Sunday, 22 February 2015

English Civil War Diary - Entry Number 13

Well after being neglected somewhat over the last few weeks, yet another diary entry is ready. A bit like buses eh! You wait for ages then four come along at once.

I have been busy conversing via email with Ringo and Kurtus, regarding the Quick & Dirty Rules, some modifications that are needed and thanks to the suggestions made by the two commanders, I can now write the first revision, excitedly named Version 1.1

I hope to use the new version of the rules to fight another battle in the near future, Both Ringo and Kurtus, have agreed once again to take command of the forces.

On the painting front, alas, my poor Scottish Highlanders are stood looking at me, with just the flesh added to them, I really am going to have to get cracking on them, as the Montrose Irish are also mounted on their pennies, awaiting a coat of primer and will be the next job. A box of Covenanter Foot sit in their box, claiming third position in the painting queue. I also have three sets of plastic Warlord Games regiments of foot, still on their sprues, also shouting for some attention. So all in all, I am going to be very busy on the painting front for some time to come.

However, I have been watching and admiring the Perry 'War of the Roses' figures, now that was also a Civil War set in Britain, a couple of hundred years or so before the one I am currently building armies for. I am very, very tempted to pick up a box of Mounted Knights and a box of Archers/Bill men, just to see for myself. A future project methinks!

Well enough of all that, here is the next diary entry, hope you enjoy it.

Seize What Fate Offers.

Twiston Hall

28th March 1642. 1pm.

Sir Royston had finally regained full consciousness that morning. When he first opened his eyes and recognised his own delicately painted ceiling with its cherubs and flowers, he thought he had been dreaming, when he tried to lift his head, he realised he had not! It felt as if it had been cleaved in two by an axe, and that the woodcutter was now stood on his forehead, trying to extract the said axe by riving it back and forth.

His hand felt the bandage that swathed his head, and he tried to remember what had happened. The musket fire, men screaming and dying, Captain Parr's face or what was left it, kept floating before his eyes. He closed them tight, but that horribly mutilated face was still there, staring at him in accusation.

'Please to take a drink sir.' a woman's voice, one he recognised, one of the hall servants. It was the first time he realised that there was someone else in the room. He opened his eyes, the girl, Margaret of was it Mildred, was offering a goblet up to his lips, she gently lifted his head a few inches and he felt the cold liquid, and realised it was milk, he drank deeply, so thirsty he hadn't realised how dry his mouth and throat were.

'How long?' he barely recognised the croak that came from his own throat. The girl smiled and put the goblet back to his lips, again he gulped down the cold milk.

'I shall call the physician sir, he can answer all your questions.' She gently lowered his head down onto the pillow and was gone.

Harold Auchinleck, appeared beside the bed. 'How are you feeling sir? we have been much worried.

'How long have I been here?' His voice sounded a little more like his own now, Sir Royston noted.

'Tis three days since you were carried here from the York Road sir, what a state you were in, covered in blood with a huge wound to the head, truly I thought you were done for.' He moved to the window and opened the drapes slightly to allow some daylight into the room. 'It seems the regimental flag, or at least the pole holding it, came crashing down on your head, during the fight with the rebels. Completely knocked you out sir.'

Sir Royston narrowed his eyes, the flag, he had ordered it thrown down in surrender, he remembered the fear he had felt, not wanting to die, his life being more important than anything else. John Parr's disfigured face, once more drifted before his eyes. How many had witnessed his cowardice, surely John had not survived that injury, but Major Cunningham, that boring major who's phantom army had indeed been real, once he reported what had happened not only would everyone know that Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings was an incompetent fool but a coward in the face of the enemy too!'

'How is Captain Parr?' Sir Royston asked, 'I know he suffered a tewwible wound,' hoping that he would never be able to attest to his actions.

Mr Auchinleck shook his head, 'John Parr was killed sir, along with many men of the regiment. It will take some time indeed to recruit the men to fill the missing in the ranks.'

Sir Royston didn't give a damn how long it would take to replace the dead, just so long as John Parr wouldn't be able to speak out. 'Major Cunningham of the horse wegiment, how is he?' Surely, he couldn't be that lucky that he too was no longer around to tarnish his name.

The same shake of the head, sadly sir, he too was killed in the battle, bravely leading his troopers against superior odds, a sabre blow through the chest I'm told, replied Harold Auchinleck.

Sir Royston's spirits lifted instantly and he had to concentrate and not allow a smile to show on his face.

'Two fine men and many of their twoops gone.' Sir Royston put on as sad a voice as he could muster.

'Very true sir, but you have been spared, not only that a hero to boot.'

Sir Royston's ears pricked up, 'A hero, me, why a hero?'

This was getting better by the minute, someone was looking down on him for sure.

'Why sir, you were found where the fighting had been the heaviest, wounded and with the regimental flag draped across your body a true hero without a doubt. It is why the king instructed me to care for you.'

Sir Royston felt like jumping out of bed and dancing around the room, from coward to hero, fate truly had been on his side, his reputation not only saved but enhanced. He calmed his thoughts, 'The king himself instructed you? That is most kind of his majesty.'

The physician placed his hand on Sir Royston's forehead, 'You are still hot and fevered and need complete rest, however, the king is arriving here within the next two hours as he wishes to thank you personally for your efforts against the rebels. You are far too weak to leave your bed and king or no king, he shall have to sit by your bedside.'

It was too much, Sir Royston could not believe his fortune could be this good, the king riding from York to Twiston Hall to personally thank him. He must get up and be suitably dressed for the occasion, but wait, he was a wounded hero, much better he be laid here looking as wounded as it was possible to be. This was an opportunity to be savoured and seized and Sir Royston was just the crafty, conniving cad to do both...

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