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LPBS Masthead: Roland as a Musketeer

Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses

Being a correspondence game of En Garde! run by Pevans since April 1986 and now published as part of To Win Just Once.

If you'd like to play, you'll need to subscribe to TWJO (follow the link for details). You will need a copy of the rules to En Garde! - or at least access to a copy. The additional rules for LPBS are available as a PDF document. (You will need Adobe Reader to view this: it is available free from Adobe.)

Orders for June and July 1672 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 14th August 2020.

Game Report for May 1672

Sections: Duels, Trials, Appointments and Regiments, What happened in Paris, What happened at the front.

In the early hours of each May morning the dawn chorus echoes around the secluded groves and courtyards of Paris. Along with clashing steel and cries of anguish. Yes, there's a whole lot of duelling going on. Let's start with Duncan d'Eauneurts and Georges Hommemince. Dragoon Brigadier Hommemince brings his sabre, which is expected of a cavalryman. Eauneurts also brings a sabre, despite being a Musketeer. His number one, Lieutenant-Colonel Greg de Bécqueur, seconds him, but there's no sign of his second second, KM Captain Tarquin le Hatter. No doubt something will be said back in the barracks.

Eauneurts is the more expert swordsman by quite a margin, but his main advantage is that he'd make four of the small man that is Hommemince. Even with a partly-healed injury, Eauneurts is odds-on to win. Despite this, both men start cautiously. Very cautiously: they parry. Then, expecting a slash, Eauneurts blocks while Hommemince dodges, ditto. Hommemince then realises that he's not holding his sword correctly and stops to adjust his grip. Eauneurts hits him with a slash and it's all over. Hommemince's surrender is courteously accepted and he heads home, unable to meet any other opponents.

The next adversary for Eauneurts is Bastian de LaGarde, Major in the Royal Foot Guards. Yes, he's supposedly a friend. He brings his rapier and a second, Hercule D'Engin. However, he's no bigger than Hommemince, so this is only going to end one way. Faced with a man using a rapier, Eauneurts parries a couple of times before slashing. Expecting slashes and cuts, LaGarde blocks and evades. Then the slash hits him. That's another immediate surrender and another Eauneurts victory.

A hatless Musketeer gestures in surrender, a swordpoint at his throatMeanwhile, Jerome Fortmayne of the Cardinal's Guard is taking on none other than Tarquin le Hatter of the King's Musketeers. Hatter has his regimental rapier and Xavier Money as second (armed with a whole chest of bandages and several bottles of brandy). Jean d'Ice accompanies Fortmayne, who's brandishing a two-handed sword. And, while Hatter is a beefy chap, Fortmayne is beefier. First blood goes to Hatter, running his opponent through with a lunge. Fortmayne comes back at him with a hefty slash. Hatter shakes it off and lunges again. Just in time to meet the two-handed blade coming back in a cut. That's plenty of punishment for Hatter and he concedes the fight. It doesn't stop him going on to his next meeting though.

Fortmayne's encounter is with another member of his enemy regiment: Duncan d'Eauneurts. Untouched in his first two duels, Eauneurts looks as tough as his bandaged opponent. This means it's the superior skill of Eauneurts against the larger blade of Fortmayne, Greg de Bécqueur and Jean d'Ice watching as seconds. Eauneurts parries, blocks and jumps in an effort to avoid the attacks he expects. But his skill is such that this all happens while Fortmayne is preparing his massive weapon. First blood still goes to Eauneurts as he gets in a slash. Then it's slash from Fortmayne, slash from Eauneurts, cut from Fortmayne and it's all over. Eauneurts concedes this one.

While this is going on, Tarquin le Hatter is meeting another enemy, Thierry d'Actyl. Hatter's injuries leave him on a par with the smaller man in this rapier duel. Actyl has two seconds, Les Anonyme and Hercule D'Engin, while Xavier Money is still with Hatter. Despite his wounds, Hatter decides he's up for another fight. Then the two of them cross swords, he gets an unexpected twinge and surrenders immediately. Luckily for him, Actyl's only action was to parry, but neither will be satisfied with this poor show. Hatter then backs out of his remaining duels with Henri DuShite and Greg de Bécqueur ("earlier duelling exertions have rendered me fatigued and unable to continue further" is how he puts it).

