Chapter 1X

Double-J shouldered his way to the front of the group. “Finally,” he said with mocking excitement, looking at Butch, “someone shorter than me!” A collective laugh erupted from the team. “Interested in sabre, my friend?” Double-J continued, his sword arm extended. “Fencers of our stature have an advantage in sabre.”

Butch raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth slowly. The Coach raised a hand in Double-J’s direction. “Let’s stick with foil at the start,” he said, then turned to Butch. “You need to learn the basics first — footwork, point control, right of way rules, that sort of thing. Just show up at our next practice — Tuesday at 4?” Butch nodded.

The Coach grinned broadly, and stepped toward Butch, extending a hand and saying his name. “You just call me Coach. Show respect for the sport, and your teammates, and you’ll always have my support. Welcome to the team.”

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