How? My armour is loose; saddle full of my blood. No pain, . . . . no longer sit upright. I feel old; I feel young. What light calls, . . . ? Am I thinking, . . . or the thought? Whe—? The joust. My God, . . . wounded? . . . Sainte Lunaire! . . . snorting and neighing, loud, so loud, . . . to keep me conscious? I love her more than all. She turns, Sainte Lunaire, she turns without me willing her to. Bugles. A mighty crowd booms into thunder; were we not alone, whence came they? Sainte Lunaire knows the procedure; this is what we do. We do not leave the field until we are alone, her and I. We are always the last. The crowd is ecstatic, they thought it was all over. But this horse, this knight, say nay. The bugles sound once more; come on you bastard: let's joust.
He took a hit to the side, how he didn't go down right away I'll never know. It's never happened before, nobody's even looked like hitting him, but everything happens sometime. I had a shilling on him, it was as good as written in stone, even if the odds would only give me a penny ha'penny back. You should have heard the crowd, . . . when Sainte Lunaire turned. We been here since the start, eleven years now. The kids were only wanes. You should have heard the crowd, not a dry eye in the house. Everybody loved them. When he fell, . . . he'll be missed. They put down Sainte Lunaire afterwards, that's what The Code dictates.
Damn. There goes my meal ticket. How will I manage without him? And I'll miss his big sweaty arse, I don't deny it. What a story, . . . if only there were a means of conveying it to the masses. This night I dreamt of moveable words on parchment, what witchcraft has he left in me? One thing be sure though, one day, far from 1267, there'll be big reward in kiss and tell.
I don't believe it, I got him! I don't believe it. This is it, this will set me up for life. I'll be the talk of London, of all England. It's pussy on a plate from here on in, happy days! Who'd have thought? The bastards wrote me off before I even got here. That'll show them, ha! Wish my old mum was here to see this. No! . . . no, . . . noooooo, . . . don't tell me he's coming back for more! Listen to the crowd, they love the old fart. Damnation. He can barely sit straight. Wait! He's dropped his lance! I do not believe this. If I don't finish him off I'll dishonour him, what to do? If I finish him off it will be the end of me. Stupid Code. Why didn't I stay in Yorkshire? A pox on this. For a second I thought—, he's fallen off! Yes! Happy days! I'll never have to pull my plum again.
The Town Crier
Hear yea, hear yea. An era ended today with the death of Sir Robert de Villiers. Brave Sir Bob fell under the lance of Yorkshire journeyman John Flynte. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at The Church of The Blessed Virgin, whereafter the deceased's remains will be interned in the plot of his patrons, Lord and Lady Carlingford. His Lordship will then stand 100 gallons of mead at Ye Olde Slag's Head. Come one, come all, and come early to be sure of a seat. Hear yea, hear yea.
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