Down And Out In Madrid Part 1

"Down and Out in Madrid, Part 1"

Who: Marchand, Rothschild, Matti and NPC Juan
What: Marchand and Rothschild have a drink with a Spaniard and discuss seditious topics like the POUM and novelist Eric Blair (aka George Orwell). Plans are made.
Where: Madrid, Spain
IC Date: July 1937
RL Date: Jan. 6, 2007

The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <

Coordinates : 8 1

A main thoroughfare going through the city of Madrid, the road is a busy place, with people on some sort of business at all times of the day. Revolutionary banners hang from the walls, and the citizens are out in force, building barricades, fortifying the houses, moving back and forth with supplies, or in some cases just standing around wide eyed, looking for ways to help.

It is currently dusk.
Sub-Rooms :

(#580) 1918 Harley-Davidson

La Tasca <LT> West <W>
East <E> South <S>
North <N>

Marchand is seated with a rifle across his lap, temporarily between duty posts. He's looking worn, the restricted duty after his wounds at Brunete given to allow him to try and recover strength.

Rothschild walks down the thoroughfare, toward La Tosca. Hardly an usual sight. The reporter is fond of the bar. He's smoking as he goes, taking quick puffs off a rolled cigarette between steps. He's absorbed in his own thoughts, whatever they are, and almost walks straight past Marchand. But a double-take makes him stop. "You look like you've been run over by a train, Delaware," he observes, without any preamble greeting.

Marchand looks up quickly, as if snapping out of thoughts that had distracted his first notice. "Jersey" and lifts himself up to stand. "Another near-death. Me and the Frenchman, Phillips. Defending Brunete against two tanks." and shakes his head a little. He then seems to shift in his attitude, looking more carefully around. "I need to speak to you. Got word about a friend needing out. I'd told him before" and the man hesitates, "That you could arrange it."

"Tank beats a train, I'll give you that," Rothschild says dryly. "I didn't see much of Brunete myself. I lingered in Barcelona for awhile. Beautiful city. You should've seen it before…" He trails off, shaking his head. He looks unwilling to say what he /really/ wants to, so he leaves it at that. "Anyway. What I heard of Brunete was more than enough." He tilts his head when Marchand mentions 'a friend' needing an out. He appears more relieved than anything else. "Thank God, Frank. I knew you'd come around. Now, it's not going to be easy, getting you out of Spain, but I think I can manage it."

Marchand urms, "Wasn't in a tank. Just me and the man Phillip with dynamite, like the Catalan miners." He nods then towards the bar, La Tosca. "Let's go inside. I'm not the one leaving Spain yet."

Rothschild gives Marchand a look that suggests a lot more questios, but he nods at that and heads toward the bar. "I know a quiet table," he says simply. He's not keen on talking anymore in the street.

La Tasca
The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <

Music fills the air of the common room, always a merry tune that keeps the spirits light and the money flowing in an establishment that thrives on the wealth and loose purse strings of others. The daylight hours tend to draw smaller crowds usually found at the tables. Lush accommodations attempt to put a polish on the vices men and woman alike come here to indulge in. Thick, red velvet curtains cover the windows, blocking out all indication that an outside world exists, making it all the easier to fritter away the hours and one's inheritance. Even during daytime, lanterns are lit over the table due to the lack of natural light. A small bar sits along the far wall.

It is currently dusk.

Sub-Rooms :
1. The bar
2. A large table
3. A private table
4. Table by the window

Eric - 3. A private table
Out <O>

Marchand has arrived.

Rothschild enters the bar a little ahead of Marchand, holding the door and watching the Brigade man to see if he needs any assistance. The reporter is working on a half-smoked cigarette and he looks, if not nervous, very curious and urgent.

Marchand enters a minute later, after Rothschild's had time to be within La Tasca and not seen to be entering with Marchand. He idly rambles up towards the bar, happening to take a look around to the tables carefully. When Rothschild had held the door, the Marine seemed to back up and not enter at first, making the delay clearly deliberate in his expression to the reporter.

Rothschild nods a little when Marchand passes him. Smart, that. For his part, he seeks out one of the tables toward the side of the bar. The ones that are usually hazed in cigarette smoke and offer some sort of privacy. While he's looking for a place to sit, though, he catches a waitress' sleeve and orders a whisky. He'll probably need it.

