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Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
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The Urth of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
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John Flanagan
“Sirrah, my companion chooses to engage you in knightly combat!" Halt said. The horseman stiffened, sitting upright in his saddle. Halt noticed that he nearly lost his balance at this unexpected piece of news.
Nightly cermbat?" he replied, "Yewer cermpenion ers no knight!"
Halt nodded hugely, making sure the man could see the gesture.
Oh yes he is!" he called back. "He is Sir Horace of the Order of the Feuille du Chene." He paused and muttered to himself, "Or should that have been Crepe du Chene? Never mind."
What did you tell him?" Horace asked, slinging his buckler around from where it hung at his back and setting it on his left arm.
I said you were Sir Horace of the Order of the Oakleaf." Halt said to him, then added uncertainly, "At least, I think that's what I told him. I may have said you were of the Order of the Oak Pancake.”
John Flanagan

John Flanagan
“Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer.
The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away.
Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control.
What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation.
That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?”
Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper.
What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled.
Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?”
Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.”
Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him.
What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?”
Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.”
Horace frowned. “I was?”
Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.”
I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?”
For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak.
That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.”
I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded.
Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?”
Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?”
John Flanagan, The Battle for Skandia

John Flanagan
“That taught us how to block a sword with two knives. But what if an ax man's coming at me?"
Gilan looked suspicious. "An ax man? I don't recommend trying to block an ax with two knives."
But Will wouldn't take no for an answer. "But what if he's charging at me?" Horace walked over.
Gilan looked away. "Uh...shoot him."
Horace intervened. "Can't, his bowstring's broken."
Gilan gritted his teeth. "Run and hide."
Will kept on him. "There's a sheer cliff behind me."
Horace caught on. "There's a sheer cliff behind him, and his bowstring's broken. What should he do?"
Gilan thought for a moment. "Jump off the cliff, it'll be less messy that way.”
John Flanagan, The Burning Bridge

John Flanagan
“Don't worry, chief. We've got these Tualaghi surrounded - from the inside."
"Exactly," Erak replied dryly.

John Flanagan

John Flanagan
“Any sign of them yet? he asked. Will looked at him. 'Yes', he said. 'A party of fifty Scotti came though just twenty minutes ago'.
Really? Horace looked startled. He wasn't fully awake yet. Will rolled his eyes to heaven. 'Oh, my word, yes', he said. 'They were riding on oxen and playing bagpipes and drums. Of course not,' he went on. 'If they had come past, I would have woken you-if only to stop your snoring'.
I don't snore', Horace said, with dignity. Will raised his eyebrows. 'Is that so?' he said. 'Then in that case, you'd better chase out that colony of walruses who are in the tent with you...of course you snore.”
John Flanagan, The Siege of Macindaw

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