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Sun, Rum And...fun?; open, by all means help distract Marion
Topic Started: Apr 1 2011, 11:10 AM (1,778 Views)
Marion Greenwood
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[align=center]Date: 5-th of May 1719, around noon
Place: Ile de la Gonave[/align]




The next day. It was always the next day after the last, was it not? The ship was settled, the anchor weighed, the allies were all together. Even the plates and pots from the galley was allready set tidy after the last meal for everyone. The shift change was all ready on its way and provisions were all ready being gathered, counted and stocked. Everything and everyone was accounted for, even the sails were at rest.

Marion leaned against the pin galley along the railing of the ship. His hair much longer now than when he first boarded. His bangs were beginning to fall into his eyes. It might be any day now that the captain would say something about it. His legs crossed over themselves as he leaned against the railing, Marion was watching the little ants on the ship and then as he turned his head there were little ants on the ground. It was entirely too rigid and structured. If he didn't aleviate his creativity soon he might go insane and gain an invite to the hellfire, laughing at everything and innapropriately to boot.

Moments ago, the man was releived from his assignment since, well, it was finished by his hand and another was about to garner credit for it. Absolutely nothing hept his interests, not to mention a single thing to do. Since he was given his reprieve, it would seem the only thing left was get off the boat that smelled distinctly of moldy wood and burnt sweat and see if there was anything of interest on the island that he could atleast fancy to write about in his journals.

Along the beachfront, through the native bushes, Marion found an Azalea bush. Wild and untamed, it's branches reaching for anything and everything. It didn't look like much but it did have a few surviving flowers that were almost at full bloom. Their smell was anything better than the innards of a ship populated by sailing men. Marion's relaxation location wasn't that far away from the harboring point that he couldn't be found but all he could hear were the shouts of men when the restocking was carried the wrong way to the ships. Most of it made him laugh.
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Raoul Duval
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It was a quiet day, and the work aboard „Le Phenix” was underway – the same as aboard the other two ships which, all three of them, hoisted no colours for the moment being. A man was contouring the lines of the letters forming the new name of his prided third-rate, now with a larger waist and mixed rigging – and so the „Sea King” was reluctantly getting born...

”Ships of different flags, be they allied or not, don’t sail together in a convoy, and the damn pirates know it well!” the privateer had warned them last night, and his words, with a strong regional accent (from wherever he was, as Raoul spoke English acceptably, but he couldn’t make the difference between a Scottish, an Irish or another brogue) were still resounding in the French captain’s mind.

The man was obviously right; when they drew the plan in Nassau, they had overlooked this detail, which fully made sense, and had to be implemented now. He felt it would be a daunting task, given the Frenchmen’s ageless feelings towards their neighbours across the Channel, much more centuries enemies than allies. He couldn’t blame them, as he shared their feelings, but he was also aware that his men weren’t as fond of him as before, making the whole situation more difficult. His popularity had downed with the defeat, and being at half-pay ashore for two months while „Le Phenix” was getting repaired, obviously couldn’t make the seamen like him more...

He needed, for a while, the wilderness to calm his thoughts and make him find the best way how to explain the crew that during this particularly difficult endeavour, they had to sail under a British flag, as deceiving as the new name of their ship. As nothing required his presence on board for the moment being, Raoul could go to explore a little the unknown beauty of the palm forest in front of him. A captain’s task was not to supervise the sailors’ and the carpenters’ work – there was a boatswain and his mates for this task, there was a quartermaster, lieutenants... So, finally without the uniform, but dressed in his „merchant captain” outfit which shouldn’t look as new as it was once worn at sea during their mission, he headed towards the forest.

It was totally different to see the island on the map he had been provided with when sent to the West Indies and to see it feet on. Of course he was curious to explore it a little – the forest was appealing, with its speckled sunlight and the display of a wide range of green, red and brown palm fronds, providing a nice challenge for a boring day. Besides, finding a spring with sweet water would be benefic for all the crews, who could refresh their supplies tomorrow...

He had two pistols on him, to defend against any unknown beast which might have attacked him, but he hoped it was no need for it. Up to now, he had seen only lizzards, parrots and other mulit-coloured birds... no, not as multi-coloured as a certain bright robin he was thinking about, when searching in his pocket for an old little compass which might come handy in his exploration.