Bécqueur's second choice of opponent (and he has plenty of them) is ... Thierry d'Actyl. His wounds from last month leave Bécqueur even with Actyl in stamina and weaponry (rapiers for both), but ahead in expertise. Duncan d'Eauneurts stands as his second, while Les Anonyme remains with Actyl. Having been named as second by both principals, Hercule D'Engin recuses himself from this one. Both men start by parrying until Bécqueur spots a lapse in concentration and lunges for first blood. Actyl staggers back, examines the damage, lifts his sword and is hit by a cut. He surrenders and goes looking for some bandages.

Next on Bécqueur's list is a repeat meeting with Camille de Polignac, who is also still recovering from his injuries. Supported by Eclair de Lame, Polignac is confident in meeting Bécqueur again. Right up to when they cross swords. Then he gives in before Bécqueur can parry him into submission. Bécqueur has an even easier time with Ivor Edward Defrane: he simply doesn't show up.

Eclair de Lame is still there, though, and is next on Bécqueur's list. He matches rapier with his opponent and has the faint-hearted Polignac as second. Lame attacks with a lunge. However, Bécqueur is ready for this and parries it. He forgoes a riposte, preferring to launch into a furious lunge. The lunge catches Lame to draw the first blood. Annoyed, Lame closes in and applies his boot under the swing of the rapier's cut. Both men are wounded, but it's Bécqueur who surrenders. This injury leaves Bécqueur unable to meet the patiently waiting Jerome Fortmayne nor any more of his opponents, such as Balzac Slapdash. However, his match with Lars Kristmass is only postponed.

Regimental enemies

Time for some fun and games (or even duels) between the Dragoon Guards and Queen's Own Carabiniers. We start with QOC Major Norman de Bastille versus the more expert DG Major Conrad de Coverlet with their regimental sabres. Bastille is seconded by Leonard de Hofstadt and a colleague, Marc de Zorro. DG Lt-Colonel Henri Dubois is on the other side. Bastille's lack of skill is demonstrated as Coverlet slashes past his attempted parry and Bastille concedes the duel.

Despite losing, Bastille is keen to take on another enemy: Henri Dubois (DG Lt-Col). Coverlet seconds Dubois, who is seriously more skilled than the Carabinier. That's about the only difference between the two as they're using regimental sabres. Both make a wary start, with plenty of blocks and the odd parry. Then they attack. Bastille's lunge strikes before Dubois can get his slash in. It doesn't hurt much, but Dubois surrenders immediately. He has an urgent appointment to buy the Colonelcy of the Dragoon Guards.

Coverlet wants a go at Greg de Bécqueur next but, as we know, Bécqueur is in no state to fight. So Coverlet moves on to Robert d'Lancier. His potential problem here is that Lancier is Colonel of the Royal Marines, which means he uses a cutlass. And is more skilled with this than Coverlet is with his sabre. Lancier's invited second, Bastian de LaGarde, doesn't appear so he's on his own for what looks a pretty even fight. Apart from that vicious cutlass.

However, Lancier's apparent expertise seems to have evaporated. His first move is to lunge, prodding Coverlet with the blunt tip of his weapon. Coverlet is dodging as he expected a slash at some point. He recovers to slash at Lancier, scoring first blood. Lancier prods him again. Two more damaging slashes are exchanged for two more pointless lunges before Lancier changes tack. A furious lunge takes him to a cut with the blunt reverse of his blade. Still uninjured, Coverlet dodges in case a slash is coming and then slashes again to provoke Lancier's surrender. Battered he may be, but Lancier is determined to meet his next opponent. However, Georges Hommemince has already packed up his sword.

