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Don Silver and The Knight Brass 2
Act 3 of The Knights Trace in New Spain
© 2022 James LaFond
“A dozen of Spain’s wickedest men,”
-First Jest, Second Chant
At mid morning the troop of The Knight Brass affronted the musketeers, men at arms and demi-ranger mestizos of Don Silver, 70 mounted men glaring at each other across the shallow spring creek than drained from the north into that proud miles-high river to their south, flowing west to some mysterious destination.
The Knight Brass called Brawn to his side for the parley, to match the burly mestizo man-at-arms, so large he rode a draft horse for a destrier beside his lord, a man far outranking The Knight Brass, a man who was a baron in New Spain.
Brawn slid the hood from his issue lock, knowing this could go sideways, what with nobles on both sides and their patron the moon nowhere in sight.
“Don Silver,” spake the Knight Brass, “what is your need in Awes West, and how might I serve you?”
The Don, was older, not as broad, not as tall—but thrice again as ruthless as Brass. “I would hire your men of Hinter Station—and these as well if you do not mind, to put down a revolt of a certain fief.”
“Don Silver, we are on crusade against the wendigo and the skin-walkers and hoped to ally with you against they, to put aside Christian feud for holy war.”
The Don barked a short laugh as he glared at A’Quah, “The skin-walkers worry our Comanche foes—wendigo, I do not know this tribe. Skin-walkers are merely Navaho sorcerers against which a pious Christian has no fear.”
“You accuse me of impiety, Don?”
“I accuse you of foolery, a charge a man of your young years would do to heed from his elder.”
“This is my charge, to drive back the menace into Hell and thence to withdraw from Awes West our garrisons in Colorado to put down a Voodoo rising.”
“So I shall be rid of you in any case, my fanatic fellow. I might as well bar your passage here, with my superior force and assume command over Hinter Station, no blood drawn, nor offense given—we too men of war avoiding our calling for the better concord of our distant masters.”
The jaws of The Knight Brass clenched, which Brawn knew, after training with him and this week on the trail, that he was about to go all in.
“Make Way and turn about, Don Silver, from the Lands of Awes West, in the name of The Knights Trace.”
The big brute drew his pistol quicker than he seemed able and leveled it at The Knight Brass full at that breast plate, without cocking the hammer, saving that for emphasis.
‘I was the wrong second, Saddler had scorched this turd.’
“My daft Knight Brass, the better part of valor is yours, should you heed it.”
“Knave of New Spain,” snarled The Knight Brass as Brawn drew his issue pistol with his right hand and swung side ways right off the saddle, his mare taking the man-at-arms’ musket ball in the head and reeling over onto Brawn as he leveled and cocked and fired his flint lock, blowing the knee away from that big bearded man.
All was shouting, firing, screaming and chaos as his mare rolled over him and got to her feet, minus only an ear and stood stammering and in a quick sweat, as Brawn seized his saddle gun from the scabbard.
The Knight Brass, upon his awesome destrier, had bowled over Don Silver, trampling man and horse—for the Don had a fed-up and pampered Arabian palfrey as a mount—drawing his sword and running through a mounted man at arms as a mestizo demi-scout drew a bead on him to fire and Brawn leveled his saddle gun and blew the head from that poncho covered body.
Cocking the left hammer, Brawn spied the Don’s squire riding in to restore order among the dismounted musketeers being cut to pieces by the rangers, and dropped the round ball into those rarified guts, tumbling that uppity up around and down.
It was all slaughter: The Knight Brass rampaging across the field running his straight saber through the Spanish men at arms wielding curved sabers and having spent their pistols in the first panicked volley. In his wake rode Saddler, shooting any man still brandishing a gun with his collection of firing irons.
Brawn tramped up to the brawny henchman holding his blown apart knee together and smashed in that snarling face with the butt of his saddle gun.
Don Silver was trying to rise and Brawn stepped over the horse and swung the saddle gun like a club, mashing his lightly helmeted head to a pulp.