There were all kind of flowers around him... and a blonde man, tastefully dressed, smelling some of them. He was too elegant to be a common sailors, he was definitely one of the officers of the Limeys or the privateers. Maybe a warrant officer, as he hadn’t been at the dinner the night before.

”Good morning, Sir! A nice day for some sight-seeing in an unknown place,” he said in English. ”My name is Raoul Duval,” he introduced himself, avoiding to say that he was the French Navy ship’s captain, not to intimidate the lower-rank officer.

His French accent was noticeable, his grammar so and so, but he had enough vocabulary for any conversation. Not that he hadn’t practiced it two weeks ago, for two too short days...
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Marion Greenwood
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Marion stared at the large pink flowers that were beginning to turn white and brown. Color! In a green bush, Where everything around it was nothing but muddy green leaves and limbs. It was May, but Azalea's in May is usually unheard of. Marion was so distracted by the flowers and their dying beauty, that he missed the man coming up from behind, until a sudden crushing of the debris along the ground caught his attention.

”Good morning, Sir! A nice day for some sight-seeing in an unknown place,” he said in English. ”My name is Raoul Duval.” Coincidentally, the man's words were said seconds after the crushing of the leaves. No doubt he must have realized he had "snuck" up behind the limey. Marion's hand was still holding the one flower that had caught his attention earlier, but a brisk turn of his head and shoulders acknowledged his company. Being called Sir, wasn't all that new to him and while he had accepted it as a title of his rank, he still secretly hated it. There was a singular grin and a slight bounce of his head followed.

"Indeed, a good afternoon to you too, Sir." There was the mild attempt to sound like a mocking bird, easily lost for those that didn't know him as well as his shipmates.
"Glad to make your acquaintance, Mr. Duval. Marion Greenwood." The Englishman released the flower and extended his hand in a greeting of gentleness. Although he had introduced himself, he was quite specific to purposefully leave out his ship's title.
"It's rare to see blooming life in such a wild setting. I have half a mind to cut and shape this bush, like a Gardener, just to preserve it." He grinned gestering back to the plant that had his attentions earlier.

Marion had noticed the slight accent the other had saying his name. It sounded as though English was not his first language, but just the fact that he commanded English so well, prooved he had a full upbringing. No doubt he came from one of the other two ships ancored at the island....it was either that or he was a stranded man of gentry on the island of no inhabitants. The latter seemed quite unlikely. But which ship wrestled in his mind. Marion hadn't seen the man on his, so that left him as a sailor of the other two. And Raoul wasn't in French Uniforms, so his conclusion was that his conversation was taking place with one of the privateers. It was just hard to place since Raoul's clothing looked fairly good for wear. Now he was just confused.

Confusion never set well with Mr. Greenwood, it made him feel he wasn't in full control or understanding of the matter.
"Pardon me, I'm not used to all this fresh air." He grinned after placing his hand to the bridge of his nose.
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Raoul Duval
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The man greeted him nicely and introduced himself… damn, with a girl’s name! Raoul smiled widely, as Marion was a name rather common in Normandie, but he didn’t comment about it. It would be time for such jokes later, when they would know each other better. But he could be sure he wouldn’t escape the teasing!

”Glad to meet you, Mr. Greenwood. And yes, life is so beautiful here in the West Indies… I’d say, exactly because it is wilder than in our old Europe. At least so it seems to me, a newcomer to these lands. Are you familiarized with the West Indies for a longer time?”

Even if he was, definitely this island was a novelty for them all. But again, the azalea told something about him:

”Do you have a special interest for plants? Or is it only a poetic penchant for beauties of all kind?” Raoul asked him when hearing that he would have liked to preserve the flower.

Actually, the answer to this question might reveal more about the man. If he was into exploring and drawing, into sciences in general, it meant they had something in common to discuss.

”I was in an expedition in Africa almost five years ago, reaching Ile de France* and Ile Bourbon**, and there I paid attention to everything around me too,” he explained.

Of course he had - he had to report everything to his king... and he had hoped in vain that at least a small place in Ile de France could bear his name...


[size0]* Now Mauritius
**Now Reunion
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Marion Greenwood
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Ahh, aha. Marion saw that little twinkle in the man's eye. He was thinking something, something marion considered devious. No doubt he was reading a silent insult that might never be said. But insults were common, it took a real gentleman to hold it back and turn it into a compliment. The compliment never came, but a change in topic would be just as suitable.

