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Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses
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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 October 1673 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 21st January 2022.

Game Report for September 1673

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

Paris is in festive mood as the soldiers return from the summer campaign. Time for parties, wooing and conspicuous consumption. But first, there's the serious business of filling the new military structure, starting with new (and old) recruits to the regiments. Didier de Malherbe applies to Louis Renault to join the Picardy Musketeers and is promptly signed up. He buys a Captaincy, for which he doesn't even need to borrow any cash.

After spending a relaxing summer in Paris, Pierre Cardigan re-starts his military career by enrolling in the Cardinal's Guard. He buys his way to Major and is unlikely to stop there, given the vacancies above him.

It's the top regiment for Martin de Garnache. Beau Reese Jean Seine pauses in counting the pay-out from his investments to welcome his new recruit to the Royal Foot Guards. Then he repays his loans and makes more investments. Meanwhile, M Garnache quickly becomes Subaltern Garnache. And then Aide to Brigadier-General Seine.

In his other role, as Minister of State, Seine has further appointments to make. He puts in Greg de Bécqueur as Minister of Justice, turning down the applications from Chris Knight and Leonard de Hofstadt. His Majesty further recognises Bécqueur with the title of Marquis. Earl de Hofstadt gets the consolation of becoming a Minister without Portfolio and is elevated to Viscount de Hofstadt.

As Field Marshal, Hofstadt has the job of appointing Generals to command the three Armies. He turns down Generals Jacques de Gain and Jean Jeanie, allowing the positions to go to some time-servers. He is more alert to who should be his Aide, however, giving the job to Tarquin le Hatter. (The other applicant, Ben e'Volence, simply doesn't meet the criteria now he's bought himself the Colonelcy of the Crown Prince Cuirassiers.)

The Minister of War, Bastian de LaGarde, chooses who will be the Inspectors-General. The job of Infantry I-G goes to Lieutenant-General Jean d'Ice, but LaGarde leaves the other empty for the time being. The retiring Inspector-General of Cavalry, Lt-Gen Bernard de Lur-Saluces, takes up the role of a Provincial Military Governor, having narrowly missed out on becoming City Military Governor.

A pouch of coins is offered from one suspicious character to anotherBrigadier-General Phillipe F'Loppe quite fancies the job of Army Quartermaster-General. The new man in charge of First Army has other ideas, though, and turns down both him and the previous incumbent, Henri DuShite. Justin Thyme steps in with Second Army, calling in a favour to make sure this commander doesn't appoint F'Loppe either ("He'll steal the cutlery"). Thyme's attempt to bribe the commander of Third Army ("He can't count, so will get the numbers wrong") is too paltry to have any effect, but F'Loppe still doesn't get the QMG job.

Inspector-General Ice leaves the infantry Brigadiers' positions vacant, turning down DuShite's application to command First Foot. The Cavalry Brigades are up for grabs, though. Marc de Zorro uses his influence to improve his chances of being re-appointed Brigadier of the Horse Guards. F'Loppe is up for consideration here and calls in a favour of his own, only to find Justin Thyme is lobbying against him again ("He's not very good"). Not that it matters as neither's influence reaches as high as the Inspector-General's office. Zorro is duly re-appointed.

The incumbent, Chris Knight, easily beats out upstart Rick Shaw to retain his position as Brigadier of the Heavies. Shaw has applied to command the Dragoon Brigade, too, but as a brevet Brigadier-General he can only command the Brigade he's in. Hence, why he wasn't considered for the Horse Guards or any of the infantry Brigades either.

Ben e'Volence calls in a couple of favours to make sure he beats the competition from Les Anonyme to become Adjutant of First Army. Anonyme doesn't get to be Adjutant of Second Army, either, but finally succeeds with Third Army.

No General wants Petit-Garson Riche as his Aide, it seems, but the commander of First Army appoints Robert d'Lancier to his staff.

Camille de Polignac gets lucky to become Guards Brigade Major, while Petit-Garson Riche is appointed as Brigade Major of the Horse Guards by Marc de Zorro.