Lars Kristmass is William de Beast's first choice for duelling opponent, but this encounter is postponed. Instead, Beast takes his sabre and second, Norman de Bastille, to meet Alex Craimant. Craimant also wields a sabre and Zavier Ulric Turenne is his second. The two men are much of a muchness, so this could be the most even fight of the month. Craimant's initial slash is stopped by Beast's block. However, Beast isn't expecting the lunge that slips through his guard. It doesn't do much damage, but it's enough for Beast to declare honour is satisfied and concede the duel.

His old injuries put Ben e'Volence at a distinct disadvantage against Les Anonyme, despite wielding a sabre against his adversary's rapier. Hercule D'Engin and Thierry d'Actyl second Anonyme, while Phillipe F'Loppe backs e'Volence. Anonyme launches straight into a furious lunge. The immediate lunge catches e'Volence napping and he surrenders before things can get any worse. He will definitely not be facing Greg de Bécqueur this month - not least because Bécqueur has also left the field.

Anonyme takes his rapier and seconds to his rendezvous with Chris Knight. Knight is another sabre user and has Ivor Edward Defrane as his second. He's also noticeably slighter in build than Anonyme. Knight seems to have been watching the previous duels as he dodges any immediate attack. Anonyme blocks until he's certain Knight isn't attacking and lunges to run him through for another quick win.

Sword at his side, a duelling Musketeer kicks out at his opponentThere's no sign of Chris Knight when Hercule D'Engin turns up to fight him. This means the next duel is possibly the biggest mismatch: the teeny, and still injured, Engin versus the gargantuan Rob d'Masses. Engin is not helped by using a rapier against his opponent's sabre, even though he has the greater expertise. A heavily bandaged Greg de Bécqueur seconds Engin while Masses is on his own. Engin starts by parrying, but this is wasted. The following lunge is disrupted as Masses simply applies his boot where it will do most good. Bécqueur may be affronted, but his principal surrenders. Engin would have been Ben e'Volence's third opponent (and vice versa), but neither of them is fit any more.

Hence it is Rob d'Masses and Les Anonyme who square up for the next duel. Masses is still the (much) bigger man, unaccompanied and using a sabre. Anonyme continues to carry a rapier and be seconded by Hercule D'Engin and Thierry d'Actyl. Anonyme's blocks are pointless as Masses simply kicks him in the unmentionables to win the fight.

Signing up

The two top men in the Royal Foot Guards, Beau Reese Jean Seine and Jean Jeanie, join forces in asking the second Captain to resign his commission. King's Musketeer Tarquin le Hatter tries to throw a spanner in the works, but doesn't have the same sort of influence as these two. The Captain quits and RFG Subaltern Camille de Polignac buys a Captaincy. However, Jeanie rejects Bakar di Brieza's application to the regiment and none of the other Subalterns buys up, so the RFG still has an opening for a Captain.

Duncan d'Eauneurts snaps up Bakar di Brieza for the King's Musketeers when he applies. Brieza buys himself the rank of Captain, spending just some of the funds he's borrowed to start his life in Paris.

Tarquin le Hatter is more successful when he intervenes to thwart Greg de Bécqueur and Pierre Cardigan's attempt to remove the senior Major of the Archduke Leopold Cuirassiers. Cardigan does persuade the regiment's Colonel to quit. However, without a vacancy at Major, he can't buy his way to command of the regiment.

Louis Renault joins the Picardy Musketeers, courtesy of the regiment's new Lt-Colonel - and commander - Zavier Ulric Turenne. Turenne is not so impressed with Stephen LaHesse, turning down his application. Renault invests in a Captaincy.

The Crown Prince Cuirassiers are augmented by the arrival of William de Beast. He's signed up by commander Chris Knight and financed by Lt-Colonel Ben e'Volence (himself the subject of some largesse from his CO) to buy the rank of Captain. He repays the moneylenders last month's borrowings - good to see a man settle his debts in advance of the campaign season.

Queen's Own Carabiniers commander Marc de Zorro has a busy start to the month as he has three applications to approve. Justin Thyme, Pierre de Terre and Petit-Garson Riche all make it into the ranks. Riche is happy to be a Subaltern. Terre jumps over him to a Captaincy. And Thyme buys himself the rank of Major.

