Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here! Join me as I spin a tale…
The Ongoing Tale at Brother’s Campfire Volume 2, Chapter 12 Walter Berengar
Northwich Church was crowded into the vestibule and because I was late, the doorkeepers prevented my entrance.
Respectfully, I asked if they could inform the Preacher Man that I was there and hoped for the best, and then, placing my ear against the walls, I listened.
Pastor John Eli introduced his students and they were to speak about what they learned at the seminar and the thirty-day Wilderness journey.
He informed the church that the “wilderness” was any place away from distractions where one could be alone with God.
Several young men spoke, but because I knew so few of them, two of my peers stood out.
Orson Berengar was eloquent and captivating. He spoke of confining himself in his quarters at Berengar Keep and eating bread and water.
His knowledge of the ancient texts was only rivaled by his knowledge of rose bushes which drew a comparison of God unfolding a rose and trusting God.
Harper had set aside his time to write songs for the church. He pulled out his instruments and played several tear-jerking songs then sang a capella.
Pastor John Eli was much impressed it would seem and was like to compel the congregation to the altar.
After a bit of praying, he asked the ushers to let Walter Berengar inside. With efficiency, the ushers led me up to the front and John Eli smiled.
“Walter Berengar has been a member of our congregation since he was a small boy. He attends our daughter-work in the town of Jeptha. The best decision his parents made was to bring Walter to church.”
“Come, Jeptha, and speak what is on your heart.”
Unexpectedly, the congregation stared at me in horror.
I ascertained that if I took a hard look at myself, I would have as well.
I was unbathed, unshaved, barefoot, fresh out of the Wilderness, and saddle sore from
The unplanned horseback ride to Northwich.
I wanted to leave in the worst way, but I felt a heaviness that compelled me to open my mouth.
Laying my parchment notes on the desk, I began.
“Thank you, Pastor John Eli, it’s an honor and privilege to be here and greet the Northwich Congregation.”
“Orson, Harper, it’s a pleasure to see you and to you and the others, thank you for speaking to my heart.”
“To the congregation, my apologies for my appearance; I completed my journey and this is my fortieth day from proper grooming.”
Greetings out of the way, I began.
“If you would all stand for ancient text reading, I will be brief.”
Λᚾ ᛞ ⩕ᛟ ᛋ ᛖ ᛋ ψᛖ ᚾ ᛏ ᛁ ᚾ ᛏ ᛟ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᛗ ᛁ ᛞ ᛋ ᛏ ᛟ ᚠ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᚲᛚ ᛟ ᚢ ᛞ , ᚨ ᚾ ᛞ θ ᚨ ᛏ ᚺ ᛁ ᛗ ᚢ ᛈ ᛁ ᚾ ᛏ ᛟ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᛗ ᛟ ᚢ ᚾ ᛏ : ᚨ ᚾ ᛞ ⩕ᛟ ᛋ ᛖ ᛋ ψᚨ ᛋ ᛁ ᚾ ᛏ ᚺ ᛖ ᛗ ᛟ ᚢ ᚾ ᛏ ᚠ ᛟ ᚱ ᛏ ᛃ ᛞ ᚨ ᛃ ᛋ ᚨ ᚾ ᛞ ᚠ ᛟ ᚱ ᛏ ᛃ ᚾ ᛁ θ ᚺ ᛏ ᛋ.
“Pastor John Eli, admittedly, I didn’t know that the wilderness was a place set apart to God, so with permission from my family, I traveled Northeast of Jeptha and went to places uninhabited to try and emulate the man, for God spoke to him face to face.”
“Well, it wasn’t but a few days, pastor, and I found myself face to face with a pequin. “
“To the congregation, a pequin is a leathery, red-haired critter, bigger than a man and hot to the touch. They have a way of staring at you that makes you mighty afraid and they seem to enjoy it. “
“I heard that once an animal or man is afraid enough, a victim will stand there and just get eaten, literally paralyzed in fear.”
“Not one to wait around and find out, I let out a yell and laid into it with my walking stick, swinging every which way for distance and looking for a decent opportunity to jab it in the throat or nose for a pequin is nothing to trifle with.”
“It was up close and personal after that. That critter closed in fast and I wrassled that pequin for what seemed like hours. The skin burned my hands and everything else it touched and I thought I was like to die it hurt so bad.”
“When I finally got a hand on my knife, I stabbed that pequin so many times I thought I could see right through him. I was sure he was dead.”
“While laying there trying to catch my breath, It got up and ran, my knife hilt deep between his ribs.”
“Now, that knife was kind of special to me.”
The appraisers in Northwich told me it was Vijayapuran pattern welded and well constructed, and the hardest portion of the iron was expertly worked to the cutting edge. More than once, some traveling merchant has tried to fanangle that blade away thinking they could make a few coins at my expense.”
“How did a Backwoods Berengar get such a thing you ask?”
“Would you believe, some doctor who doesn’t believe in miracles threw that knife away? “
“According to this doctor, the blade had been passed down for a few generations.
He said it once belonged to a pirate surgeon and before that some sort of legendary soldier in shining white armor who died standing up. “
“Calling these stories wives tales, he threw that knife deep into the forest and It was only through seeking diligently that I found it.”
“All that is well and good, but the blade is gone. Pequin don’t leave a lot of sign or bleed much to leave a trail so I lost it.
“Anyways, as with any wild animal, claws, and teeth are filthy implements, and doing my best, I washed in a stream to clean my wounds. “
“The fever that came left me a bit disoriented, and the details escape me. In times of awareness, I prayed and took notes on my parchment.
“Somehow I got out of the wilderness in one piece, quite a bit worse for the wear.”
“As you see, my suspenders are the only thing holding my pants to my half-starved frame.”
“Initially, full of spit and vinegar, I thought I had a preacher to sort things out with for sending me to the wilderness.”
“That thought subsided, and I remembered the pequin and the lost dagger. While perhaps a fine blade, I didn’t kill that pequin, at least right away.”
“Now, I don’t know what you all are wrestling with today, but you are going to need more than a dagger to fight your battles.”
“You need a sword to take down the pequin in your life.”
Reaching into the pulpit or desk, I lifted the copy of the ancient texts translated by King James Rainport from so long ago.
“This sword is crafted by the hand of God with an unyielding edge. This is our weapon against the enemy. This is not to be thrown away, and this is not a culmination of old wives’ tales.”
“This is the sword of the Lord.”
Well, I had lots more things to say, and folks were standing up and clapping, hooping, and hollering, but that got cut short real quick.
Four of the largest men you ever did see walked in, decked top to bottom with heavy armor, displaying the king’s banner on their tabards.
Disregarding man, woman, or child, they started violently pushing and shoving their way to the front where I was.
What started as clapping, hooping, and hollering, became a lot of screaming and folks looking for an exit.
Well, one of them took me by the back of the neck and threw me headlong from the elevated platform and onto the floor.
Half-starved from prayer and fasting, there was no resisting, and I felt a heavy boot crushing my neck.
Dazed, and strugling to breath, all I heard was,
“In the name of King Rainport, you’re under arrest for stealing a royal warhorse.”