|Sharpe: A hero and friend
Author: PsychoBlonde PM
The war with Napoleon is over, but there are still things to do. Sharpe and Harper are sent on a undercover mission, where they are to investigate an army training facility, to see if there really is a money scam going on.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,489 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 02-12-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5738948
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Last chapter! I hope it was good and that you enjoyed reading it!
It had gone two and a half week since the flogging, and this was the first time that Richard had any kind of strength to stand and walk. He had even had a small fever, but he had been lucky and it had gone over after four days, give or take. Richard had felt completely powerless all along but now he was dead set on finding something that would get the officers and especially Thompson arrested and hopefully hanged. He could not keep the small sneer of his face when he thought about it, and the fact that even if he did not find anything, he Richard could still get Thompson arrested for having him flogged, a senior officer. The mere thought made him want to recover faster, and it did not go unnoticed by Harper who nowadays kept a very close eye on his friend. They had planned another brake in, just in case if they had missed something the last time. Richard had even said that they would need to get into the room where all the papers were kept when they were not being signed or used. He was not going to look over anything this time; he had already wasted enough time as it was.
"You do know that it will be impossible for us to get in there without anyone noticing it, especially if we are to find some kind of evidence." Richard chose to ignore Harper, and continued to clean his musket while he kept a close eye on Thompson. The sergeant was standing beside the captain who was observing the men and looked like he wanted to tell the man off.
"Pat, the only thing we need is a distraction that will let us in there and enough time to get some papers, and leave before anyone notice that we´re gone." Harper sighed; Sharpe made it sound so easy, as if they were going on a picnic in the park. Then again, it was such a typical thing Richard would do, so he really should not be surprised.
"And prey tell what will be our distraction?"
"Think big, Pat. Think big." Harper did not like the look on Richards face but did not say anything, sometimes it was just better to follow and not ask question. Harper shook his head; the man was seriously a hand full if not more.
"Are you sure this will work?"
"Pat, if this plan does not satisfy your taste then you can always come up with a better plan." Richard glared at Harper, but did not wait for the man to answer him. They were in one of the small storehouses, which happened to contain fireworks and other things that would explode if you happened to want to burn it down. This was exactly what these two gentlemen were going to do. It was pitch black and the whole camp was asleep but it was never good to linger.
Making sure that everything was fixed and ready, Richard took the small candle they had with them and threw it into the small hut. They had barley had the time take cover before it exploded, the mere sound had waked the whole camp and the quickness of how fast the fire spread, was just a extra bonus on their part.
"Come on, we have a lot to do in one night." Harper was not sure what it was that made his colonel so happy and bouncy in some weird way, but one thing he was sure of, it would not end well.
Harper was a bit disturbed by Sharpe´s way but he kept quite, he was not sure what it was but something was different about the man, could that flogging have hurt his brain? Patrick walked almost straight into the door when he noticed what it was, Richard was skipping, yes Richard Sharpe, colonel for the green jackets, the man who rose from the ranks and fought like a demon skipped when he walked.
"Sweet mother of Christ, has he really gone nuts?" Harper barley had the time to stop when Richard stopped and turned around to face him.
"Did you say something Pat?"
"No," Harper answered, sounding just a tiny bit annoyed. Richard shrugged, not really caring that his friend sounded annoyed or angry. It would not be the first time; his Irish fiend did not like one of his ideas but still followed them, which were one thing he liked about Patrick. Shrugging it off, Richard got the door to open and both men stepped inside. The room was filled with papers, there was only a small path in the middle of the room that was visible the rest was drowned in paper, including the small desk and chair that stood in the middle.
You cold here how the whole 'camp' had woken and was now trying to put the fire out, before it spread too much and like Richard had anticipated, no one noticed that he and Harper were missing.
"Richard… I think I´ve found something…" Richard snatched the paper from Patrick's hand and let his eyes dart over it. A grin spread on his face.
"Well, it seems as if something illegal is going no at least." That was when Richard actually listened once again to the sounds that came from the outside.
