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Jeremiah Thumes

Horse-thief, deserter, murderer, traitor.

0 · 257 views · located in Kingdom Of Ethieven

a character in “Stand and Deliver”, as played by 7achary

Description

Thumes stands just under six feet with loose, shoulder length sandy brown hair. His eyes are pale blue and give away nothing as to his thoughts, ingrained stoicism has schooled his features making him seem uncaring and cold. His unkempt beard seems at odds with his precise and disciplined carraige. On his left hip he carries a worn, but serviceable, cavalry sabre. A one shot pistol is strapped to his right thigh and below it the handle of a large skinning knife sticks out the top of his military issue riding boots of dark leather. His breeches are a dark brown with an emerald green stripe down his left leg indicating him a veteran of the battle of Nebster Forest. Over a loose white shirt, almost yellowed from wear, is a brown cavalry non-com's jacket bereft of insignia or design. Around his neck on a leather thong is a signet ring.

Personality

Jeremiah Thumes is a quiet man, always the last to speak his mind, if at all. He has a gentleman's chivalry towards those of the fairer sex, and judges men by their actions. The ability to perceive what others miss has been an invaluable aid to him as a scout and outlaw. Few have gotten the drop Jeremiah Thumes and fewer still have walked away from those encounters unscathed.

Equipment

Worn cavalry sabre
One-shot pistol
Destrier and tack
Hunting knife
Soldier's musket

History

Jeremiah Thumes was born the son of a woodsman and a horse factor's daughter. His father provided food on the table, a roof over Jeremiah's head, and woodland skills which would mark his life for years to come. Growing up some miles from anything that could be called a village, let alone any roads of common use gave Jeremiah an independent and self reliant outlook.

Some weeks after the beginning of the year in which Jeremiah became thirteen his father took ill with the flux and his mother shortly after. His grandfather, a hard man who had earned everything he had worked for took in Jeremiah and put him to work as a stable hand. Five long years the boy worked until he realized that somewhere he had become a man. When the local lord put out the call for men-at-arms Jeremiah was one of the first in line with the reins of a gelding his grandfather had gifted him in his hands. It was a large and temperamental beast bought from a cavalry officer who believed the riding crop was his best communication, until the beast threw him and broke his back. The creature had taken a strong liking to Jeremiah with the help of the occassional carrot or apple.

Some months later, after grueling treks through muggy swampland and learning what it meant to take another man's life, Jeremiah Thumes became Sergeant Thumes of Third Company, Heavy Mounted Infantry where their goal was reconnaissance in force. Thumes was a proven scout and squad leader under Captain Adelbert Higgincroft of Higgins Manor. Higgincroft took an instant dislike to Thumes and his quiet competence, which the captain took for unwarranted arrogance. After a particularly dangerous mission, which Thumes was lucky to survive, that had been given by Higgincroft the squad leader called him Adelbert the Buffoon and in no uncertain terms told the captain he was an incompetent frog who had only succeeded due to his five sub-officers. Only a lord can call another lord to account. Thumes was stripped of rank, his squad was divided up among other squads that had suffered heavy losses, he was given twenty lashes and put on the work crew of troublemakers to be put on the front line of every charge. It took a week for him to recover enough to be put on stable detail. After almost a month of keeping to himself Thumes saw his chance. The gloating Higgincoft, so drunk as to be almost falling out of his saddle, road into the stables. As the captain leaned forward, mockery in his eyes, Thumes struck him with the manure shovel and choked him to death with his cuffed hands. He unsheathed Higgin's sabre to cut off his ring finger, then fought off two guards in gaining the saddle of the late captain's destrier, riding out of the camp like all hell was behind him. It's been two years.

So begins...

Jeremiah Thumes's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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Brennan sat impassive. The brother's, no doubt with much intelligence from Braith were keeping an eye on the Duke's movement. Not surprising but good to hear. The Hunt's had a reputation for a reason. Bill told Fox to be ready at first light and as tankards were raised, Elsbeth relaxed just a little in the chair.

The hard part was over. Now just to meet the next day, take down the Duke's caravan and make off with the loot. As the group broke up for the evening, Brennan stood and with a nod of his hat to the group headed for the door.

