Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Frankszonia: The Resistance Brews, Act II, scene 1

The Resistance Brews
Act two:
Scene 1: Street before Ducal residence in city ...

Lt. Gen. Oscar Meyer
Brig. Nathan
Lady Rosenschnauz
M. Gen. Ziegfeldt von Phaulie
Francios l'Marquise de Hottatrot
Guiles, Count l'Beauphaup
Oberst Pfennighalter
Herr Eberhard Kunegunde
Lord Moose Hunter
Page in service of L’Beauphaup
Various Burgomeisters

l'Intendant Bastille: Managing Gallian interests in the city, a tough master
Sgt. Dumas: Bastille's assistant.
Lt. Gardier: Presumably the commander of the de Saxe Uhlans guarding Lady Pettygree
Lt. Col. Enigma: A high ranking officer of the Royal des Carabiniers and something else.

Graf von Fusche de Bergerwart

A troop of the Porcelain Dragoons is drawn up beside the residence, the grenadiers guarding the doors are not in their usual formal poses but are standing at the ready, their muskets at high port.
Carriages are dropping off various well dressed men ...
A troop of Gallian cavalry trots into the area followed by several well mounted Gallian officers.
As the officers dismount, a young page, elaborate dressed and made-up boy, runs down the steps to meet them.

Page: My Lord Bastille! If you would please be so good as to accompany me sir?
Bastille: If it is necessary.
Page: My lord, the Count Beauphaup, has instructed me to see to your needs and to guide you about the palace, my Lord.
Bastille: (going into the palace with the page and his officers) And where is the good Count?
Page: he is helping the Marquise de Hottatrot into the council chamber, my Lord. The Marquis is not yet recovered from his wound.

The party enters into a series of side rooms and comes upon the Hurtzhog and his aides.

Hurtzhog: I am very glad to see you’ve come, my Lord.
Bastille: We are very curious as to the nature of this urgent meeting, your Grace.
Hurtzhog: Ah, yes.... well ... now that you are here, the briefing can begin.
Shall we go in, my Lord? (offers his arm)
Bastille: (remaining at attention does not take the arm) very well, your Grace.
Hurtzhog: (obviously upset at this curt refusal) very good. (turns and raps on another door)
The door is opened from the other side, and the page strides forward into a large room filled with people seated in various ornate chairs near a large table covered with papers.

Page: His Grace Stanken, Hurtzhog von Frankszonia and his Honor, the Intendent Bastille!
(All stand as the ducal party and Gallian officers enter. The Duke leads the Gallian party to the large table ... among the papers, Bastille might notice a rough draft of the plans for the jail).

Hurtzhog: Gentlemen! Before we undertake the serious business of today, I wish to present m’Lord, the Intendent Bastille. We believe that his interests and ours are very closely entwined in this matter.
Crowd: polite murmers ....
Hurtzhog: Richard?
(one of the present grandees, a robust, middle aged man, steps forward)
M’Lord Bastille, may I present the Graf von Fusche de Bergerwart? Richard, the Intendent Bastille.
(They nod curtly to each other across the table).
Hurtzhog: Gentlemen, let us be seated. von Fusche has important matters which he wishes with you to share.
(All others sit down again).

V. Fusche: Gentlemen, yesterday my company of dragoons intercepted a large wagon train. It was for Ficksnore headed, but we have for the trade of that scoundrel, Dilbert, been alert; and one of my officers noted that an agent of Muckiethaler was with the wagons. That agent, unfortunately, evaded capture. The nature of the wagon train itself, however, was most alarming.
(pause while sipping from a wine glass)

Barrels labeled as spices contained gunpowder
(some exclamations from the crowd, neither Hurtzhog nor Bastille changes expression).

Cases labeled “cast iron curios” contained cannon balls or shells.
(More muttering)
Bales labeled “festival bunting” consisted of good coat cloth, dyed in the red of Hungover and Albion.

Burgomeister: Treason!
Others: Caught red handed ... or clothed!
(Bastille notices that a very plump general whose arm is in a sling and another officer, however, confer quietly together. They obviously expected something like this from their mutual nodding)

V. Fusche: It was the nature of the wagons themselves which was most intriguing.
Fhartz: Jah?
V. Fusche: we found that the wagon boxes had been built over and to conceal caissons and limbers. There were enough for two full batteries of 12 pounders!
(Bastille notices that the Hurtzhog gives an angry twitch at this).

