Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Pen and the Sword: The Cavalier in the Yellow Doublet

He decided to finish the business, although not so hastily that it might work against him. Besides, there was no point in complicating his life further by killing a man in broad daylight, and on a Sunday. His opponent made a lunge, which Alatriste parried, making as if to deliver a straightforward blow, but instead shifting to the right, lowering his own sword to protect his chest and, in passing, dealing the other man an ugly cut to the head with his dagger. A bystander might have described his as both unorthodox and somewhat underhand, but there were no bystanders. Besides, María de Castro would already be on stage, and it was still a fair walk to the Corral de la Cruz. This was no time for niceties. More importantly, the strategy has worked. The young man turned pale and fell to his knees, bright red blood gushing from his temple. He had dropped his dagger was resting all his weight on his sword, which buckled slightly beneath him. Alatriste sheathed his own sword, then went over and disarmed the man by gently kicking the blade from under him. Then he held him up so he wouldn't fall, took a clean handkerchief from the sleeve of his doublet and bandaged the gash in the man's head as best he could.

"Will you be all right on your own?" he asked.

The young man looked at him, confused, but did not reply. Alatriste snorted impatiently.

"I have things to do," he said.

2 comments:

  1. I really liked the structure of the set ups and payoffs in this book.

    I enjoyed it more than Pirates of the Levant which seemed more disjointed, as if Perez-Reverte was trying to force some points of the story into alignment.

    But I also feel like the first book had set-ups that still haven't, and probably won't, pay off.

    Now if only I could figure out how to bottle the experience I had reading his novels and translate it to my Flashing Blades game, I could die a happy man. :D

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  2. Sure wish they'd translate the 6th book already.

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