Elsbeth wanted desperately to pull the scarf from her face, to breath in the night air and free herself a little from the bonds of being Brennan. That was too close, too stressful and now some of them knew her secret and seemed somewhat trustworthy enough to keep it, at least for now.

She headed to the stable, got her horse and slipping on Brennan rode off into the night. Riding for a while ensuring no one was following, Elsbeth switched roads and headed into the brush. Once in a copse of trees.

Sliding out of the saddle, Elsbeth pulled the scarf off and unbuttoned her coat. She tied off the horse and then sat heavily on the ground, leaning on a log. Her head went back. Too close, that had all been too close and too stifling. She could have walked in there as herself and it would have been so much easier. They had taken to Fox, no questions another woman might not have bothered them.

Elsbeth drew off her hat. Of course, Fox was extremely attractive and flirty and Elsbeth was not. With a sigh she place her hat over her face. It didn't matter, Brennan's reputation got her in this and she would use it for as long as she could. She had built that up after all. Her father started it but it was Elsbeth who had been keeping the figure alive and active. “Play to your strengths. Ride and shoot, these things above all else you have the advantage on.” Her father's voice penetrated her thoughts, a longing built in her chest.

Elsbeth closed her stinging eyes and fell into a restless sleep. The log and ground were hard, possible mistakes in the plan kept playing in her head and the damn horse wouldn't settle down. Well before the meeting time Elsbeth sat and cleaned all four of her pistols. It was a loving way in which she paid attention to them. Each one was cleaned, and readied. She would not be the weak link in this plan.

Standing, Elsbeth fixed her clothing and her hair. Finally, placing her hat on her pinned up hair and pulling the scarf across her face, Brennan mounted up and rode off.

Arriving at the Dog's stable at a slow gait, she stopped and watched as another rider approached where the brother's waited. None of the rest were here yet. This person was new. With a light kick of her heels she steered her horse towards the brothers and the stranger.

Brennan gave the men a nod but remained in the saddle. Blue eyes looked over this new man. Overhearing his question, Elsbeth looked to the brothers. Another body meant more cuts but her share would still be plenty. She wondered if the Hunt's knew the man or if like the rest he had come to meet them but perhaps just arrived late. No matter in the end, if no one else showed the extra body would be appreciated.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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A figure rode from the fog. The Hunt brothers were relaxed, causally resting one hand within their coats, on the grips of their pistols. Of course they were expecting their new gang but that didn't mean a cocky bounty hunter or the local sheriff, might just have gotten wind of them. However, those hands were taken away from the weapons, as the figure turned into a face they knew. Jeremiah Thumes, the last time they had seen him, was months ago, as the band of brigands they were running with, had split up to avoid the close pursuit of the yeomanry. Their other two companions from that gang were dead. George "Bonnie" Barlow had done the Harrow Hill Jig and Mac, well good old Mac wasn't a man to be taken alive for trial and punishment.

"Why Jeremiah" protested Jack, doing his best to look hurt, "We've never done dishonest work. We've only ever helped ta ease tha burdens of tired and overworked horses."

"Aye" added Bill, trying to keep a smile off his face, "But we 'ave some honest work if ye want. Tha 'ol Duke ah Starford is ridin' south with ah heavy coach. We're off with some goodly folk, ta help his beasties get some rest and make sure tha next horses his lordship finds, don't 'ave to pull so hard."

The brothers laughed softly, as they pulled themselves up into the saddles. Bill's black mare shook her head a little,clearly not pleased with be awakened this early and missing her oats. The gelding on the other hand, looked to be as ready and frisky as a colt, dancing slightly in place, as Jack have his neck a light rub, as if to tell the beast, just wait a little longer.

"And we got some fine company" said Jack, tipping his hat to the newly arrive and still silent highwayman, "Brennan of the Grange, as deemed our cause worthy."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes
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Gwen ended up spending the night at the Inn, the call of a warm bed and roof too tempting to pass up with the knowledge that there was a likely long and hard job ahead that may well involve getting little sleep. She slept quite well that night, dagger tucked securely under her pillow, and was up before the sun. She’d always been a light sleeper, and years along the highway had only heightened this. She’d moved her mare to the stables sometime in the night after she’d paid for her room, and was there now, softly patting the side of her chestnut mare’s neck in a comforting gesture as she readied the mount.

