Sunday, 11 June 2017

Riders' Reflexes

I should have mentioned in the previous post that Rudi has recently recovered and recuperated from serious injuries and is still having to learn to fight with his left hand. In the single combats so far, his side, the Sioux, have lost five men and their opponents seven. Survival is far from certain.

Of Rudi's own opponent, we learn that:

"...even three-quarters unconscious, his superb horseman's reflexes kept him in the saddle." (p. 398) (See here.)

That reminded me of something. When Manse Everard stunned an opponent:

"Somehow he didn't fall from the saddle. He sprawled along the neck of his horse, which whinnied and skittered aside. Were the rider's reflexes so good as to keep him there, even unconscious?"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), Part Six, 1137 A.D., p. 346.

I think that most of us would fall off a horse like we'd fall off a log but these guys live on horseback so their reflexes keep them there and, since the time here is now 01:13, I am unlikely to read the outcome of this single combat until after a few hours sleep. I expect Rudi to survive.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Of course WE would fall off our horses like sacks of sand in similar circumstances. Neither of us would have been both young AND raised since toddler hood in riding horses.

The example I thought of was Don Luis Castelar, when the Time Patrol nearly captured him at Wanda Tamberly's apartment in "The Year Of The Ransom." A combination of youth, strength, drilled in reflexes, and quick wits enabled Don Luis to escape with the time cycle he had captured despite being half stunned.