A Conversation for Holes in History - FWR - The Chase.
The Chase. Part 23.
FWR Started conversation Nov 23, 2020
Goubert was puzzled, surely the wretch had not been about the traps this early?
The first two snares were empty, the third held but a crow.
The fourth vacant too.
He was cursing to himself as they rode towards the stream.
Five. Empty, But fresh tracks around the snare, clumsy human tracks!
Goubert's spirits lifted, maybe this day would yet provide some sport?
The sounds of the stream reached his ears, triggering the familiar twinge beneath his belt.
He vowed that, if this thief be about, he would hold his water until the wretch was caught.
From the trees, Tadhg and Rulf watched. Waiting for the buffoon to walk from the last snare to his watering station.
Between Goubert and the stream another, more deadly, trap awaited.
They had spent hours digging the boar pit, hours more placing the sharpened stakes, and yet more covering their murderous work with fine branches and bracken.
They anticipated Goubert, once the final snare was discovered, would wave his men away and walk towards the stream. Treading his daily route, he could not fail to plunge into the concealed pit, and fall to his death or serious harm on the stakes.
If the latter, Rulf was more than willing to put the pig out of his misery!
The men suddenly halted, coaxing their horses back into the brush.
Then, sickeningly, Rulf glanced towards the rabbit snare, empty and unnoticed since they had set it.
It was now no longer empty, or indeed unnoticed!
In the hours it had taken to dig the pit the snare had trapped a young leveret.
Out of the trees ran a small boy, barefoot and shabby, dirty face beaming with his good fortune, as he darted towards the rabbit.
It was like looking back through time for Rulf, peering through a hole in history, as Goubert's men quickly pounced upon the hapless child, knocking him to the ground, laughing in anticipation, as their leader towered over the boy and drew his dagger.
The Chase. Part 23.
Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor Posted Nov 23, 2020
Heart-stopping stuff! That's the ticket! This really builds.
The image of the boy looking at a rabbit and thinking of dinner stopped me for another reason. I was thinking how varied human experience is. I'm sure people on the Wirral at that time were starved for meat.
And I remember Joseph Doddridge. When he was a little kid, his father brought the family to western Pennsylvania, when they were carving homesteads out of the wilderness. He wrote,
'The Indian meal [maize] which [my father] brought over the mountain was expended six weeks too soon, so that for that length of time we had to live without bread. The lean venison and the breast of the wild turkey we were taught to call bread. The flesh of the bear was denominated meat. This artifice did not succeed very well; after living in this way for some time we became sickly, the stomach seemed to be always empty, and tormented with a sense of hunger. I remember how narrowly the children watched the growth of the potato tops, pumpkin and squash vines, hoping from day to day to get something to answer in the place of bread. How delicious was the taste of the young potatoes when we got them! What a jubilee when we were permitted to pull the young corn for roasting ears!'
They had meat morning, noon, and night: turkey, venison, bear, snake, probably, maybe fish for a change... And they were dying for a pone of cornbread.
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