13 July 2010

A misty, muggy midsummer morning dawns. . . 8 July 1770

After a hearty dinner with entertaining guests, followed by too much cognac, several cigars, too little sleep, and a large breakfast, Major von Topfsange and Colonel von Adalnowski returned to the latter's drawing room by mid-morning the next day. They discovered to their delight that the main armies of Stollen and Zichenau had indeed arrived and deployed sometime in the night on either side of Teodorstal Valley, and that the respective commanding generals, together with their retinues of subordinate officers, were deep in consultation. Von Adalnowski expressed surprise at how much space the relatively small forces occupied atop his 6'x10' gaming table. Von Topfsange uttered something in reply from across the room that sounded to the Colonel like assent, though he was not entirely sure just what the ashen-faced young officer was mumbling about.

Sadly, the battery in the digital camera was dead, however, requiring an overnight recharge before photographs could be taken to document the start of their first set-piece battle. "Never mind all that," counseled von Adalnowski in a jovial tone, "There's a wild boar hunt taking place on a neighboring estate today, just past the next village but one. If we hurry, we can still make it and join the fun. I'll have the horses saddled and made ready. Fancy some fresh pork, von Topfsange?" Gaping dumbly, the Major stood before von Adalnowski and tried to focus his eyes.

The Colonel smacked the younger man firmly across the upper back as he walked past, making happy yummy sounds to himself as he exited the drawing room. Major von Topfsange, not a morning person under the best of circumstances, started suddenly. His monocle fell to the floor as he doubled over in a violent fit of coughing brought on by the merry-making of the night before. Those same ill-conceived indulgences had, among other things, resulted in a raw throat today, to say nothing of the Major's rather pronounced headache.
"Please, my dear von Adalnowski," von Topfsange croaked, "a bit quieter just now. I beg of you."

"Nonsense!" blustered von Adalnowski, impatiently from the hallway, "Come along! Time and wild boar wait for no man. Are you coming?" Von Topfsange turned another shade of green but managed to steady himself in the doorway where he remained for a moment to collect his thoughts and constitution. Perhaps, thought the Major, it was best for the game of soldiers to wait until later. If only extricating himself from the wild boar hunt were as easy. Von Topfsange could hardly bear the the thought of bouncing around the countryside astride a horse for much of the day, chasing after a herd of wild boar. Especially after the previous evening. Staggering toward the entry hall, his temple throbbed yet again as the Colonel thundered from the front door, "Von Topfsange! Look sharp there my boy!"

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