Wednesday 8 November 2023

Meet Bob


Battle of Agincourt as Portrayed in Bister

Summer is but a month away in the southern hemisphere unless you are a Flat Earther. Frankly, I'm not really sure what these folk believe as they do seem to have diverse independent theories and opinions on the subject. There is a lady hereabouts in Nuzzieland, not far from the ice wall, who has the strident belief that humans are capable of photosynthesis- I blame the edumication system! Anyway, I'm straying away from the topic at hand.

Every year in my part of the world, at the height of summer, there is held a fayre of mind-boggling proportions. The town where it is held becomes swamped by numerous stores, various. Folk from all over this fair land flock to the town to set up stalls and sell their wares. Up to 500 stalls grace the land, selling food, crafts, clothes, and a host of sundry items. Up to 25,000 people gather to attend and spend. My son and I come along and set up our goods for review and sale. Together, we run a small internet-driven company selling traditional bows and assorted archery-themed accessories, and this is the only annual event we attend to showcase our goods. This year, we are adding an item that is not for sale. Its presence is there to attract attention and comment. In this way, we can engage potential customers and regale them with historical nick-nacks concerning archery and war. Thus, titillating their innate curiosity and thirst for knowledge. And who knows, we may increase sales in this very difficult commercial environment.

Let me introduce: Bob 

As you can see, he is not well, and it might have something to do with the iron arrowhead sticking out of his cranium. Of course, this is not a real skeletal bonce. Tis amazing what you can buy on the internet these days. This skull has been cunningly crafted from resin, probably using a 3D printer. Actually, I'm impressed with the anatomical accuracy. It just requires a modicum of applied patina to represent and accentuate the fiction I would like to portray. The skull will have pride of place in the centre of the stall, and next to the artefact, there will be a piece of A4 paper describing the item's provenance according to my bewildering and, at times, bizarre imagination. Here goes.......

Behold Bob, and Weep!

Bob, or more likely, Robeirre, was a French combatant at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, on St Crispin's Day. On this day, a seminal battle was fought between the English and French, a critical battle in the ongoing 100-year war between these nations. 

At the battle of Agincourt, the flower of the French nobility, displayed in armoured array, was cut to pieces by the unrelenting and accurate archery devastatingly delivered by the English and Welsh longbowmen.

Bob was likely part of the 'men at arms' that comprised the majority of the French host of 20,000 men.

 As an aside, the French armour available to the knights of this period was a majestic feat of engineering. Due to previous escapades involving the English longbowmen, the armour had evolved. Steel plates were face-hardened and cunningly fashioned to deflect arrows. The 'Great Helm' of earlier times had been transformed into the popular depiction of the 'Knight's Helm'. An elongated visor articulated with a sloped conical 'bowl' gave maximal protection, although it did come with the hindrance of restricted vision and hearing. Many a French eschewed the protection it afforded by raising the visor to the delight of the English bowmen. 

Clearly, Bob was not of the knightly class. If he had been so, his well-crafted helm would have been more than adequate to deflect the missile that ended his life. More likely, he would have sported an iron sale that would have provided scant protection from a plummeting English arrow as graphically portrayed here. Perhaps the arrow was not fatal in itself, as it barely pierced his skull. Indeed, it is likely that the wound merely induced an insensible state, and poor Bob was rendered helpless to the follow-up coup de grace delivered by axe, sword, halberd or mace (perhaps all four at once- we will never know).       

Bob's skull was unearthed during an archaeological dig at the site of the battle conducted and presided over by Prof. Horatio Van der Pump in the mid-1970s. All that remained of Bob's skeletal form was has his skull and, of course, the head of the offending arrow.

Our business, Saxon Archery, purchased 'Bob' in an auction of artefacts conducted last year. We received the skull in its present state. It is to be noted that the skull has been patiently/patently cleaned of attached detritus, and the insults of the ages have been removed with due care, leaving behind a delicate and subtle patina with sepia hues.

It is to be noted that the small size of the skull indicates that the owner was rather young in age and no more than 18 years old.

I think that will do, otherwise, passing folk will determine that my composition is too much to read and will swiftly browse elsewhere. Have any of my imaginative readers any additional suggestions to render my ploy more effective in reeling in potential customers/suckers?     


  1. Nice teeth.
    Ses deniers mots - "Sacre bleu. Eau Merde."

    1. His last words: " water shit"? Or perhaps: "forgot to pack the aspirin" / "J’ai oubli√© d’emballer l’aspirine"

  2. puzzling enough, why some comrade or field shearer of this battle has put the arrow back into the wound, after having removed poor Bob´s helmet (therefore they first had to pull out the arrow, right?) Perhaps he himself insisted on that as a conspicious sign of his bravery (like these weird german students on their facial scars from their crazed sword fights)

    1. Tis an enigma to me also. I blame da gubament.

  3. Hi Flaxon,
    1.: your blog is really fine, worth to be folllowed (what I do with great pleasure) and pretty unique.
    2.: your blog, my books... are weird. we cannot expect them blockbusting. do it, to please your own - in a solipsistic way - you have any reason to enjoy it very.
    3.: therefore it´s pretty logical, that it´s hard to find people apprechiating stuff like that - but not impossible. (ever ventilated you link on social medias...? comic- , fantasy- , sci-fi conventions? other more or less redpilled circles?)
    4. call Steve from the Indian customer-service

  4. As you say, my stuff is rather niche for mass/crass distribution. I do not vent on social media. I am like an outlet, covered- ventless. I write to keep myself from going mad. Perhaps I should write more?