Author: David Sydney

“We’re running out of bronze.”
“What?” Mel Schwartz squinted at his partner in disbelief.
“Look at these greaves, Mel.”
“My God. What must his shins be like?”

What was true of the greaves applied to the javelin, spear, scimitar, and bronze mail as well.
“Are you fitting out a giant?” asked Mel.
“Exactly,” said Percy.

O’DOULE & SCHWARTZ ARMORERS was profiting in the Bronze Age. But with customers so large, they needed all the metal they could get. The upcoming contest would showcase their products. Percy took care of the materials and Mel the prices. They skimped on neither. As they advertised, O’DOULE & SCHWARTZ– NO ONE BEATS US.

“Are sure he can pay, Percy? How big is this Philistine?”
It was before feet and inches. 6 feet, 9 inches was a cubit and a span.
“What? A span, too?” Who could be that large? Mel calculated the profit on the bronze.
“I should have everything finished by tomorrow.”
“We don’t want to mess with a guy like that.”

The fight was three days off.
“Keep working on things, Percy. I’m going to see Sam.”
“The bookmaker?”
“I’ve got got some business.”

Sam Luckman, a small man with a wiry beard, sat at his usual place at the back of MOE’S TAVERN. He enjoyed two things–bookmaking and wine. The interest in the upcoming fight kept Sam in his cups. He glanced up at Mel.
“So, how’s the armor coming?”
“It’s a living,” replied Mel, taking a seat after the bookmaker nodded. “We could always use more bronze.”
“Tell me about it.”
Mel got to the point. “I think we have everything covered no matter what happens. So what’s this kid like?”

The beard seemed to smile. MOE’S lacked decent candle power. Its oil lamp illumination was even poorer. A kind of soot settled uniformly. Sam cleared the surface of his wine of dark gray particles, then sucked his finger.
“He’s like this wine.”
“Not so good?”
“Let’s say kind of weak,” offered the bookmaker.

Mel motioned to Moe for two more wines.
“This one’s on me,” he said to Sam.
A successful bookmaker is impassive. When he’s covered by grey soot, he’s even tougher to read.
“I don’t suppose there’s any crack in the armor?”
“Why do you ask?”
“It might change the odds a little.”
“Look, we’re dealing with the Philistines here. As long as he’s got the bronze, Percy’s going to make Goliath invulnerable.”

That’s all Sam Luckman wanted to hear. He passed a small bag of coins to the armorer. It was always prudent to make sure all eventualities were covered. Impervious bronze against… What was it again? Had Sam drunk a little too much? Provided that Goliath was a sure thing, did it matter how much he drank? It came to him.
“They say he uses a sling.”
“A sling and some rocks.”
“Rocks? Give me a break.” Mel pushed the bag of coins back to the bookmaker. “I’ll put all this on Goliath.”