Living Wand or Lance and Tospit
This is the relevant reference from the Books where the Living Wand or Lance and Tospit is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Albrecht pointed his lance at me. "You are challenged," he said. "Lance and tospit."
"We have finished with that," I said.
"The living wand!" shouted Albrecht.
Kamchak sucked in his breath.
Several in the crowd shouted out, "The living wand!"
I looked at Kamchak. I saw in his eyes that the challenge must be accepted. In this matter I must be Tuchuk.
Save for armed combat, lance and tospit with the living wand is the most dangerous of the sports of the Wagon Peoples.
In this sport, as might be expected, one's own slave must stand for one. It is essentially the same sport as lancing the tospit from the wand, save that the fruit is held in the mouth of a girl, who is slain should she move or in any way withdraw from the lance.
Needless to say many a slave girl has been injured in this cruel sport.
"I do not want to stand for him!" cried out Elizabeth Cardwell.
"Stand for him, Slave," snarled Kamchak.
Elizabeth Cardwell took her position, standing sideways, the tospit held delicately between her teeth.
For some reason she did not seem afraid but rather, to my mind, incomprehensibly infuriated. She should have been shuddering with terror. Instead she seemed indignant.
But she stood like a rock and when I thundered past her the tip of my lance had been thrust through the tospit.
The girl who had bitten the neck of the kaiila, and whose leg had been torn by its teeth, stood for Albrecht.
With almost scornful ease he raced past her lifting the tospit from her mouth with the tip of his lance.
"Three points for each," announced the judge.
"We are finished," I said to Albrecht. "It is a tie. There is no winner."
He held his saddle on his rearing kaiila. "There will be a winner!" he cried. "Facing the lance!"
"I will not ride," I said.
"I claim victory and the woman!" shouted Albrecht.
"It will be his," said the judge, "if you do not ride."
I would ride.
Elizabeth, unmoving, faced me, some fifty yards away. This is the most difficult of the lance sports. The thrust must be made with exquisite lightness, the lance loose in the hand, the hand not in the retaining thong, but allowing the lance to slip back, then when clear, moving it to the left and, hopefully, past the living wand. If well done, this is a delicate and beautiful stroke. If clumsily done the girl will be scarred, or perhaps slain.
Elizabeth stood facing me, not frightened, but seemingly rather put upon. Her fists were even clenched.
I hoped that she would not be injured. When she had stood sideways I had favored the left, so that if the stroke was in error, the lance would miss the tospit altogether; but now, as she faced me, the stroke must be made for the center of the fruit; nothing else would do.
The gait of the kaiila was swift and even.
A cry went up from the crowd as I passed Elizabeth, the tospit on the point of the lance.
Warriors were pounding on the lacquered shields with their lances. Men shouted. I heard the thrilled cries of slave girls.
I turned to see Elizabeth waver, and almost faint, but she did not do so.
Albrecht the Kassar, angry, lowered his lance and set out for his girl.
In an instant he had passed her, the tospit riding the lance tip.
The girl was standing perfectly still, smiling.
The crowd cheered as well for Albrecht.
Then they were quiet, for the judge was rushing to the lance of Albrecht, demanding it.
Albrecht the Kassar, puzzled, surrendered the weapon.
"There is blood on the weapon," said the judge.
"She was not touched," cried Albrecht.
"I was not touched!" cried the girl.
The judge showed the point of the lance. There was a tiny stain of blood at its tip, and too there was a smear of blood on the skin of the small yellowish-white fruit.
"Open your mouth, slave," demanded the judge.
The girl shook her head.
"Do it," said Albrecht.
She did so and the judge, holding her teeth apart roughly with his hands, peered within. There was blood in her mouth. The girl had been swallowing it, rather than show she had been struck.
It seemed to me she was a brave, fine girl.
It was with a kind of shock that I suddenly realized that she, and Dina of Turia, now belonged to Kamchak and myself.