Brigadier-General Georges Hommemince is trying to get rid of his Aide, but the man sneers at his inducements. This means Hommemince isn't able to appoint Subaltern Jacques Hatt to the post.

Realising that he's a bit exposed in a Frontier regiment, Colonel Hugh Jass summons the whole of the 13th Fusiliers to join him. There's safety in numbers.

Flowers at Hunter's

As the Army prepares for the Summer campaign, there are two large parties in Paris: one at the start of the month and one at the end. Xavier Money, with the company of Betty Kant, is the man celebrating spring at Hunter's - asking that attending ladies dress as seasonal flowers. The guest list starts with Alex Craimant. Next is Augustin Fourier, who brings Pet Ulante with him. Sadly, she's just in her party frock. New boy Bakar di Brieza unsurprisingly has no-one on his arm. Neither does old boy Bastian de LaGarde. Balzac Slapdash brings Alison Wunderlandt, who is dressed as edelweiss in honour of her homeland. Camille de Polignac is unaccompanied. Eclair de Lame brings the unflowery Freda de Ath. Edouard Jogue has a fine blue iris with him in the form of Belle Epoque. Gilles Colbert arrives and notices that Alex belongs to his enemy regiment. Challenges are exchanged. Georges Hommemince arrives next and, greeting his regimental colleague, joins in the challenge with Gilles. Gaz Moutarde escorts Anne Tique with no flower in evidence. Hercule D'Engin spots that his enemy, Chris Knight, is in A sever-looking woman glowers at all and sundrythe club (though not at this party) and steps aside to confront him. On his own is Ivor Edward Defrane. Jerome Fortmayne, now a Captain in the Cardinal's Guard, kicks off the next round of regimental challenges as he exchanges insults with Bakar. Justin Thyme apologises to his host for the lack of 'flower' ("She was stolen from me," he sobs until Xavier can extricate himself). Jean Jeanie has a primrose on his arm. Aka Jacky Tinne. Louis Renault appears at his first Parisian party, steering clear of the Vichy water. In his nice new Lt-Colonel's uniform, Norman de Bastille's companion is the daffodil-like Anna Rexique. Petit-Garson Riche accompanies his red rose, Emma Roides. Rick Shaw picks a fight, on regimental grounds, with Augustin. Tarquin le Hatter, plus Leia Orgasma, comes to the aid of Bakar, backing him up against Jerome. Tarquin has gone to town, attiring himself as poison ivy while Leia is a black rose whose petals have blood red tips. Zavier Ulric Turenne brings up the rear with Lois de Lô.

Apart from Chris Knight, Henri DuShite (accompanied by Katy Did, looking fetching in green, though the thorns Henri has insisted on are a bit off-putting) and Robert d'Lancier (plus Bess Ottede) visit their club, Hunter's. They both attract the attention of some of Xavier's guests, who cannot believe such riff-raff could have membership of this august institution. Not content with his regimental dispute, Rick Shaw challenges both upstarts. So does Ivor Edward Defrane. Robert shrugs off their disdain and visits the gaming tables to lay a sequence of 200-crown bets. He cuts his first wager, loses the next and then cuts twice more before getting a winner. His last play is another loser, leaving him substantially out of pocket.

It's a quiet start to May in the Fleur de Lys. Only two members are in the club: Leonard de Hofstadt and Pierre Cardigan. Pierre is accompanied by Edna Bucquette. Leonard has Frances Forrin on his arm and this twosome welcomes some Toadies. Les Anonyme brings Carole Singeurs, while Phillipe F'Loppe is in his own (but "at my highest level of Toadying") and William de Beast is not admitted. He remains in the foyer trying to find his invitation. Ben e'Volence is host in his new club, Bothwell's. He and Fifi receive Pierre de Terre and Thierry d'Actyl. Alonzo Fonde-Lapatrie is the other man in Bothwell's and is accompanied by Ella Fant. Alonzo is so enthused by the prospect of "spending the next THREE MONTHS digging ditches, raising earthworks and DEFENDING THINGS" that he's trying to dissolve his brain in alcohol. Red Phillips is home to Jacques Hatt and Ada Andabettoir for the week.

