Story notes for "A Man Or No" by Resonant

Posted July 20, 2009

Written for the 2009 Cliche Bingo in the category "Fairy Tales and Folklore."

The folklore in question is the ballad, "Sovay, or The Female Highwayman":

Sovay, Sovay, all on a day,
She dressed herself in man's array.
With sword and pistol all by her side,
To meet her true love,
To meet her true love away did ride.

As she was riding over the plain,
She met her true love and bid him stand.
"Your gold and silver, kind sir," she said,
"Or else this moment,
Or else this moment your life I'll have."

When she had robbed him of his store,
She said, "Kind sir, there is one thing more:
A golden ring which I know you have.
Deliver it,
Deliver it your sweet life to save."

"That golden ring a token is.
My life I'll lose, the ring I'll save."
Being tender-hearted just like a dove,
She rode away,
She rode away from her true love.

Next morning in the garden green,
Just like true lovers they were seen.
He spied his watch hanging from her clothes,
Which made him blush,
Which made him blush like any rose.

"What makes you blush at so silly a thing?
I thought to have had your golden ring.
It was I who robbed you all on the plain,
So here's your gold,
So here's your gold and your watch again.

"All I intended was for to know
If you would be a man or no.
But if you had giv'n me that ring," she said,
"I'd have pulled the trigger,
I'd have pulled the trigger and shot you dead."

It was the blush that inspired the story.

Thanks to Cesca for beta!

Read A Man Or No

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