Bromfell saw the village in the distance. It was a welcome sight. He had ridden for many hours and both he and his beloved horse, Alcris, were tired.
He patted the stallion’s neck.
“Not far now old friend,” he said, “soon we shall find respite.”
The smell of freshly harvested hops served as an extra impetus, for he yearned to quench his thirst, and the local ale had a fine reputation.
He tugged the reigns and Alcris picked up the pace. Before long they were entering the outskirts of the village.
A young man was walking by the road. Bromfell hailed him.
“Hello lad,” he said warmly, “is there an inn nearby, where I and my companion may quench our thirst?”
The youth gave Bromfell a startled look.
“Listen mate I don’t want any trouble, ” he said.
Bromfell, was perplexed.
“I mean you no trouble boy,” he replied, “I merely require a brief repose and some refreshment before I continue my journey. I have travelled for many days.”
“Look there’s a Premier Inn in the centre if that’s what you’re after,” said the youth, “or I think there’ a Travelodge on the other side of town. Near the Texaco Garage.”
“These sound like fine establishments,” agreed Bromfell, “but do either have stables for Alcris?”
“What’s an Alcris?” asked the youth.
“Why Alcris is my trusty steed!” boasted Bromfell, “A finer beast you never laid eyes on.”
The youth paused. Should he tell the old man that Alcris seemed to be nothing more than a broken mop-handle?
Probably better to humour the lunatic.
“I’m sure you’ll find all you need for Alcris at the Premier Inn,” he said, “it’s just down the road.”
Bromfell beamed at the young man.
“I thank you for you kindness lad,” he said, “you shall be richly rewarded, when I return to my homeland. For little did you know, that it is King Bromfell of Langdor himself that you have aided this night.”
The youth smiled – the old man was harmless enough and now he had quite a story for the staff room tomorrow.
“I’m truly honoured your majesty,” he said, “I hope you have a lovely stay in Morton.”
“I shall indeed,” declared Bromfell as he charged into the centre of the village, Alcris the mop-handle between his legs.