Pt X… A lot of jolly fun if you don’t mind the risqué, the rough sort of poetic justice, and a touch of jolly plagiarism.
Whereas Prince Frendlehanz in his youthfulness had had some boisterous interludes with his friends which involved drinking much ale, hurling desserts in a careless manner and throwing each other in ponds, this experience was devoid of the attendant jolliness.
The ride, he having been equated to a sack of vegetables, had been exceptionally uncomfortable, the dismounting a very unsympathetic exercise and hurling down into the straw of a highly unsanitary barn somewhat painful, for the straw had been very dry and had delighted in pricking him in delicate places. Being face down and still tied only served to contribute to the unhappiness of his situation.
As to the capturing, he being a prince and these being barbarians there was a sense to it. However for the accusations, he wondered if something was lost in translation. While applying this reflection as a means to take his mind off the straw making misery with his nose and ears, he was aware of the barn door being flung open and someone striding in; a pair of gauntlets struck the back of his head with distressing accuracy. There was a distinctly feminine snort as he was grabbed and turned over with a roughness which brought back the sack of vegetables analogy.
‘Now trollop!’ it was indeed that ill-tempered somewhat overly dramatic woman again ‘Thy time has come to pay for thy scheming albeit unfathomable. See what Hulstorm thinks of thee after thee hast been lustfully,’ the last word did attract his attention, particularly as she was undressing herself in a most swift and determined manner ‘and vigorously used, therefore shown to be the base wanton thou art!’
Once quite unclothed and contiuning to heap all manner of insults and accusations upon him, she proceeded to tug off all of his clothing, getting around the matter of the ropes by slicing off bits of his shirt and trousers. Occasionally she sat on his stomach and squeezed his face all the better for him to hear a particularly colourful and ominous invective. Now Frendlehanz knew full well there were men of his father’s age and company who paid good coin for such treatment, however they employed women who were versed in the business and its limitations, this girl was displaying a rather personal air and the day might end ill for him.
‘Ha! Wretched, decadent, trollop. Thy prove thy status! Even now when thy life is in peril thou art alert, ready to receive my vengeance. Let me assure thee, thou wilt be wearied, sore and humiliated er the day goes long! Ha-ha! Then see how Hulstorm views you…Ha-ha!!’
What Hulstorm might have said, if by some highly unlikely chance, he had arrived can only be a matter of speculation, for he was employed elsewhere.
Hulstorm’ s progress through the west (and northish land) had been quite successful as far as he and the ordinary folk were concerned. It was hard going on those who had been in Bishop Twoodoodle’s employe and favour. There were some who thought their bombast would see them through, these to their horror were offered trial by combat with him, but the proceedings were predictably swift and brought an end to their protests; the majority were either slew(ed) or beaten with sticks, of which there were no short supply. All the while the bulk of the folk cheered him, wept at their release and begged he stay.
‘This land has been treated very badly for no good reason I can tell,’ he said to a fellow of Dingledong who had been loyal to him since he had likened King Genially to a not particularly gifted turnip ‘Where is their noble, be they Duke or whatever? Why did not the king see fit to deal with Twoodoodle earlier?’
‘With the rise of Twoodoodle,’ said the man grimly of course ‘The noble family, who were not that noble took heels and fled to Taxhaven. The king preferred to ignore the business since most of the folk in these lands by traditions are serious and hard-working and not prone to pleas to be jolly. He for many years had been affronted at their failure to send him lavish gifts on his birthday, only but crates of basic vegetables,’
Hulstorm ‘humph’d at the explanation and continued on his reaving of the previous regime.
One day he came upon a very tall tower, in the middle of a sparsely populated area. On examination at the very top of which he espied the face of a young woman, she seemed very forlorn. He gathered local folk for an explanation.
‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ they said, as was their wont by then; secretly he wished they wouldn’t, they might decide to add more titles and he would never find out what they intended to say. ‘There resides Fayre Rahsemynd, the daughter and only worthy member of the family of Lord Grymple who with his two useless sons, haughty wife and a few others fled leaving Fayre Rahsemynd about her vocation of caring for the poor. As the only member of the family Twoodoodle could lay his hands on he placed her in this tower. The doors were bolted, barred and structural arrangements made that should they be forced open the tower would fall down. Sparse foods were sent up to her by basket to maintain her, for Twoodoodle had set a cruel ordinance that any man who could climb the tower and bring her down could have her for his wife,’
‘Base villain,’ he said ‘How long has the poor maid been there? And have any fellows tried?’
‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ said some old peasant who seemed to be in charge now ”Twas three years last Grimday’s Eve. And aye, fortified by ales and spirits eight and ten have tried, seven getting halfway up and not surviving the consequences, five now limp and curse a lot, the other six have interesting marks on their faces,’
Having given orders to seek out these eleven fellows, who he guessed were not hard to find with a view to explaining themselves Hulstrum considered the tower. Now Chilbin aside from being a harsh and cold land, home to snows, ices and fierce winds was also possessed of many a challenge mountain. Hulstrum for several years, in order to get away from his father had set out on quests to climb these by the most difficult paths and proclaim when he got to the top. Of the proclaiming he was never much enthusiastic or of spare breath, but one had to do these things. Studying the tower he believed with care, fortitude, respect for its stones and careful of slippery cunning mosses it was climbable. Thus with a strong and very long rope about his shoulder and chest, for the descent, two good stout axes to aid in the hauling up and the making of footholds he set about the task.
As he progressed to within a distance where polite conversation could be conducted with a view to being heard by the other he introduced himself, gave a brief account of why he was here and his opinions on the previous regime, all in three succinct sentences. He then enquired after the maid’s general state of health and gave her assurances of her rescue. She in turn confirmed who she was, informed him, her health in body, mind and spirit were as well as could be expected. Most of her conversation, though, was directed to expressing concern for his general safety and to take care.
She was light of voice, yet with sincerity, her look of concern all for him and not herself. He felt her worth all the effort. More dignified and stable of her gender than the moon-dancing Aureyborealice who most likely would have manufactured her own rope from bedding and clothes and at night clambered down in an immodest fashion to thence scamper off in the woods from where the little goonlet (a term of those days calling into question a person’s state of mind) would have been an insufferable pest and monumental bother to the locality.
As these thoughts annoyed and distracted him, he slipped, which might have been to his doom, had not a small, hand snatched out and grasped at his. Held there in the brave determined grip of stalwart Fayre Rahsemynd they both gasped, eyes did lock and fired on thus did Hulstorm (not quite as grumpy as he had been thus far) clamber into the chamber. For there being a fellow of business and not wishing to compromise the girl’s reputation by staying too long did he bid her hold onto him tightly. Thus with rope much secured did he make the descent, admiring her calm repose even at this comparatively tall and windy place
‘I thank you sir for my rescue. ‘Tis a wonderous matter. For one event kept me of good spirits. Every month a hawk would fly here, bearing a message which would say ‘Be of faith maiden. Rescue will come,’ Then of late the messages changed to ‘ Make ready maiden. An end to your trials is at hand’ . Did you send those messages good sir?’
‘No,’ he said, most puzzled and concentrated on the descent.
Upon reaching the ground the couple were greeted with much joy and celebration, this being added to by the arrival of a fast travelling heavily armed group of riders led by a fellow although not of military garb was a serious clothing and business air.
‘Prince Hulstorm and Lady Rahsemynd. I am The Chancellor of the Exchequer unto King Genially, and bring sufficient gold to pay this small but efficient army of yours prince and also to give some aid to the local economy. More will follow,’
‘The King cares for us then?’ asked the elderly peasantish person, in a manner less than respectful. The Chancellor’s response was one couched in certain tones.
