“Why” grumbled Rochefort “do we have to be here?” He kicked the tussocks of grass irritably.  “Its cold, damp, and uncomfortable”

“Why to see those nice hussar boys” answered Madame d’Hiver. “It is always amusing to see them in their tight breeches..” she discreetly covered her grin at Rochefort’s discomfiture behind her fan. They had been baiting each other for years, so she was not particularly worried; but she also knew that Rochefort’s revenges were byzantine. And sometimes gruesome.

Mixed cavalry brigade. Be sure to stay downwind...

Mixed cavalry brigade. Be sure to stay downwind…

The Cardinal glanced at them both “Because we are probably going to have to fight a battle with the linen merchant shortly. It is best to pay attention to soldiers, it boosts their morale, or some such. It is a shame that attention to their commanders cannot boost their insight, but we must make do, I suppose. So we review a cavalry brigade. I made sure they were downwind, and it will not take long”. The Cardinal tucked his book under his arm as the brigade approached.

The trio watched as a regiment of hussars galloped by, waving their swords in the air, followed more sedately by two regiments of Chevaux Léger, one French and one German. And then it was over.

Tight pants have cut off bloodflow to the brain…

Rochefort, his humor recovered as he could now go indoors, waved the carriage toward them and Madame d’Hiver asked ‘Why were the hussars galloping, and waving their swords? Is there an emergency somewhere?” A malicious gleam came into her eye as she continued “Colonel Rochefort, you are a hussar, tell us.”

With complete aplomb Rochefort answered, holding the door of the coach so the others could mount  “Why Madame, they heard there is a new barmaid at the local inn. Just do not get between them and the door to the taproom..”

D’Hiver smirked and the Cardinal’s mouth twitched as they got settled in the coach. The Cardinal answered “All dash and no brains, Rochefort…..”