Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Of Partridges and Walnuts

It was not long after Captain Joincare had arrived at his appointed place with his piquet that he found himself met by two partridge hunters, the brothers Gudenus.

The fusilieers were all of them taking their ease, variously smoking upon their clay pipes, or playing cards or at dice or at whatever took their fancy. One of them, called by himself "Jolicoeur", Joincare was pleased to remember, was talented with partridge, walnuts, the broad leaves of trees and the embers of a fire burned low.

For their part, the Brothers Gudenus (Daniel and Louis as they were named) were pleased to accept six sous for a brace. They had been shooting for the pot, but now had coin with which to purchase some lace for their sisters' wedding-dress.

Upon taking their leave of the Captain, Daniel and Louis made their way homeward by trails that they themselves (with the exception of the local Abenakis) only knew.

Imagine their surprize to espy when only two miles from where they had left Captain Joincare a party of Englishmen who were obviously designing some ill.

Daniel, being the elder, instructed his brother to run to the French and tell them what the English were about. He himself would run home and arouse their relations.

It ought to be mentioned at this point that the Gudenus and several of their neighbours were of course (as was widely known by people in the area) Acadians and, on account of the misfortunes suffered by those people, bore the English great ill-feeling and would not forebear to do them like injury in return.

Louis ran with all speed and informed Captain Joincare of the presence of the English soldiers, and thus raised in his mind a dilemma.

The knew the English were in the area in numbers greater than his own, but not how many. He could count on the support of Captain Chabert's Grenadiers, but they were some distance away and he was not sure when exactly they might arrive. In similar like, he was assured the assistance of an unknown number of militia at an unknown time.

His orders promised him support and implied that he must watch the road.

What to do?


Bluebear Jeff said...

What to do? Remember that he has a nice brace of partridges for supper . . . the English can wait.

-- Jeff

Bloggerator said...

Oh, but Sir, his Blood is Hot.