Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just a gamble?

Vilafranca, 19th September 1713

General Basset examined for a long while the two individuals he had in front of him, evaluating them critically before starting to speak: -So you are Lieutenant Barceló, you say?

-Yes I am, Sire -the man answered-. I'm Pere Joan Barceló, Lieutenant of the no longer existing Ebro Riverside Mountain Fusiliers. And the man by my side is Ramon Albesa, a veteran of two wars who's always accompanying me.

Basset silently nodded. No, that man was not any spy or a fake. He could neatly see it in his eyes.

-So that you are the man behind the audacious release of Miravet prisoners... -he finally said- Well, my congratulations. I admit that people of your kind is most needed right now. Would you have any problem in staying at my disposal?

-Of course, Sire.

At this point General Nebot entered in the room, exclaiming: -We have news from Barcelona HQ!

Basset said nothing, expectantly; so that Nebot felt free to continue: -At north, Marquis of Poal is advancing toward Balaguer, with two reinforcement regiments closely following him. At center, General Bellver is also advancing with all his might and has already released Igualada town.

-That's good -Basset answered- And what about us? Are there any orders for us?

-Yes there are. We are requested to discretionally move towards Tarragona.

Basset nodded in silence. To his opinion it was too soon to get up, for he judged to still have few troops: -But, those reinforcements we had been reassured?

-On their way. St. Michael Dragoons and two Foot regiments, Our Lady of Conception and Minerva Daughters.

Basset fell silent again and intensely stared at the operations map in front of them, and Nebot imitated him. Then Lieutenant Barceló discreetly approached to them and said: -Beg your pardon, Excellencies, but... do you see what I'm seeing there? -while drawing a dot on the map with his finger.

Both generals looked on with suspicion, and Basset incisivament asked: -Aren't you suggesting that...?

-Hum, he's right. -Nebot quickly replied- Let me lead a forward force in there, just for case. I'm taking my Horse regiment and a couple of Foot battalions. Agreed?

-All right, let's give it a chance -Basset agreed, and then he turned toward Barceló: -Thanks for your suggestion, Captain.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Nice detail, the promotion to captain of our Barceló. So, if I’m not wrong, the Defiant Principality character has the same rank than the real-life character in the last stages of the war. Ironically, his next advancement in military rank came from the Duke of Berwick himself, during the war of the Quadruple Alliance!