She heard voices coming from outside the stable, and approached at a soft trot with an easy grip on her pistol beneath the folds of her overcoat. She relaxed that hold somewhat when she saw it was the Hunts and Brennan, as well as a gaunt looking man whom the Hunts appeared to know. She stopped her mare along side Jack, with a brow quirked slightly.

“I see. Then I suppose that makes me the un-fine company then Jack?” Fox bantered as she gave the other man an appraisal of the purely professional sort. If he was to join them, she needed to get a read off him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn
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#, as written by varxint
Braith took up his normal quarters at the inn. He had a stack of messages to read through and a nightcap of the inn’s finest whisky. Burning down a candle after the night’s festivities was not a rare occurrence for the man. His sources provided information at all times and Braith could not stand being more than a fast horse behind the latest happenings. As he perused he raised an eyebrow. Were not the implications of the outlaws in Brekin woods just raised earlier? By sheer coincidence there was a mention of Aidan Coleman, the so called leader of the band. Braith didn’t entirely believe in coincidence. Hearing about Coleman and his gang just as he was to ask about them did not sit well. This called for further investigation.

Braith looked over the message carefully. Every source of his made distinct marks that only Braith would know to look for and be able to identify. Finding the marks on this message was a few seconds of work. Braith nodded and planned his route in his head.

“Off to Highdell Grove it is. I think a good chat is in order.”

With those words to himself he drained his whisky and blew out the candle.

The next morning he packed the messages and sent a note to the innkeeper about where to forward any new messages. On the move made Braith somewhat uncomfortable. The information always flowed slower, but sometimes even a fast horse is too much of a delay. Anything he needed to know about Coleman he needed to know now. So, the other information would lag while he chased an important thread.

He tossed on his long coat and travelling boots. Neither showed much wear. A hat followed to protect himself from elements while on his travels. Finally he pulled out a box from the desk and opened it. Inside was a single pistol. Anyone looking closely would find that it had never been fired. Braith carried it for appearance and last resort, but he relied on his wits and conversation skills to avoid any real trouble. In the same drawer were the accessories that went with the pistol. Taking everything and holstering the weapon Braith headed downstairs.

Outside he saw the Hunts gathering their fellow adventurers. A new face was with them. As Braith approached he saw Brennan, then shortly, Fox, ride to them. Braith greeted the group, “Well, fancy meeting such a fine group of gentlemen, and the lady that puts them all to shame, on such a fine morning. It appears I ride today as well, though not with you. I am off to Highdell Grove as I’ve heard some strange things about some old friends that were mentioned last night. These stirrings cause me a deal of curiosity and I shall satisfy that in person.”

Braith thought he recognized the newcomer as someone he’d seen with the Hunts before and nodded, “Another soul concerned with a poor animal’s plight has come calling I see. Don’t worry, on this job I will be making sure the accounts stay even and paid. The Hunts have enough to worry about with all the planning.” He grinned jovially at the brothers and chuckled.

“With that, my friends, I will wish you good journey. The next time I see you I’ve no doubt you will be feeling a richer pleasure than you do when meeting new friends.”

Braith winked at Fox as he headed to the stables for his horse, “And my dear, if you are not feeling so, I trust I will be able to adjust that to your liking.”

In the stables, he saddled his horse, mounted, gave him a pat on the neck and urged him to head out. He passed the group one more time with a tip of his hat, then headed down the road, in the opposite direction of Brekin Wood.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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Jack smiled as Fox appeared from the stable, walking her horse over and made a teasing comment about what he had been saying to Jeremiah. He had turned slightly in his saddle, ready to assure the most interesting young woman, that she was indeed not un-fine company but company of the most pleasurable sort, when Braith appeared. The fence informed them that he was off to investigate something and wished them luck, before riding off on his business. Both of the brother offered him a salute with their three cornered hats, as he tipped his own while riding by. As if summoned by the departure and the growing light in the east, The Rat appeared, looking like he had been sleeping in a ditch.

