Exclusive excerpt In the small part of his brain that was not focused on survival, he was aware of an irony here; for in his other life, the life he preferred, the life of the playhouse, one of his tasks had been to arrange the fights that occurred in most plays. And so, like players upon a stage, he set about organizing his enemies’ moves. There were more of them crowding the top of the stair and, in good conscience, two were as many as he could handle, so he was determined to hold the combat near the door and prevent entrance. As always, he watched their weapons. For all the firmness of their guard, he could see the men’s hesitancy—and that was not just because of the constant shiftings of their feet, a trait of your Spanish swordsman, forever dancing as they fought. Perhaps the sight of their. . .