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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

This primitive weapon


The vibrant metal ceased to hum; and, as if reassured by this interruption, he drew out of his pocket a large stone – a flint such as his remote ancestors would have coveted – roughly dumb-bell in shape, and now waisted with a thick and knotted length of old blindcord. This primitive weapon, long treasured for any emergency, he gently deposited on the shelf behind him, and then followed it into the pew.
Walter de la Mare – The Trumpet (1942)

The owner of this primitive weapon is a boy so the weapon ought to be familiar. Easy enough to picture from its description, but how it was used I’m not so sure.

As a boy I made many things but a rock on a cord wasn't one of them. Was the cord used to swing the stone around like a kind of crude flail with no handle?

6 comments:

Demetrius said...

Currently ploughing through a book on Roman warfare, grim. But it deals with the weaponry and devices. This kind of weapon, with variations would have been a common item in certain forms of action.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - cheap too I suppose, but I can't see it doing well against shield and sword.

Sam Vega said...

I once knew a bloke from Dagenham who claimed that it was sheer folly to go anywhere in his neighbourhood without being armed. But the police often searched young men and took a dim view of obvious weapons. His solution? Always carry a canvas shopping bag with a full jar of jam in it.

Michael said...

I think you swung it around the neck of your assailant/opponent, then gave a big tug!

Result - a large bruise on the neck, followed by breakage...

Demetrius said...

Imagine around ten thousand of them being thrown at you. A bit of disruption goes a long way in the battle lines of old.

A K Haart said...

Sam - sound like a good idea. A tin of treacle would be good too.

Michael - the thuggees did something similar.

Demetrius - yes, they would travel a long way if expertly thrown.