Mac stepped forward. ‘Leave him alone,’ he said loudly and firmly.
The lout pushed Gilly to the floor and turned to Mac.
‘You want some too, do you?’ he snarled.
‘What I actually want is for you to leave him alone,’ continued Mac. ‘There is absolutely no need for such malevolence!’
Gilly lay cowering on the floor.
‘Please don’t, Mac,’ he croaked but it was too late.
‘No need for absolutely such what?’ spat the lout. ‘Your fancy words won’t help you now.’ He grabbed Mac by his collar. The lout’s breath reeked of cheap ale and anger. Mac stood as tall as he still could.
‘I am simply asking you to leave the poor man alone,’ he repeated defiantly. The lout seemed momentarily stunned by the fact that Mac wasn’t cringing and cowering.