It was a lovely morning...the air was heavy with the sounds of the babbling brook and the singing birds. As my men and I slowly progressed down the rutted dirt road, we kept our eyes peeled for trouble. Sometimes, even the most idyllic settings give way to dangerous encounters with only a moments notice!
Suddenly, four men burst from the underbrush! "Give us your goods! In return, we may spare your lives...if you're lucky!" I quickly assessed the situation. We four men were hardy souls, and our swords were sharp. The bandits looked bedraggled, but there was ahunger in their eyes...for booty and blood.
Should we drop our goods and run? What would the master joiner say if we returned to the sawmill with no horse, no cart, and no supplies? Nay, courage beckoned! "Stand fast lads, and show these louts their reward!"
At the same moment, four glistening swords sprang from their scabbards! The cry went up, and we charged the ruffians! Immediately one of the bandits fell, bleeding from a gaping wound in his shoulder. I paused only to kick him as I slashed mightily at the leader. His weak parry did not deter, and within a few more seconds, the three remaining louts were hard pressed and looking to retreat.
Suddenly, one of them broke free and ran for the hill. The other two scum quickly followed, leaving their fallen comrade to suffer in the dirt. I kicked him again on the way back to the cart. We continued on sure in the knowledge that our courage would be well rewarded by the master.