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The Casle of Maidens (standard:fantasy, 2606 words)
Author: moyaAdded: Jun 01 2002Views/Reads: 1881/1327Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Sir Eustace could cope with one maiden in distress, but he hadn't reckoned to be stuck with a whole castle full . . . 5th in Dragontails series
 



Two knights rode through the countryside in a leisurely manner, while a
small dragon flapped above them. 

“Funny meeting you like this,”  said Sir Eustace Curdylion.  “I'd have
thought you'd be married to that princess by now.” 

“Oh, we didn't speak for a couple of weeks, then she heard the King was
in the market for a bride, so she didn't want to know me,”  said Sir 
Kevin.  “Still, we weren't really suited.” 

“I must say you're taking it very well.” 

“Don't think I'm not heartbroken,”  said Sir Kevin.  “In fact,  I wrote
a song about it.  Would you like to hear - ?” 

“Some other time,”  Sir Eustace broke in hastily.  “Hullo - what's going
on ahead?” 

They had reached the brow of a hill.  Before them the road descended to
where a maiden on a palfrey was approaching a crossroads.  As she 
reached it a knight in red armour burst out of the bushes, snatched he 
from her horse, slung her across his saddlebow and galloped back the 
way he had come, leaving behind naught but a cloud of dust and a 
bemused palfrey. 

Eustace blinked.  “Did you see that?” 

“Outrageous!”  squeaked Sir Kevin. 

“Nice technique, though.” 

“We must rescue her.” 

“Do we have to?  I'm not in the mood” 

“Of course we do,”  declared Sir Kevin.  “Rescuing beautiful maidens is
our knightly duty.” 

Eustace sighed.  “Oh, all right. Though don't assume she'll be
beautiful, they hardly ever are.  Snowdrop!   Can you see where he's 
heading?” 

“Big castle, round the bend on the left,”  the dragon called down to
them. 

“Let's go then.” 

“I say,”  said Sir Kevin as they rode down the hill.  “Why do you call
your dragon Snowdrop?” 

“He's not my dragon.  And do be careful, he's sensitive about his name. 
If he thinks you're laughing at him you could end up charcoal.” 

“Wouldn't dream of it!” 

As they rounded the bend the castle loomed before them.  The drawbridge
was up, but at the edge of the moat opposite the gatehouse grew a 
blasted oak.  A battered and dented shield hung from its one remaining 
branch.  There was a notice nailed to the trunk. 

BASH ONCE FOR JOUST No Hawkers No Circulars 

“D'you want to go first?” asked Sir Kevin. 

“Not at all,” replied Sir Eustace.  “After you.” 

Sir Kevin gave the shield a good thump with his lance.  A trumpet
sounded from the battlement.  Then with much creaking and rattling of 
chains the drawbridge came down, and the Red Knight rode out to do 
battle. 

Sir Kevin couched his lance, spurred his horse, and rode to meet him. 
He made a brave sight, with his bright shiny armour and the green plume 
fluttering from his helmet.  The ground shook as the two knights 
hurtled towards each other.  Then they met.  Sir Kevin's lance rose 


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