The Adventures of Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius
The Ambush Incident - Part I
By Douglas E. Gogerty
With all of the incidents occurring along his journey, Gaius was greatly behind schedule. It seemed that every way point, there was another delay. The latest stop which led to some time in court was putting him further and further behind. He had planned to make the 280 miles round trip to Campania and back in a month of traveling. There was no way he could make up that time on foot. Thus, he was going to continue riding the horse. It was the only way to make up the time.
Further, the mare was going to have to be pushed a little faster. While Gaius did not wish to mistreat the animal, doubling the distance he would travel on foot was not going to make up the time. This was particularly true if incidences, like the ones he became involved in, continue to occur. Thus, he would have to pass two way points on his daily journey. Hopefully, the mare could manage the distances.
Fortunately, the journey started off well. Gaius made it to the first way station well before midday. He would allow his mount to rest for a bit before continuing. Gaius entered the inn to rest and hear the latest news from other travelers.
After the rest, Gaius continued his journey; however, he was not going to make up ground today. Between the two way points he was stopped by a large number of armed men.
"Dismount Blacksmith!" shouted one of the men.
"I recognize you," replied Gaius staying on his horse. "You were a companion to Titus Decimus Genicius."
"You are correct. We are here to avenge his murder."
"Murder? The court found it to be self defense and not murder."
"We could care less what your court decided Barbarian."
"Ha! I guess you disagree with what Gnaeus Genucia Agricolus did."
"We were told to make ourselves scarce, and he did not."
"You were paid to make yourselves scarce...."
"As you say, but it just goes to show that you cannot trust a freedman."
"I did save his life from your friend's blade. Is he here as well?"
"As a matter of fact he is. Now quit stalling and dismount."
"I believe it is not in my best interest to comply," replied Gaius frankly.
"We can make you comply. We have you twenty to one."
"Actually, it is twenty to two," replied Gaius. "While she may not look like much, I am sure this mare could whip you in a fight."
"Barbarian, you are pretty funny for a dead man."
"I am far from dead."
The leader waved his arm to approach the mounted Gaius. Gaius pulled on the reigns to turn the mare. She turned so Gaius's right hand was facing the approaching group. While doing this, he drew his scimitar.
The men approached slowly, as Gaius continued to spin his horse. Gaius had his weapon on the outward side in which the horse spun. One of the men got close enough that Gaius landed a blow across the man's face. The man recoiled in horror as the blood steamed down his face.
At this, each of the men stopped their advance. They drew their weapons, and then continued to advance. Suddenly a man rushed in, but was out of Gaius's reach. However, as the man attempted to land a blow, the hind end of the horse pushed the man to the ground. Shortly, Gaius's mount stepped on the man with her front hooves. The man shouted out in pain. The hind legs followed as the mare continued to turn.
The two men who had fought against Gaius suddenly froze with fright. Several of the others continued to get closer to Gaius on his whirling animal. When a man got close, he either felt the sting of Gaius's razor sharp scimitar, or was pushed aside by the animal. If they were lucky, they avoided being trampled. However, many of those were then cut trying to stand as Gaius swung around.
After several minutes of this, seven of the men were either dead or gravely injured. The remaining men encircled the horse and rider, but were out of range of Gaius's weapons. Thus, Gaius stopped the spin.
"Do you give up?" shouted Gaius.
"What?" asked the leader in stunned surprise.
"Oh I know," replied Gaius with a smile. "You have not yet begun to fight. I agree, and it shows."
"Get him..." replied the leader as he was just about to rush Gaius.
The remaining men took his lead and took a step forward and then a step back. At this action, Gaius gave out a hearty laugh.
For several moments the men looked at each other wondering who would make the next move. They had their weapons drawn, but their leader seemed somewhat frozen with fright. Thus, they just looked around waiting for something to happen.
As the men stood there wondering what to do, Gaius whirled his horse around again. He stopped when he had selected a direction that was most free of injured men. Horse and rider rushed the man who stood in this spot. As the stunned man just stood there, Gaius swung his sword and caught the man across his chest. The skin pealed away and blood began to pour out. The man shouted in agony.
Gaius and his Horse turned and struck the stunned man standing next to him. By this time, the inaction had worn a bit off the combatants. Thus, they started to move. They scrambled around looking for a good place to be. As a few of them got close, Gaius started the twirl of his horse again. Hence, the men kept their distance. There were now eleven uninjured men attempting to encircle Gaius.
"Do you still think you can force me to dismount?" asked Gaius.
"You are still outnumbered," replied the leader who was still a bit shaky.
"Well you got me there," replied Gaius.
"It is not too late to give up!"
"The same could be said of you."
"Our honor will not allow us..."
"To admit defeat," Gaius said finishing the man's sentence. "Very well, since you did accept the payment of the Genicia family, we shall finish this."
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on May 24, 2009 8:04 PM.
"Hobbit I’m Not" - Part Two (Conclusion) was the previous entry in this blog.
"The God Wars" - Chapter Six: Sea Battle is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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