Chapter 25 How Panurge, Carpalin, Eusthenes, and Epistemon, the gentleme_ttendants of Pantagruel, vanquished and discomfited six hundred an_hreescore horsemen very cunningly
As he was speaking this, they perceived six hundred and threescore ligh_orsemen, gallantly mounted, who made an outroad thither to see what ship i_as that was newly arrived in the harbour, and came in a full gallop to tak_hem if they had been able. Then said Pantagruel, My lads, retire yourselve_nto the ship; here are some of our enemies coming apace, but I will kill the_ere before you like beasts, although they were ten times so many; in th_eantime, withdraw yourselves, and take your sport at it. Then answere_anurge, No, sir; there is no reason that you should do so, but, on th_ontrary, retire you unto the ship, both you and the rest, for I alone wil_ere discomfit them; but we must not linger; come, set forward. Whereunto th_thers said, It is well advised, sir; withdraw yourself, and we will hel_anurge here, so shall you know what we are able to do. Then said Pantagruel,
Well, I am content; but, if that you be too weak, I will not fail to come t_our assistance. With this Panurge took two great cables of the ship and tie_hem to the kemstock or capstan which was on the deck towards the hatches, an_astened them in the ground, making a long circuit, the one further off, th_ther within that. Then said he to Epistemon, Go aboard the ship, and, when _ive you a call, turn about the capstan upon the orlop diligently, drawin_nto you the two cable-ropes; and said to Eusthenes and to Carpalin, M_ullies, stay you here, and offer yourselves freely to your enemies. Do a_hey bid you, and make as if you would yield unto them, but take heed you com_ot within the compass of the ropes—be sure to keep yourselves free of them.
And presently he went aboard the ship, and took a bundle of straw and a barre_f gunpowder, strewed it round about the compass of the cords, and stood b_ith a brand of fire or match lighted in his hand. Presently came the horseme_ith great fury, and the foremost ran almost home to the ship, and, by reaso_f the slipperiness of the bank, they fell, they and their horses, to th_umber of four and forty; which the rest seeing, came on, thinking tha_esistance had been made them at their arrival. But Panurge said unto them, M_asters, I believe that you have hurt yourselves; I pray you pardon us, for i_s not our fault, but the slipperiness of the sea-water that is alway_lowing; we submit ourselves to your good pleasure. So said likewise his tw_ther fellows, and Epistemon that was upon the deck. In the meantime Panurg_ithdrew himself, and seeing that they were all within the compass of th_ables, and that his two companions were retired, making room for all thos_orses which came in a crowd, thronging upon the neck of one another to se_he ship and such as were in it, cried out on a sudden to Epistemon, Draw,
draw! Then began Epistemon to wind about the capstan, by doing whereof the tw_ables so entangled and empestered the legs of the horses, that they were al_f them thrown down to the ground easily, together with their riders. Bu_hey, seeing that, drew their swords, and would have cut them; whereupo_anurge set fire to the train, and there burnt them up all like damned souls,
both men and horses, not one escaping save one alone, who being mounted on _leet Turkey courser, by mere speed in flight got himself out of the circle o_he ropes. But when Carpalin perceived him, he ran after him with suc_imbleness and celerity that he overtook him in less than a hundred paces;
then, leaping close behind him upon the crupper of his horse, clasped him i_is arms, and brought him back to the ship.
This exploit being ended, Pantagruel was very jovial, and wondrously commende_he industry of these gentlemen, whom he called his fellow-soldiers, and mad_hem refresh themselves and feed well and merrily upon the seashore, and drin_eartily with their bellies upon the ground, and their prisoner with them,
whom they admitted to that familiarity; only that the poor devil was somewha_fraid that Pantagruel would have eaten him up whole, which, considering th_ideness of his mouth and capacity of his throat was no great matter for hi_o have done; for he could have done it as easily as you would eat a smal_omfit, he showing no more in his throat than would a grain of millet-seed i_he mouth of an ass.