Ez rested in his own bed. His fever had broken and he seemed to be sleeping comfortably. His fellow knights took turns staying with him while he slept, but Chris never left his bedside. Buck sat by the window watching his friends. Ezra would be good for Chris. This was the first time in a long time Buck had seen that soft look in his eyes.
Chris watched Ezra intently as he’d done ever since they’d brought him in from the lake. “He’s a good man, Buck. I thought he was all hers, but he found a way to be something of his own.”
“I think he’s a lot like his father. Somehow, after all she did to him, she still couldn’t destroy the decent part of him. The part he got from you.” Buck got up and walked over to the bed and gave Chris a hard smack on the back. “That doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be a lot of trouble.”
Buck smirked. “Just like his father.”
*The oath taken by Ezra was a hodge-podge of a few different parts of the code of honor and service taken by knights according to Sir Thomas Malory and Giovanni Boccaccio. There were a few based on John of Salisbury’s ideas on the function of an orderly knighthood, too.
*Yeah, I know it’s not historically accurate. But then, neither are most retellings of the Arthurian legends. His myth became very popular during the time of the Crusades so he was often portrayed as being like them (the same way Renaissance painters always made Jesus look like a European guy). The historical Arthur who may or may not be the basis for the legends was around quite a few years before that and probably didn’t dress or act the way he’s written. A lot of historians put him around the sixth century. Literary license is a wonderful thing!
*Just as an aside… Yes, armor was really expensive and most knights had to pay for it themselves. Knights had to earn their money through competitions, rich patrons, or war spoils—mostly spoils. Times of peace could break a knight financially. And Ezra having three horses? That would’ve been customary for a knight, too. One formidable horse (the destrier) was for battle, one was to carry supplies, and one (the palfrey) was for transportation. I didn’t give the squires much to do in my story. You hardly even see or hear about them. In truth, they would’ve been more prominent. No knight could get into his jousting armor by himself. I just didn’t want the added complication. Besides, I have the guys fighting in their regular “light” mail most of the time anyway. Heavy, elaborate armor was mostly just for tournaments anyway.
*The cards Ezra was playing with in Levinshire were based on the old French Piquet pack. Cards have been around a long time and each country had many different versions with different suits and face cards. The Piquet pack had the suits closest to what we have today. Couers (hearts) denoted the Church. Carreaux (arrowheads/diamonds) symbolized the vassals who supplied the king his archers. Trefles (clovers/clubs) stood for the husbandmen/citizens. Piques (lance points/spades) represented the knights. Other countries had other suits: stags, hounds, ducks, coins, cups, flowers, etc.
*Yeah, I know. Sometimes the way they talk sounds a little too modern. I tried to avoid any obvious modern slang without making them talk like people of that time would have. I wouldn’t want to wade through all that knightly jargon—and I certainly wouldn’t want to try and write it!
*Wow! My longest fic ever! I thought 30 word-processed pages was long for a story. I neared 100 on this baby! Don’t know if I’ll have that kind of stamina again. It just kept growing and growing…
*What’s with all the notes? Sheesh!
Do you like Arthurian stories? Here are a few that you could probably find at your local library. In fact, I made the lists for Reader’s Advisory purposes for my public library.
My favorites are The Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw, I Am Mordred and I Am Morgan le Fey by Nancy Springer, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Knight Life (Arthur runs for elected office!) by Peter David, and The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein (not on my list because it’s not at my library). I haven’t seen the new King Arthur movie yet, but from the promos it looks like they’re portraying Guinevere as a warrior in her own right. It sounds kind of like Alice Borchardt’s The Dragon Queen.