the smuggler’s bible

Hontzlake of Wentland

Hontzlake of Wentland sees a woman he likes, so he takes her, hoping those idiots at the castle are too busy feasting to even notice.

But they do notice. And they send Pellinore. Luckily, Hontzlake has a few tricks up his sleeve.

(Trick #1: Lying) “That’s my girlfriend,” he says. “I got her fair and square.”

“Come on.” Pellinore shrugs and looks around. “Who the heck are you trying to kid?”

(Trick #2: Intimidation) “Well, hands off or you’ll get a knuckle sandwich, buddy.”

Immediately and without warning, Hontzlake stabs Pellinore’s horse right in the heart. (Trick #3: Sneak Attack)

Pellinore

Pellinore misses his shot at the questing beast, and he’s sore about it. Awful sore. To blow off some steam, he puts his chair in an inconvenient spot and waits patiently for trouble to stir itself up. He is not disappointed.

“Hey, asshole. You’re blocking the road. You better move if you know what’s good for you.”

“Buddy, I’ll move when somebody makes me.”

“Oh yeah? I’ll make you.”

Later, Pellinore is sitting on the guy’s chest, grinning through a busted lip and hitting him with both hands. Goddamn—he thinks—it’d take a wizard to save this fella now.

Pellinore

Some idiot finds it in the forest and immediately knows it’s something special—one of God’s own rough drafts.

“Do they all look like that?”

“There’s only one.”

“Goddamn it’s loud.”

“Sure is,” Pellinore says. “So, buddy, can I have the horse or not

“Come on. Are you serious?”

Pellinore mounts up and gets situated. “Look, this is kind of my job. If you’re still mad about it in a month, look me up.”

He leaves in a hurry. With some luck, this could all be over today. Otherwise it’s another year down the tubes, and Christmas on the hunt.