Friday, July 13, 2012

Mr. Errol Proposes

"I can't believe you shot two policemen in the arms - shoulder and elbow's inside - like that. Archery like that is rare."

"I might have been better back then, or it may have been a moment of grace."

"There are some targets set up behind my house, and the distance would be daunting to a beginner."

Susan picked up her ears: " .. and bows and arrows?"

"Two bows, an abundance of arrows, try not to hit my arms, please."

"I will take the request into consideration."

Hundred and fifty feet to the targets was the distance. Two targets. Susan stood to the right, Audoin to the left. "Ladies first," said he. Susan put an arrow straight into the bull's eye of the right target. Audoin got his arrow onto the right target next to hers.

"You did that on purpose!"

"Ah no, I just missed my target."

"You just pretend to. Why, I think you are flirting with me!"

"Nonsense, I will try to do better next time."

Susan now got her arrow into the bull's eye of the left target and said "sorry". Audoin got his next to hers again, and as he had promised it was in his own target. Susan was straight after with an arrow between the two. Audoin put one between the two of the right hand target. A few arrows later on each side the bulls eyes looked like a pair of hedgehogs.

"If you are that good with bow and arrows, you ought to have children."

"Why?" Susan smiled blithely because the comment surprised her.
"Sicut sagitte in manu potentis, ita filii excussorum.
Beatus qui impleuit desiderium suum ex ipsis,
Non confundetur cum loquetur inimicis suis in porta."

"Consider my Latin to be non-existent. This means?"

"'As arrows in the hand of the mighty, thus are the children of the vanquished. Blessed who hath fulfilled his - or her - desire for them, he shall not be confounded when speaking to his enemies in court.' Basically. 'In porta' means 'at the city gates', because in old Israel city gates looked a bit like the lodge of a college in Oxford, and court proceedings were conducted in them."

"There is the slight problem of my knowing no man, and the Virgin Birth was once only. Mother and maiden was never none but she, remember."

"If lack of husband is all there is to that, I would be happy to change the situation. May I?"

She looked at the man, ten years older than herself for some moments. He did not flinch from the scrutiny, so she laughed out loud and said: "You may." Whereupon she gave him the hand, as for getting on the dance floor. They walked back hand in hand.