"The West Indies? Never been here before." He grinned at his own joke as a light flippant shoulder rised briefly, hiding the fact he was laughing at his own joke. Marion wasn't lying, he honestly could say this was his first trip to the Carribbean. Five years with the English Navy, and never once sent to the islands. As he looked around he could understand why, he might have jumped ship and started a new life. He had to wonder if the person assigning his duties knew him better than he thought.

Marion grinned at Raoul's choice of words. Why would anyone think he was a gardner? Well, maybe the idea he implanted earlier on whim might help explain it, but he had no desire to be a man of plants.
"And a rose by any other name..." He began to quote the famous playwright, but stopped short before the full sentence was complete as he turned back to the bush.
"I am only interested in the plantlife so much as it adds to the overall of wild beauty of this place. I suppose if given the option of those choices, beauties of all kinds suit my pallette much more than just a single pink flower." He offered an answered the question, alluding discreetly to the absolute lack of woman present.
"What about you, Sir. What brings you out into the uncivilized wilderness?" Marion asked Raoul without letting it known that he was a man of adventuring. How do you broach the topic and just come out and tell people that he drew pictures for a living, in the English Navy no less.

Reading fine details of a map was a refined talent, drawing them out was something more extrodinary. He wanted to shout it out that he was this and that and did all sorts of things that would make him sound more important than he was, but the truth of the matter was, was that here, right now, he was just a minor officer aboard his ship. Marion knew it would be best not to gloat, this man before him in civilian clothes might not appreciate all the grand things he thought he could do.

As Marion thought about what to say and what not to say, Raoul was all ready begining a conversation about Africa. This man must have been well traveled. Bourbon and France...Marion mind snapped to life. This man was from the French ship! Now just one more question hung around unanswered, why would the French Navy have a civilian in tow?
"Africa? What was it like? Did you see any lions and tigers?" Marion seemed genuinely intrigued, hearing his company had seen places he had not. It took him a moment to realize that tigers were not in Africa, but he hoped Raoul didn't realize his mistake. It would be easy to laugh away the error in jest. Everyone in America thought Tigers were found in Africa, and since he was from Connecticut...that was an easy fix.
"If you tell me about Africa, I'll tell you about the Indians of America." He grinned.
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Raoul Duval
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The Englishman was definitely a nice man, far nicer than the two captains he had met last night. The young officers had been nice too...

When the man with a girl’s name answered that it was his first time here, Raoul smiled and nodded:

”Then it’s both of us ready to explore an unknown wilderness. I have been once to Louisiana, but not here. Everything has a start in this world...”

Mr. Greenwood quoted from Shakespeare, and Raoul nodded, recognising it.

”It was translated and played in Paris too,”

Besides Raoul, all the nobility had attended, it had been a success... The mere thought made him miss that bright environment. Hearing his comment about „beauties of all kinds”, Raoul chuckled:

”It seems we have similar tastes not only in clothes. And, to answer to your question... orders brought me here. <Le Phenix> was needed, it was raised to the status of flag ship in the French colonies in the Carribbean. Exactly how I was sent, some years before, to Ile Bourbon and Ile de France. I was on <La Paix>, under the command of captain Dufresne d'Arsel, in that exploring mission. I had drawn a few plants myself then, but there was another man, more skilled than me, who didn't leave without his notes. I hear he wrote a book about it..."

When asked about the wild animals of Africa, Raoul smiled at the memories:

”I didn’t see any tigers, and lions only once, during a stop on the Slave Coast. On those islands there are none. I saw a strange bird, about this tall,”, he showed to his chest, ”which didn’t fly and looked... ugly, and flying foxes, but nothing more dangerous. The African continent, however, is totally different.”

And he was younger, having known no defeat and hoping for a bright future...

"If you tell me about Africa, I'll tell you about the Indians of America," Mr. Greenwood suggested, with a big grin.

Raoul’s eyes glimmered with interest when hearing it:

”I saw a few Natchez Indians came to trade in Nouvelle Orleans, but they seemed to have been civilised in a mission of sorts,” he said. ”This seems a good deal... both for now and maybe for later too. If you don’t have anything else to do, you are invited aboard <Le Phenix>, to see if our brandy is better than your whisky.”

