Continuing the adventures of Sebastian Burr.
(an introduction to the character can be found here: http://prt.ag/779q)
There are more than a few sayings regarding the loquaciousness of women and their fondness for gossip. Sebastian had yet to find one that could not as easily be applied to the men of Her Majesty’s 7th Mechanized Brigade. When they were not marching about or fighting, there was little else to do aside from sit in their encampments, drinking and swapping stories; sharing the latest on who had shown up inebriated to muster, or caught the clap from a working girl in Shopshire.
Sebastian had little need for such blather-- as head of Triage and Pharmacology, there was not a single case of the clap that went without his notice. He did, however, keep an ear to the ground for rumors about himself, and questions about the sharp-tongued, slight-framed physician from the Western Kingdoms circulated frequently. There were always words of praise for his skill with a scalpel or bone-saw, but just as often of late there were lurid suggestions about the good doctor’s particular persuasion.
“Well, I’ve heard he’s got a girl waiting on him back home, but haven’t we all? Besides, I’ve never seen him so much as get a letter from her.”
“That barmaid in Brookfield took quite a fancy to 'im, but it were like he was more interested in those gory books of his. I bet he could have gotten a real-life anatomy lesson that night, but I sawr ‘im go back t’ ‘is quarters alone, as always.”
“Oh sure, I’d trust him t’ dig a bullet out of me any day, but a pretty boy like that? I’d just as soon he has no cause to handle my bait-and-tackle, if you get me.”
It simply wouldn’t do. The matter needed to be settled as quickly as possible. It wasn’t so much a matter of pride as one of necessity.