Thursday, 20 December 2012

Unwelcome Visitors (2)

The cavalry halted out of musket range and a small number approached the troops covering the road into the town. With fifty men behind him, Sergeant Schmidt felt confident that he could prevent a quick assault down the main road, but the fieldworks were incomplete and could be easily crossed as no abbattis was in place. All he could do was conduct a fighting withdrawal down the road to the bridge.

Trouble was they didn't look like Frundsberg or any other German cavalry, but Frundsberg did deal in mercenaries, so he couldn't be certain who they were. But they seemed to be dressed in all sorts of oddments without any obvious uniform. However the leader was more smartly dressed and rode up accompanied by a couple of other riders.

He spoke with a heavily accented voice “Good Morning Sergeant, are we in Pommaine?”

“Yes suur, can I ask your business, and can I see you Pass-porte” responded the Sergeant not at all sure how he should handle this.

“Ah yes, I have a letter here somewhere from Count Vladislav” and opened his saddlebag, then stopped and exclaimed. Micha! leave the soldiers alone”

 The Sergeant instinctively turned to where the leader was looking to see one of the riders returning one of his men’s hat on the end of his lance.

“I’m sorry about that Sergeant, now I see one of your officers has arrived”

Friday, 14 December 2012

Counting them all out

Meanwhile in a tavern in Pappenheim two gentlemen are discussing the parade

“Well how many did you count?”

“Ummm, about two thousand foot and five hundred horse”

“What do you mean about?” came a raised voice

“Keep calm, it was difficult to keep count, besides, someone might be listening”

“So my count was just over 1,800 foot and 460 horse, what did you actually count?”

“Well there were eight companies and assuming the ranks stayed six wide for the infantry and eight files that would make 1,920 men, plus officers, etc.  I think that makes two thousand foot more or less and similar for the cavalry”

“OK, lets go with your figures and explanation for our master, will you pass the message on this time?”

“Yes, but how do we get south to check what is really happening?”

“It’s all conveniently restricted because of so called bandits; I’ll try and find a way”

“Very good, I’ll leave to usual mark to indicate if we need to meet again.

After the gentlemen left the tavern, the father treating his daughter to a meal in a quiet corner asked “Well did you get a good look at them?”

“Yes father”

“Those are just the two spies we know of, and we know they use Frau Wurmser’s Academy as a post box, but we need to find out what happens to the letter after that.  So finish off your lunch and we’ll sort out what you might need”

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Unwelcome Visitors (1)

In Bruckewasser the atmosphere was quite different the gates were closed, the walls manned and the militia were being hastily mustered in the main square. The cause of their nervousness soon became apparent as a large mass of cavalry came into view.

Earlier, Sergeant Schmidt had been alerted by an observant sentry that cavalry were approaching the city and sent him back to warn the city. “But, what about the Lieutenant?”

 “Just get back and tell the Major to call out the guard, now get going” Turning around the Sergeant called out “Fall in and prepare for cavalry” his men quickly climbed out of the various ditches and ran for their piled arms, before assembling on the road behind him.

Seeing the various townsfolk stopping their work on the fortifications he shouted out “And you lot keep working, it’s nothing to worry about”

From behind he heard the question “Where’s Lieutenant Uston Sergeant?”

“Don’t you worry lad, he’s better off sleeping off his hangover” The Sergeant wasn't as sure when he looked out at the mass of cavalry that had appeared in front of them.