Hurtzhog: Thank you, Richard. Now I ask General Meyer to share with you some analysis.

Gen. Meyer: Danke. Gentlemen, these supplies were diversions from those ordered when the Gallian hosts first approached us. The fact that they have been diverted means that our other magazines may possibly also be taken by traitors. The question to be faced is, will this seizure cause them to accelerate or to delay their plans?
The Plump General (Rosenschnauz): (laughing) Hardly! the wives of these lords would kill them if the masquerade is interrupted!! My wife’s connections on that score are very sure!

An austerely dressed burgomeister shakes his head.
Eberhard: General, as much as I esteem your wife, the so called “resistance” is being manipulated from abroad.
A plainly dressed, swarthy, and very tall man rises in the back,
Moose Hunter: (thick accent) The presence of the red cloth confirms what General Rosenschnauz and I already deduced, my lords. This affair is probably being guided by the Hamburger bund.
(Expressions of surprise from many).

Rosenschnauz: Before the Gallian Seewald affair broke into open warfare, you may a brigade of Hungover troops recall that was sent to us against the interruptions of our trade by Limburger. I believe that they did not return to Hungover when we withdrew into the Tann Hills at the arrival of the Gallian hordes, but went into hiding in the forests near Russelheim.

Moose Hunter: They appear to have been reinforced to nearly divisional size. Hence the red cloth.

Gen. Meyer: (alarmed) If we were to try to take a pre-emptive strike on Koenigsberg, they would smash our left!
(Other officers confer in an agitated state).

Hurtzhog: There is other information as well, gentlemen, please.
(The crowd quiets but continues to show agitation)

Hurtzhog: First of all, we happen to know that the Hungover forces, whatever their size, are extremely short of horses and other draft animals. Thanks to the aide of Intendant Bastille, we’ve made a fairly good sweep of useful livestock and brought it under Gallian guard. Secondarily, the rebel forces are rarely battalion size, thus they must converge and organize in Koenigsberg before commencing any operations towards Frankfurt. Third, we’ve managed to disperse several good Hussar squadrons into the country side to provide an alarm should they accelerate their maneuvers.
(the crowd begins to quiet).

Hurtzhog: Now here is where the Gallian presence becomes important. M’Lord Bastille, these men are mostly Protestant adherents to Germania or currently Hesse-Seewald. Given the strength and closeness of Gallian arms as well as their disorganized state, we had not been too alarmed. Tbey’ve called us Gallian puppets, but you know well that we’ve managed to maintain more than a little autonomy so far.
Now, however, the presence of foreign regulars can only mean that some sort of attempt against the depot here is the true target. Our most reliable infantry is already with Gen. Chevert in the field. Due to the civil complications, we can rely upon most of the cavalry but only about four battalions of our infantry.
The documents discovered with these wagons implies that our enemies intended to concentrate on Ficksnore, which is much closer to Frankfurt than Koenigsberg.
We believe that we have three weeks to prepare, however.
Further, since this plot will obviously require Gallian power to thwart, we have gathered our more effective leaders presently in Frankfurt and place them and their forces entirely at your disposal.
(There are some mutters of protest, but the Hurtzhog silences them).
For family reasons, I must withhold the Sage Guard and a few squadrons of Cuirassiers. Until the time of action, however, they have been instructed to obey your orders for the safety of the great ladies coming to the masquerade.

Eberhard: My Lord, the Duke’s decision to hold the masquerade is a sound one ... among other things, it guarantees that several of the rebel leaders will not muster until afterwards ... by which time we will be able to intercept them, and by which time I hope that adequate accommodations may be available to ... ah ... entertain them?

Brig. Nathan: If we can make the battle to seem more a Hungover / Gallian event than some ersatz “free Frankfurt” uprising, pacification will be much easier, and the unrest in the troops much more easily cured.

Gen. Meyer: So, m’Lord, the first question has to be .... do we march on Russelheim right away, or wait until you and unfortunately the enemy can get all your pieces on the board?

(All turn towards the Intendant).

1 comment:

Paulina said...

Interesting to know.