The man of oak story

The dark musty scent of wet leather .The dry coat of powder .The lost road to freedom and the forest broken like ship masts in the wake of a storm . He could wait no longer the morning yellow and bright had loomed over the lintel. He woke, moist and itchy, desperate for warmth as the waste land on sourced earth announced the fall of dust on his head.

The room once had looked homely but after cannon had boomed and in came the roof not a trace of humanity remained.

He rose from the floor and stretched the weary bones of his frame skywards to the bluest of sky seen in patches above his head. Holes in the blasted shot roof allowed almost a full view of the heavens above him.

The battlefield was filled with blood run into mud and only the dead played the part of stone. Waterloo was won and Napoleon had been captured in Paris and sold to the British by the hands of the restored Kings subjects. Once so loyal now his captors.

Emile Valoise in his dirty mud stained moist denim army blues looked at himself in the water barrel, reflection as some one else he had not seen in years. His face grey and unshaven his head bandaged with his dead friends shirt to stop the blood and keep out infection. It was hard dry now and felt like a rat on his head. The sun was trying hard to shine and Emile searched for food of any sort. He found none in the house .

He had escaped the fate of so many others left in death broken and torn on the field. He had run for his life a mile into this fallen brick built lodge. Once a grand gate house to a manor of the rich. Now a forest of broken trees and dead birds.

Suddenly he heard a voice and crouched at the window to see a French Grenadier rifle at his head.

Name rank and number,the voice demanded.

Emile Valoise Sargent 4th infantry French army under General Salte. Payroll number 56455579 Valoise Private.

‘ Private eh! What happened to Sargent Valoise? Cried the Grenadier lowering his weapon.”

“Acting Sargent .Rest of the men dead. And you ?

“Anton, Private, Grenadiers under Salte. You and I are the left overs. Road blocked by British .Not a hope of escape .Best remain until we may find a way out of here at night. “

” In shook I with head wound stumbled into here. Must have passed out and woke about five minutes before you appeared . “

‘ The battle finished us off .Which of us that remained rounded up like so many cattle by the Prussians who galloped on the the field at the end to assist the British in a clean up of us all. Shock .Man I tell you we did our best and look at what it is now. Two sorry survivors feared for our lives in this mud bowl called Belgium. “

Emile smiled sardonically,’Rain at least has stopped. ” but Anton looked around him to see a door in the broken wall and did not listen. His mind now on treasure . He advanced sword in hand and pulled back the bricks and rubble to see the framed doorway in tact.

Soon the pair found them selves in a room . The dust having settled displayed a fine laid out table of silver dinner service dressed deeply in cobwebs.

The men amazed drew near and with passion growing seized the silver plater of goods. Dragging it to the edge of the oak table a cloth of red satin came with it like a wedding dress tail it followed behind.

The road to Brussels had been blocked and now only a patrol sought escaped French soldiers at gates on city. All other roads had guards too. It was then that the silver landed on the stone flagged floor crashing like sword fight and pistol blast.

Anton took up a silver salt boat all ornately dressed in rose buds and leaves al silver up to the curved roll of the handle. A lid which under it lay a salt knife and hammer to help crush the hard rock salt. He was just slipping it down his shirt when a voice boomed out from the dark corner came a man the size on an oxen .His hands 15inch across. With haunted black eye he took in the thief and lifted him up in air and spun his so well that the silver item fell back into the woners hand. He now hurled Anton across the table .He hit the wall so hard it broke his neck . Emile ran to inspect but his associate was dead .He looked up at the giant and asked if he had any mercy for Napoleons soldier .

Under his arms the dead Anton and the struggling Emile were handed over to the British lines that same hour . Colonel Grant looked happy to see the great ox of a man . The shook hands and the giant moved away as the prisoners led away by troops and that would be an end to the tale if not for that fact Grant wrote of his Belgic Giant who had fought so well for him that day and had vanished home to find it hit by cannon . British army had to build it back as it was .. It was all the thanks this giant of a man desired .Who he was .No one ever knew

Yours always Sir Kevin and thank you all for following my work. It means so much to me.

Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2o21 June

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