Bill glanced towards the coming dawn and then around at the inn. There were at least three more fellows left to join them but it was getting late for the leaving. If they wanted to reach the first planned camping site and not have to risk the legs of their horses in the dark....well they need to be riding away north on the road, now. He glanced over at his brother, arching a single eyebrow, to which he caught a nod. The Hunts would wait no longer, it was time to be off.

"Well friends" said the elder, "Tha others be late and we're for ridin, damn their eyes. If ye're in, follow me!"

Grinning, Jack turned his gelding, still frisky, away from the inn. Touching his heels to the beasts flanks, he set off at a trot, heading north along the road. They would follow it for most of the morning, before turning off into the country. Bill on the other hand, waited on his mare, knowing that their former trooper, would be eager to head off and still needed filling in on the plan. Clicking at the mare, as Jeremiah rode by, the younger brother drew level with their old partner.

"Ye're a might scrawnier" he mused in a joking tone, "From when we last saw ye and ye're horse ta. Could it be, that tha finest o scouts, failed ta find enough ta eat? Losin ye're touch Jeremiah. Might a heavy pocket o gold fix that? Buy ye're vittles, rather then try ta hunt 'em? We're off ta acquire the dowry of tha duke's daughter. His lordship is carrying it south with him."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Braith Alwyn Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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Brennan sat easily in the saddle, watching the new man. Fox stepped out of the stable. The banter began early this morning and it took a great deal of control for Elsbeth not to roll her eyes. Braith appeared as well, complimentary words falling from his mouth, although he made mention of only one lady and for that she was still thankful. Everyone seemed in high spirits this morning. Elsbeth clenched her jaw.

She watched as Braith road off. He had work to do of his own. This aspect, someone to find out information that could help or hinder a job seemed to be one of the major advantages to working in a group. Elsbeth mentally wished him safe travels.

Her attention turned back to the brothers and the newcomer. He apparently was riding with them. She hoped that his appearance was not a sign of his ability. He was far too skinny. As if to make a point that appearance did not belie skill, Rat appeared out of no where. Again, Elsbeth couldn't help the shiver that ran up her back at the sight of the man. Sitting on his horse, the colour of bleached bone did nothing to help her discomfort. “Death rides the pale horse.” He was living proof that one did not need a pretty face or silver tongue to be effective.

It wasn't long after this that the call was made to ride out. The others were late and they would wait no longer. Elsbeth inhaled slowly and gave her stallion's sides a nudge. The horse began an easy gait and Elsbeth relaxed in the saddle. She felt at home here. A faster run, a few jumps would be preferred but not practical in this moment. She edged her horse just behind Bill and the new man. She did not wish to ride near Jack, assuming Fox would wish to continue a banter which Elsbeth could not have and she wanted to see if she could hear more about this new addition.

Blue eyes, stared out and watched the forest pass. Brennan sat comfortable and tall in his saddle, at ease with the movement of his horse. Behind the scarf, Elsbeth was a whirl of thoughts and concerns.

A slight, almost unnoticeable frown formed as she listened to the conversation between the men. So this new man, Jeremiah as Bill called him, was a scout. A fine one at some point in his life it seemed. Elsbeth hoped the man would be able to hold up a part in this.

Thoughts of the group at large began to pass through her head. She wondered about the tactics they would use to execute on this plan and how each person would be used to the best advantage. The worst part about being Brennan was she could not just ask the Hunts how they were going to accomplish this. She would have to bite her tongue and simply do as they said. She growled quietly into her scarf.

Another nagging thought began to poke at her. She realized that they were riding, conversations were occurring. Elsbeth had no plan on how to handle someone wishing to talk to Brennan. Then there was the breaks at night. This was going to get trickier as they got closer to the target. Communication was going to be needed. She would simply do what she could, avoid where possible and hope that no one had any interest in talking to the silent man.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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"Nah" said Bill, smiling over at his old comrade, "But tha ones I've have met had more flesh ta 'em. Not just skin and bones like ye."