Stock Issue rushed up to Brawn with two loaded pistols—his and Dog Ear Mud and Brawn shouldered the saddle gun on its strap and continued across the field, stepping over bodies, shooting those who fought, stomping in the brains of those who begged and continued to be handed loaded pistols by Stock Issue, as the pony boys had declared for him their champion and pulled all of their know-how to load and reload for him, following him about in a gaggle, all out of their order, having abandoned the Station Sergeant, who sat with a musket ball in his guts on the creek bank, numbly staring at his soaked hands.
Tim and the scouts were circling some musketeers who were trying to reload, feathering them with arrows.
A’Quah and The Factor were screaming, one as Indian as the next, and riding down fleeing men-at-arms headed for the river, feathering and shooting the backs of the broken men, turning the river red in spots.
The Squire was stabbing praying musketeers through the back of the head as they begged Mother Mary to save them.
The Stone Deacon had his face shot off by a musketeer, who was then dragged down by three scullers and beat to a pulp.
A sculler was run through as the sheep dogs and the shepherd dragged down the sword wielding musketeer. The musketeers screamed in English, some of them, that they were for hire. One such looked up at Brawn, who clubbed in his teeth and stomped his neck to a broken twig.
The guns were all empty and the toothpick and scalping knife did the work of butchering the rest.
Some Englishmen moaned and cried—there were more down than the few he had seen.
He could here Can’t Jew bawling for Enoch to take him.
He saw The Knight Brass ride down two men flying on one horse and run them both through with a stroke.
Saddler was wheeling from his horse under the stroke of one horseman’s saber slash, ducking it smartly, and then cutting off the fellow’s arm with a back hand and kicking him gushing from the saddle.
A gut shot Spaniard musketeer speaking some gibberish like German was crawling down the creek to the river, on some aimless errand. So Brawn staked him to the creek bottom with his tooth pick and scalped him, holding up the scalp and screaming, “The Knight Brass!” for he quite liked the rash man.
“Stock?” he turned to see Stock Issue dead from a musket shot that tore away half his head, a musket shot from some prone musketeer playing dead. Brawn stalked over to the man, who stood and turned to run, only to have Penny Breed the half-scout ride by on his little pony and put an arrow through his head.
‘It’s a shame we have to lose friends, for the rest of this is all good.’
The woodchucks were in a brawl with two musketeers, ax against saber: one loosing a finger and another an ear, both musketeers losing their heads complete.
The Trumpet of The Knight Brass sounded like a peel of glassy triumph as the paige, seated on his horse between the two women, declared victory and blared the wrath of his master across the bloody mountain meadow.
Brawn turned to witness the paige blast that brass trumpet and saw her there, looking at him with a desire that the distance or two bow shoots could not dampen, her lovely blond maid seated next to her, the woman that was more like he, owned, the both of them by her dark-eyed wiles and her rousing will.
From the Journal Brass: Quake Wednesday [1] Morn, July, A.D. 2031
Battle of Winter Meadow
Decorated and promoted to Station Sergeant, One Brawn Brash, called Hellbane, to command station troop
Promoted to Brash Scout, Penny Breed, attached to station troop
Promoted to Ranger: former boy Rum Weasel Tin, for slaying a mestizo demi-scout with knife, to fill Cant Jew’s rank
Laid to rest:
Stone Deacon Brass
Brick Hill, Station Sergeant
Can’t Jew, ranger
Stock Issue, Sergeant of Boys
Goatherd, Jose
Don Silver, a noble rogue
twenty & nine Spanish rabble
Hung for the white-tailed flippant crows called magpies:
Ten dastard runnagate English and German rogues, mercenary traitors all
On the field christened By The Knight Brass, Stone Deacon Meadow.
Stinkman swamp, wade,
little boys staked fo stinkman ate,
Stinkman slink, follow, meat-price paid—
piney way run, machete boy come lame, stinkman ate.
Run, machete boy run stinkman hunger wake—
Run to you Chriseman gate…
Stinkman come, ‘cause he no wanna go home!
-1. Next to last Wednesday of the month.
Don Silver and The Knight Brass 1
Hinter Station 1
within leviathan’s craw
solo boxing
night city
masculine axis
the year the world took the z-pill
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