Friends were scarce in this world, and if their countries were allied, why wouldn’t they become friends? It seemed they could find subjects of mutual interest...
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Marion Greenwood
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Marion was starting to feel that this was a competition of sorts. This Raoul fellow was now letting it out that he had also been to Lousiana as well as Africa. Marion had mentioned earlier that he had been to the Indianlands, and now believed he should find a way to make himself sound a little mre well travelled. He needed something equally as impressive but from his English roots. His visit to Virginia seemed to fit the bill.
"Yes. I'm sure it was quite lovely. Vir-" He stopped. Why did he stop? This was a man's challenge. It didn't involve guns, it was all with witty words and the man who had been the most places would be the victor. He was just about to say that Virginia was quite nice this time of year. There would have been some other words about how Virginia, it's beauty, not comparing to New England....but Marion had stopped. Regardless of why he had stopped, he liked this Raoul fellow and besting him at this silent challenge might have made for a poor friend.
"Viv...oh what was her name." The English man began to change his words into something else entirely. Secretly he hoped Raoul wasn't a witch and reading his mind as he spoke.
"Oh, pfft, I can't remember her name. I met a beautiful maiden from the French provences a few years back." He paused for a moment. "Appologies, I digress."

Marion's companion spoke about Africa and his sightings of wild African animals that seemed so different than anything he could imagine. But it wasn't until the man had said with affirmation that he was from the French Naval ship that Marion realized he was not from the privateer's ship. Aha! So the man was from the French ship and not from the privateer one. That settled the question once and for all.
"Perhaps then, I should seek out this book. I might be familiar with the land of Africa before I find myself there. Perhaps there is mention of this frightening bird you speak of." He nodded.
"Orders are funny aren't they. I receive my own on the Rose. Do this, the Captain says, but make sure this other thing doesn't happen. I wonder if the man realizes that in order to get the first mission accomplished the second must happen.." The whole thought seemed funny to him.

"I suposse it's my turn then. I spent some time with the Iroqouis. As much as the courts believe the Indians are savages, they have a representational government, if you can believe it. Each of their tribes come together in great...uh...meetings of their people. Like a Catholic Conclave. I guess it was a Grand Council of sorts. They have leaders who speak for others under them, a lot like the Great Lords. They are not as savage and brutal as others would have you to believe." Just talking about the knowledge he gained from the Seneca Nation, when he was there, helped him to remember quite vividly his past memories.

If you don’t have anything else to do, you are invited aboard <Le Phenix>, to see if our brandy is better than your whisky.” Marion's eyes lit up. He was excited at the idea to see how the French sailors might live. He had suspicions it would be very simular to the English. But they were French, maybe everything inside was painted light blue. He smirked at his own thoughts finding the sight of a powder bluue interior on a ship quite not settling well with the men of the English.
"I would never pass up an invitation like that. Wouldn't your Captain be upset you invited an English man aboard?" There he was again grinning as he brought up the continuous strains between the British and French that had lasted for centuries.


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Raoul Duval
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Raoul chuckled when Mr. Greenwood told him about a French beauty he had met some time ago:

”We are sailors. If we remembered all their names, there would be a hell of a list in our heads, not leaving room for the important sea-related things to remember during fights or storms! They might be good-looking, indeed, but just for one moment or two.”

Then, with a friendly laugh at his apology, he added:

”No apology needed, such beauties are always a pleasurable digression in one’s life. Well, as long as a duel doesn’t happen to be one’s last, God forbid it!” he crossed himself widely. ”Up to now I’ve been lucky.”

Indeed, and he knew well what he was speaking about...

Mr. Greenwood mentioned seeking the book that ship doctor had written... but who remembered his name?

”Well, good luck, if you are reading French fluently enough. I haven’t read it ,and unfortunately I can’t help you with his name either – maybe I’d remember quicker a lady’s than a man’s!” he apologized in his own way.

He listened to Captain Crawford being gossipped about, with an understanding nod. He could imagine this... And only God knew what comments Raoul’s own crew was spreading about him...

When he started telling about the Indians, Raoul forgot everything else around, paying total attention to him.

”It is extremely interesting. I heard something about an African tribe who had a king and palaces... but I haven’t seen them, only heared from missionaries who heard from others.”

Mr. Greenwood seemed pleased to receive the invitation aboard the French flagship. When asked if the captain wouldn’t be upset, he laughed.

