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Vignettes from Barb’s ancestral past

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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member

montycrusto

Slave Trader
Mr Shakespeare was sitting in his usual corner by the fire, parchment and quill in hand, inkpot on the fender, getting ideas for those plays people seem to like
Is this the (other) Bard’s first appearance here? Great vignette! I’m not sorry Halloween is cancelled. but Guy Fawkes Night (the annual British festival of religious intolerance and celebration of traditional values like burning one’s enemies to death) is another matter entirely :p
 

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
November 5th is when we Brits get the fireworks out, have bonfires and reenact a BATS scene (a man unfortunately).

This year promises to be a little different, so it is time to dispel the myths that generations of school children have been fed.



Being an Honest and True Account of the Aftermath of the Notorious Gunpowder Plot, otherwise known as the Jesuit Treason

‘Tis well known that in the year 1605, in this land, that a gang of ruthless Catholic sympathisers attempted to murder, most foully, His Gracious Majesty King James, and His Majesty’s loyal Lords Assembled, by means of gunpowder secreted within the undercroft of the Lords House within the Palace of West Minster. And the story that His Majesty’s Ministers would like you, dear peasants, to believe, is that the notorious Guy Fawkes was arrested in said undercroft, and admitted his guilt under torture.

But the truth, my readers, is rather more dramatic. Fawkes was indeed caught with gunpowder, and the means whereof it could be ignited, but in an attempt to organise a safe cordon around the site of two chains diameter (40 meters), necessitating the yeomen being dispatched to hastily purchase a sufficient quantity of yellow silk ribbon, Fawkes escaped. The subsequent events have been withheld from public knowledge in light of this grave incompetence.

The rascal endeavoured to journey to Holbeche House in Staffordshire, which was the agreed meeting place for the villains. By three-fourths of the distance, he had arrived in Stratford-on-Avon as dusk set in, and sought board and a bed in the Greyhound Inn.

After a fine repast of beef, cheese and ale, he allowed the maid, a comely wench calling herself Babs Moorecock, to show him to the best room. Babs was not averse to earning herself an extra shilling or two by providing comfort to respectable gentlemen, which was indeed the outward appearance of said Guy Fawkes. However, Fawkes was tired after his hasty flight from the capital, and planned an early departure on the morrow, so declined the offer, with reluctance, as Babs’ blouse dipped lower.

Much noise and laughter caught Babs’ attention in the bar, and it transpired a large group of Sheriff’s men were in, buying rough cider and making merry. Mr Shakespeare was sitting in his usual corner by the fire, parchment and quill in hand, inkpot on the fender, getting ideas for those plays people seem to like in London. Babs could see his glass was empty, so poured him another measure of Madeira wine.

“What’s with them tough lot, Bill?” she asked him.

“Words got out, Babs, there’s fugitives on the loose. Regicide they say. Sheriffs in all the counties have got men together looking for ‘em.”

“Ohh, Mr Shakespeare, though dust speak big words, what’s Reg-a-side?”

“Lean in closer, Babs, and I’ll whisper it.”

Taking a good swig of the wine, William Shakespeare contemplated her cleavage then, pulling her in even closer, said “Killing the King!”

Now Babs had a head for business, and was soon knocking on the door of the best bedroom, where the stranger was struggling to get to sleep after the excitement of his escape and the noise downstairs.

“Ten bob says I calms you down, and the Sheriff’s men are none the wiser” suggested Babs.

Guy realised this was the safest course of action, so gave the coin, as much as Babs usually earned in a week, and she slipped into bed alongside him.

History does not recall exactly what transpired between the sheets, but suddenly Babs slid out of bed and fell to the floor spitting, crawled to the door and to the top of the stairs; “HE’S UP HERE, LADS, THE TRAITOR’S UP HERE” she yelled.

Quickly overpowered by the Sheriff’s men, the evil Fawkes was hustled past Babs, still sitting on the floor coughing gently.

“Bitch, we had a deal, didn’t we?” he asked.
View attachment 917449
Babs glared with hate at the traitor, and replied “I warned you from the start, I DON’T SWALLOW!”
Moorecock loved more cock but in the right place
Her bum or her fanny but NEVER her face! :rolleyes:
 

Fossy

Tribune
November 5th is when we Brits get the fireworks out, have bonfires and reenact a BATS scene (a man unfortunately).

