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Devil Songs Rushed…
Prentice Dolphin Chapter 5
…furiously down the tree-cloaked mountain, a thousand swaying fir sounding like Satan’s own whisk broom cleaning prayer from the air. For as they marched and the breath of the Hinterbeast gusted so fiercely as to knock the boy off his feet and send Prentice Dolphin to his back, he spake from memory a passage from the Third Eucharist prayer and heard it not, the words stolen by the devil wind, snatched from his mouth and taken down the mountain and over its mighty shoulder to be swallowed below by the forest dark.
“Prentice,” yelled the crossbowman, “…ake ma han…”
He pushed up his hand from under his tangle of vestment and noted that his left hand still held firm the leathern grip of the upper stave of his crook, above which the wrought image of The Blessed Mother being borne to Blessed Shore by the Dolphin whirled.
‘My Faith waxes, firmly with the Holy Spirit!’
Besides him the boy was extricating himself from the snowdrift they had been blown into off the rocky way, by climbing hand-over-hand the rope lead of the lama that stood solidly against the gale.
His vestments tended to catch in the wind. This was no excuse for weakness on Crusade. The massive packs of the soldiers, their heavy crossbows, wagging lengths of pike, all of these impeded them far more, these men of the sword whom he so envied secretly in his worldly heart.
The crossbowman cheered him as he placed hand to the back between his shoulders and pushed him upward into the plummeting wind, “Head down, padre, knees bent, lean on the crook!”
The march up into the gap between the jagged crags where the Old Baily hung in stark dilapidation became adventure, caused his blood to course and a passion to rise within him to fight the Devil’s own breath.
‘Blessed Mother, thank you for placing the taste of Your Holy Son’s passion in my mouth. Grace me with strength up this wicked Calvary!’
The clouds rushed in darkly and the gale became hail, beating their faces, ringing on the pikemen’s breast and back plates. The Elder Pikeman ahead beat the flat of his short heavy sword against the iron grounding spike of his pike, thrice, and the men marched backward, in time, outward, also in time, and he was pushed into their midst by the crossbowman who also dragged the boys and his lama with the other hand.
Now, as the hail rained into their very faces like a slapping drumbeat of Hell-sleet, he found himself behind and within a wedge of men, packed shoulder to shoulder, pikemen in the outer rank and crossbowmen inner, so that they, in their height and girth and depth, made a walking wall within which he was assaulted only by the devil sounds of this terrible place.
The crossbowmen no longer pushed, just held his hand between Prentice Dolphin’s narrow shoulders and screamed in his ear, a scream come as a distant devil-snatched whisper, “A quarter hour, padre, en we in da Baily.”

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