The younger Hunt's smile fade a little, each time he noticed Jeremiah reach for his saber and pistol, when the lean scout looked back towards the last riders in the company. He doubted that it was Brennan that was disturbing him, after glancing back himself and getting another look at the Rat. The ragged but legendary man, looked like one of the four horse men, had gone rogue, ride across the world ahead of time. It was unsettling, the way even his stomach felt queasy, when he looked upon him. Rat was the kind of man, who would make you want to double check your armaments, every couple of minutes.

"He's on our side" muttered Bill, before lifting his voice, "We make for tha border ah Brekin Wood, on Barrowmoor. Jack says we'll catch his Lordship, if we make it there in nine days but he wants ta be there in eight. Take tha time ta set up an ambush. So no stoppin ta hunt Jeremiah but if ye're hungry..."

Chuckling, the younger brother reached down into his saddlebag and pulled out a small bag, made from cheesecloth, the corners tied together with a bit of string. Inside where a few slices of a dry corned beef and bread. It was one of several he was carrying, meals easy to eat in the saddle, knowing his brother would not want to stop while there was daylight in the sky.

Jack rode easily, unaware of two of his compatriots threatening to break out in violence. Instead, he reined the frisky brown gelding next to Fox's chestnut mare. For a few moments, he looked ahead into the growing light of the day and the grasping fingers of fog in the trees, watching as the road continued ever on. Then he looked to his left, at the highwaywoman in their midst and smiled, in a way that should have said, it was for Fox alone he smiled for.

"So" mused the older brother, "What drove ah lovely vixen like ye're self, ta take up ridin along tha King's highways? Surely a lovely young thing like ye, could 'ave snared herself a well ta do merchant or even one 'o tha gentry for ah husband, live tha easy life in ah big house. Why ye wanderin about tha countryside with tha likes 'o us?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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Brennan's eyes remained forward as the figure on the chestnut brown horse watched the conversation between Bill and Jeremiah. Jeremiah seemed skittish and while both men cast glances behind them it was clearly not Brennan that was throwing off the overly thin scout. Rat seemed to cause some distress to Jeremiah.

The silent gunman watched as Bill tried to put the other man's mind at ease and also fill his stomach. The Hunt brother passed Jeremiah a bundle and Elsbeth was sure there had to be food in it. Had she been more prone to speaking she might have offered him some of her rations.

Just behind her Elsbeth could hear the playful back and forth between the other Hunt and Fox. She wanted desperately to turn and tell the two to just get it over with and find a meadow to go bed each other in or to stop. That sort of thing could be distracting as the moment grew nearer. Fortunately, there were days before that became an issue. Unfortunately, there were days before that became and issue, which meant that Elsbeth would have to listen to the two continue this duel of innuendo during that time.

Elsbeth bit her tongue as Brennan's facade never wavered. It was going to be a long journey and likely even longer nights. She wondered if her tongue would be able to cope with the abuse it was certain to take. Cold, blue eyes almost rolled as Jack asked what brought Fox to the group and Fox countered with her own tease.

Carefully controlling her irritation at the clumsy and obvious flirting, Elsbeth watched Jeremiah eat. He seemed to be a careful man, only eating some of the food and saving the rest for later. As he drank, Jeremiah's eyes met Brennan's.

Elsbeth looked at the man, her eyes a clear blue even under her hat. He was trying to get a sense of her, that much she could tell. She didn't blame him as she was doing the very same thing to him.

Under the scarf, Elsbeth smirk just slightly. It was something that no one would notice, so small a gesture that it was. It seemed that Jeremiah was watching Fox as well. It was not the first time the thin scout looked over that the shapely woman since they had left the inn. In-fighting over a woman was not something they could afford.

Her mouth was dry but she couldn't chance moving the scarf to take a drink. With it gone there would be no hiding her gender. If Braith had ridden with them perhaps she would have had a better chance of keeping things a secret with his help. He knew but seemed to respect her desire to keep up the act. He might have assisted but as it was, he was off on his own and as Elsbeth would just have to be very careful.

Licking her lips under the scarf, she pushed the nagging call for water out of her head and focused on the road ahead of her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brennan of the Grange/Elsbeth Waterton Character Portrait: William "Bill" Hunt Character Portrait: Gwendolyn MacFarley "Fox" Character Portrait: Jeremiah Thumes Character Portrait: Baxter "The Rat" Grishham
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The group rode on that first afternoon. The banter and flirting slowly growing quiet as the sun rose higher. They stopped at a stream in the early afternoon to rest the horses and get some cool water for themselves.

