Leopard's Moon

The last guard fell into the ravine, snapping the dried stems of brush his corpse rolled over. His killer watched then turned to the scene of conflict. " Get ya ass down from there!" he shouted to two of his men who leaped up on the large two wheeled cart and its canvas covered load. " Don't we gets a look after all we been through," growled an olive skinned curly bearded giant, a fresh slash on his scarred face.      The second man, sunburned red, said nothing but straightened to his full height of 6'4" and hefted his bloodied axe. His glare would have melted the snow off the Sierra Madre in winter. The object of his stare, walked slowly up to the cart, putting his left foot on the body of a guard.   " No, we don't. Our job was to get the load and take it to the one who pays us. Is that so upsettin' to you both? "  "We lost seven good men!"  boomed the giant jumping down from the cart.   " It was their time. You'll get their pay if that what bothers you."   " The boys just be curious that's all, ain't that right fellows? " A warrior in a chain mail shirt came up beside the man, Ferdinand of Pamplona, who first told the other two to get down. Though smiling there was no humor in it.  " You don't speak for me, you damned Frank!" the big man snarled, but backed up a step. Tancred of Caen wagged a finger, then spoke still with his mirthless grin.   " I'm a Norman, Ayub, you trying to disrespect me?"   The
one called Ayub backed away from the cart. The other in the cart, snarled, but he got down too.   " I hope the money is good Ferdinand, my feelings will be really hurt,like the nun the bishop called the wrong name."   " It will be Tancred
it will be," Ferdinand replied. " Standing here jabbering won't put it in our hands."

The End

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