It's fairly quiet here, a little too close to the trenches for all but the locals and whatever unit is posted to the front here at any point in time. And it would appear that an anarchist unit must be nearby, as a young, rather nervous looking man clad in blue coveralls and with a black and red scarf around his neck slinks in.

Marchand orders a Spanish beer at the bar, waiting patiently for the man serving to slide it over to him. Once the mug's in hand, though, he rises to appear to be casually finding a seat. The American slides into one beside Rothschild. "Whiskey, huh." and chuckles loud enough to make his meeting the man appear to be at random. "I'm still getting used to beer." and lifts the bottle like a toast offered. His manner breaks for a moment as eyes shoot a look to the door, as someone new enters. He seems to stare for just a second, before looking quickly back to Rothschild. "Meant what I said earlier", quietly.

Rothschild picks his whisky right up and drinks when it's delivered. He snorts a dry chuckle at Marchand's random chatter, answering in kind. "I find I need something a little stronger than beer these days." He lifts his glass again, along with Marchand's toast, his eyes flicking to the door. Briefly, but it seems he got a decent look at the man who entered. "So I see," he replies to Marchand, in a low voice.

The anarchist militiaman heads over to the bar, and orders a bottle of wine, not ordering any specific type, and pays for it with a handful of coins he has stuffed into a pocket, before settling down over in the corner. He gets a few glances from the locals as he pours out a generous glass for himself, and slurps it down.

Marchand slowly nods, and turns to look over to the anarchist militianman. "Join me, comrade? To talk over old battles against the fascists with a fellow fighter?" spoken out loud enough to be heard, taking a swig of beer shortly after. He uses a foot to slide out a remaining chair at the table.

Marchand murmurs more quietly at the table, just for Rothschild to hear, after his offer was called over, "He's more at risk than I am. He's a writer."

"No kidding?" Rothschild mutters to Marchand, into his whisky glass, before another sip. His eyes narrow a notch behind his glasses at the militiaman, though he tries not to stare. He sets the glass down, shrugging casually at the chair. As if adding his own invitation to sit.

The young man heads over to the table with the rather considerably older and more grizzled veterans sitting there, and plops down. "Comrades." he says, in nervous Spanish. "I am sure you have many tales of heroic defiance of the fascists…" he replies, glancing at the star on Marchands uniform.

Marchand looks to the red and black anarchist scarf, but still nods as if aimeable in his drink and brushing over hints in the tone of the young man. He speaks more to just the table, his words not easily carrying beyond. "My Spanish isn't so good. Forgive me." seeming to've made out the meaning, though. "I was just wondering if you were from Barcelona." and nods down to the kercheif. "Was wondering about the news from there."

Rothschild smirks, and drinks some more, when heroic tales are mentioned. "My friend may well have a few," he says, in his serviceable Spanish.

[Public] EU Delenda Est! -*- Eric says, "neither side have particularly unreliable weapons, and I doubt you'll notice a difference. no horrible weapons like sten guns involved"

"I'm afraid I'm short on heroism these days," Rothschild adds.

The youngling reaches into his pocket of notes, and pulls out a wodge of them, leaving them on the tabletop. Somewhere amidst the pesetas, can be seen a rather battered and crumpled POUM membership card. He fishes a single note out of the pile and puts it to one side, before scooping all the notes back into his pocket once more. He taps his chest. "Catalan.".

Marchand more slowly nods. "I've heard bad news from up there. The Fascists advanced." He looks over to Rothschild at that, worry furrowing his brows. The POUM membership card gets slid by the man back under the young man's notes as an covert sleight of hand attempted by the American. "I'm wondering about a doctor who …." Marchand stops, seeming to have second thoughts about speaking of the matter. "A couple persons I know who share your politics. One's a friend, the other is someone formerly with us in Madrid." To Rothschild his eyes shift again, "Dr. Dario Cortez." as if expecting the name to be familiar to the fellow American expatriot.

Rothschild's eyes narrow and zero in on the crumpled POUM card. He shows no great outward reaction of surprise. He had to be expecting something like this, with Marchand wrapped up in it. But he does take another drink. "I remember the doctor," he says. "He treated Elizabeth a fair few times. The man seemed like a patriot, whatever else you could say about him."