This year promises to be a little different, so it is time to dispel the myths that generations of school children have been fed.



Being an Honest and True Account of the Aftermath of the Notorious Gunpowder Plot, otherwise known as the Jesuit Treason

‘Tis well known that in the year 1605, in this land, that a gang of ruthless Catholic sympathisers attempted to murder, most foully, His Gracious Majesty King James, and His Majesty’s loyal Lords Assembled, by means of gunpowder secreted within the undercroft of the Lords House within the Palace of West Minster. And the story that His Majesty’s Ministers would like you, dear peasants, to believe, is that the notorious Guy Fawkes was arrested in said undercroft, and admitted his guilt under torture.

But the truth, my readers, is rather more dramatic. Fawkes was indeed caught with gunpowder, and the means whereof it could be ignited, but in an attempt to organise a safe cordon around the site of two chains diameter (40 meters), necessitating the yeomen being dispatched to hastily purchase a sufficient quantity of yellow silk ribbon, Fawkes escaped. The subsequent events have been withheld from public knowledge in light of this grave incompetence.

The rascal endeavoured to journey to Holbeche House in Staffordshire, which was the agreed meeting place for the villains. By three-fourths of the distance, he had arrived in Stratford-on-Avon as dusk set in, and sought board and a bed in the Greyhound Inn.

After a fine repast of beef, cheese and ale, he allowed the maid, a comely wench calling herself Babs Moorecock, to show him to the best room. Babs was not averse to earning herself an extra shilling or two by providing comfort to respectable gentlemen, which was indeed the outward appearance of said Guy Fawkes. However, Fawkes was tired after his hasty flight from the capital, and planned an early departure on the morrow, so declined the offer, with reluctance, as Babs’ blouse dipped lower.

Much noise and laughter caught Babs’ attention in the bar, and it transpired a large group of Sheriff’s men were in, buying rough cider and making merry. Mr Shakespeare was sitting in his usual corner by the fire, parchment and quill in hand, inkpot on the fender, getting ideas for those plays people seem to like in London. Babs could see his glass was empty, so poured him another measure of Madeira wine.

“What’s with them tough lot, Bill?” she asked him.

“Words got out, Babs, there’s fugitives on the loose. Regicide they say. Sheriffs in all the counties have got men together looking for ‘em.”

“Ohh, Mr Shakespeare, though dust speak big words, what’s Reg-a-side?”

“Lean in closer, Babs, and I’ll whisper it.”

Taking a good swig of the wine, William Shakespeare contemplated her cleavage then, pulling her in even closer, said “Killing the King!”

Now Babs had a head for business, and was soon knocking on the door of the best bedroom, where the stranger was struggling to get to sleep after the excitement of his escape and the noise downstairs.

“Ten bob says I calms you down, and the Sheriff’s men are none the wiser” suggested Babs.

Guy realised this was the safest course of action, so gave the coin, as much as Babs usually earned in a week, and she slipped into bed alongside him.

History does not recall exactly what transpired between the sheets, but suddenly Babs slid out of bed and fell to the floor spitting, crawled to the door and to the top of the stairs; “HE’S UP HERE, LADS, THE TRAITOR’S UP HERE” she yelled.

Quickly overpowered by the Sheriff’s men, the evil Fawkes was hustled past Babs, still sitting on the floor coughing gently.

“Bitch, we had a deal, didn’t we?” he asked.
View attachment 917449
Babs glared with hate at the traitor, and replied “I warned you from the start, I DON’T SWALLOW!”
I shall flaunt my sparklers with a new perspective in mind this Nov 5th OS, an excellent setting straight of the truth ...
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
It seems that one of Barb's far relatives got entangled into one of the most infamous intelligence operations of World War 2 : the Englandspiel. When the Abwehr had infiltrated into SOE operations in Holland, forcing agents to cooperate. Despite warnings, SOE kept sending agents, which were caught on landing and forced to cooperate too.

Security Check!