It's Edouard Jogue and Belle in Red Phil's the following week. The clubs are emptier, but Marc de Zorro is holding a Young France get-together in Hunter's with Deb Estaround. He expects much quaffing and drunken pledges of eternal friendship. He gets a small group of guests, but at least they're all drinking. Starting the arrivals is Bakar di Brieza. Cyrano de Lancet appears with Violet Bott on his arm, thus explaining what he was up to the week before. Justin Thyme and Lascar Vivrebras are on their own. Justin buttonholes his host to thank him profusely for admitting him to the regiment. Also alone are Pierre de Terre and Petit-Garson Riche. Only Tarquin le Hatter has female company in the form of Leia. Henri DuShite is also in Hunter's, with Katy, and they barely notice the larger gathering as it's so peaceful.

Ben e'Volence and Fifi are in Bothwell's again with just William de Beast Toadying. Gaz Moutarde is there, too, and brings some guests along. Alex Craimant, Louis Renault and Zavier Ulric Turenne, with Lois, make up the list. Zavier insists on buying Louis's drinks. Alonzo Fonde-Lapatrie and Ella are in the club as well. Pierre Cardigan and Edna and Leonard de Hofstadt and Frances are still in the Fleur, where Les Anonyme and Carole are Leonard and Frances's guests. Fresh from a week at the Louvre propping up His Majesty's foot, Uther Xavier-Beauregard arrives at the Fleur, bringing Henrietta Carrotte with him for "a private supper".

The third week is quieter again, except in the Fleur where Leonard de Hofstadt and Frances have more guests. This time they are Les Anonyme (and Carole), Norman de Bastille, Pierre de Terre and Thierry d'Actyl. Pierre Cardigan and Edna are there again. In Bothwell's are Alonzo Fonde-Lapatrie, with Ella, and Ben e'Volence, plus Fifi. Alonzo can still remember what's happening next month, so the drinking to forget is clearly not working. He still tries, though. Phillipe F'Loppe is Toadying to Ben and toasting the fine surroundings, pretty ladies and his generous host. There is a bunch of members separately in Hunter's: Camille de Polignac, Chris Knight, Henri DuShite and Katy and Robert d'Lancier with Bess. The Blue Gables gets its only visitors of the month: Tarquin le Hatter and Leia.

The big farewell

May finishes with the big one: Beau Reese Jean Seine's send-off for the troops. Only Ben e'Volence is in a different club: he and Fifi remain in Bothwell's. Beau is accompanied by Maggie Nifisent to welcome the many. Augustin Fourier heads the list this time, bringing Pet with him. Ella props up a red-eyed Alonzo Fonde-Lapatrie who slumps in a corner where she can continue to pour wine down his throat. Bakar di Brieza still has no female company. Neither does Bastian de LaGarde. Nor Conrad de Coverlet. Camille de Polignac is solo as well. As is Chris Knight. Eclair de Lame has Freda on his arm. Edouard Jogue escorts Belle. Gilles Colbert takes us back to the solo guests and he is followed by the similar Georges Hommemince, but their membership of enemy regiments causes a fracas. Hercule D'Engin arrives to start a fight with his enemy, Chris. Henri DuShite has Katy with him and avoids the trouble. Until Ivor Edward Defrane takes umbrage at his commoner status and challenges him. Jean d'Ice is unaccompanied and challenges his enemy, Bakar. Jerome Fortmayne ditto and ditto. Jean Jeanie brings Jacky. Lascar Vivrebras is alone. Marc de Zorro accompanies Deb, but leaves her side to exchange challenges with Conrad. Then he settles down to pass comments on the likely success of the military figures at the party ("He won't survive... Nor will he... There's a poltroon if ever I saw one. Ah, mon general, how refreshing to see you.") No sooner has Norman de Bastille arrived with Anna than he abandons her to join Marc in facing down the Dragoon Guard. Rob d'Masses (on his tod as his courting failed ... twice, despite having been financed by Chris Knight) backs up Chris in challenging Hercule. Rick Shaw comes in to find an enemy, Augustin, and a commoner, Henri, to challenge. Terence Cuckpowder appears with Madelaine de Proust. Thierry d'Actyl enters only to bump into an enemy: Bakar. Then in comes Tarquin, with Leia, to provide another target for Thierry, Jean and Jerome. Xavier Money stays out of the fray with Betty, as does Zavier Ulric Turenne with Lois.