”You are our allies for two years already, he had to get used to this idea, and everybody did. Besides, all the three captains had met yesterday evening for dinner aboard your ship, didn’t they? And the French ship will have to be disguised as a British one for this joint adventure. ”

He had no intention to tell him yet that he was the captain, he let this surprise for when receiving the visit.
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Marion Greenwood
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Marion was liking this Frenchman more and more. If it wasn't for his French-ness, Marion might have just mistaken him for one of the boys he ran about with at Yale some many years ago. The two of them were all ready showing the same interests in the same categories. The love of Art and well, who could deny the many women in their lives. The next time they were in port at the same time, he would have to buy this man a pint...or something. The establishment's best something.

Marion nodded a consistant bob of his head as his cheeks widened. This was by far the best conversation he had had in quite sometime. Even his appology was taken with the light heartedness that ir was presented.
"...and unfortunately I can’t help you with his name either – maybe I’d remember quicker a lady’s than a man’s!” Raoul made comment with a what marion could only say was a prankster's smirk. Immediately marion picked up on the play on words. The Englishman was not just one of those general blokes who was told to pick up heavy things and retold where to put them down at. No. Marion was intelligent and if understood Raoul in the manner he believed he did, Marion knew that was a joke made at his expense. A woman's name indeed.
"Well...then perhaps you might remember mine for years to come, chap." A deep chuckle rumbled from within the Englishman's throat.

"...And the French ship will have to be disguised as a British one for this joint adventure. ” Marion thought for a moment at the idea, envisioning the powder blue innards of the French ship again for the briefest of moments before he shoke it off not desiring to dwell on such ideas. Before he knew it, the Frenchmen might be seen as dandies in his eyes. And that would be a miserable discovery indeed.
"Then we should step foot aboard your ship as soon as possible, right? We might need to disguise the interior as well. I think you said there was a glass of brandy making call for me...and since you said it would not be an issue, let's us hence make haste." Marion gestured with a bout of flare for the Frenchman to lead the way.


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Raoul Duval
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Raoul’s smile got broader when the Englishman answered, with a chuckle, that he might remember his name for a long time. He didn’t intend to let it sound as a joke this time, but yes, it was true, he had a name... not to be forgotten. And suddenly, the pompous peacock got a sort of ...changing his mind about some principles he had been living by up to now.

Damn, these were the God forsaken colonies, not Paris! And he had left already his Navy uniform, he is a merchant captain like any other... Friends of like minds have been scarce even in France, most of them were drinking buddies and chess or cards partners. This man wasn’t working aboard his ship, so none of them two was bound by any hierarchy rules.

”Most likely. And, as this wilderness makes us all brothers-in-arms, I don’t mind if you call me Raoul, even before we drink the brandy I have promised you,” he stated simply, without asking him directly if he was really called Marion...

When his new friend showed his interest for the ship and the brandy, Raoul’s laughter couldn’t be stopped. Of course the french brandy was better than the British whiskey... and he would also have a shock when learning that Raoul was the captain.

”So you want to disguise the French brandy in your interior first, I suppose! Fair enough, if you got already bored with the wilderness...” he answered, returning towards the sea.

”By the way, do you play chess?” he wanted to know, as if it was the most important thing in this world.
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Marion Greenwood
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"Raoul. Thank you for that honor. And in return please do call me Marion." The Englishman countered offering his first name to Raoul now that he had permission to call him that. It didn't really mean much to him as Marion was going to call the man by his first name anyway. What's the point of having a name if no one ever calls you by it. It's not like this man was anyone important that required a title, like the French Daulphin or King George, himself. Marion had half a notion to not call anyone by their titles for a while and see if it made a difference in life...on second thought...
Marion took in a breath deciding it was better to keep his head and maybe giving a bout of respect to those in power. His head was something he was quite attached to.

”So you want to disguise the French brandy in your interior first, I suppose! Fair enough, if you got already bored with the wilderness...” Marion looked over towards Raoul with an odd brow as he tried to piece together the meaning of his French friend's sentence. Seeing Raoul laugh, Marion returned the favor until he was sure, that Raoul was making a joke that probably sounded funnier in French than in English, as in English it sounded a little randy.
"I'm never bored with the land." He grinned. "But I hear a glass lonely for my hand."

The two moved back towards the pristine harbor where the ships were all moored.
The Frenchman offered a simple question to break the silence. Chess was a great game. It was one of those games that warrior poets played, of course, marion had had his hand in a game or two. Maybe not enough to best the great scholars, but certainly enough experience to know the rules and while away some time.
"Definitely. But can I be the Dashing Queen's Knight?" Marion mused with a questionable rise of his single eyebrow. It was more of a joke than anything else, but he knew he might just have confused his host.

