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And take my word for it, this will be proved before the
tournament ends."

This also thought Dinadan, and he rallied his friend Tristram with
satirical tongue.

"What the fiend has ailed you to-day?" he asked. "Palamides grew in
strength from first to last, but you have been like a man asleep, or a
coward knight."

"I was never called coward before," said Tristram, hotly. "The only fall
I got was from Lancelot, and him I hold as my better, and for that
matter the better of any man alive."

But Dinadan kept up his railing accusations till the growing anger of
Tristram warned him to desist. Yet this was all from friendship, not
from spite, for he wished to stir up his friend to do his best in the
lists the coming day, and not permit the Saracen again to carry off the
prize.




CHAPTER VI.

THE SECOND DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT.


When the next morning dawned, Tristram, Palamides, and Gareth, with La
Belle Isolde and her ladies, all arrayed as before in green, took horse
at an early hour, and rode into the fresh forest. But Dinadan was left
still asleep in bed. As they passed the castle at a little distance, it
chanced that King Arthur and Lancelot saw them from an upper window.

"Yonder rideth the fairest lady of the world," said Lancelot, "always
excepting your queen, Guenever."

"Who is it?" asked Arthur.

"It is La Belle Isolde, Cornwall's queen and Tristram's lady-love."

"By my troth, I should like to see her closer," said the king. "Let us
arm and mount, and ride after them."

This they did, and in a short time were on the track of the gay
cavalcade they had seen.

"Let us not be too hasty," warned Lancelot. "There are some knights who
resent being intruded on abruptly; particularly if in the company of
ladies."

"As for that, we must take our chances," said Arthur. "If they feel
aggrieved I cannot help it, for I am bent on seeing Queen Isolde."

Seeing Tristram and his companions just in advance, Arthur rode briskly
up and saluted Isolde courteously, saying, "God save you, fair lady."

"Thanks for your courtesy, sir knight," she replied.

Then Arthur looked upon her charming countenance, freshened by the
morning air, and thought in his mind that Lancelot had spoken but the
truth, and that no more beautiful lady lived. But at this moment
Palamides rode up.

"Sir knight, what seek you here?" he asked. "It is uncourteous to come
on a lady so suddenly. Your intrusion is not to our liking, and I bid
you to withdraw."

Arthur paid no heed to these words, but continued to gaze upon Isolde,
as one stricken with admiration. Seeing this, Palamides flamed into
anger, and spurred fiercely upon the king, with spear in rest, smiting
him from his horse.

"Here is an awkward business," said Lancelot to himself. "If I ride down
Palamides I shall have Tristram on me; and the pair of them would be too
much for me. This comes from too head-strong a will. But whether I live
or die I must stand by my lord and king." Then riding forward, he called
to Palamides, "Keep thee from me!"

Fierce was the onset with which they met, but it ended in Lancelot's
favor, for Palamides was flung from his saddle and had a hard fall.

When Tristram saw this he called to Lancelot, "Be on your guard, sir
knight. You have unhorsed my comrade, and must joust with me."

"I have no dread of that," said Lancelot; "and yet I did but avenge my
lord, who was unhorsed unwarily and unknightly. You have no cause for
displeasure; for no honorable knight could stand by and see his friend
ill-treated."

Tristram now felt sure that it was Lancelot who spoke, and that it was
King Arthur whom Palamides had unhorsed. He therefore laid aside his
spear and helped Palamides again to his saddle, while Lancelot did the
same for the king.

"That deed of thine was not knightly nor courteous," said Tristram,
sternly to Palamides, after the others had departed. "I cannot see any
harm in a knight accosting a lady gently and courteously; nor am I
pleased to have you play such masteries before my lady. If I deem her
insulted, I am quite able myself to protect her. And if I am not
mistaken, it was King Arthur you assailed so rudely, and the other was
Lancelot du Lake. You may yet have to pay for your violence."

"I cannot think," said Palamides, "that the great Arthur would ride thus
secretly arrayed as a poor knight-errant."

"Then you know him not," said Tristram. "No knight living is fonder of
adventure. King Arthur is always ready to take his part as an errant
knight, nor does he bear malice against those who may overthrow him when
in disguise. I tell you, Palamides, that our king is the true model of
knightly honor, and that the best of us might learn from him."

"If it were he I am sorry," said Palamides. "I may have been over-hasty.
But a thing that is done cannot be undone, and I must abide the
consequences."

Then Tristram sent Isolde to her lodging in the priory, from which she
might behold the tournament, and made ready to enter the lists.