"It´s too quiet, we have to go, now." Richard just took some papers that could mean something but he was not sure of what it was that Wellington wanted them to find. Using a window to get out, Richard and Harper sank into a slow run, not to tire themselves too early. Because they were in a hurry and they had a long way to run. The woman they left their horses at lived at least 20 km away.
The sun was rising when, they saw the run down house, and it´s broken chimney. Knocking on the door, Richard waited patiently for the woman to open. She had barley opened the door when he started to speak.
"I am very sorry ma´m but we need our horses now how much do we owe you? Is 20 guineas enough?" Harper could see that the poor woman had gotten real shock, but then again who would not? Richard did not exactly look like the most civil sized person and the money amount was not bad either.
"Y-yes, they are in the barn with the cows." She had a hard time getting the words out. After they had paid her and their horses were saddled, they left. There was no time to waste, Richard had a sergeant to deal with, and he did not want to wait who knew were the man could hide or run?
Richard almost knocked down the guards outside of Lord Wellingtons office but before he got to it, the door opened and both he and Harper were ushered into the room.
"So Sharpe, what did you find?" Arthur did not look up from his papers when he spoke.
"Yes sir, we found some papers but we did not get anything direct from them." Harper handed Richard the papers who then handed them over to Arthur.
Wellington scanned the papers and had to admit that Sharpe and Harper had done a good job even if discreetly over both men and he could not stop his eyebrows from wrinkling when he looked at Sharpe. The man looked somewhat tired and his hands were shaking even if he tried to conceal it.
"Are you okay Sharpe?" Sharpe actually looked surprised at the question, only nodded. Instead it was Harper who answered the question.
"He was flogged sir, 3000 lashes sir." Wellington almost had a heart attack, 3000 lashes and here he stood like nothing had happened. He had always known that Sharpe was though but to take 3000 lashes and not die or still lie in bed was quite the miracle. Even if it would have happened the first day they arrived, Wellington knew that the doctors would have him stay in bed at least for a month or two and tedious work was completely forbidden for a long time. Wellington gave a displeased sigh.
"When did this happen and who gave the orders, Sharpe?" This time Wellington looked Sharpe straight in the eyes, his gaze not wavering at all.
"About two weeks, and four or five days?" Wellington thanked the lord that he was so well trained or else he would have completely lost it. Sharpe really unique or maybe the right word would be totally of the rocker, completely nuts.
"That was all, make sure that you´ll stay near and next time do wear your uniform." Richard took the dismissal as a good thing, after standing for such a long time in the same position, he had felt his back starting to hurt, and that was not a pleasant thing. Well past the gates of the horse guards, Richard let out a groan of relief, that place always made him feel uncomfortable.
Clad in his best uniform, his sword dangling on his hip, Richard mounted his black stallion. Wellington had actually found something in the papers showing that at least a few of the officers were stealing money from the army and England. This of course did not sit very well with the army and so Wellington had chosen a few generals and colonels´ even a few captains, well you got the point, Wellington himself was there too. He wanted to see who was crazy and stupid enough to have Sharpe flogged, not one man in the army had tried anything like that after Hakeswill, but Wellington took it as a good sign, Sharpe really was not someone to play with when he got angry and so this way was much safer. It was not as if Wellington did not know about all the things Sharpe had done.
"Ready to leave, sir," a young ensign had walked up to Wellington, who was waiting for everyone to get ready.
"Good." Nodding at the sergeant who stood beside him, Wellington turned his horse for the gates.
"READY TO LEAVE, MARCH!" The sergeant waited until all the officers had ridden out from the yard of the horse guards before he followed on a horse of his own. The few privates belonging to a scotch regiment came last, walking.
"HALT!" they were just a few meters from the camp and Richard noted with a grin of satisfaction that the little trick he and Harper played, had actually worked better then he had thought. Almost all of the small huts had been burned and the big house had even taken some damage. Not that his fun lasted long, Wellington gave him a piercing look as if to tell Richard that he knew that it had been he who had done it. Forcing his face into a neutral mask, Richard pointed at the road that led straight in to the 'yard'.
