The thing was jet black and fast, hard to see until it was almost upon him, to say nothing of the claws and rows of bony spikes and the fact that his torch had been knocked out of his hand early on and doused on the damp cave floor. At least he still held his sword and shield.
Had he any sense at all he would withdraw forthwith, and return later with a half dozen able warriors to assist him. But there are no songs about cautious warriors. He would make his name here and now, alone, or die trying.