Barbara De Moor, a young woman-next-door from Amsterdam, had fled The Netherlands during the German invasion in May 1940. Hiding deeply in a cargo ship, sailing through the night, under the constant threat of a mine or a U-boat attack. She would not have had a chance to escape, in the overcrowded hold.

After her safe arrival in England, she was soon requested whether she would like to join the Dutch section of the newly created Special Operations Executive (SOE). SOE had been created to set up spying, sabotage and guerilla operations on the continent. Barbara De Moor followed a harsh training for becoming a secret agent. But due to struggling with the fine print of her parachute handling manual, it took two years before she could be deployed.

At last it got so far. She would have to reinforce the radio network in the Utrecht area. On a dark night, she took off in a Wellington for her dropping over Het Gooy. She carried a radio transmitter, and in her head, the instructions, including the call sign for SOE (‘Tree’) and her own call sign (‘Tight Little’). Jumping into the pitch dark was a scary experience. She could hardly distinguish any feature on the ground, unaware if she was coming down over water or over the dunes she was supposed to land on. Only the last seconds, the ground became really visible, and she prepared for the landing in the soft sands.

As instructed, she folded her parachute and buried it into the sands. Then she picked up her material, and awaited her contacts. They soon approached, they exchanged challenge and reply. Only when they were close enough and she was greeted with : “Guten Nacht, Fraulein De Moor! Wilkommen in Holland, ich bin Major Loxuru!”, she knew she was captured on the spot, and it was too late to grab her suicide pill.

Barbara De Moor was immediately driven to Utrecht. From what she had learned during her training, this was neither Gestapo, nor Sicherheitsdienst, this was apparently Abwehr, the Wehrmacht’s counterintelligence. Whether not falling into the hands of an SS-related service would make a difference in her treatment was however not quite clear for her. From underway from the dropping site, Barbara De Moor nevertheless had anticipated already to the harsh interrogations, even tortures, her instructors had warned her for (and even had tried out on her, to test her strength).

Major Loxuru did not waste time! He wanted to get out of her as much as possible before she could make her scheduled first call to London. He ordered to strip her naked and tie her firmly to a chair. Then, a team of interrogators started to work on her. Hour after hour, they relieved each other, after pounding her with questions. She had been instructed by SOE to hold out at least 24 hours, the time her contacts could be safe. But she had seen no contacts – only Germans – and was not aware If anyone in the Dutch resistance actually knew she was in the hands of the Abwehr.

Her interrogators rather went for an exhaustion strategy. They used less violence than she had expected, apart from some slaps on her face, and an occasional punch in her belly. But she was given neither food nor drink, and not allowed to sleep at all. For endless hours, she was kept tied on that chair, naked, under spotlights, that irritated her eyes, and of which the heat made her sweat, while at the same time, she shivered from the cool temperature in the room. A very uncomfortable feeling.

When she got completely exhausted after likely more than two days of continuous interrogation, she was totally lost, fading away from immense fatigue. She noticed then that her interrogators were untying her, and she hoped at least for a brief break. But she was dragged into an adjoining room, where her head was dunked into a tub filled with cold water. After a few dunks, each lasting so long that she panicked, fearing to drown, she was carried to the chair again and once more tied to it. The interrogation continued again for hours, until she broke, and talked. She had apparently revealed enough to get a rest. She got congratulations from Major Loxuru, for resisting three days and eight hours – a record, he told her.

When the interrogations were over, Barbara expected soon to be subjected to real torture, or maybe she would be shot soon. But instead, Major Loxuru made her the offer to work for the Abwehr, and simply send fake, or forged messages to SOE. In exchange for life and fair treatment.

Although she did not fully trust the promises by Major Loxuru, Barbara saw no other option than to accept the deal, in order to gain time. Not much time, she expected, since she would broadcast without her security check. This check, part of her instructions imposed by SOE, was a deliberate system of errors she had to hide in her messages. Absence of such a security check, would make SOE clear that she was caught, and that her messages were fake. SOE had made her clear that strict application of her personal security check was imperative. Lives depended on it. Hence, she had trained intensely to broadcast messages with or without the check.

