Conor Dillon – Beginnings Except 17
As they entered the Inn, shaking the wet off their cloaks, they were given a few curious looks by the clientele already there. They were an ill-assorted gathering, bad weather can make for strange bedfellows.
There was a boisterous group of French soldiers, who by the noise they were making had been there drinking for some time. The serving girl was doing her best to serve everyone in turn, when one of the soldiers, a junior Officer of some kind by the braid on his sleeve manhandled her and tried to fondle her breasts.
She was only a young girl and was clearly frightened by his drunken advances. Conor eyes blazing, strode over and ordered him to release her. The soldier obviously used to getting his own way, turned to Conor and said, ‘Now I know what that funny smell is the Irish sleep with their pigs in the sty.
Shamus who was at Conor’s elbow, translated the soldiers words. Conor grinned and replied through Shamus, ‘The last time I looked in the sty, your Mother was copulating with the boar, hard to say which was the prettier, but the boar won, at the side of your Mother he looked quite effeminate!’ There was uproar, everyone in the room was laughing and jeering at the soldier, who was obviously a bully and used to getting his own way.
He let go of the girl and turned on Conor, who immediately kneed him in the groin, then as he was staggering, headbutted him. That seemed to take all the fight out of him, his comrades seemed unsure of what to do without his lead, but when they saw four pistols pointing in their direction. All thought of retaliation disappeared.
The Inn-keeper who had noticed the fracas, and the cause of it, came and thanked Conor, the girl was apparently his daughter. They were all offered drinks in the house. Shamus raised his tankard to Conor and said, ‘We’ll let you come out to play again, if you learn to play nicely!’ then all four of them burst out laughing, sharing the joke as friends and companions do.
(C) Damian Grange 2018