Thursday, March 13, 2008



Admiral Suthren
Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier
Flag Capitaine Aigle
Admiral Suthren’s Coxwain
Ambassador Colonel von Heiner
Hesse-Engleburg Admiral

Narrator: Admiral Suthren’s two Gallian squadrons are deep within Bressay Sound nearing the town of Lerwick on the main island of The Shetlands. Aboard the flagship Impenetrable (74)….

Admiral Suthren: “Flag Capitaine Aigle, I would be obliged if you would order the hoisting of flags to speak with the Hesse-Engleburger commander.”

Flag Capitaine Aigle: “Oui Monsieur l’Admiral. At once.

Narrator: Aigle passes the orders. Within minutes flags are hoisted to the main and foremast tops signifying, “We wish to speak, accented by the black and red pennant of Hesse-Engleburg.” To call attention to the signals, one cannon is fired. The boom of the discharge cannot be unheard in the town of Lerwick as it reaches the shore. Not one eye was looking anywhere else but at the eight Gallian 74s anyway; one squadron of four coming from the south and the other from the north. Moments later no doubt anticipating an exchange of signals….

Aigle: “Monsieur l’Admiral, the Hesse-Engleburger flagship is signaling “Repair on board flag and … Welcome!”

Suthren: “Bon. [Good]. Prepare my barge crew and I would be obliged if you would remain in command during my absence.”

Aigle: “Helmsman bring her up into the wind but do not get close to irons or I’ll know why. Send for the Admiral’s coxswain to prepare and lower away his barge.

Narrator: As the Impenetrable comes up into the wind her yards begin to shiver as the wind spills from the impossible angle. The great ship is losing way but not entirely. She maintains minimal steerageway in case of need to fall off the wind to regain speed. Soon the marines stamp to attention as the Admiral passes before them to drop down into the barge. His barge crew smartly clad in their number one uniforms hold their white oars aloft and never look anywhere but straight ahead. The coxswain casts a steely eye on the crew. They all know the formula and would not miss this pomp and ceremony for the world.

Coxwain: “Welcome Admiral. {Suthren nods approving with a hint of a smile to his old friend, then sits in the stern sheets.] Barge crew. Give way all!”

Narrator: With this order, the barge drifts a little from the Impenetrable. When enough room allows, every oar drops to the water as one and begins its stroke. Thus, Suthren is on his way to speak to the Hesse-Engleburg commander or his counterpart, whomever he may be. Suthren is wearing his number one uniform too with gilt presentation sword studded with emeralds given to him by the King for his victory in The Indian Ocean a year ago. As they come within a cable length {200yards] of the Hesse-Engleburg flagship…..

Coxwain: “Admiral Sir. They are preparing a reception. There appears to be no mischief about and Sir, I see Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier's detachment at attention with fixed bayonets on the dock. The Duc, himself, is smiling while shaking the hand of a prominent looking man, a civilian, methinks, on the quarterdeck.”

Suthren: “Bon.”

Narrator: In moments the Admiral will be aboard the Hesse-Engleburg flagship. Pipes there are already twittering. The marines reminiscent of Gallian marines are at attention and the flag of Gallia has been hoisted to the mizzen as a gesture of friendship. I believe I see Ambassador Colonel von Heiner of Hesse-Engleburg waiving his tricornered hat. We have now arrived at an intermission ashore. All is well, but of what will the men speak? No doubt their thoughts will turn to Alisona and the rebel leader.


Gallia said...

Hello Snickering C.
See my remarks in your In Shetland Harbor, if you please,
Votre Serviteur,

Snickering Corpses said...

Meanwhile, aboard the Hesse-Engelburg flagship Gewitter, the squadron commander Kommodore Hans Mueller gives last orders to his aide, "See the Gallian admiral is placed opposite myself while the Duc de Galantier is placed opposite Oberst von Heiner. Additionally, see that food and drink are brought up to the main deck so that the Gallian boat's crew may share with some of the off-duty crew. And you will have the men on their best behavior, or they shall answer to me personally."

As the aide departs, another crew member pokes his head in, "Herr Kommodore, the Gallian ship's boat is nearly alongside." One last straightening of his uniform, and the officer goes up to join the welcoming party awaiting on the deck.

Narrator: As the small boat nears the docks, the Coxwain expertly guides the craft to its berthing point, and the boat is secured so that the Gallian officers may disembark. While the Duc de Galantier's detachment parades in service rather than full dress, having disembarked for action, there is much to consider encouraging in the lack of evidence of wounds or casualties amongst the troops. With proper pomp and circumstance, the Gallian naval party is conducted onto the Hesse-Engelburg warship, piped aboard with full respect and honors. Propriety observed, it is Kommodore Mueller who steps forward in full dress to greet his opposite number....

Kommodore Mueller: "Welcome aboard Their Grace's ship Gewitter, Herr Admiral. I am Kommodore Mueller of this squadron. If the Admiral is ready, Ambassador von Heiner and the Duc de Galantier await us on the quarterdeck."

Snickering Corpses said...

and so the meeting begins...