Just what I needed when one of my characters, a muscular priest by the name of Don Antonio, visits the camp of the condottiere Carlo Malatesta. I particularly liked the grey-bearded man in the centre of the picture, who appears as Don Antonio rides through Malatesta’s camp: “Don Antonio was struck at first by the noise: the pounding of the hammers of the armourers, the clash of steel as men-at-arms practised their sword-fighting, the barked commands of sergeants and the dull, thunderous thuds of horses’ hooves as mounted lancers rehearsed their manoeuvres.
"The sights were impressive, too: a dozen knights, some in full armour were tilting at a quintain, laughing at the efforts of their comrades. One fine older man, grey-bearded and wearing a wide-brimmed brown leather hat with a splay of white feathers on its crown, was cantering around on a chestnut horse, waving his long spear. I am not sure whether I would be more frightened being on his side than opposing him, thought Don Antonio.
"There were foot soldiers, too, some wearing cuirasses, others simply in skirted tunics and hose of a variety of colours, a stunning mauve, maroon and mustard among them. They fought each other with short swords and varying degrees of enthusiasm, fending off the blows with rounded shields."
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