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Tristram meets with other travelers on the road: drum-makers, Franciscans, and fig-sellers. Our hero is planning on writing up these stories and others in a whole book of "Plain Stories," because he's industrious like that. He's got lots of them, because he stops to talk to everyone he sees.
One incident particularly gets him going.
Some peasants were celebrating the end of the day with a dance and a game that involves piercing a ring with a lance. The mule stops dead in its tracks, so Tristram decides to stay and watch. A young woman runs up to him and asks him to participate—and she's got a big slit in her petticoat. Get it, Tristram.
They dance, and Tristram has a great time. No doubt about it, he's got game. Tristram takes a moment to remember the incident fondly.
But he's determined to stop digressing and tell the story of Toby's courtship.