“I shall take that wager, Mountjoy!” The king called, very obviously in a merry mood as he spurred his white stallion forward after the white hart. The king made no comment as to the prongs of the deer. This was a royal hunt after all and they rode after a hart, which meant that the horns crowning the beast had at least five prongs. An animal with less would not be called a royal hart. Nor would a hunt prepared for a king ever be organised with anything less than a royal hart.
The hart was a proud animal, swift and strong, and cleared the small water ditch that happened on the way with an easy jump. One of the dogs attempt to follow, jumping the ditch, only to be thrown aside by a kick of a strong hind leg as the hart burst forward. The rets of the dogs splashed through the ditch after the proud animal, horses jumping the ditch as well. At the forefront of the hunters was the trio of of the monarch, lord Mountjoy and Lord Oakham.
Countess Atherstone had drawn level to the horses of the lifeguards riding after princess Karoline, to the right of the trio at the forefront. Countess Alyth and Lord Blackheath were to the left further behind, not amongst the first nor the last hunters, but somewhere in the middle. The life guard major meanwhile, keeping his attention on the surroundings more than on the hart, might notice one of the dogs turning towards the right after crossing the ditch, still baying and rushing forward. In just a moment he was swept up by the rest of the pack though and directed back after the trail of the hart escaping through the forest.
From somewhere to the right of them some overeager hunter had loosed an arrow toward sthe hart that missed by a longshot, harmlessly falling onto the ground and after a few moments broken under horse hoof.
A small clearing seemed to be coming up ahead, might some hunter have a better chance of hitting the hart there?
Temperance consists in indifference about little things, and in prudent and well-proportioned zeal about things of importance.
- William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
Posting on uneven dates.