Ronald the Lionhearted and Mikhail the Magnificent met on the top of the mountain in a heavily guarded white tent.

"I am here," said Mikhail, "to turn my medium-sized swords into medium-sized plowshares."

Ronald the Lionhearted said, "We are willing to turn our medium-sized swords into plowshares also. But how do we know you won't cheat on us?"

"Cheating is foreign to us," Mikhail assured Ronald.

"I cannot take your word for it, because every time we agree to turn our swords into plowshares you turn your plowshares into long-range offensive weapons."

Mikhail the Magnificent said, "And what about your multiheaded spears that can be hurled over the walls of our forts?"

"The spears are defensive weapons, and once we perfect them we will share them with you," Ronald replied.

"I am not a fool," Mikhail declared. "You can have peace or spears, but you can't have both."

Ronald said, "Which brings me to another subject. If we turn our medium swords into plowshares, we insist that you reduce your conventional cavalry by half."

Mikhail replied, "Everything can be put on the table, but we will not give up the cavalry until we are certain your plowshares are not aimed at us."

Ronald the Lionhearted gritted his teeth. "I will open my plowshare sites to verification only if you do the same."

Mikhail the Magnificent was skeptical. "How can we be assured you don't want to sneak in on a Trojan horse?"

Ronald laughed. "We have no intention of attacking you, Mikhail. Our only desire is to force you to stop stockpiling swords."

"What do you have to fear? We both have enough long-range swords to cut up every man, woman and child in the countryside," said Mikhail. "The only reason we have swords is to deter aggression."

Ronald the Lionhearted then spoke. "I would like to know what we plan to do with all the plowshares that are going to be made from the swords we destroy."

"Can't we sell them to the client states we support?" Mikhail suggested.

"No, because if we sell them plowshares they will only turn them back into swords," Ronald said.

"You could take all the plowshares and dump them into the sea."

Ronald agreed, "We will only do this if your soldiers get out of Macedonia."

Mikhail said angrily, "We will never withdraw from Macedonia until your fighters leave the desert of Zin."

Ronald said, "If we turn our swords into plowshares, will you free the captured slaves you are holding in your dungeons back home?"

Mikhail replied, "They're my captured slaves and I can do anything I want with them. What right do you have to tell me who I can chain up in my stockades? If you must know, the only people I have enslaved are those with the skills to make swords into plowshares."

Ronald lowered his voice. "Don't get mad, I'm just making suggestions. Let's get back to disarmament. If you agree to eliminate your medium-sized swords, sign this paper."

Mikhail said suspiciously, "Why are you so anxious to conclude a treaty?"

Ronald replied, "I knew Errol Flynn and I know what medium-sized swords can do to human beings."