‘His majesty’s attentions are elsewhere. I act on his behalf. He places trust in my judgements,’
‘Hmm,’ Hulstorm said ‘Are you aware he marches to war against my father?’
‘I am sure good princes it is but a slight misunderstanding which can soon be sorted out. You will of course be making secure this previous unhappy portion of the kingdom,’
The locals made loud and sincere their pleas for Hulstorm to do so.
There was also the matter of the deeply sincere expression and wide brown eyes of the autumnal haired Fayre Rahsemynd, accompanied by her softly spoken request.
‘Please stay and help my poor people Prince Hulstorm,’
He told himself it would have been quite boorish to do otherwise, particularly as since he had been here no one had made any mention about that ridiculous circumstance with Frendlehanz. In point of fact looking at Fayre Rahsemynd he could quite forget the whole business.
To return to an unsanitary barn with a carpet of dry straw.
‘Ow! Will you desist from punching me young lady!’
‘Thou wretch! Thou trollop! Thou jade! Thou are not supposed to be enjoying this!’
‘That is hardly my fault is it?’
‘What is that supposed to mean?’
‘Oh really! For all your administrations here, you truly have little idea about men do you? Now can you please untie me so we can discuss matters in a civilised manner?’
After some huffing the flame haired, fiery and to Frendlehanz’s frame of mind wonderfully dishevelled Magnificalorin, did so.
‘Owww! Why did you punch me then!’
‘Just to remind thee who is in charge…Oww! Thou didst pull my nose most severely!’
‘Well, whereas one should never punch a lady, some response was necessary. I confess, it is true I do not mind the being used vigorously, but the punching was getting wearisome. It would be for the best if we were to restrain ourselves and give me the chance to explain things. Also, so this can be done without distraction let us get dressed,’
The flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin once more did huffed but agreed. He offered her his gilded comb which she accepted with a surly sort of thanks and while she was engaged in untangling her flame haired locks and freeing them of straw he launched into his explanation.
About the planned wedding and also how there was to be an effort to keep Hulstorm away from Frendlehanz’s sister, before he could mention her name Magnificalorin interrupted tersely to say she had heard of the blonde haired dancing simpleton adding Hulstorm did not care for the annoying little twit but was only doing as he father ordered. Frendlehanz kept his own recently revised opinions of his sister to himself so as to allow him to explain the mischief and trickery visited upon the ceremony and how the Old Fool of an Arch-High-Wotsit had insisted everything had to stay as it was. This caused Magnificalorin to drop the comb and begin to sniffle, tears falling.
‘Oh hystkuk (a quite rude word, even by barbarian standards)!’ she said ‘I have made a fool of myself by falling into this silly circumstance! What will Hulstorm think of me. Ravaging out of pure revenge is quite acceptable, but now he will think of me as naught by a naughty-legged trollop. Oh boofflee! (a not so rude barbarian word…quite genteel in fact,). And everyone will laugh at me behind my back! Oh boofflee yet again!!’
Frendlehanz ,as a few young ladies(of an acquisitive nature for valuables) were aware, could not resist their tears and so produced a handkerchief from another pocket ( ‘A fellow could never have too many pockets’, he was wont of saying). Without the aid of his fellow princes he was none to keen on meeting the Army of Chilbin and was fayre certain his father and retinue felt the same way, when it came to the sharp end of metal. Thus did a plan begin to form.
‘I see a way out of this for both of us,’ he told Magnificalorin who was surprising him by using his handkerchief in quite a civilised manner. ‘You can claim me as hostage and take me northwards. It will raise your reputation as a bold and fearless reaver. Send a messenger to my army of the news. Then we shall ride swiftly. Of course for purposes of image and presentation you have shall have to use me vigorously, frequently. It will be expected,’
A faint smile creased her face and she punched him, lightly on the arm.
‘Thou shouldst try not to sound so hopeful’ she said.
Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I
Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX