Now might be a good time to mention that while I purchased Hysteria, for thirteen crowns silver, as a warhorse, she has a number of deficiencies that make her inadequate to the task. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, she is a very fine animal, in good health, and she has almost never failed to carry anything that I asked of her. Warhorses though need to be of quite stern stuff. Hysteria was never comfortable with the sound of sword on sword, or sword on shield, or sword on body, or shield on body, or shield on shield. In fact, she’s not too fond of the shhtink sound that a sword makes as it comes out of a scabbard. It was just this sound which accompanied the shout of “stop knave, and prepare to meet your maker,” and it was no doubt this sound that caused her to rear up and toss Megara and myself to the ground. I was not unduly bothered by this, not only because I had been thrown by Hysteria on a number of occasions, but also because I landed on Megara and she was quite nicely padded. She on the other hand had more than a lung-full of air knocked from her by my weight suddenly landing on her. I jumped to my feet and drew my own sword.