Colonel Clearwater had never in his life experienced such a hectic and crazy day in his life, the fire had come as a big surprise and it did not help that when they had put the fire out, some of the men had noticed that two of the new recruits had escaped it did not help at all that those two were De Blaye and Byrne. Something in his gut told the colonel that those two had something to do with the fire but there were no evidence.
Five days had now gone since that hectic day and everything was going back to the old routines. The colonel was almost happy for that, you could never know what those privates would do if they got too much time to think, the army would not need more people like those two runners.
Doing his daily round with his under officers, colonel Clearwater did not notice the horses that were closing in on the camp nor the soldiers walking behind the horses wearing the red jackets of the British army, before they had stopped on the middle of the yard.
"What business do you have here?" He was beginning to feel nausea, these men were very clearly from the army and the man in the front on the grey horse was no one else but Lord Wellington.
"Colonel Clearwater?" There was no hint of emotions in Wellington's voice and some of the men had stopped what they were doing, coming to see what was going on.
"Yes, sir," Clearwater steeled his voice, not wanting to sound weak. He had not even finished the sentence before two men walked up behind him, binding his hand together behind his back.
"You are here by under arrest for stealing from the army."
"Oh yes, one of my officers feels like he has been wronged by one of your men and so I have promised him that he has free hands in this matter. You maybe know him, Colonel Sharpe from the 95th rifles." Colonel Clearwater thought he would die when he saw this Sharpe, not only was it the man who had saved Wellington at Assaye and had a reputation of being very cold blooded when he got angry, and it just happened to be 'Ashton De Blaye'.
"Y-yes, you get Sergeant Thompson," this time he could not stop his voice from trembling. The man he had spoken to was coming back with the Sergeant. Thompson stopped dead in his tracks when he saw who the officer was that he had 'wronged', you could say that Sharpe really did not look like a officer in that moment, more like a tiger who had found its prey. It did not help that even some of the officers who had come there looked a bit frightened by the man.
Richard jumped down from his black stallion, giving the reins to Harper, it was time for payback. He had never thought that Wellington would let him, but it seemed like those lash marks on his back from the flogging had helped him a great deal when he spoke to Wellington about it. Richard gave Thompson a fearful smile and drew his sword, Richard heard how someone gasped behind him and murmurs were heard. Was he seriously going to kill the man?
"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!" The piercing scream that was heard, was followed with an eerie silence. No one dared to move but some of them really wondered what had there behind the big house where Sharpe had dragged Sergeant Thompson. Not that there was a single man, okay maybe Harper would have gone to look, but not even he wanted to face the wrath of Sharpe, who knew what he could do.
It did not take long before Sharpe came back looking very pleased with himself. Some of the men looked at him with big eyes, while some of them looked down right frightened as if he would kill them next. Mounting his horse, saluting Wellington Sharpe rode away, Harper following on his brown mare. When Sharpe was out of ear shot.
"That was Colonel Richard Sharpe of the 95th rifles, and he commands the chosen men or the green jackets as you maybe noticed. Some of you will soon find yourself under his command, and some of you will maybe never see him again. Everyone will be moved to other training grounds while those who helped in this scam will be stripped of their ranks and put on trial. Good day." Wellington was not sure who looked more frightened the officers who had been in on the scam and would be put on trial or those that would be put to serve under Sharpe, Wellington could not stop from smiling for himself, usually the men liked to work under Sharpe but then again these did not know the man like those who had fought against Napoleon had done. Sending a few men to get was what was left of the Sergeant, Wellington left. He had nothing more to do there and he had more important things to do. While he road back to London a thought struck him, should he maybe make Sharpe a general? The man would at least do the job properly.
Richard Sharpe was a damn good man and an even better soldier.
A last review? please
I know that all things haven´t been very realistic but hey, it´s a fanfiction