"I jest. I'd love to best you in chess."
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Raoul Duval
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Raoul smiled widely and repeated:

”Marion… I guess I can’t forget it, indeed, it is rather common name in my Normandie too…”

He chuckled at the end, because it was a common name for girls. Actually he was the first man with this name… but he couldn’t wonder too much, as one of his Spanish friends he had made during the previous war, and who died before the laws of kings making them enemies, was named Jose Maria, so… he knew it was rather often in the Catholic world.

The raised brow he received as an answer to his chuckle made him understand that the man was used to be teased for his name, so he didn’t add anymore to it. His laughter came loudly when he heard that the glass was lonely for his hand.

”You hear it well. And given that in the afternoon nobody would be able to be ashore, as we’ll have the joint gunners’ drill, with testing the guns… now it is a good time for a drink!

He didn’t know that Marion was the sailing master, so that he would have a responsibility during the gun drill, but even if he knew, only one glass of brandy had never been a problem for a man; a bottle was different, though…

On the route to the ship, he got the confirmation that his new potential friend was playing chess.

"Definitely. But can I be the Dashing Queen's Knight?" Marion asked.

Raoul felt the joke, even if he didn’t understand it completely, because he knew the names of the pieces only in French. If “knight” was “chevalier”, the chess piece was “cavalier”, “rider or cavalry officer”, but it gave the idea of the meaning than the word for “queen”, which was merely “dame”.

"Well, all of us are dreaming to be the knights of a pretty queen… or a rich and powerful one,” he chuckled. "Maybe to get into the legends too, but not as the daring beheaded one!”

Things got clearer when Marion pinpointed that his intention was only to win him a game of chess.

”Any time. The first lieutenant had done it extensively, but I won him some too.”

This was really going to be interesting... not only a glass of brandy and an entertaining conversation, but a game of chess too...
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Marion Greenwood
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"Indeed. What's a drink between friends?" He offered in a jesting manner raising his shoulders with his palms up. It was just a moment of humor between both of them, Marion and Raoul.

The ships showed themselves in the distance beyond the trees that wanted to obscure. The sails were put away leaving only the skeletons of the masts, empty and bare, like a forest of dead trees. Marion wasn't aware how soon the drill was from now, but even so, one single glass wouldn't impair him. The Connectican had spent many days drinking nothing but alcohol as fresh water was often a scarce commodity aboard a ship at sea.

"Maybe to get into the legends too, but not as the daring beheaded one!” Marion simply nodded. It was true that no one wished to lose their head. That was such a horrible fear to play on a beheading.
"Yes, Let's not lose our heads. We will have time for a game of chess, right? before the conon drill?

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Pierre Desmarais
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Pierre was on the qurterdeck, adjustig, readjusting, checking and rechecking the "long nines" for the cannon drill he was looking forwards to, whe the captain strolled slowly towards the ship, accompanied by... yet another man!
The master gunner nearly dropped the cannonball he was holding.
What in the blue hell... the man was really shameless!! Bringing his... *friends* on board in broad daylight!
And the worst thing was, that he had to be polite and attempt to appear as if he didn't know what kind of man exactly the captain was...
Sighing, Pierre busied himself with cleaning the alredy gleaming cannon for the umpteenth time, just to avoid looking at the captain and... that other man.
Nevertheless, when they arrived on the quarterdeck, Pierre had no option but to greet at least the captain...
"Captain..."
he grudgingly acknowledged the mans rank, before he started again to polish the cannon as if his life depended on it
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Raoul Duval
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Marion accepted gladly the drink – which sailor worth his salt wouldn’t? - and he further asked about a game of chess:

”Of course we have time. Also for the revanche, I think,” he smiled with the anticipation of getting acquainted with a new strategy, a new player’s style.

He didn’t mention yet anything about lunch, but he intended to invite his pleasant companion for lunch too. However, first of all they had to reach the ship – which happened quickly, of course – and he was curious to see the man’s reaction when he learnt who Raoul actually was.

He had not much to wait for satisfying his curiosity, as the first man they met when getting aboard „Le Phenix” was the master gunner, who greeted him while still busy checking the guns. The other sailors and gunners saluted him too.

”Desmarais, I think you have polished them like a mirror,” he smiled in appreciation. ”I hardly wait to show our allies what you can do with our guns!”

He looked at his new friend, to see his reaction to the news.
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