Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Captain of Jericho

The King of Jericho's youngest son was a superb fighter in his mid twenties by the name of Giddel. As Captain of the Guard, he conducted the daily training armed only with a wooden staff. Surprisingly, his opponent was barely sixteen years old, for on closer inspection Salman realized all his students were just boys.

Although the youth was armed with a real sword, Giddel seemed undisturbed by the threat of genuine harm. He carried no shield or armor, except for a large belt around his waist and a row of tough leather ribbing strapped along his powerful right arm. His strength and reflexes were something to admire, though Salman sensed he was merely toying with the teenager for he barely broke a sweat. Nevertheless, this was rookie training - brutal, fast and nasty.

Giddel swerved to sidestep an overhead strike, then tripped the boy and stole his sword while he fell to the ground.

“Get up,” Giddel shouted then tossed the sword back to the ground. “I carry my weapon in one hand, but I have three other limbs to strike you. I could have just as easily broken your jaw with my left arm.”

"It's not fair" replied the boy as he scrambled to his feet.

"Fair? Oh we can play fair. Shall I call for my sword?"

"No Sir."

Giddel looked over to the next boy waiting in line for a cruel initiation. “Lets make it easier. You, join him over here.”

A second boy stood by the first, bracing themselves for another round.

Giddel closed his eyes, threw his wooden staff away and turned his back to them. This was a lesson they'll never forget.


Dropping to the ground, Giddell rolled to one side and dodged a wild strike from the first boy. A quick kick to the groin, and the lad was paralyzed with pain.

The second boy lunged aggressively with his sword, but Giddel was already on one knee. He grabbed the boy’s fighting arm and threw him over his shoulder like he was tossing a bale of hay.

Giddel sprung up, and stood over his bruised and battered opponents. They had barely enough time to swipe the dust from their faces before realizing that Giddel held both their swords an inch from their throats.

“I had nothing but my bare hands. Its what you do with what you have - thats what counts. Never forget it.”

“Yes Sir,” they replied as they returned to their positions.

Salman and Phinehas could not believe what they were seeing.

“If this is how they train boys...” Phinehas whispered.

“What about their men? I know.” Salman interrupted, “And by the way, the wall is twenty one paces thick.”

Phinehas looked at Salman with a hint of fear. “They expect Joshua to attack. They're getting ready.”

“Getting?” Salman replied “I’d say they’re well and truly ready.”

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