people they belonged to, but he did. And given how he commented it, this was a better opening than any, though, to say what he had on his mind since early morning when they had set sail. If Raoul fell on duty during the upcoming battle, Giles was the one who would remain as acting captain, and he would carry out his last wishes.

”Yes, I liked it since I heard it for the first time,” Raoul smiled. ”And... what else to do during the long two months spent ashore, Giles? You frequented the places I was no more desirable to, I had to find comfort somewhere too. If she happened to be a Creole beauty, why not? Her innocent love helped me resist the humiliation, overcome the demons haunting my mind.”

He looked at Giles more seriously than usually when he talked in jest about his latest conquests. Then he realised that a part of his words could be misinterpreted. Giles had never told him that he was courting Marie, but gossips flew anyway, and the Governor’s secretary was one of the very few friends Raoul had got here. So he had to set this clear too:

”Giles, don’t get me wrong, I am really grateful for your friendship, and I know that you had something to do with the fact that the Marquis seemed to have appeased lately as concerns me. I think you are doing the right thing, and you have my support whenever you’d need it. If you are in his graces and if he wants you as a son-in-law, perhaps you’ll choose me as best man. I honestly don’t have anything against it, and I think you two are a good match.”
Last edited by Raoul Duval on April 21st, 2011, 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 7:25 pm

May 5th, 2011, 12:04 am #18

Giles found himself looking at his feet as he heard the captain's words. He had wanted to tell Raoul about his affair with Marie. He wanted to tell the whole world. He was just so happy to have someone in his life once again. He took a deep breath. "I thank you for that, Raoul. She's... a remarkable woman," That was all he could get out at the moment. With a thousand thoughts through his mind, he couldn't form any of them into sentences.

"I do hope you know that I would have told you eventually... If we are to be married, there is no one more than I would like to be my best man than my captain," he said, a smile on his face. "You are my closest friend, after all." Giles grinned widely, looking at his captain.

"But enough of that. How is this Creole beauty of yours? Is she beautiful?"
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:49 pm

May 7th, 2011, 10:46 pm #19

Raoul smiled seeing Giles embarrassed by his words, but better be uncomfortable this way than in a wrong way, if he had misinterpreted the captain’s previous statement. He had nothing against this couple and it was better to be known.

”She is remarkable indeed. I wish you two happiness together, and I hope to find a good wife when I’ll be ready for marriage too,” he smiled warmly to his friend.

When Giles asked him about Lucia, Raoul looked at him, unsure how to start… and even less sure how to tell him what he had on his soul.

”Lucia is beautiful, young and naïve… and madly in love with me. Yes, you could blame me that I am recognizing openly to you what most gentlemen don’t – that I have an affair with my maid; so what? She was the only one who tried to comfort me when I arrived home defeated and mortified; she showed me that she cared, in the little ways she could… Her life hadn’t been easy either, it was like… two torn souls trying to find healing together. And it felt just right… I think what I needed the most was exactly to feel loved and wanted by a pretty woman, after having been spurned publicly by the Spanish prisoner and also publicly becoming the object of a man’s desire. But… things changed… and I might need your help.”

The harder part was just starting. If Giles wasn’t shocked yet, he would be soon. Raoul took a deep breath and ended his coffee, then he continued:

”The battle we have ahead might have an unexpected turn. All battles can, you know it. And if I die… I’ll write a will today, and I’ll give it to you. Please make sure that Lucia and the child she is bearing – my child – will be safe, and not thrown on the roads. I want a reasonable future for my first child, irrespective that he happens to be an illegitimate one, of a commoner status, and I have money to ensure it. If I outlive the battle and I go back to Port de Paix, I’ll try to make amends somehow myself. If not, would you accept, my friend, to carry out my will and watch over them?”
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Joined: January 21st, 2011, 7:25 pm

May 12th, 2011, 9:55 pm #20

Giles listened intently to Raoul's words. He seemed to really love Lucia, and what did it matter that she was a maid. Giles had read so many tales of men having affairs with their maids while wedded to another woman. It seemed vulgar to him. He couldn't understand adultery. If marriage was supposed to be sacred, he would keep it as such. He was glad Raoul had no wife to speak of in this situation.

The grave situation that they faced kept a smile from Giles' face. He didn't like to be serious when facing a battle... he would rather be lighthearted until the fallen had to be dealt with. It was a good philosophy.

"Captain, it would be an honor, should it come to that. She will be taken care of, I promise you." Giles would do most anything for his captain, not because he was a superior officer, but because he was a good man. He liked to think that Raoul would do the same for him if the situations were reversed.

He took a sip of his coffee, before setting it on the table. "While we are on the subject. I have letters in my bunk... should I fall, I would like them delivered as some last goodbye to the world..." He smiled a little. Most of them were for Marie... but there was one or two for his family back in France. He was unsure if the letters would be able to be sent, but he definitely hoped so.
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