The Fleur is also home to Pierre Cardigan again. His regimental colleague, Rick, appears from the party to drag Pierre away from Edna to support him against Augustin. Leonard de Hofstadt and Frances host Les Anonyme and Carole only for Les to leave them to challenge Chris and Rob. Oh, it's all going on in the Fleur this week.

Wine, women and sword practice

In silhouette two Musketeers argue on a doorstep as a flowerpot descends on them from the balcony aboveMinister of State and France's foremost Arms investor (this month he even borrows heavily to ramp up his investments) Duncan d'Eauneurts continues to cut a swathe through Paris's womenfolk. Or tries to, anyway. However, the object of his affections this month is out with her current beau, so Duncan is wasting his time. He does get one duel out of it when Bastian de LaGarde rolls up with his eyes on the same woman and refuses to stand down. What's more, Lucy hears about these goings-on and chucks Duncan. Well, it was just a matter of time.

Jerome Fortmayne's target is at home, but he doesn't get the chance to woo her. First, Georges Hommemince gets in his way and then his regimental enemy, Bakar di Brieza, rolls up. He's probably lost count of the duelling appointments he's acquired.

Rick Shaw's courting is just a complete failure, but he doesn't return the following week when he would have met Justin Thyme and Xavier Money squabbling over the lady in question.

William de Beast and Alex Craimant meet on another doorstep to give themselves another duel. Alex misses Beau's party to try again. He gets in the door this time, but is turned down.

Jacques de Gain is the only man prepared to spend the whole month in the gym. He's practising with his rapier yet again. The gym is also where Beau Reese Jean Seine and Terence Cuckpowder are until the big party. Beau is another rapier man, while Terence sticks to his sabre. Greg de Bécqueur puts in three weeks with his rapier, but his final week is at the Bawdyhouses for some female company. Bernard de Lur-Saluces reverses this, starting his month in a bawdyhouse. He is pounced on by the footpads, but has spent his cash, and retires to the gym for three weeks slashing things with his sabre. The same routine applies to Henri Dubois - apart from the bit with the footpads.

A couple more socialites practise for three weeks, eschewing the big bash. Balzac Slapdash is with his rapier while Jacques Hatt exercises his sabre. The two-weekers are Augustin Fourier (sabre), Conrad de Coverlet (sabre), Eclair de Lame (rapier), Gilles Colbert (rapier), Jean d'Ice (rapier), Jean Jeanie (rapier) and Robert d'Lancier (cutlass). Meanwhile, in the red light district, the footpads turn their attention to Ivor Edward Defrane, then Hercule D'Engin and, finally, Pierre de Terre. They continue to be frustrated as each man has carefully emptied his purse at the bawdy house. Perhaps they'd have had better luck with Conrad de Coverlet, the one man to visit a bawdy house for just a drink.

Having been turned down for the Picardy Musketeers, Stephen LaHesse is all but invisible this month. He was expecting to be busy with regimental duties... He does fit in a visit to a bawdy house, though and spends a week practising rapier.

All alone in the 13th Fusiliers

Out on France's frontiers, the 13th Fusiliers join the Frontier regiments in preparing the ground for the summer campaign. It seems this exercise may not have been a success as they've given the Spanish plenty of target practice. 13F commander Hugh Jass survives to be brevetted a Brigadier-General. He is Mentioned in Despatches, too ("even having a whole regiment with him doesn't help"), which means he is awarded a pat on the back.