Barbara De Moor’s security check would add an extra character in seven of the first twenty words, which all together composed the word S-W-A-L-L-O-W. No ‘swallow’ meant, she got caught. Presumably, SOE would soon stop contacting her, making her further future in the hands of the Abwehr uncertain, but it was worth while trying.

On the scheduled day and time of her first broadcast, which she had revealed during her interrogation, Major Loxuru had prepared her radio transmitter. She basically had to confirm her good arrival and request further instructions. The radio was on, and all was set.

“Just one detail, Fraulein De Moor!” Major Loxuru said, “Remember to apply your security check!”

His remark took her by surprise! If the Abwehr was aware of such a thing as a security check, they most likely supervised if it was applied, by intercepting the text with their own receiver. So, no way to broadcast a plain, flawless message. Improvisation was now the rule.

“I know!” she replied.

“And what is your security check, Fraulein?”

“I …euh, It is..”

“Short memory, Fraulein De Moor!? I understand that you forgot, in the stress of the last days!”

Damn! A question she neither had expected! She would have to find something, but she was too confused and still tired from the interrogation, to invent something.

“Shallow!” see said.

“What’s shallow?”

“I have to include the characters of the word ‘shallow’ in my message!”

“Very well, Fraulein, ‘shallow’, like Anglo Saxon culture I presume? Go ahead! It is broadcasting time!”

Relieved that she had quickly come up with the idea, Barbara started her broadcast. It would have been impractical to invent a completely new fake security check, she was not used to, but since she had trained to include ‘swallow’ in her messages, it would be not difficult to add a little alteration. To make things look more obvious, she left out one ‘l’, and spread the six characters S-H-A-L-O-W over the first thirty instead of over the first twenty words. No doubt, SOE would notice the error, and ‘Tree’ would soon draw the right conclusions.

But curiously, SOE kept communications with her, going on as if nothing was wrong. Worse, they transmitted information about real droppings of weapons and agents. To Barbara’s frustration, she regularly received congratulations from Major Loxuru, for another successful interception of agents or resistance fighters! Despite she kept using her fake security check, it seemed as no one over there noticed it! Even after she had used more deviations from the original. What to hell were they think they were doing? Don’t they read incoming messages with utmost care? Do they know that there is a war going on, and that valuable lives of agents are wasted due to their negligence!?

So, one day, she decided to take the risk and keep out the check from her next broadcast, betting that the Abwehr itself got a bit sloppy, after so much successful counteroperations her communications had brought about. To her surprise, she got again information about a planned dropping. Angered, while the line was still open, she broadcasted in plain text again :

“Tree! Can’t you read!? I don’t swallow!”

Which was replied by :

“Tree to Tight Little : urgent request to respect ether transmission protocols and at last to take the habit to use your security check correctly!”

(sigh!)


Epilogue : Barbara De Moor survived captivity. After the war, outraged by the deadly carelessness of SOE, she attempted to write down her experiences. But all information about the SOE activities, and particularly those from operations in Holland, were classified until 2045. None of her former superiors were prepared to testify, under the pretext of secrecy and confidentiality too (“it would not be smart to reveal intelligence practices to the Soviets”). So, she had little evidence to make the case hard. As one of the few survivors of tens of agents captured during the Englandspiel, it was easy for those who could get into trouble by her revelations, to suspect her from too much collaboration with the Abwehr. She soon vanished into oblivion. Sworn to herself to never swallow anymore.
 

Madiosi

Depictor of Dreams
Staff member
As instructed, she folded her parachute and buried it into the sands. Then she picked up her material, and awaited her contacts. They soon approached, they exchanged challenge and reply. Only when they were close enough and she was greeted with : “Guten Nacht, Fraulein De Moor! Wilkommen in Holland, ich bin Major Loxuru!”, she knew she was captured on the spot, and it was too late to grab her suicide pill.
Madiosi-2020-100-BarbSpy.jpg
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
Angered, while the line was still open, she broadcasted in plain text again :

“Tree! Can’t you read!? I don’t swallow!”

Which was replied by :

“Tree to Tight Little : urgent request to respect ether transmission protocols and at last to take the habit to use your security check correctly!”

Good one, Lox! :clapping:

perhaps the real problem was the incompetence of her supervisor, Tree? :rolleyes:
 
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