Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 23
Once we were dismounted and grooms had taken charge of our horses. My Father ushered me to his Headquarters, there I was to meet my relatives. or at least the ones residing in the camp.
As we entered the marquee, he bade the Officers present to introduce themselves, the first to come forward introduced himself as Edward Dillon, the eldest son and heir to my Father, then came his son, Sweeney, older than me but now apparently my nephew and so it went around the marquee. Some welcomed me, others seemed totally disinterested. But then I could imagine how they felt, I was the usurper in their midst.
Edward Dillon asked my Father, ‘What had he in mind for me, or more importantly, what was to be my position in the Regiment?’ My Father said, ‘He arrived with three men, make that up to thirty and see how he fares?’
Of course, the word passed around the various companies of the Regiment and all the misfits and malcontents were sent to join Conor’s unit. Fortunately his father had given Conor carte blanche to select only the men he wanted and reject the rest. The men who presented themselves were inspected by Conor and Black Michael.
The first man, although a big soldierly looking man stood slouching with his arms folded, ‘Stand at attention’ shouted Black Michael. I’ll not stand to attention for a bastard, Dillon or not!’ stated the soldier, whose name was Flaherty.
Naturally this was the signal to get the other ‘volunteers’ stirred up, it was easy to bad-mouth a boy, especially a stranger. Conor walked up to Flaherty and speaking quietly said, ‘Yes! I am a bastard, and you are going to be the first to find out how big a bastard I am, so choose your weapon and choose carefully, for I intend to kill you!’
(C) Damian Grange 2018