Wednesday, 3 March 2010
The Sun Over Doarunna
Curse those foolish English dogs. They cannot even read map. Were the true Spanish man not a man of courage and honour, the way they wander into trap after trap would be enough to make one retire to the life of an owner of peasant farmers.
You will recall from my last dispatch that while the English were surrendering in droves, it fell to our brave Spanish patriots to secure the person of His grace the Duke, to escort his guns and baggage toward the evacuation, and to secure the most welcome delivery of a mule train laden with rather good Brandy.
There we thought our trials had ended, but no. The damn fool English Colonel misread his map, and took the wrong turn. Instead of joining the army at Doarunna, he lead us behind the perusing French force, so that we again had to test out courage in the face of these Dogs of Godless Rationalist Republican Frenchmen. A trial which you by now know is one my Brave Spanish Patriots are always willing to accept, despite the needless death it brought on this occasion.
When dawn broke, we discovered the true situation again. My irregular patriotic colleagues had succeeded in rescuing those cowardly Englishmen who surrendered as we escaped across the river, Sadly, they not only rejoined our column, but sought again to exert influence over the strategy being perused.
I at once recognised the situation for what it was. Our contacts in the Guerrillas confirmed, to my personal disgrace, that my brother, another of those Godless Rationalist, was present amongst the Frenchmen before us. Knowing this, I was certain that if I showed my presence at the outset, he would insist on the entire French force being arrayed against me. This, I felt, would be the opportunity to ensure that at least our incompetent allies could escape. I would distract the French; they would have a clear run over the hill to the port and safety. All I had to do was point them in the direction, and say 'Please senor, do not refer to your map, and simply go that way until you see more men in Red Coats. My men will cover your retreat, via con Dios'.
Sadly, they heeded me not. Presented with an entirely clear path to the sea, they proceed to form a long column down the road, and advance at a snail’s pace down it directly toward the waiting Frenchmen. Santa Maria, what can one do with such fools for allies?
I must pay particular commendation to some of my veteran colleagues on this point. Men who had been fighting for a free Spain since the first French invasion - their uniforms of the old style, somewhat tattered, but with clean colours flying and true Spanish hearts (if a bit wiffy after all these years in the field), consented to join my command in defending the honour of Spain and removing the personal stain which my Enlightened Traitor of a brother represented across the fields in front of us.
As seemed appropriate on this occasion, we toasted our success and the cause of Free Spain a good few times, before beginning our trials on the field of honour.
We drew out a Brigade of Voltigeurs occupying woodland. My gallant Light Company engaged and pinned them in place. I ordered one company of my command to out flank these Frenchmen, while I engaged them to the front in noble combat, and my lights engaged them from behind the enclosure. The fighting was fierce, I cannot deny.
When hiding behind trees, these Frenchmen know how to put up a good stand. But slowly, we wore them down until our flanking force was able to clear them out of the wood.
I then took my company, and moved around the flank of the wood in turn, heading for the hills to ensure that this would be secure for those fool Englishmen, who were studiously avoiding the free path I had left for them, and instead seemed intent on marching into the arms of the enemy again.
At this moment, who should appear before me, but that Godless Rationalist of a brother and his fresh company of misguided Spanish turncoats?
You may be assured that killing the men of Spain does not bring me any Joy or Honour. My men had already suffered enough on this day, and I was determined that no more Spaniards must die than necessary. I strode forward, ordering my men to lower their weapons.
Let us not needlessly sacrifice more Spaniards on this day, I cried. Brother of Shame, you Godless Rationalist. Will you give up your so called Enlightenment and false freedoms, and join me in defending all that is holy and Clerical? Join me, or face me on this field before our men. Let God determine which of us has the right cause!'
The blood of the Afilardo's is true, and although he has fallen from the true path of a Patriot, my Brother accepted the challenge like the man he was.
With no joy, I ran him through on the spot. His stain on my family's name is now removed for all. God will surely punish him for his Republicanism.
'God wills it', I cried.
I appealed to the leaderless company of turncoats before me.
'Men of Free Spain, will you not now join me, lower your arms and receive the blessing of the true Spanish Patriotic cause. Join the Credulous, as your parents would wish'
I appealed again.
'You need only join us, and we will lead you straight to an Inquisitor who will hear your absolutions, come, God will forgive you for your repentence, even if the Inquisitor does not.'
Then, I fear, things went a little hazy.
I heard French voices, I saw smoke, and I felt no little pain.
But when I came to, I saw all of we free Spaniards had made it to the evacuation point. My men had ensured that my orders were followed, and the consignment of Brandy (The medicinal effects of which, I can now confirm) was also secured, and I venture to suggest that no few of my former brothers men had also joined us.
The forces of Free Spain had swept all before them, to force our way onto the beach at Doarunna.
My understanding of the fate of those fools of Englishmen is less clear. I heard reports that a patrol of French Chasseurs was following down the road. I find it hard to believe, but my contact in the guerrillas confirm that they thought they could out march these horsemen – in formation - rather than form square to face them. No more is heard of those poor fools.
The main force of Englishmen, rather than marching to safety over the hills as I advised them, formed a ragged line (including baggage), and apparently wheeled into a French column. Such parade ground manoeuvres hold no place on the battlefield, not for a retreating army.
Worst of all, I understand from my guerilla comrades, that these same baggage animals held the gold from the churches of Spain. Despite the Guerrillas escorting the English as closely as possible toward safety, they could not prevent them from abandoning the mules to the French. Failure after failure dogs this English Battalion.
Still, a great victory was won by the men of Free Spain on this day. We broke through the French lines to safety, we secured the booze, and we succeeded in destroying a nest of traitors at the same time. I shall not pretend we did not do so at a cost, but had the English followed my advice, and marched over the hills to freedom, it would have been a small one to pay. I can confirm that no Spanish formation ran, and all colours drums and commanders marched boldly and with honour off the field this day.
For my part, I shall require the winter to recover from no small number of wounds accumulated on this campaign.
But I have retained my honour, won the commendation of the Duke himself, and led my men to victory after victory, all the while whilst preserving the remnants of a particularly good consignment of Brandy.
It shall not be long, before Spain is liberated, and we can begin the true task of eliminating the traitors who have dishonoured the people of Spain.
Viva Free Spain.