"Sir, if you do not cease interrupting my card game, I shall slit you open teeth to belly!"
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"But sir, I have an urgent need to speak to you, on a matter of some delicacy." Though he was scarcely a youth, the lace on his sleeves marked my tormenter as a gentleman.
"You will possess yourself in patience or you will taste my steel.” I turned my attention back to the important matters at hand. “I wager six more, you blackguard!" I said to the common thief across the table from me.
"Sir," the youth whispered hoarsely. "It concerns the honor of a lady.”
“Outside!” I said, tossing down my cards.
"Which lady?" I asked when we were outside .
"The Lady Melissa de Chandon has been scurrilously insulted and has commissioned me to run you through. My glove." His glove flew past my head. With that he drew his sword. I felt no hurry to draw mine.
"Melissa de Chandon? I never touched her. We danced one pavan and parted company. I was too far gone in drink for more."
“During that dance you claimed her ears were over large.” He waived his sword at me even though I had declined to draw mine. Then he lunged. I dodged easily.
“Fie you say! Are they large?” I said, searching my mind. “I don’t recall.”
“You claimed you were tired from the dance and wished to crawl into one of them and sleep!”
“No! She misunderstood. I said I longed to sleep upon her bosom so taken was I with her beauty.”
“You said they were the size of church doors!”
“The hall was damnably noisy. I said her ears were as beautifully wrought as church doors.” The boy lowered his blade.
“We are both gentlemen,” he said. “Do you swear this is the truth?”
“I swear it upon my honor.”
He offered his hand. “Come, let us lift an ale in friendship.”
I shook his hand and followed him back inside.
“No bigger than carriage doors, I swear.” I said under my breath.
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