The First Payment Due
The sheriff’s men encircled the pair, pointing their lances and swords. Chrisween fearing for their lives clenched her fist, releasing the blade of the Katara to give notice. Avon shaking
loose of Chrisween’s hold stepping in front of her taking a defensive stance saying
“I be a free highlander, in service to the king, a Knight of Lomond. Give me the road.”
“Enough… Put them in irons” two men dismount at the sheriff’s command.
Kathleen lying in the tall grass, sensing the danger fearing for her friends prayed to Thor for guidance. Thor’s swift reply struck her as a bolt out of the blue, charging her to charge the horsemen, running under the horses, between the legs snapping, growling, and biting anything she could find to sink her teeth into, causing total pandemonium.
The sheriff’s horse rearing up on its hind legs deposited the sheriff on the road rolling like a basket caught in a strong wind. The others scattered to the four winds their horses, running, bucking out of control.
One of the dismounted men reaching for Chrisween, found the blade of the Katara deep in his chest, coughing his last breath he slid off the Katara to lay at Chrisween’s feet.
Avon runs to the sheriff placing the point of the claymore at the sheriff’s throat.
“Call off your men, yield the road.”
Stun and out of breath the sheriff motion his man to back off. Avon healed his sword and the sheriff’s man aided the sheriff to his feet. The sheriff having not heard or seen Kathleen laid blame of his defeat on Avon. Kneeling he said
“I beg your forgiveness Sir Knight; I am at your service.”
“Rise lord sheriff, I have need of your men”
The sheriff rose brushing himself off trying to regain his dignity saying
“They are yours, if we can find them. “
The sheriff’s men were coming back, some were limping on foot, others were leading their horses, and a few were riding still unsettled mounts. One came charging up sliding to a stop. Jumping to the ground sword in hand shouting
“She is a druid witch. Burn her; burn her, at the stake.”
Wielding his sword into the ready,
“She is not. She … she is my betrothed. She is to be my wife. She did not make your horses bolt.”
“It was the smell of the burning wool and flesh carried on the wind that unsettled your steeds.” Avon said. Avon thinking a few hours back he made the same emblematic statement and now he was ready to take a life to defend this lass. His mind still in a turbulent maze of dead-ends, missing time, and unanswered question. But one thing was clear this lass was becoming very dear.
“Heal your sword, Sir Knight, and fetch my horse” the lord sheriff said taking back his authority.
Chrisween hearing Avon’s words she reset the Katara’s blade then coyly prance to Avon’s side taking hold of his arm. Touching him sent her back to the den and their first embrace searing her passion of him. Hearing him say she was to be his wife brought thrilled her.
A squire reports of the casualties
“Shire, you have one man dead. Two have broken arms, one with a broken leg and one that cannot be found. There are three Knights, one other squire, that are fit for your service.” The sheriff’s men now accounted for, the Sheriff says
“I pledge these knight and my squire of service to you Sir Knight of Lomond. “.
“Lord Sheriff, Lord Sheriff.” A man came running screaming “Viking raiders are sacking Wilton.”
“Squire, Ride to Sarisberie call out the knights we ride to Wilton” said the Sheriff.
“Lord Sheriff I pledge my sword to you, I has no horse but I can run to the battle” Avon said his blood boiling at the mention of Vikings.
“The battles will not wait for you.” Sheriff and his knights ride off to Wilton.
Avon begs Chrisween to find a place to hide.
“Go back to the wolf den, I will return” as he started off to follow the sheriff.
“No, you cannot make me, I will join the fight. See I know how to fight. It is my place to be at your side, I am your mate.” Chrisween deploys the Katara’s blade, dancing around in mock battle. She runs some twenty yards ahead glancing back to see if Avon was coming. Avon catches up to her seeing there is no stopping her, smiling his disapproval they run to Wilton.
Kathleen watching from the shadows concludes that girl is going to get us killed. She follows at a distance keeping out of sight and mind, recalling the confusion of horses running, throwing, menacing their charges to the wind, she could not contain her delight lets out a laughing, giggling yelp.
At Wilton the battle is raging. In sight of battle they paused, catching their breath, Avon attempting to formulate his battle tactics. seeing a berserker kill a fleeing lad, Avon explodes in screaming rage wielding the claymore, he now calls Bruce, charging, closing with the berserker, he whirls lunging, leveling the heavy blade in a sweeping arc to maximize the impose blow, demanding the berserker into, watching as the torso lobed convulsing to the ground, the legs left standing oblivious of their loss.
Chrisween running charged between, a knight losing his battle with a berserker, trusting the Katara into the chest of the berserker, withdrawing the Katara, leaving him at mercy of the knight.
The knight, Sir Erick, an hour before called for her to be burned at the stake, openly bowed saying “my lady”.