Neville Moore tries to influence the Dauphin to favour him as Aide to the Crown Prince, but his reach is not high enough and he doesn't get the job. At least his regimental CO is on his side: Beau Reese Jean Seine appoints him Regimental Adjutant of the RFG.

Lou Scannon, on the other hand, can call in a favour that helps him secure the position of Captain of the King's Escort ahead of the incumbent, Charles Trenet.

He may not be in charge of anything (apart from the Dragoon Guards), but Bdr-Gen Phillipe F'Loppe is still entitled to an Aide. He gives the job to KM Subaltern Claude de Nord. Which means Greg de Bécqueur is too late to offer Nord the same job.

Oher positions are assigned at random from those eligible.

Brigadier Chris Knight decides the Heavy Brigade should return to the United Provinces forthwith, whatever plans the commanders of the Crown Prince Cuirassiers (Ben e'Volence) and Archduke Leopold Cuirassiers (Rick Shaw) might have had for the Autumn.

Bent double, a hatless Musketeer drinks beer direct from the barrel tapBig Balls

It seems there is only one place to be this September: at the Minister of State's Welcome Home Ball for the troops returning from the summer campaign. Resplendent in his Royal Foot Guards' dress uniform and with Madelaine de Proust at his side, Beau Reese Jean Seine welcomes what seems like most of Paris to the Fleur de Lys. The guest list begins (alphabetically) with Augustin Fourier, very happy to have Mademoiselle Pet Ulante on his arm after three months absence. Les Anonyme still has the affections - and company - of Carole Singeurs.

Claude de Nord is unaccompanied, but Camille de Polignac has Angelina di Griz with him. Dureau Celbonet is without a plus-one. So is Eclair de Lame. The appeal of baked goods has not lessened, so Greg de Bécqueur is once more accompanied by Kathy Pacific. Having settled his debts, Hugh Challavas-Vichy attends alone. So does Hercule D'Engin. There is no companion for Jean d'Ice, nor for Jacques Hatt. Guinevere d'Arthur escorts Justin Thyme and Di Lemmere Louis Renault. Lou Scannon brings Bess Ottede. Lascar Vivrebras has Marie Antoinette on his arm and a discussion with his host about vacancies in the RFG.

Seine's new Aide, Martin de Garnache, has a personal invitation but no companion. Marc de Zorro brings Cath de Thousands. Mary Huana is on the arm of Mustafa Lekk (who started the month by re-scheduling his loans). Maurice Pauvre is on his tod, as is Neville Moore. For some reason Maurice is the recipient of unexpected monetary gifts, including a substantial one from Henri DuShite. Perhaps it's his name. Still, this largesse has let him buy a Majority in the Picardy Musketeers and add to his stable. Nouveau W Odeur accompanies Belle Epoque. There's no company for Petit-Garson Riche, nor for Tarquin le Hatter. And, finally, Zavier Ulric Turenne arrives with Lucy Fur on his arm and disrupts what had been a perfectly peaceful party. Both Martin de Garnache and Mustafa Lekk take exception to his presence, being that the man has neither a title nor a drop of noble blood. Their grievances will be answered on the field of honour.

The party-goers are not the only people in the Fleur - though they take up most of the space. Bernard de Lur-Saluces is trying - and failing - to have a quiet drink. Jean Jeanie is there with his belle, Jacky Tinne. Leonard de Hofstadt and Frances Forrin have a nook to themselves. And Pierre Cardigan is, as always, with "his" Edna Bucquette. However, his nice new Cardinal's Guard uniform is a red rag to the bulls of the King's Musketeers attending the ball. Challenges are swapped between Pierre on one side and Claude de Nord, Greg de Bécqueur and Tarquin le Hatter on the other.

Xavier Money may be a Brigadier-General, but he didn't have a command during the campaign. In fact, he wasn't involved in the fighting at all. Hence he is not admitted to the ball and starts his September outside the Fleur de Lys.

