A Knight’s Vow by Lynn Kurland EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Authors: Lynn Kurland
- Language: English
- Genre: Short Stories Anthologies
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Once upon a time there was a knight who made a vow, a solemn vow given
with all his heart and soul to protect…
A nearly deserted chapel near the Scottish border, 1299
The air inside the small chapel was thick with portents, omens, and a
goodly amount of dust. The latter caused the resident priest to double over
with hacking that came close to rendering him quite unfit for his duties. He
straightened finally with a great creaking noise, then coughed gingerly a
time or two to test the workings of his frail frame. Finding it not unequal to
his present business, he took a deep, wheezing breath and continued.
“Ah, let me think a moment,” he said, scratching his stubbled cheek, “urn…
a vow… ah, a solemn vow to protect—”
“Aye, aye,” the knight standing before him said impatiently, picking a nit or
two off his tabard and noting the threadbare patches. Damned seamstresses.
“And defend women of all stations—”
The knight grunted in grudging assent. All women save seamstresses,
“And champion children—”
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The knight turned a baleful eye on the nearest child he could see—his
squire, no less—who was currently rummaging about behind the altar. The
old priest was concentrating so hard on remembering what he was trying to
say that he apparently didn’t realize what mischief the boy was combining.
The squire popped up from behind the stones with a triumphant smile,
holding aloft a loaf of bread in one hand and a jug of drink in the other.
“Excuse me for but a moment, Father,” the knight said politely. He strode
around to relieve the lad of his burdens, then booted him strongly on the
backside. The boy went scampering off with a curse. Not as foul a curse as
it likely could have been, though. The lad had no illusions about not
receiving his share of the spoils. He scuttled to the back of the crumbling
chapel and huddled near the knight’s gear. The knight tucked the bread
under one arm, the bottle under the other and went to stand in front of the
friar yet again.
“Now,” he said shortly, “let us be about this sorry business. I’ve an assault to
mount, and I need your blessing.”
The priest chewed upon toothless gums. “Let us see, my lord,” he said,
fumbling nervously with his robes and apparently searching his aging mind
for further promises to bind upon the hapless man before him.
“Um… women… um… children… er—”
“Nuisances, both,” the knight muttered.
“Hoisting of swords and such,” the priest said, looking upward for a bit of
“Aye, aye,” the man said, wondering if hoisting his sword with a man of the
cloth skewered thereon would count as a breach of the vow he was making.
He forbore, however. He had need of whatever help he could obtain. His
inheritance hung in the balance.
“Ah,” the priest said suddenly, springing to life as if he’d been pierced by St.
George’s sainted blade itself.
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