He entered the strength contest and won a trophy, a small purse of gold coins and was ceremonially draped with the ‘Hercules’ tiger skin.
By way of return he celebrated through several public houses and taverns with more than a few ales in each one.
As he was about to finish his victory celebrations at The Boar’s Head, he drunkenly stumbled on the stairs and passed out.
Hearing the commotion outside, several women from inside the tavern helped drag him to his bed above the smithy, working their therapeutic magic in an attempt to prevent his expiration from alcohol poisoning.
In vague snatches of memory – or dreams? – he seemed to recall Karissa, the tavern mistress, warming his body while the former baker, Desire, shone lights on him and Ercila, the gypsy urchin, danced around him, jabbering.
By noon the next day, the clang of Will’s truculent hammering on the anvil pierced his skull enough to wake him. He threw off his coverings and descended the stairs with a stream of abuse hurled at the apprentice.
The effort of the motion and shouting left him wobbling at the knees so he sat on the curb with his back against the cool wooden door hoping the throbbing in his head would subside.
That’s when he realized the warden, Karissa and baylee were watching him from the town well and tittering at his near nudity. He felt strangely self-conscious as the crowd gathered around him checking on his well-being and inquiring about his trophy, which he still grasped tightly in his hand.
Satisfied he hadn’t gone mad, they let him return to his room where he spent the rest of the day recovering from his hangover and polishing his trophy.