Like the rebel leader before him, fearless Magness, Robert Graham pissed early in the cold dawn before even the most hardy arose. Better to have his bladder empty when he needed to fulfill his obligations than it be full and a chance it dishonour his him.
And, like Magness, he went no where without two trusted men: one to keep watch; one to provide information.
‘Report,’ Graham said as the three of them made their way to the edge of the campsite.
‘Three men struck ill with dysentry,’ the first man said, shivering in the dark, the flaming torch in his hand a lying promise of warmth. ‘But no other show signs of the sickeness.’
Graham finished his toilet, tucked himself back in and tied up the stays of his breeks. ‘We have no time for illness or death outside of battle.’ He walked toward his tent, the two aides following alongside. ‘Their throats are to be slit this evening to save them their ungodly suffering and we shall bury them in the morning.’
He continued walking back, the welcome smell of freshly cooked stew stirring his hunger. Though only in his service four months, the young man had proved himself over and over: a quick observer and a keen listener. Slow to voice comment without good thought. Grandson of the Earl of Angus was a valued servant. The lad would convey his orders, they would be carried out without question and another peg in his plan for Scotland would be put in place.
Still, he thought as he brushed aside the tent’s awing, this damn malaise was an annoying interruption. They had lost too many men and men on both sides were is rare supply. Perhaps it was time to enlist the women.