As early evening began to fall the decision was made to ride for as long as possible. The Hunts led the group down the road and in the early dusk camp was made for the first night. The riders made camp, a fire lit and rations consumed. There was talk that evening, tales of past deeds and daring escapes. The Hunts did most of the talking. Others made witty comments or add joking at the expense of the brothers. Some remained silent.

The group drifted off, each person doing their very best to get comfortable and sleep. Overall the night was peaceful, the occasional person getting up to relieve themselves being the greatest disturbance.

The sun rose and some of the group were already up and tending to the horses. Light meal was consumed and they headed out early. Much like the previous day this one found them band of highwaymen in good spirits. That was until the clouds began to roll in. All eyes turned and watched the storm brew to the east.

An hour later the riders were riding hunched over trying to keep the rain from their eyes. Hats were pulled down and there was no chatter. Thunder sounded every so often. No one wished to stop but they all slid from their saddles and let the horses rest.

They were a sad sight. Soaked to the skin the group did their best to seek shelter under trees while the horses nibbled grass. There were grumbles but no real complaints. They all knew if they were going to pull this off they could not let the weather slow them down.

Riding again for a few more hours they made it through their second day on the road. Camp that night was miserable despite the rain finally having let up. It was a light drizzle by the time they each huddled in the driest spot they could find. There was no fire, no merry chatter or stories this second night. No one was in the mood for banter or teasing, preferring instead to imagine themselves in warm beds and not on the muddy, cold ground.

It was overcast as the men and single woman rose to ready themselves for their third day of travel. The Hunts tried to bolster their comrades spirits with talk of the loot they were sure to get from the duke but even they didn’t have it in them.

It wasn’t until lunch time that the sun finally won the battle with the clouds. By mid afternoon the sun was shining and the ground began to dry. As the sunlight filtered through the trees the groups demeanour changed. There was bawdy talk of girls in the various towns the men had been to, flirting and teasing with Fox and the beginnings of talk about an actual plan for the raid on the Duke’s carriage. Some ideas were tossed out, some quickly cast aside. The decision was made that with a few more days to go they had some time to figure out the plan.

They rode hard for the last few hours of the third day, attempting to make up for the slower pace of the rainy day. Jack pushed the group hard, wishing to stick to his eight day or less journey.

That night the highwaymen eased themselves out of their saddle, muscling aching from the rough pace. The fire was lit and it didn’t take long for the riders to drift off to sleep. The day’s journey had taken its toll.

With the chirping birds the riders awoke to the prospect of a fourth day of hard riding. The Hunts tossed back and forth ideas on what Braith might be up to. Their comrade had a habit of showing up with useful bits of information and the fact that he had rode off on his own meant that he had things to learn.

Much like the previous days the group stopped around noon. Jack pushed them to ride hard and fast when they started out again. The roads were devoid of other riders, not unusual as the Hunts had purposely chosen roads that were low traffic.

By the fourth night, they were sitting around the fire. Bill had a stick in his hand and was drawing out the road and trees. He began to mark out where the Duke would be and where he was thinking it would be best to ambush the carriage. He looked around waiting for the input of the others.

****
Elsbeth rode silently and avoided the others as often as she could. She made camp at night far off from the others and was the first to be asleep, pulling her hat over her eyes but still listening.

She woke before all the rest, moved far away where she wouldn’t be stumbled upon. Once convinced that she was away from the others she would remove her hat and scarf, finger brush and repin her hair and then return to the others.

The fourth night, Brennan sat near the fire staying awake unlike other nights. Blue eyes, bright in the firelight watched Bill scratch out the drawing. They scanned it looking for the spot where she thought her skill on the horse and with her guns would be the most useful.

Standing Brennan moved towards the Hunts. Gently taking the stick from Bill, Brennan scratched out a B in the ground. It was a spot where she would see the duke riding up the road and would be able to move up beside the carriage easily. Brennan sat back down on the log he had been previously poised on. He watched the others so see where they thought they would be laying in wait.