Circumstance Unrelated.  Part V – The Classroom

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Amidst the backdrop of Napoleonic War raging across Europe, soldiers seek distraction from the horrors of the battle field. Major Grant is an officer of the British Army serving under Wellington in France. An officer, a gentleman and a connoisseur of female bottoms, Major Grant finds himself unusually captivated by a mysterious woman…..

With only eight days before I sailed, I realised that I must make my feelings known to her.  I was about to embark on a journey that held the high probability of my death. In my frame of mind I had nothing to lose.  I must be ever vigilant, for this was a married, respectable woman that I had desires for. A word out of place in the wrong company could ruin her reputation and any hope I may have to own her.

During the administration briefing to my subalterns that evening, I closed by asking what thoughts they had with regard to supporting the new school.  All to a man admitted that they had not considered such a thought.  I dressed them down reminding them that rank does not make an officer, it is by his actions by which he is judged. The last words caught in my throat, for was it not I that should be judged now with my subterfuge?  

Later that evening a small delegation approached me in the Mess after dinner.  The young men had rallied together and suggested a musketry competition.  “The mess could donate a shield and each competitor sponsored by friends and family.” Said one.  As most of the young men were of independent means, this appeared to be an excellent suggestion. As today was Monday, this coming Saturday would be ideal and would allow time to organise and raise funds.  I congratulated the men on their initiative and said I would inform the Colonel that very evening.  It was then I realised that Sunday was my day of departure and I would have to leave London after breakfast to catch the evening tide.  I would have to act fast to be sure regarding getting close to Eleanor.

 The very next afternoon, as soon as classes had concluded business for the day, I entered the school.  A small amount of children were leaving the building making animal noises and laughing. I held up my hands in mock surprise, smiled and bid them a good afternoon.  In parrot fashion they replied in unison and ran laughing through the heavy wooden door frame.  I found her seated reading a piece of paper, which I assumed had been drafted by the children for she smiled the whole time her eyes fell upon it.  Laying the paper down she linked her fingers, closed her eyes and stretched, raising her arms above her head. She held that position for what seemed a lifetime.  Her head had fallen back exposing her neck that would have otherwise been covered by her high-necked blouse.  Two dark shadows either side of her throat showed how she might look in the throws of passion, muscles tight and searching for breath.  Her wrists were out facing and her long fingers danced in the air as if caught in the wind. Although she had the frame of a juvenile woman, her breasts were tight against the material and I noticed that she wore no corset.  Another incorrect assumption in my private vision of her!

She relaxed, opened her dark eyes and simply said, “Hello.”  There was no surprise in her voice, as she appeared in fact quite relaxed that I had witnessed what would have been in normal circumstances, unbecoming of a lady.  I replied in kind and sat with three desk widths between us.  “You look as though you have something on your mind Major Grant” she said casually.  I explained the idea that my young officers had devised to raise additional funds for her school.  She was genuinely delighted and yet sadness was about her eyes. I did not challenge her on this observation, however, I hoped I knew why.   We spoke for an hour and as each minute that past, each sentence became more familiar.  I suddenly noticed that the winter months had bought about a veil of darkness across the room, and as my arrival had been in daylight no candles had been lit.  I asked her how she thought we might address this improper situation, as both she and I had to go our separate ways.  “I will have a cab called by one of the guards at the gate,” she said.  “I have worked late most evenings this week.”  I fetched a number of candles and placed them on her desk along with a tinderbox from above the fireplace.  In the growing darkness I felt my confidence grow. “May I ask you something?” I said.  She looked at me with her dark eyes and pale face. “No, I do not think so, for I feel your question would lead to others that could not be answered by words alone.”  She smiled and placed her hand on mine. “I am no stranger to the world and the situation we currently find ourselves in, I feel you know that?”  She smiled again. “I cannot trust myself to do the right thing by anyone and do not feel that I should place myself in a position that I do not have full control of.”  I did not fully understand her words, however, I took them with the sincerity in which there were given.  I bowed and asked forgiveness for placing her in an uncomfortable position.  She seemed distressed that I should feel as such and begged forgiveness for her openness. I assured her that I had not been damaged in any way, and to prove as such I requested that I escort her and her children to the competition on Saturday. She hesitated for a moment and then agreed.  She took a piece of paper and wrote upon it the address that had been allocated to her at schoolmistress.

 Even for an officer about to send his men to war, the thought of cannon shell and camp fires seemed but a passing thought during that week.  Saturday could not come sooner.  I would attend a regimental dinner on the Thursday and report for final briefings on Friday afternoon.  Fifteen hundred officers and men would sail on Sunday for a port yet to be divulged and still, despite all of this, Saturday remained the highlight of the forthcoming week for.  

 

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