“Alright, Hunt, you shall be relieving Tyler,” Ensign Biggleswade said. “Take off your breastplate and helmet and place them next to Tyler’s over there.”
The pikeman complied and then returned to stand before the officer.
“Now, let me see the bottom of your shoes,” Biggleswade instructed.
The soldier gave a puzzled look and then lifted his left foot to allow the officer to see the iron hobnails on the sole.
“Take them off and put them with your armour,” he was told.
Now standing in stockinged feet, Hunt waited for further order.
“Do you have a pipe?” the ensign asked.
“Yes Sir,” the pikeman replied.
“Go put it and your flints and any tappers into your shoes.”
“Pardon me, Sir. May I ask why I have had to strip so?”
“Simply put Hunt, you are going to go into those cloisters and guard five hundred barrels of gunpowder. We don’t want any accidents.”
“Thank you, Sir,” the soldier said.
“Thank you?” the ensign asked.
“For looking out for me, Sir.”
“Ah, protect you. That too, I suppose,” the officer mused aloud. “However, the king’s primary concern is not having to rebuild Oxford.”