“So at Christmas in this court I lay down a challenge: / If a person here present, within these premises, / Is big or bold or red-blooded enough / To strike me one stroke and be struck in return, / I shall give him a gift of this gigantic cleaver / and the axe shall be his to handle how he likes. / I'll kneel, bare my neck and take the first knock. / So who has the gall? The gumption? The guts? / Who’ll spring from his seat and snatch this weapon? / I offer the axe — who’ll have it as his own? / I’ll afford one free hit from which I won't flinch, / and promised that 12 months will pass in peace, / then claim / the duty I deserve in one year and one day. / Does no one have the nerve to wager in this way?” [more inside]
It's in the mail. Dylon Whyte's Art of Chainmail site features beautiful, clear renderings showing, step-by-step, how to join chain links to form different mail patterns, including European, Japanese, and (probably-not-)Persian designs. This is actually fascinating stuff even if you're not a medievalist or a Renaissance-faire type. Also, from the same source, a brief history of armour and the the secret behind the chain bra!
Break the Chain has all kinds of nifty resources for stopping the neverending flux of chain mail wandering through your e-mail box, though if you're like me, you'll probably just read through the chain archives for their amusement. A nice companion to Snopes for your hoax-debunking needs.