The Archer's Gold: Medieval Military fiction: A Novel about Wars, Knights, Pirates, and Crusaders in The Years of the Feudal Middle Ages of William Marshall ... (The Company of English Archers Book 7)

Free The Archer's Gold: Medieval Military fiction: A Novel about Wars, Knights, Pirates, and Crusaders in The Years of the Feudal Middle Ages of William Marshall ... (The Company of English Archers Book 7) by Martin Archer

Book: The Archer's Gold: Medieval Military fiction: A Novel about Wars, Knights, Pirates, and Crusaders in The Years of the Feudal Middle Ages of William Marshall ... (The Company of English Archers Book 7) by Martin Archer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Martin Archer
be his legal wife and thus the queen."
           "They brought me here to give me to whoever would agree to pay the Pope and lead the barons against John," she said bitterly. 
           "He'll have me killed, John will, when he finds out how the barons intend to use me.  It's a wonder he hasn't done it already, isn't it?" 
           "My God, what are Mathilde and I to do now? the lady suddenly wails. Where can we go?  I almost wish my horrible cousins were still alive.  At least then I might have a chance."
    @@@@@
           After Isabel goes outside to piss again and then upstairs to sleep, my lieutenants and I stay up half the night talking and drinking ale and listening to the boys snore and talk in their sleep.  It's the first time we've had together to sit down and talk about Oakhampton.
           "Oakhampton's location is very good for us since it's like Launceston - it sits astride the only road into Cornwall.  We should keep it if we can," said Henry thoughtfully.
            Then he took a big sip of ale and continued.
           "If we don't hold Oakhampton, the Earl of Devon will surely try to take it now that Courtenay and his knights are gone - and Devon's already our biggest threat.  His holding Oakhampton instead of Courtney will cut us off from the rest of England and make him much stronger to boot."
           Then he added softly to no one in particular.
           "We either need to keep Devon from getting Oakhampton or end his threat once and for all by killing him and all his heirs."
           When Henry finished a somewhat drunk Thomas pompously repeated what we all already know.
           "Oakhampton sits between the east and west forks of the River Ock.  It was obviously built to protect the main transportation corridor into Devon and Cornwall, the old Roman road which crosses the fords that occur before the two channels come together to form one deeper river." 
           "There's no doubt about it.  Whoever decided to build the castle here knew what he was about, that's for sure.  That's why Henry's right - we can't let Oakhampton get into Devon's hands."
           After a lot more ale drinking and talking there is a coming together of our minds and no doubt about it - we want to hold this castle both to keep it out of the hands of the Earl of Devon and keep the road to England open, and to provide both an early warning of an invasion and a powerful blocking force if one occurs.
           Besides, if we have Oakhampton we can use the Dartmoor moors for training our Marines and to graze our horses. 
           "We could even station our Horse Marines here - they'd play merry hell with any would-be invader if we hold the castle," Henry suggests.
           After a while the conversation turns back to the unfortunate girl who is the king's annulled and unused wife.
           "She's right about needing protection and having no future.  Married or unmarried, when John finds out what the barons are up to he's likely kill her if only to stop the barons from trying to use her to overthrow him to put whoever she marries on the throne."
           "You're right.  Damn; she's well and truly in big trouble isn't she?  I feel sorry for her."
           "Aye, and probably the oldest virgin in England not in a nunnery."
           "Virgins in a nunnery?" snorts my brother Thomas with a priestly wheeze.  "That'll be the day.  Most of the nunneries I ever visited are like brothels for the monks and priests and any visitor with enough coins."
           "Mmm,"  I offered.  "Maybe we can help Isabel and help ourselves at the same time by keeping Oakhampton."
           Then I told them what I was thinking.  Thomas laughed uproariously when I finished. 
           "I could do that; yes I could."  Everyone else smiled and nodded enthusiastically. 
           "Well then, in for a pence in for a pound; let's give it a

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