Friday, October 5, 2007
Your Pardon, Kind Sirs, for an Omission
I do kindly beg Your pardon Dear Reader, for l'erreur d'omission on my part. Young Shaw and Guderian reminded me that two "Administrative" bodies of troops had been created as well. These units were put together of only highly-qualified and selected individuals, and are for the security and comfort of the gentle citizenry of M'Uedail.XXXX
The first of these unusual units is the Compagnie Les Gardiens de la Foret, or in proper English, the "Company of the Keepers of the Forest". These hardy woodsmen and hunters, under the able command of Sous-Leiutenant Jean Reneau (a crack marksman and quite ruthless hunter I'm told), will be in full regimental strength and will patrol not only our forested areas, but the more wild and remote parts of our border as well. However, since their duties often require a certain amount of stealth and discretion, they will typically operate in patrols of half-companies, each commanded by a trusted sergeant, and will patrol in a looser order than our line regiments of Cavalry, much like small patrols of skirmisher's. I'm told that the Prussians and Austrians have similar units and, indeed, I did have a quarrel with Guderian, who wished to call them "Jagers zum Wald". However, I must be somewhat sensitive to the feelings of my gentle people, who are already having a difficult time adapting to the profusion of strange new accents and languages. The observant Reader will no doubt notice that these lads have very little gilt or fine lace, preferring instead to blacken their lace and buttons so as to increase their ability to be assimilated into their surroundings. Indeed, I'm told that in practice, Mssr. Reneau plans to either operate in chapeau du forage instead of his mirlitons, or blacken the unit's badge on the front of the mirlitons. And I'm told that they will typically wear deerskin gauntlets that cover their bright cuffs and leave their sabretache with their horse when functioning in a dismounted role. Their final distinctive item of notice is the fur trimming their pelisse, which is of dark wolf's fur. Apparently, Mssr. Reneau has made it a requirement that each recruit must stalk and take a male wolf armed only with the simplest of primitive weapons and provide his own fur as a matter of honour!XXXXX
The second of our "Administrative Units" is the Compagnie Les Gardienes de la Frontiere, or the Keepers of the Border, commanded by that able young man Sous-Lieutenant Jacques Clouseau. I'm told that Mssr. Clouseau was a former Inspecteur Principale, or Chief Inspector, with the local Constabulary and is on quite intimate terms with every rogue, scoundrel, smuggler and ne'er-do-well in the Duchy. His unit will be similarly organized and function much like Mssr. Reneau's, except that it will focus its attentions on our chief river ports, formal border crossings and primary roadways. This unit consists of, or so young Shaw tells me, every over-zealous former constable and smuggler within our Duchy, and some from the surrounding areas as well. I do hope that young Mssr. Clouseau can maintain order within this group, but I'm told that he's quite the able administrator, and a crack investigator as well. Although I do have to confess Dear Reader, upon meeting the man for the first time, I'm damned if he didn't trip over his own boots and take a serving wench and footman down with him! I trust that this was caused by his understandable apprehension at meeting Myself and the lovely Lady Katherine for the first time. As always, time will reveal all to the patient man. I do believe that I will be comforted while on campaign and will not fear for Lady Katherine's safety with Mssr's. Reneau and Clouseau on patrol though.
XXXXRespectfully, Sir William