Prentice Dolphin Chapter 9

The Acts of Justice Claret 

Prentice Dolphin, the footmen and Acolyte David,  could not know the trials and acts of Justice Claret  and his men as they fought for life and limb and God  and right against the slobbering mob of heretical  Barbary. However, once reunited, in the wake of  battle, the tale would be related, so that one hearing  would live to say it told.  

Desiring to take the Barbarians from behind as they  assailed his footmen, Justice Claret and his 12  knights took a goat path little-used by even the  denizens of Barbary. It’s peril rook the 3rd Knight of  Soliloquy and his destrier over the chasms to their  doom. Likewise, the 11th Knight of Soliloquy lost his  destrier and continued afoot.  

At the place—a roost of goats and goatherds—where  the goat-path met the Hinterroad, Justice Claret and  his men, came upon a conclave of Barbary Clans,  numbering scores of warriors, armed with axes,  spears and knives and clubs and armored only in  hides. Sweeping down among the heretics with cries  to Archangel Martial, the twelve knights made a great  slaughter in six headlong charges. At last, at Mid  Morning, when the heretics broke and ran up the  three roads, Justice Claret had lost his 2nd Knight and  the 12th, slain with their steeds, along with the 9th Knight of Soliloquy being sore wounded. 

With heretics now before and behind them, the 9th,  11th Knights of Soliloquy stood their ground at a narrow defile to grant the un-harried passage of Justice Claret in his pursuit of the skulking barbarians.  They were heard from no more, nor did those they  stood to oppose come upon the rest thereafter. 

Suffering ambuscades and boulder traps and pitfalls along the Hinter Road, the 1st Knight of Soliloquoy  and his horse, and the 10th Knight, but his destrier  being spared, were lost along the day-long way. All of  the Barbary murderers so encountered were put to  the sword, their women and children tossed from the  heights rather than put to rapine and sword, due to  the need for haste in relief of the footmen. 

Hence, as Prentice Dolphin and the remainder of the  footmen were being sorely pressed by the heretics at  the hamlet called Mountain Door, Justice Claret and  the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Knights of Soliloquy, accompanied by one empty saddle whose horse  would fight without its rider—so sanguine were the  destriers of the Order—a wedge of fury numbering 7  destriers and 6 riders, would break from the covered  road out of the blue pines and charge to the relief of  their beleaguered fellows before Mountain Door.

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