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Alfred had ordered the army to assemble again. He did it partly so the men could see their own numbers and take heart from that, and he did it, too, because he knew his speech the previous night had left men confused and uninspired. He would try again. “I wish he wouldn’t,” Leofric grumbled. “He can make sermons, but he can’t make speeches.”

“Tomorrow!” he said suddenly. His voice was high, but it carried clearly enough. “Tomorrow we fight! Tomorrow! The Feast of Saint John the Apostle!”

“Oh God,” Leofric grumbled next to me, “up to our arseholes in more saints.”

~ The Pale Horseman (Bernard Cornwell)

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