Ranger's Apprentice 1 - The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan


Ranger's Apprentice 1 - The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

Author:John Flanagan [Flanagan, John]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Heroes, Bedtime & Dreams, Superheroes
ISBN: 9780142406632
Publisher: Puffin
Published: 2005-01-02T08:00:00+00:00


Chapter 19

THEY RODE SLOWLY THROUGH THE FAILING LIGHT, LEANING sideways in their saddles to follow the trail left by the boar.

They had no trouble tracking him. The huge body had left a deep trench in the thick snow. Even without the snow, Will thought, it would have been easy. The boar was obviously in a very bad temper. It had slashed at the surrounding trees and shrubs with its tusks as it went, leaving a clear-cut path of destruction through the forest.

"Halt?" he said tentatively when they had gone a kilometer or so into the dense trees.

"Mmmm?" said Halt, a little absently.

"Why bother the Baron? Couldn't we simply kill the boar with our bows?"

Halt shook his head.

"He's a big one, Will. You can see the size of the trail he's left. We could take half a dozen arrows to kill him, and even then he'd take time to die. With a brute like this, it's better to make sure."

"How do we do that?"

Halt looked up for a second. "I suppose you've never seen a boar hunt?"

Will shook his head. Halt reined in for a few seconds to explain and Will brought Tug to a stop beside him.

"Well, first," said the Ranger, "we'll need dogs. That's another reason why we can't simply finish him off with our bows. When we find him, he'll have most likely gone to ground in a thicket or in dense bushes where we can't get at him. The dogs will drive him out and we'll have a ring of men around the lair with boar spears."

"And they throw them at him?" Will asked. Halt shook his head.

"Not if they have any brains," he said. "The boar spear is more than two meters long, with a double-sided blade and a crosspiece set behind the blade. The idea is to make the boar charge at the spearman. Then he sets the butt of the spear in the ground and lets the boar run onto it. The crosspiece stops the boar running right down the shaft and getting the spearman."

Will looked doubtful. "That sounds dangerous." The Ranger nodded. "It is. But men like the Baron and Sir Rodney and the other knights love it. They wouldn't miss the chance of a boar hunt for worlds."

"What about you?" asked Will. "Will you have a boar spear?"

Halt shook his head. "I'll be sitting right here on Abelard," he said. "And you'll be on Tug, in case the boar breaks through the ring of men around him. Or in case he's just wounded and gets away."

"What do we do if that happens?" Will asked.

"We run him down before he can go to ground again," said Halt grimly. "And then we kill him with our bows."



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