“How,” said the king from his seat in Coria, “in this place where sit all the brave heroes of the Brigantes, shall we divide the meat, except according to brave deeds?”
At that Ballorix, who was favored of the king, stepped forward and began to make flourishes above the boar with his knife.
“It is intolerable,” said a tall warrior, “that Ballorix should divide the boar before our faces.”
“And who is this who challenges me?” asked Ballorix.
“He is a better hero than you,” said everyone. “He is Cu, son of Calyacos the One-Eyed.”
“Know you why your father has only one eye?” asked Ballorix. “I will tell you. I once went westward, and there I stole a herd of cattle from Calyacos. He cast a spear at me so that it stuck in my shield, and I cast it back at him, piercing his head, and that is why he has one eye. How could his son give me combat?”
Thereupon the other sat down.
“Further contest!” said Ballorix. “Or else let me divide the boar.”
"That you shall have. What do you think of this,” said Lussurix Glastos, “my having stolen a wolf cub from its mother?”
“Stop a bit, Lussurix!” said Ballorix. “Lest we come to blows already. Did I not fight the Great Boar of Lugovalos with my bare hands, wrestling it for three days and three nights before I struck its brains out with a rock? What is a wolf next to that?"
Thereupon the other sat down.
"Prepare now, men of the Brigantes, for further contest," said Ballorix.
"You will not divide it yet," said Vindex, son of Colignos. "Is not my wife Medya known as the greatest pisser in all of Britain? When she made water, did not it make three great rivers, such that each could carry a boat?"
“It is so,” said Ballorix, “yet when your wife was not satisfied with you, was it not me that she sought out to go with her? All the women of my village swoon for my mighty cock--and all the boys as well!” And in this manner did he best the entire tribe.
Then came in Esca, son of Cunovalos, slain chief of the Brigantes, and with him the Roman Marcus Aquila, who served as his shieldbearer. The men of the Brigantes gave them a great welcome. “Hail, Esca, son of Cunovalos,” they said.
“I see my portion is in readiness,” said Esca, who had heard Ballorix’s boast. “But who is he who divides it?”
“That is Ballorix,” said the warriors. “To him has the portion been granted.”
“Is it right that it should be so?” asked Esca. “See you how this Roman, a warrior, bears an arm-ring from his chief, and yet my mighty cock has conquered him! Truly, my cock is greater than yours.”
Then upon the feast-hall descended a silence like that of the halls of the dead, while Ballorix spoke not a word.
He left the boar then and sat down, and Esca went to it. “Will any contest me now?” he said, holding his knife to the meat, but none would speak.
Marcus then spoke, in the Roman tongue, for he had not comprehended what passed. “Esca,” he said, “what words did you speak just now?”
“I will tell you later,” lied Esca. Esca then divided the pig, and gave the greatest portion to himself and to the Roman. Moreover, he did not give to the men of the Brigantes more than the forequarters. Thinking their portion small, the Brigantes warriors sprang up and came to blows there with Esca and Marcus. They laid about them for a time, warriors falling before their swords, but at last were overcome, whereupon they fled southwards from Coria, past Vindomora, past the Place of the Ship-Fighters, past the Way of Vines, past the Place of Battle Ramparts, past the seat of the Brigantes, and did not rest until they reached Eburacon, where the Romans had built a great town.
There at last they stopped, and then spoke Marcus: “Truly, that is the last time you will convince me to visit your family.”