Horseclans 07 - Horseclans's Odyssey by Robert Adams

By Robert Adams

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The man returned from the armory, and Martuhn chose a dagger that was almost the mate to his opponent’s—eight inches of a thick but narrow and double-edged blade, with a crossguard three inches to the arm and a latticework of steel to protect the knuckles. Then he paced to his appointed place. As the longsword of the arbitrator of the duel flashed downward, Martuhn moved forward smoothly and deliberately; although his conscious mind realized that he was but the instrument of an all but unskilled man’s cruel punishment and in no slightest degree of danger, to his subconscious and his physical reflexes, he was approaching another combat, pure, simple and deadly.

It]s funny, too, back in the days before everything fell apart, a lot of scientific types carried on at length about the mutations of men and animals’ and plant life that an atomic war was certain to produce in survivors. But unless the mindspeak in which each new generation of these clansfolk seems to be more proficient is such a mutation, I cannot see where any real change has taken place in men. “/ am no mutation, at least not of that bit of manmade hell, for I was just as I am today, with every one of my… well, oddities… sixty years before the Two-Day War.

Take rations and fodder for as many days as you think this will require. If it takes longer, however, don’t hesitate to forage. Remember, not only are we on my lands, but a Iarge-ish number of the folk in and around Twocityport are sworn enemies of Duke Tcharlz. ” Chapter Eight At Hwahruhn’s brusque command, both boys shed their worn and ragged garments. Then the two traders stood by holding a pair of lamps high while the Ehleen “examined” his new purchases. Custuh seemed not to notice the manner in which their customer’s soft, beringed hands lingered upon the boys’ freckled flesh… but Hwahruhn did, and the sight sickened him.

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