Thursday, 13 September 2018

Murdoch: Last Of The Summer Wine (A ripping yarn of sharp practice in Upper Canada) - Episode 2

As the sun rose higher over the green fleece-like landscape, the brave garrison of Blockhouse Number Four marched out to defend the warehouse of Don Jose's winery.

 "Murdoch, keep your lads in front of the warehouse and don't budge a bloody inch," ordered Major Brackenreid. "Pendrick, you line the hedge to the right and keep your eye on that wooded hill. When Crabtree finally gets his lazy buggers here I'll get the voltigeurs out on the right flank to see if they can spot any movement in the woods by the creek. I'm heading forward with the regulars to block the lake road."

"Yes, sir" replied Murdoch and Pendrick almost, but not quite, in unison. Sergeant Crabtree and the Voltigeurs Canadiens were nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, Major Thomas Magnum (for it actually was he who was in charge of the American force) had not bee idle. Deploying near the lake road he saw Brackenreid's regulars to his front. Sending his flank companies and militia to the left, he ordered them to try and outflank Brackenreid's men by crossing the creek. He then threw his own force of regulars into open column and headed off towards the lake road,  and further into a dark, mysterious land where the healthcare system actually worked.  

Sergeant George Crabtree was now regretting last night's "one for the road" in Murphy's pub. Belatedly, he rounded up his small band of voltigeurs and, adjusting the strap of his bearskin cap, he ordered "Forward!" To the rhythm of the pulse throbbing in his temples, he marched his men out to catch up with Brackenreid.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Murdoch: Last Of The Summer Wine (A ripping yarn of sharp practice in Upper Canada) - Episode 1

Major Brackenreid gazed out of one of the upper windows of Blockhouse Number Four. "Bloody  hell Murdoch, the world is looking very green this morning!" he quipped. "Indeed it is sir." replied Captain Murdoch. "It's almost as if some all powerful being has thrown a bright green fleece blanket over the entire landscape."

Their contemplation was interrupted by a very flustered sergeant Crabtree running up the stairs accompanied by one of the locals. "Begging you pardon sirs," he said, "but Mr Pendrick here has some some important news."

"Spit it out then lad." said the Major to Pendrick, "What's it all about?". 

"There are Americans in the area," Pendrick replied, "and they seem to be heading directly to Don Jose de Battista's winery. If they manage to get there they will be able to run off with all of the last of this year's vintage!"

"Bloody hell Pendrick!" exclaimed Brackenreid, "Has the Don turned out his militia lads?"

 "No," replied Pendrick, "He's had the call to hunt beaver again and has been nowhere to be found for months. He may be in Miami or New York - who can say? He's a bit of a free agent these days."

"Well this is no damned good!" exclaimed Brackenreid in his gruff Yorkshire voice. "Murdoch, get the militia. Crabtree, get Higgins out of bed and move the rest of the lads and the Voltigeurs out. Pendrick, get your local lads ready."

"But sir," interjected Murdoch, "that will leave the Blockhouse ungarrisoned.  The Americans could march straight in."

"I've thought of that," replied Brackenreid, "we'll just declare it to be impassable terrain."

"Brilliant!" replied Captain Murdoch.

"Now then Pendrick before you all go." said Brackenreid, "Do your lads have any idea who's in charge of these Americans? Do you think they know about the wine?"

"We believe it's a certain Major Thomas Magnum." replied Pendrick. "There hasn't been any overt American reconnaissance, but he may have investigated privately."

"True,"replied Brackenreid, "we can't take any chances. Okay lads, we'll meet up at a randomly generated deployment point as soon as possible - let's go!"