This is one of my favorite scenes because it is of Durbar in his element…the woods. He spends most of his time out of his comfort zone (which is the point) but here he is at his best.
“Hey there my good man, what are you doing in these woods?” said the leader.
Durbar pulled back the hood of his black cloak revealing his face, sharp deep blue eyes and hair, which was tied back. He quickly studied the three men who were mounted before him. The one who addressed him was the leader, Durbar guessed. He was tall with broad shoulders but a boyish face, yet intelligent looking. He had sandy hair that fell at his shoulders. His eyes were wide and his face held an expression of curiosity. The other two had blank faces. Square and cold they looked dark to Durbar. He stared into the eyes of the man who spoke to him and answered, “hunting.”
“So are we,” said the man in the middle lightly.
Durbar laughed smugly, “One would never guess it,” he replied.
“What is that supposed to mean?” responded the man annoyed at Durbar’s lack of manners.
“You make more noise than bears mating on a bed of dried leaves, and you are dressed like circus clowns I imagine, and furthermore you already scared off the buck that I had marked.”
The three men stood in shock from what the bold young woodsman said. One of them reached for his long sword but the leader raised his hand halting him.
“Do you know who I am?” said the leader.
“I know you are no hunter,” replied Durbar, “and I have been told that people who have to ask others if they know who they are, are no one of consequence.”
The man became angry from the insults the young man was hurling at him. “Look here peasant. I am Prince Rothan, nephew to King Tokab, ruler of the Dirkan kingdom, my father is the Earl of Harmon, and I will not tolerate your insults.”
“Well prince Rotten Ham,” said Durbar making play of the prince’s name. “It is a pleasure to meet you, and now will you kindly take your dogs and leave so that I may track the buck you scared off.”
With that remark the man to Rothan’s right had heard enough. He drew his long sword, held it high, and spurred his horse, sending it charging forward. In a move that was lightning quick Durbar dropped to one knee, pulled an arrow from his quiver, and fired it at the head of the charging man. Stunned by the bowman’s quickness he watched as the arrow flew from the man’s bow and sailed toward his head. The arrow rose up, caught the man’s colorful cap and snatched it from his head. It sailed a few more yards before it fell to the ground still stuck in the cap. The man stopped his horse, looked up at his head expecting to see an arrow in his forehead, and then looked back at the bowman. Durbar had already notched another arrow. The other two men looked simultaneously at the capless man, back at his cap that lay behind them and then back to Durbar. All of them sat in their saddles amazed.
Durbar spoke first, “Charge me again and you won’t just lose your hat.”