The Highwayman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of a Highwayman.
Holding up a coach, Tom Kallis the Scarlet Rapier Highwayman, gets more than he bargained for during this robbery.

Submitted: April 20, 2019

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Submitted: April 20, 2019

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The Highwayman

Tom Kallis was sheltering under a tree as the rain fell from the night sky in a thick torrent. There was a flash of lightning in the distance and then a roll of thunder.

Tom’s horse snorted and stamped a nervous hoof in the mud.

Tom patted her affectionately on the neck,

Shh! Girl, everything is alright.’

His horse shook her head and nuzzled his hand. Tom scratched her nose; she always liked that and licked his hand in return.

Tom was about to call it a night, he had been sheltering under the tree for a good few hours now, the coach he was waiting for was obviously not coming, there could have been many reason why it had been cancelled, the storm for one was reason enough.

Tom climbed into the saddle and pulled his long black cloak around his shoulders and adjusted his tricorn hat sitting on his head, his long black curly oiled locks of hair were tied back into a ponytail that hung down to his shoulders.

Tom adjusted the rapier sword hanging at his side as he made himself comfortable, the sword handle was wound with brass wire and red velvet, it was fancy too be sure in its scarlet leather scabbard.

Tom had kept his two flintlock pistols well covered beneath his cloak tucked into his belt, for he did not want the powder to get wet, for damp or wet powder in the pan, meant the weapon was nothing more than a lump of wood and iron in your hand, you may as well use it as a billyclub, for it would not fire its shot with damp powder.

Tom was just about to head for home when his keen brown eyes caught sight of a bobbing yellow light approaching through the sheets of rain that were falling.

They were coach lanterns.

Tom grinned and felt a tingle of excitement in his gut. Tom pulled his red silk scarf up over his long nose and snapped the reins spurring his horse out into the rain.

The coachman was miserable, he was soaked through and tired and just wanted to get to the Inn six miles down the road, and get out of his soaking clothes, and pour himself a mug of ale, and get something to eat, for his stomach was beginning to rumble, like the thunder overhead.

And then his eyes opened wide in fright as he saw the mounted caped figure blocking his way on the road.

The Highwayman tugged on the reins, his horse reared up kicking the air with its hooves and then thudded back down as the Highwayman drew a pistol from his belt.

‘Hold I say! Stand and deliver!’ Tom shouted as he pointed his pistol at the coachman’s head.

The coachman grunted and tugged on the reins and pushed his boot against the brake arms.

The coach shuddered and came to a halt.

The coachman eyed the Highwayman suspiciously, and then he noticed the fancy sword at the Highwayman’s side.

‘The Red Rapier!’ he shouted out overly loud.

‘Aye! That is me, good Coachman; you have the honour of being robbed by the most famous Highwayman from York to London.

The coachman rubbed his hand over his rain soaked face and then snorted up a mouthful of snot and spat it out in contempt.

The passengers of the coach were deathly silent, no doubt they were cowering in fear, or trying to hide their valuables, stuffing them down into their undergarments or hiding them under the seats.

Tom Kallis knew all of the tricks; it amused him to get them to strip off as they protested at his un-gentlemanly demands. And if truth was to be told, some of the women may protest and shriek at the demands that they disrobe under his roguish watchful eyes, some of them found the experience quite titillating to say the least.

 

‘Alright you lot in there, come out now, and if you do as I say, I will not have to shoot any of you!’ Tom shouted, his voice was full of bravado.

The coach door swung open and a soldier wearing a green Dragoon guard’s tunic jumped out firing his pistol at Tom.

 The shot whizzed through the air and ripped through Tom’s cape just nicking his shoulder beneath.

Tom cried out in shock and squeezed his trigger.

Nothing happened! Tom bared his teeth and shouted out in anger, the powder was damp his pistol was useless.

Then two more Dragoons appeared from the coach, there were sudden flashes of gunpowder, Tom’s horse whinnied in terror at the loud cracking noise of the gun shots.

Tom felt his hat torn from his head and then a searing hot pain exploded in his thigh as a grazing shot tore off a strip of his skin.

It was a trap!

The coach was full of Dragoon riflemen. As one of the soldiers emerged holding a rifle; Tom cursed and spurred his horse into action.

‘Oh Bugger!’ Tom cried out as the rifle shot whizzed past his head, too close for comfort.

Tom headed for the surrounding tree line as shouts from the Dragoons echoed behind him. Glancing over his shoulder, Tom snarled in anger as he saw four horsemen galloping past the coach as their fellow Dragoons pointed toward him.

The horsemen had obviously been following way behind the coach and out of sight.

Tom leaned forward in the saddle; he did not want to be knocked from his horse by some low hanging tree branch as he entered the woodlands, hoping to lose those blasted Dragoons amongst the dark shadows of the forest.

 

Trees loomed out of the darkness as Tom leaned hard left and then right, tugging the reins violently as his mare whinnied and protested as she skidded just missing the trees that surrounded her.

 

Tom could hear the shouts of the Dragoons as they entered the woods, they were hot on his trail.

Tom wasn’t really worried! He knew the forest like the back of his own hand. He would lose those blasted Dragoons soon enough, he was sure. That was if they didn’t ride into a tree and do themselves some serious damage first.

From behind him, there came a crashing sound as a horse screamed and a man’s voice cried out, followed by a loud thud.

 

Tom Kallis laughed, ‘That’s one down, girl, and three to go.’ His face broke out into a smile.

