[The horse came back alone]The horse came back alone, armor scuffed, leafy twigs stuck in the stirrups, and heavy lance missing. Danny took a moment to look it over for evidence, while little Billy ran to fetch the gear that waited in the 50th Patrol's tack room, but he didn't find anything he couldn't have already guessed.
The lance brace had been torn away, probably when the heavy warhorse became tangled in a thicket and then broke out by brute strength. It was hard to tell with the less than polished state, but it didn't look like there was any blood or weapon marks. They'd probably taken Steve when he dismounted to greet the opposing champion, or escort Lady Kayne to where she would watch, or whatever other stupid assed pre-joust ritual he'd blindly engaged in. Dropped a weighted net over him and then just beaten him down until they could stick a bodkin through the eyeslit in his helmet, and...
No. He stopped that thought cold and forced himself not to panic. If they had killed him outright, his head and a ransom request for Jenna would have made it back to the Castle before Silverado could have limped his way home. He'd known something was wrong even before Kono had learned from her contacts at the inns that Jenna had actually been hiding in the Capitol the whole time she claimed to have been searching for her lost betrothed. Everything was ready for a rescue mission to leave just as soon as the Regent was convinced that they weren't going to interfere in a chivalrous challenge.
"And if you can't convince him, big guy," he told the tired steed, "I'm going to go get your brainless owner myself and teach him to go all 'Camelot' without backup."