8.

Old Bill had never been this close to one of the high and mighty before. But here they were, nose to nose. He could smell the wine on the Knight’s breath. And the Knight could surely smell the beer on his.

The Knight looked down, and Old Bill followed his gaze, though he knew what he would see: his spear sticking right through the Knight’s guts, chain mail and all, and the knight’s sword, wedged firmly in Old Bill’s ribs.

Their eyes met again. The Knight suddenly looked very young, and very afraid. Old Bill thought about his own son, and it seemed for a moment that there was no difference between noble and peasant. But only blood came out of his mouth when Bill opened it to speak. The knight’s eyes had gone blank, and Old Bill was fast following to wherever it was they were both going.