 

The Dragoons had spread out, and to be truthful, they were hopelessly lost in the woods.

One of them slowed down into a trot, he had seen his mate crash into a tree, it wasn’t pretty. His horse had broken a leg, the poor nag was destined to get a shot through the head for its years of loyal service and its bones sent off to the glue factory.

His mate would probably need stitches in his head, that was if he was still alive and hadn’t broken his skinny neck in the collision.

 

Suddenly up ahead the Dragoon spotted the Highwayman’s horse standing beside a tree. It was snorting and chewing on the bit in its mouth. It shook its head, sending up a spray of raindrops from its long black mane.

There was no sign of the Highwayman.

The Dragoon moved over to the horse and drew his sabre; it was a keen edged slashing weapon capable of cutting a man in half used in the right hands.

‘Where’s your master, girl?’ the Dragoon said as he looked about suspiciously, ‘Has he been knocked out by a branch, eh, girl?’

 

Tom Kallis dropped from a branch up in the tree he had been hiding in. he brought down the iron butt of his pistol hard on the Dragoon’s head.

There was a loud crack as the Dragoon’s skull split open from the heavy blow, dropping him to the ground.

Tom Kallis knelt down and checked if he was still breathing. The Dragoon was dead, his eyes had rolled up into his head showing only the whites, which were starting to stain red from his shattered skull.

Tom took the reins of his horse and led her away through the woods.

‘That’s two down and two to go, girl.’ Tom whispered.

 

From out of the trees they thundered, the two remaining Dragoons almost knocked Tom off his feet as one of them leaned sideways in his saddle and swept his sabre at him.

Tom ducked and felt the blade cut off his ponytail and nick his left ear.

Blood dripped from the keen cut running down his neck.

 

Tom drew his rapier as one of the Dragoons lunged at him, his sabre blade gleamed in the moonlight.

Tom side stepped the lunge attack, parrying the blade, knocking it wide, and then lunged forward in a perfect riposte.

His needle thin blade punctured the Dragoon's side; the blade bent slightly and then sank into his torso puncturing a lung.

The Dragoon gasped as his lung collapsed, he gurgled as pink froth bubbled from his twisted mouth and he collapsed onto the wet ground holding his side and struggling to breathe.

 Tom Kallis reached for his stiletto blade at his belt, and rounded on the last remaining Dragoon.

Tom Kallis grinned as the Dragoon circled him cautiously, for he was an accomplished swordsman himself and he knew the limitations of the sabre against his more lightweight and graceful rapier.

The sabre was a heavy slashing weapons designed specifically for use on horseback, as a melee weapon it was still dangerous, but clumsy and tiresome to use with any exerted effort.

On the other hand, Tom’s rapier was built for speed, finesse and its deadly point could pierce and puncture vital organs with ease or take out an eye, blinding your opponent.

 

The Dragoon gritted his teeth and lunged forward, Tom blocked the attack with his stiletto blade and side stepped quickly.

The Dragoon grunted and spun around slashing out with his sabre.

Tom leaped back just in time.

The Dragoon laughed and licked his lips; he obviously thought the Highwayman was out of his depth fighting against his trained hand.

Tom Kallis let the Dragoon attack again and again, blocking and side stepping his lunges and sweeping moves, the Dragoon was starting to beathe heavily, he was getting tired.

Tom on the other hand, had exerted himself very little and was just biding his time.

And then the opening came, the Dragoon made for a flunge attack, leaping up and hoping to come down with a slashing blow.

Tom simply caught the downward slicing sabre with his stiletto and lunged underneath the Dragoon’s attack in a perfectly executed passata sotto manoeuvre. The rapier blade sunk into the Dragoon’s chest piercing his heart.

Tom lunged again driving his thin blade up to the hilt and then swung his other arm around, and slammed his stiletto blade under the Dragoon’s chin, driving it up through his skull into his brain with a sickening crunch.

The Dragoon’s legs buckled, Tom let the corpse fall to the ground.

Wiping the blood from his rapier on the dead soldier’s tunic he hopped back into the saddle and trotted off without a second glance behind him.

 

Tom finally found his way back to the main coachroad, York was twelve miles north. Tom pulled his cloak around him as the rain kept falling. He was just about to kick his mount into a gallop when he spotted the light from a coach lantern approaching down the road.

With a grin he pulled his red scarf over his face and headed toward it.

 

The Coach driver slammed on the brakes, bringing his coach to a shuddering halt, as the Highwayman in front of him reared up on his horse and drew a flintlock pistol from his belt and pointed it at him.

‘Hold there, Coachman, Stand and deliver, your money or your life?’ his voice boomed out.

 

From inside the coach, Tom Kallis heard a woman shriek in terror. A smile broke out across his face hidden by his red scarf as he shouted.

‘Come on out, and do as I say, and I won’t have to shoot you!’

The door swung open and a middle aged dandy with a curled grey wig and powdered face stepped out, followed by his female companion.

Tom’s brown eyes ran over her demure figure, she was a beauty, to be sure.

She looked at him; her large blue eyes sparkled with fear and excitement. She bit her bottom lip nervously, as the Highwayman's eyes roamed over her body appreciatively, coming to rest at her heaving bosom. Her cheeks flushed even darker than the rouge she already had on them.

Tom Kallis drew his rapier sword and pointed at her, ‘Now my dear lady, if you wouldn’t mind stripping off.’ he chirped and then began to laugh uproariously.

 

The End

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Celtic-Scribe63. All rights reserved.

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