Charles Trenet is one man who doesn't attend the Ball, preferring the quiet of Hunter's as the venue for his reunion with Ella Fant.

Two hatless Musketers carousing with overflowing goblets of wineSmaller Parties

After such a rollicking start to the month, the question is where do Paris's socialites go next. The answer for many is Xavier Money's bash at Bothwell's, tactfully ignoring the fact that he didn't get in to Seine's Ball the week before. With Betty Kant, Xavier is able to welcome over half a dozen guests. Greg de Bécqueur and Kathy kick things off. They are followed by Hercule D'Engin. Justin Thyme and Guinevere are next. Lou Scannon has Bess on his arm again. Martin de Garnache gets in, too. So does Neville Moore. And Tarquin le Hatter. The arrival of Zavier Ulric Turenne and Lucy provokes Martin to renew his challenge at the presence of such riff-raff.

Robert d'Lancier also attends Bothwell's, of which he is a member. However he's there to play the tables. A series of 250-crown bets see him win five and lose just the one, leaving him a thousand crowns richer than when he arrived - and with a significant number of brownie points. Gaz Moutarde just slinks into the club after spending the previous week renewing his acquaintance with his lady.

However, there is a bunch of baffled blokes outside Bothwell's doors. Busy paying off his loans, Phillipe F'Loppe doesn't seem to have heard that Ben e'Volence is back on active service and has turned up as his guest. And Balzac Slapdash and Petit-Garson Riche have arrived a mere month early for Marc de Zorro's October party.

Hunter's actually has two events going on. Well, the first one is probably not an event: it's just Nouveau W Odeur and Belle Toadying to Jacques Hatt in his new club. The second is hosted by Louis Renault and Di. They are joined by Claude de Nord, this time with Ada Andabettoir on his arm (what, Ada not good enough for the Fleur? There could be ructions), Hugh Challavas-Vichy, Jean Jeanie and Jackie and Lascar Vivrebras with Marie. Lascar feels it's time for a flutter and heads to the club's gaming tables to lay a bet of 170 crowns, which he wins. Mustafa Lekk doesn't meet Louis's definition of a gentleman and is refused entry.

This leaves the Fleur, which is much quieter. There are just Leonard de Hofstadt and Pierre Cardigan in attendance, accompanied by Frances and Edna, respectively. For the rest of the month it's just Leonard and Frances.

One more party

The third week of September is pretty quiet. Gaz Moutarde occupies Bothwell's on his own before spending the last week with his lady. Lou Scannon takes Bess to Hunter's. The Horse Guards club gets visitors: Petit-Garson Riche and Emma Roides, begging the question of why Petit-Garson was on his own in previous weeks. The Frog & Peach is busiest. Claude de Nord escorts Ada and Mustafa Lekk accompanies Mary.

The month concludes with Louis Renault's second party, also at Hunter's. This is a private gathering for the Picardy Musketeers. CO Louis and Di are joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Challavas-Vichy, Major Maurice Pauvre and Captains Lascar Vivrebras and Didier de Malherbe. Didier is the only one to bring female company. He won Josephine Buonaparte's affections at the start of the month and has spent the intervening weeks practising rapier and carrying out some unnecessary regimental duties. Louis places a single 170-crown bet at the club's tables, splitting his winnings between his subordinates.

Hunter's is actually quite busy with as many other members present as Louis's group. Jacques Hatt is showing off his latest conquest: Marie Antoinette. This is slightly embarrassing as two weeks ago she was Lascar's girl. A duel is already scheduled. Justin Thyme brings Guinevere. Lou Scannon and Bess are at their favourite table. Neville Moore has Vera Cruz on his arm as he tries to show his new lady a good time. And Tarquin le Hatter is at the bar.

Petit-Garson and Emma are back in the Horse Guards, as are Mustafa and Mary in the Frog & Peach. Bothwell's is home to Marc de Zorro and Cath. And Xavier Money brings Kathy Pacific here, having wooed here away from the rapier-practising Greg de Bécqueur. That'll be another duel.