Fierce was the shock of the first encounter of the knights, and the
three champions in green began the day with many deeds of might.

"How feel you?" asked Tristram of Palamides. "Are you able to repeat
yesterday's work?"

"Hardly," was the reply. "I am weary and sore yet from my hard labors."

"I am sorry for that, as I shall miss your aid."

"Trust not to me," answered Palamides. "I have not much work left in
me."

"Then I must depend on you," said Tristram to Gareth. "We two should be
able to make our mark. Keep near me and rescue me if I get in trouble,
and I will do the same for you."

"I shall not fail you," was the reply.

Leaving them, Palamides rode off by himself, and, pushing into the
thickest press of the men of Orkney, did such deeds of arms that
Tristram looked on in amazement.

"Is that his soreness and weariness?" he asked. "I fancy he is weary of
my company, and wishes to win all the honor to his own hand."

"That is what Dinadan meant yesterday when he called you coward," said
Gareth. "He but wished to stir you to anger so that Palamides should not
rob you of credit."

"By my faith, if Palamides bears me ill will and envy I shall show him
what a knight of Cornwall can do. He has gained the acclamations of the
crowd already. He has left our company and we owe him no courtesy. You
shall see me rob him of his honors."

Then Tristram rode into the thickest of the press, and laid about him
with such might that all eyes were turned upon him, and men began to
say, "There is a greater than Palamides come into the field."

"Is it not as I told you?" said Lancelot to Arthur. "I said you would
this day see the Saracen distanced."

"It is true enough," answered Arthur. "Palamides has not such strength
of arm."

"It is Tristram himself you look upon."

"That I can well believe," said Arthur. "Such knights as he do not grow
like mushrooms in every field."

The noise from the other part of the lists now drew the attention of
Palamides, and when he saw what puissant deeds his late comrade was
doing he wept for spite, for he saw that the honor of that day was not
for him.

Seeing to what straits their party was put, Arthur and Lancelot and many
other knights now armed and rode into the field, and by their aid so
changed the tide of victory that the other side was driven quite back,
until Tristram and Gareth stood alone, bravely abiding all who came upon
them. But Lancelot and his kinsmen kept purposely away from them.

"See," said Lancelot to Arthur, "how Palamides hovers yonder like one in
a dream, sick, I fancy, from envy of Tristram."

"Then he is but a fool," said the king. "He is not and never was the
match of Tristram. I am glad to see the fellow repaid for the way he
served me this morning."

As they stood thus conversing, Tristram withdrew quietly from the lists,
his going noted only by Isolde and Palamides, who kept their eyes upon
him. He rode back to his pavilions, where he found Dinadan still asleep,
his slumbers not broken by all the uproar of the tournament.

"As I am a living man, here is a lusty sleeper," cried Tristram. "Wake,
Dinadan. The day is half spent and the field half won, and here you are
still a-bed."

At this Dinadan sprang hastily up and rubbed his eyes.

"I dreamt of wars and jousts," he said. "And, i' faith, I like that way
the best, for one gets all the good of the fight and is safe from sore
limbs and aching bones. But what's to do?"

"Get on your harness and ride with me to the field. You will find
something there to waken you up."

Dinadan, as he armed, noted Tristram's battered shield, and remarked,--

"I slept both well and wisely, it seems. If I had been there I must have
followed you, from shame if not from courage. And by the looks of your
shield I would have been worse battered than I was yesterday. Why did
you not let me sleep out the balance of it, friend Tristram?"

"A truce with your jests. Come, we must to the field again."

"How now, is there a new deal in the game? Yesterday you did but dream;
to-day you seem awake."

Meanwhile Tristram had changed his armor, and now was attired all in
black.

"You have more fight in you than you had yesterday, that is sure," said
Dinadan. "Did I stir up your sleeping spirit?"

"It may be so," said Tristram, smiling. "Keep well up to me, and I shall
make you a highway through the press. If you see me overmatched, do what
you can to aid me."

When ready they took their horses and rode back to the lists, where
Isolde and Palamides noted their entrance. When the Saracen saw that
Tristram was disguised, a new fancy came into his scheming brain.
Leaving the lists, he rode to where a knight sat sorely wounded under a
tree outside. Him he prayed for an exchange of armor, saying that his
own was too well known in the field, and that he wished for a disguise.

"That is very true," said the knight, as he recognized the green armor.
"You have made your array somewhat too well known. You are welcome to my
arms, if they will be of use to you. They will gain more credit in your
hands than they have won in mine."

Palamides thereupon exchanged armor with him, and, taking his shield,
which shone like silver, rode into the field.



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