The anarchist goes rather quiet, and hangs his head a bit, making sure all his notes are safely stashed, and goes a little quiet as he listens to the two converse, with the frown of someone who isn't really following the English so well.

Matti has arrived.

Marchand speaks more quietly at the table, the sound not carrying across the room. "El medico", looking to a young rumpled militiaman. "Dr. Dario Cortez." He speaks his words carefully, this time in Spanish. "I see him last in Barcelona. With el Batalle."

The young man at Marchand/Rothschild's table nods, and leans forward to Marchand, to whisper. In Spanish, unfortunately for Marchand. But 'muerte' is easy to understand no?

Rothschild is squirreled away at a small, somewhat private table with Marchand and a young Spanish man in blue coveralls. He tilts his head as the young Spaniard whispers to his companion.

Marchand 's face goes expressionless, lips remaining closed. A simple nod's given to the much younger man, silently. He then looks to Rothschild for a second, and leans to mutter something more quietly.

A private table > Marchand speaks quietly, "My friend's name is Eric Blair." in Spanish. Aside to Rothschild in English, "He's the one I mentioned you to, as maybe being able to work a way out." The former Marine's eyes return to the young militiaman. "How is he?" in Spanish. He can manage a few words and phrases, simple ones, but it's a struggle with the accent and clearly not fluent.

Juan talks quietly to Marchand at the table. Rothschild seems a bit out in the cold of their apparently private conversation…

Matti enters the bar, stifling a yawn. Being rather green, he constantly seems to end up with sentry duty, which in this case has just ended. He counts out some of his hard-earned money, paying for a beer before heading to a table. He hasn't really seen any of the K company veterans in the other table, so he wouldn't even know to intrude on them if he was inclined to do so. Instead, he seats himself alone at another table, and draws a well-thumbed book out from his pocket. For the observant, it is a worn, cheap German copy of "Capital" by messieurs Marx and Engels.

A private table > Juan shakes his head, in a somewhat negative gesture, and replies in Spanish. "He is not recovering, Comrade… he had to, ehm. leave the hospital he was being cared for in. Something needs to be done.".

Rothschild sips his drink, all relaxed and casual, at his table. Nothing funny going on here, folks. Just a guy enjoying his drink with some friends. He eavesdrops on whatever part of the conversation he's not in on, of course. He is a reporter. Something Marchand says to him makes his eyes sharpen with recognition, but he doesn't interrupt the two.

Marchand slowly nods, and draws in a deep breath before taking a large draught of beer from the bottle. "His throat?" motioning up to his neck after asking the question in English, a finger pointing towards near the center. Then, in Spanish, "Tell me how I can help." and sets the bottle down. A look over to Rothschild then, "He joined the POUM militia, I joined the XIth Brigade. Eric's correspondance is what first led me to come to Spain, Ben. I've known him on and off, corresponded with him, since my stay in England before shipping back home at the end of the Great War. He's a good man, full of conviction and writes about the plight of the working man under the grind of today's Industrialists." This spoken, of course, in English.

Juan bows his head, and the whispered conversation becomes a little more intense. Nothing to see here gentleman. The secret police are everywhere!

Matti doesn't seem particularly interested in the conversation in the other table. He just seems quite content to be here, indoors and away from the front line for a change. His full attention, as tired as he is, seems to be focused on the book, and the slowly diminishing pint of beer next to him.

A private table > Juan nods when Marchand points to his throat. "He needs treatment, Comrade. And he won't get it here. He has to be taken home.".

A private table > Marchand says "nods his head, then looks to both men. "I don't have the means to arrange that myself." His attention then goes specifically to Rothschild, "I was hoping you could, Ben. His throat was in bad shape, bandaged up from a Fascist bullet, when I met him in Barcelona. You know the Commissar would have me shot if he even knew I was still meeting …" The words stop with a swallow, his elbow making a motion to indicate the young militiaman. "Members of an outlawed organization.""

Marchand continues in quiet conversation, a movement of his elbow to indicate Juan to Rothschild at the table.