Eclair de Lame is another man who succeeds in his courting, enjoying his new companion so much he spends a further week with her. This provokes a duel with Charles Trenet, which is interesting for two reasons. First, Eclair is Charles's superior officer in the RFG and, second, he's also CPS...

Augustin Fourier takes advantage of Ben e'Volence's absence to go courting, too. However, his intended is not interested. Augustin tries again, is rejected again and chucked by Pet Ulante when she hears what he's up to. But Augustin perseveres and his final visit succeeds.

Jean d'Ice and Martin de Garnache get nowhere as the targets of their wooing are on the town with their current beaux. Robert d'Lancier's excuse is that he meets Terence Cuckpowder on the doorstep of their intended. Neither will give way, so a duel is required. What's more, Katy Did hears about Terence's antics and he's without his female companion. Robert has no excuse for his second courting, he's just rejected.

Lookout, footpads!

Thomas de la Lune succeeds on his second attempt at wooing, though he doesn't want to publicise the relationship (and he had to borrow to finance the gifts). Jean d'Ice's second go sees him meet Marc de Zorro and Terence Cuckpowder (also on his second courting) outside the same lady's residence. None will stand down, so that's three more duels for the start of October.

The other source of female company is, of course, Paris's red light district. Henri DuShite is quick to visit a bawdyhouse and avail himself of such. He becomes the footpads' first target for months and they gleefully relieve him of his excess crowns. After this experience he works out with his cutlass for the rest of the month. Others are more circumspect in their outings. Apart from Robert d'Lancier, who finishes his September not with a lady but by laying 50-crown bets in a Bawdyhouse. After winning his first three wagers, he loses the next three. His last bets are two wins and a loss to end the week slightly ahead.

Jacques de Gain is a creature of habit. And his habit is to spend each month practising his rapier technique - though this month he also has a huge pay-out from his Arms investment to count. Bastian de LaGarde and Balzac Slapdash follow his lead, but keep their rapier practice down to three weeks. Bastian spends the missing week at a Bawdyhouse, while Balzac lounges around outside Bothwell's. Les Anonyme, Beau Reese Jean Seine, Camille de Polignac and Charles Trenet also practise rapier for three weeks, once they've spent a week in a club. Exercising his sabre for three weeks is Phillipe F'Loppe, another man who likes lounging around outside Bothwell's.

Putting in a couple of weeks in the gyms are Bernard de Lur-Saluces (two-handed sword), Dureau Celbonet (Foil), Jean Jeanie (rapier), Nouveau W Odeur (sabre), Pierre Cardigan (sabre), Terence Cuckpowder (sabre), Thomas de la Lune (rapier), and Zavier Ulric Turenne (rapier).

In intriguing news from the Louvre, Lou Scannon has been dismissed as Captain of the King's Escort after just one month in the job. Nobody is quite sure why, but he is said to still be in favour with Her Majesty...

Reckless Bravery: A Musketeer whistles nonchalantly as he blocks a cannon muzzle with his fist

Let's go Dutch

Volunteered to join the Frontier regiments, Heavy Brigade finds itself on the defensive against the revitalised Dutch (after the spice fleet arrives safely from the Far East to boost their finances). William of Orange leads the Dutch, Spanish and Imperial forces to retake the fortress of Naarden and the French troops make a fighting retreat.

This goes well for Heavy Brigadier Chris Knight. He is brevetted to Lieutenant-General and manages to scavenge almost a thousand crowns' worth of booty even as the Brigade moves back. The Crown Prince Cuirassiers are the more successful of the two Heavy regiments, roundly defeating a force of Spanish cavalry that threatened to overrun Frontier regiment 1. Colonel Ben e'Volence becomes a Baron. Rick Shaw, commanding the Archduke Leopold Cuirassiers, is Mentioned in Despatches ("a solid performance") and finds a few crowns to add to his coffers.