Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Resistance Brews ... scene one

The Resistance Brews:

Late Evening ... L Comte Bastille’s office ... lamps and candles illuminate the room as the count and a few others are viewing various drawings and plans of construction.
A soldier enters and hands a silver platter to an officer. The officer takes the platter to the count who glances quickly at the card.
Bastille: Gentlemen, we’ve been working hard hours, perhaps you would all like to retire to the smoking room for a bit of brandy?
A bespectacled small fellow working on a drawing in the corner fails to join the general exodus, until, at a glance from the count, one of the aides quickly takes his elbow and leads him out.
The count watches them leave and then taps on a side door. A darkly, but richly dressed person enters quickly.
Bastille: Well?
Dark: The Dilbert affair does not seem to be connected to this current problem. That was all merchants, and this seems to be primarily nobles.
Bastille: Primarily?
Dark: Somebody has to be bankrolling it.
Bastille: So, the fat little duke thinks he can just putz by again?
Dark: No, my Lord. The funds available to the Fahrtzen are fairly limited, and we’ve been able to trace most of it ... pretty standard stuff and not enough to threaten a good Gallian division.
Bastille: But these rumors of a coup!?!
Dark: The real professionals who were dissatisfied seem to have left after the Dilbert affair. The barracks are tense with rumors, but nobody seems to be actually involved among the Frankszonian forces.
Bastille: So why all the furor?
Dark: The Duke’s men suspect that external forces are reacting to your .... ah ... construction project as well as to the annexation of Nidda, my Lord. They are hoping that your own militia’s vigilance will protect them from infiltration, so they’re looking just outside their own balliwick.
Bastille: Still, all the rumors inside the walls are suspicious, be sure the depot guards are doubled. Get the sergeants to really ride them to be alert.
Dark: I really can’t pass such an order myself, my Lord.
Bastille: But you can pass an invitation to some especially pleasant guests, no?
Dark: At once, My Lord (exeunt)
Bastille: (goes to main door, and tells sentry to get the staff back)
Soldier: My Lord, there’s a lady caller here now.
Bastille: Yes?
Soldier: The Lady Rosenschnauz, sir.
Bastille: Excellent, have her come in immediately!
(Aides and staff enter, laughing with a pleasant, but not ravishingly, pretty woman)
Lady R: ... and then she said, “but my pussy has no tail!”
(more laughter)
My Lord, Bastille! I do apologize for such a late interview, but I thought you’d want to know ...
Bastille: (smiling politely) yes?
Lady R: The Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade have been lodged in Nidda. Should we provide an Hussar escort or do you want to bring them up to Frankfurt by the river?
Bastille: My staff and I will consider the problem and give you our decisions in the morning, my Lady.
Lady R: Very good! but, my Lord?
Bastille: (maintaining a pretense of politeness) yes, my Lady?
Lady R: Will you be attending the fete in person or as an officer of guard?
Bastille: Most likely as both, my Lady.
Lady R: Then we will need your measurements for your costume!
(she suddenly pulls a tape measure from the lace of her sleeves and snuggles up to the Count while measuring his chest ... the aides quickly hide their grins and stifle their sniggers)
Bastille: (trying to pull back) Costume? My Lady! Surely this isn’t necessary!
Lady R: Oh, but Mslle. Masquerade insisted, she wrote of you as her white bunny!
Bastille: (finally managing to dodge free as Lady R. tries to get his inside seam) Alas, my Lady, but this night must be spent on sterner measures ... my comrades are in the field already and we’ve rumors already of battle!
Lady R: Oh, you men! Well, I’ll send some of our maids over at lunch to finish ... See you later, my Lord. (exeunt ... the staff still hiding hilarity).
Bastille: All right, gentlemen. (sudden sobriety strikes all), we’ve some urgent things to accomplish by morning ... the architect staff can be dismissed .... speaking of which, where IS the architect?
An officer: He went to his quarters, I believe sir.
Bastille: You believe?
Officer: Yes, sir. He said something about wrong measurements on his way by and said he’d have to wait for morning to get them right.
Bastille to an aide: Bring him back, I need to know about these measurements.
Aide: Yes, sir! (Exeunt)
Bastille: Draw up orders to double the supply and depot guards, I want an alert to be set up but quietly, less we draw the attention of the local spies ...
(the officers fall to writing quickly, and some show their drafts to Bastille, who initials the papers and sends the officers out).
Aide: (entering) Sir, the architect is not in his quarters, sir.
Bastille: What?
Aide: One of the guards said he saw him meet with one of the servant girls, and they went somewhere together.
Another officer: Well, I hope he gets the measurements right!
(General hilarity ... until Bastille, looking over at the architect’s table, snatches up a draft sheet)
Bastille: Find him, gentlemen! Now!
(exeunt all but Bastille and sentry) .

1 comment:

Gallia said...

l'Intendant Bastille:
" Some Chevert wine sil vous plait."

[Thinking to himself.]
"There is something - something about this place about which I can not identify. It hints at me summoning caution and force in my calculations. I do not want to use draconian measures but...

It was good the new militia brigades arrived a few weeks ago with me are now solely eating Gallian foods. I do not want a repeat of the gastronomic distresses the regulars experienced here before they marched off to the eastwards with Lt. Gen. Chevert. Orderly!"

"Oui Monsieur l'Intendant?"

"Send for Lt. Gardier of the de Saxe Uhlans with my compliments. I have a notion something is afoot."

As the orderly exited the room, Bastille checked today's report of soldiers fit for service.

De Saxe Uhlans: 120 with Pettygree and Masquerade.

Brigade Provence:
Four battalions: 2,323 hommes here in Frankfurt Am Main

Militia Grenadiers: 480, again here in the city.

Brigade Flanders:
Three battalions: 1,952 hommes

Eight with each battalion.

Passing Through:
Saxe-Raschstein Chevaulegers: 400 cavaliers.

Plus Lt. Gen. de Poyanne is not far away with his corps just north of me. I believe he has some 25,000 hommes and twenty pieces of ordnance.