The campfire was crackling away, flames rising a couple of feet off the floor and everyone was crowded around enjoying the heat and the spectacle, as they often did on nights like these on patrol. There was no reason to hide from the enemy tonight, as none of the twilight scouts had reported any movement in the surrounding hills for twenty miles in any direction. For now at least they could relax, albeit with the usual watches posted, and enter into the “campfire way” as they all referred to it. There would be storytelling, perhaps a joke or two and then when the mood naturally took them that way, there would be at least one song before the first to sleep would say their good-nights and head for their tents.

As was often the way, the young men encouraged Inigo, the old armourer who tended the men’s weapons and chain, to go first. He stepped into the firelight, put one foot up upon the hearth and began to weave a tale as old as the hills, that they all knew only too well. Of course the joy was in his telling.