Meanwhile, Cnut has gotten himself a letter from Edricus. (For our younger readers, that’s what we older folks used to take paper and pen and actually write our emails on, and then give them to the Post Office to hand-deliver. Everybody hated it.)
Edricus says Ironside has gone for the scam hook line and sinker, they’re comin’ with Edricus out in front, and he’ll change sides back to Cnut at the big moment. Cnut promises a knighthood to whoever captures Ironside. As a couple of anonymous soldiers are boasting of all they’re gonna do, Southampton gives us a pithy aphorism – “Tell not your chickens, sirs, ere they be hatched.” (Is this the first-ever use in print of that one?) But Cnut doesn’t hear, so he stuffs the letter back in his pocket, serenely confident as Ironside approaches.
And whips Cnut one-on-one again.