A private table > Rothschild nods to Marchand and says, under his breath, "I know him. Or, at least, I know the name. And his writing, of course. Orwell's not the most interesting pen name a guy could have, I have to say." He winces when Juan points to his throat, nodding again. "That's why Frank asked me to come here. I've tried to keep some lines open for my wife. And friends." He shrugs at Marchand. "I've got some money saved up, papers and train schedules. I'll do what I can."

Juan has apparently said his piece. He goes rather quiet, as the other two begin to talk a little more.

Marchand takes a deep breath. "Mi amigo" nodding to Rothschild as he speaks to Juan, "He will try make arrangements" in rough broken Spanish. "Where is he?" asked of the young man.

Marchand says that quietly at the table, not yet noticed a fellow brigader in the tavern yet.

Matti remains blissfully oblivious to the shady activities close-by, although from the way he's nodding at the table, he seem more captivated by the warmth washing over his fatigued form, rather than the thoughts of comrade Marx.

Juan points towards the city centre. "In the house of a friend, comrade." he replies. "Not more than fifteen minutes away.".

Rothschild briefly looks over at Matti and his table. Even if the man is nodding off, his presence doesn't do anything to ease Ben's nerves. The reporter drains the last drop of whisky from his glass. That doesn't do much to ease them, either. "I will get things ready," he promises Juan simply, in Spanish. He's good at hiding his nerves, at least. "When can he leave?"

"As soon as you are ready." Juan replies. "He has to go soon, his health is poor.".

Marchand watches the two men speak, carefuly trying to follow their Spanish words. "Now then." and draws up his half-empty bottle of domestic Spanish beer to chug it down, rising to a stand. "Most of the company is off duty. I've a couple hours before I'm going to be needed."

Matti /is/ wearing a red armband, however difficult it is to tell what exactly that means. However, he doesn't look Spanish, and either he's not a very alert man, or a damnably good actor.

Rothschild drops his voice even lower, getting more paranoid as he tries to nail down some plans.

A private table > Rothschild frowns thoughtfully. "I've got the papers and money prepared now. Spanish and French currency." He's obviously been preparing for this for awhile. "If we can get him out on the evening train, or the first one tomorrow morning, we might be able to do it without the PCE 'comrades' getting wise. I might have enough for two, Frank, if you're frugal." He gives the other American a meaningful look, almost begging him to take this out from Spain.

Marchand remains close enough to the table to listen, and looks down to Rothschild as the journalist says something. He frowns a bit to himself, and returns to the seat before speaking.

A private table > Marchand speaks quietly, "I know logic and good sense say I should. But even with what's going on, I have a duty to the campesinos of Spain to keep fighting for them." and nods once.

Marchand adds in English, in a lowered voice, "Two means twice the risk of the SIM discovering. I wish I could help more, but I look like a brigader, and speak little Spanish."

Juan smiles at the discussion, which seems to be going his way, but this bar is making him nervous, and he's the only one in here with the black scarf of the anarchists on.

Rothschild looks on point of arguing with Marchand. But he finally just nods. It's not like he's volunteering to catch a train-ride out of Spain, either, for his part. He then looks to Juan. "We may not want to linger here much longer." He's not exactly relaxed, himself.

As if to underline Rothschild's words, Matti lets out a loud snort, coming awake with a start. He stares down at "Kapital", in which his face had previously been buried, blinking his eyes blearily. The sullen finn reaches for his beer, emptying the glass of its now tepid contents.

Marchand nods again, this time not speaking, and rises to stand up once more. A hand's dug into his pocket to pull out a couple pesetas for the waitress, leaving it on the table. "I'll go with him to visit." nodding down to the young militiaman with the black scarf.

Juan nods in agreement, and gets up, leaving half a bottle of wine left on the table, together with a note, presumably a tip. Which isn't all that anarchistic of him!

Rothschild stands from the table. He still tries to be casual about it. Just wrapping up a friendly afternoon drink. Nothing shady at all.

Matti seems to be drifting back into sleep, the rather horrible snoring coming from his direction being either genuine, or an oscar-worthy performance. If he wasn't already in the Brigades, he might find himself shanghaid into service, sleeping out here like that.

Marchand stretches, looking around to the different tables as if trying to be casual about it. For a moment his eyes linger on Matti, but looks away if the member of the brigade seems about to notice. "Taking a walk." muttered to no one in particular, and he leads the way by heading out the door without waiting for any others.

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