"Nay," said Myles, gruffly. "I had thought that ye would all lend me a hand in a pitched battle but now I see that ye ha' no stomach for that. Ne'theless, I tell ye plainly I will not submit longer to the bachelors. So now I will ask ye not to take any venture upon yourselves, but only this: that ye will stand by me when I do my fighting, and not let five or seven of them fall upon me at once.
"There is Walter Blunt; he is parlous strong, said one of the others, after a time of silence. "Methinks he could conquer any two of us."
"Nay," said Myles; "ye do fear him too greatly. I tell ye I fear not to stand up to try battle with him and will do so, too, if the need arise. Only say ye that ye will stand by my back."
"Marry," said Gascoyne, quaintly, "an thou wilt dare take the heavy end upon thee, I for one am willing to stand by and see that thou have thy fill of fighting."
"I too will stand thee by, Myles," said Edmund Wilkes.
"And I, and I, and I," said others, chiming in.
Those who would still have held back were carried along by the stream, and so it was settled that if the need should arise for Myles to do a bit of fighting, the others should stand by to see that he had fair play.
"When thinkest thou that thou wilt take thy stand against them, Myles?" asked Wilkes.
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