Author's Note: A story about Sharpe, and about how one should always use everything possible to ones advantage, no matter how odd it might seem…
Warning: The warning is placed here for vinsmouse, who wanted a spew warning here, claiming it might be a bad idea to drink while reading the funnier parts. So please keep in mind that drinking any kind of beverage while reading this, might be hazzard'ous to the health of your screen.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sharpe, nor any of his men. I only take the right to play with him when Wellington has no immediate use for him. There will be no permanent to his person, nor to his telescope.
"I know how we can defeat the Frogs once and for all." Wellington declared to Hogan.
"You mean a major campaign." Hogan noted. "Attack with the whole army."
"Don't be a damned fool Hogan." Wellington said harshly. "The Entire British Army has been unable to defeat them this far. They would not be able to now. No, we need a stronger force, one to recon with. One that would leave their entire army in ruins."
"Where would we find such a force?" Hogan took a pinch of snuff and then sneezed violently.
"We have such a force Hogan. We have had it all along. We just never knew how to use it." Wellington stated.
"What then, is our great force?" Hogan asked, wiping his nose on his sleeve.
Wellington looked very pleased with himself. "Sharpe." He said, stretching out the name.
Hogan looked rather doubtful.
"Sharpe is useful, most useful. But no man can defeat an entire army." He pointed out, something which he thought was rather obvious. Then again he was paid to point out the obvious.
"Sharpe is our answer." Wellington insisted. "He is the only man who can manage such a task."
"One man, to defeat one army." Hogan was still more than doubtful.
"Yes." Wellington exclaimed. "You are of course aware that Sharpe has a telescope?"
"The one you gave him for saving your life, yes." Hogan nodded. "A most generous gift."
"Generous gift." Wellington snorted. "I gave it to him so that he would be able to pawn it for drink. Like any man risen from the rank would. Unable to afford being an officer and not caring about anything more than getting drunk. But the damn fool has kept it."
"He has made good use of it." Hogan noted. "A bloody fool he is, but not a stupid one. He knows that he will have more use of the telescope than of a pint of rum."
"A bloody damn fool." Wellington declared. "He got it stolen once, by a treacherous bastard. Sharpe was so angry that the thief jumped off of a bridge trying to escape him."
"Most would prefer that to facing Sharpe had they given him reason to want revenge." Hogan declared in turn. "And many have regretted that they did not have that option. It sounds like a sound choice to me."
Wellington snorted. "The damn fool jumped right after him to get it back. That is a damn fool for you Hogan. Jump from a bloody bridge to get back a telescope that I gave him to pawn for drink."
"And this will defeat the Frogs, how?" Hogan questioned.
"It will crush the Frog army." Wellington stated confidently. "Or rather Sharpe will to get his telescope back."
"How did they get his telescope?" Hogan frowned. He was certain that he would have heard of that shortly after it had happened.
"The question is how they will get his telescope." Wellington turned the question around. "See to it that they do Hogan."
Sharpe was furious. The Frogs had stolen his telescope. The bloody French had stolen his bloody telescope. The bloody buggers.
He had left it in his tent like a bloody stupid fool. Thinking that it would be safe there, and those treacherous bloody buggers of worthless scum had stolen it.
He wanted it back, and he was going to get it back, even if he had to go through the entire French army to do so!
On one side of the vast field stood the French army. The entire force of Napoleon Bonaparte.
A formidable force. A huge army. One that had yet to be defeated.
"Nice and shiny, so they are, sir." Harper commented from the other end of the field.
There stood Sharpe and the chosen men.
"The bloody buggers stole me bloody telescope." Sharpe spat bitterly before letting loose a few choice curses that were sulfurous enough to set off any ammunition store that happened to be listening.
Fortunately there were no ammunition stores within earshot, and even if there had been, they are notorious for their inability to hear such things.
Thus it was that no actual ammunition store exploded from the vocabulary used.
"That sir, is an army." Harper stated. "A big army, sir. You'll never know who in that army took it, so you never will."
"Bloody Frogs bloody took it, and I shall bloody well take it back again." Sharpe growled.
Behind them the chosen men sniggered and chuckled.
Sharpe ignored it. The Frogs would soon regret having been bold enough to steal his telescope. He would bloody well make sure that the bloody buggers bloody well regretted it. They would regret it, and then he would send them to Kingdom come just for good measure.
With a roar that would let them know he was coming he took of in a canter over the field. Rifle in his hand, he stopped halfway across the field, crouched down and fired. One man in the rank fell and then Sharpe ran towards them again. Now he drew the sword that hung from his waist, the butchers blade that was heavy, and very effective.
"Ye bloody buggers!" He shouted at them as he came closer. "Ye bloody thieving scum. Give me back me telescope ye bloody bastards!"
The French army did not see one man charging them as any great threat. Not even if he was charging with drawn sword.
Since the French army spoke French they had no real comprehension of the language that was being hurtled at them. Otherwise the colorful curses would have sent at least half the army running for their lives in terror. As it was no one understood, and thus the army stood firm. The fools.
Upon an officers order a volley of shots was fired, but not a single musket ball struck their intended target. It was unclear whatever it was due to the poor aim, or if the balls evaded the source of such an abusive vocabulary.
Behind the charging man the chosen men were still chuckling amused, while Harper shook his head in bewilderment over their commanders folly. Only one man was bold enough, brave enough, and just damn stupid enough for such an act, and he was currently only a few yards away from the French army.
Harper shook his head again. He was not sure about the bold and brave part, thought very many seemed to use that as a description of Sharpe. The stupid part however, oh, that one he could agree with and did so readily.
They watched, but they could not see what happened, there was too much smoke and dust in the air. They could hear the racket clearly enough though, as no army have yet mastered fighting completely soundlessly. Yet the smoke and the dust clouds hid everything from their view.
When the dust and smoke by length was cleared of by the wind they could again see the far end of the field.
They could also see the remains of Bonaparte's army. The wreckage of his army might have been a better description. The army lay scattered and broken and not a single unit of it was still fit to fight.
Bonaparte's army had been defeated and that so soundly that none could deny it.
In the midst of the wreckage stood Sharpe, sheathing his sword and slinging his rifle over his shoulder, in his free hand he cradled his treasured telescope.
He checked to make sure that the instrument had not been damaged, then he spat on the ground before walking away, back towards the chosen men.
"That should teach you bloody buggers not to steal me telescope." He spat again. "Bloody worthless scum of thieving bastards, that should teach ye."
Feeling very satisfied that the Frogs had learnt their mistake, and that he had gotten his telescope back completely undamaged he walked back across the field while he whistled a cheerful tune.
It was a good telescope, and he would be bloody well dead and buried before he allowed some bloody French bugger to lay hands on it.
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