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And to his surprise and joy he saw his brother Lionel
sitting armed at the chapel door, waiting there to take part in the
tournament the next morning.

Springing from his horse, Bors ran up gladly, crying, "Dear brother,
happy is this meeting!"

"Come not near me!" cried Lionel, leaping to his feet in a burst of
fury. "False recreant, you left me in peril of death to help a yelping
woman, and by my knightly vow you shall pay dearly for it. Keep from me,
traitor, and defend yourself. You or I shall die for this."

On seeing his brother in such wrath Bors kneeled beseechingly before
him, holding up his hands, and praying for pardon and forgiveness.

"Never!" said Lionel. "I vow to God to punish you for your treachery.
You have lived long enough for a dog and traitor."

Then he strode wrathfully away, and came back soon, mounted and with
spear in hand.

"Bors de Ganis," he cried, "defend yourself, for I hold you as a felon
and traitor, and the untruest knight that ever came from so worthy a
house as ours. Mount and fight. If you will not, I will run on you as
you stand there on foot. The shame shall be mine and the harm yours; but
of that shame I reck naught."

When Bors saw that he must fight with his brother or die he knew not
what to do. Again he kneeled and begged forgiveness, in view of the love
that ought to be between brothers.

But the fiend that sought his overthrow had put such fury into Lionel's
heart that nothing could turn him from his wrathful purpose. And when he
saw that Bors would not mount, he spurred his horse upon him and rode
over him, hurting him so with his horse's hoofs that he swooned with the
pain. Then Lionel sprang from his horse and rushed upon him sword in
hand to strike off his head.

At this critical moment the hermit, who was a man of great age, came
running out, and threw himself protectingly on the fallen knight.

"Gentle sir," he cried to Lionel, "have mercy on me and on thy brother,
who is one of the worthiest knights in the world. If you slay him, you
will lose your soul."

"Sir priest," said Lionel, sternly, "if you leave not I shall slay you,
and him after you."

"Slay me if you will, but spare your brother, for my death would not do
half so much harm as his."

"Have it, then, meddler, if you will!" cried Lionel, and he struck the
hermit a blow with his sword that stretched him dead on the ground.

Then, with unquenched anger, he tore loose the lacings of his brother's
helmet, and would have killed him on the spot but for a fortunate
chance.

As it happened, Colgrevance, a fellow of the Round Table, rode up at
that moment, and wondered when he saw the hermit dead, and Lionel about
to slay his brother, whom he greatly loved.

Leaping hastily to the ground, he caught the furious knight by the
shoulders and drew him strongly backward.

"What would you do?" he cried. "Madman, would you kill your brother, the
worthiest knight of our brotherhood? And are you so lost to honor as to
slay any knight thus lying insensible?"

"Will you hinder me?" asked Lionel, turning in rage. "Back, sirrah, or I
shall slay you first and him afterwards."

"Why seek you to slay him?"

"He has richly deserved it, and die he shall, whoever says the
contrary."

Then he ran upon Bors and raised his sword to strike him on the head.
But Colgrevance pushed between them and thrust him fiercely backward.

"Off, you murderer!" he cried. "If you are so hot for blood you must
have mine first."

"Who are you?" demanded Lionel.

"I am Colgrevance, one of your fellows. Round Table Knights should be
brothers, not foes, but I would challenge King Arthur himself in this
quarrel."

"Defend yourself, meddler," cried Lionel, rushing upon him and striking
him fiercely on the helm with his sword.

"That shall I," rejoined Colgrevance, attacking him in turn.

Then a hot battle began, for Colgrevance was a good knight, and defended
himself manfully.

While the fight went on Bors recovered his senses, and saw with a sad
heart Colgrevance defending him against his brother. He strove to rise
and part them, but his hurts were such that he could not stand on his
feet. And thus he sat watching the combat till he saw that Colgrevance
had the worst, for Lionel had wounded him sorely, and he had lost so
much blood that he could barely stand.

At this juncture he saw Bors, who sat watching them in deep anguish.

"Bors," he cried, "I am fighting to succor you. Will you sit there and
see me perish?"

"You both shall die," cried Lionel, furiously. "You shall pay the
penalty of your meddling, and he of his treason."

Hearing this, Bors rose with aching limbs, and painfully put on his
helm. Colgrevance again called to him in anguish,--

"Help me, Bors! I can stand no longer. Will you let me die without
lifting your hand?"

At this moment Lionel smote the helm from his head, and then with
another fierce blow stretched him dead and bleeding upon the earth.

This murderous deed done, he ran on Bors with the passion of a fiend,
and dealt him a blow that made him stoop.

"For God's love leave me!" cried Bors. "If I slay you or you me, we will
both be dead of that sin."

"May God never help me if I take mercy on you, if I have the better
hand," cried Lionel, in reply.

Then Bors drew his sword, though his eyes were wet with tears.

"Fair brother," he said, "God knows my heart. You have done evil enough
this day, in slaying a holy priest and one of our own brotherhood of
knights. I fear you not, but I dread the wrath of God, for this is an
unnatural battle which you force upon me. May God have mercy upon me,
since I must defend my life against my brother."

Saying this, Bors raised his sword and advanced upon Lionel, who stood
before him with the wrath of a fury.

Then would have been a most unholy battle, had not God come to the
rescue. For as they thus stood defiant a voice came to them from the
air, which said,--

"Flee, Bors, and touch him not, for if you do, you will surely slay
him."

And between them descended a cloud that gleamed like fire, and from
which issued a marvellous flame that burned both their shields to a
cinder. They were both so affrighted that they fell to the earth, and
lay there long in a swoon.

When they came to themselves Bors saw that his brother had received no
harm. For this he thanked God, for he feared that heaven's vengeance had
fallen upon him. Then came the voice again.

"Bors," it said, "go hence, and bear thy brother company no longer. Take
thy way to the sea where Percivale awaiteth thee."

"Forgive me, brother," said Bors, "for what I have done against you."

"God has forgiven you, and I must," said Lionel. "It was the foul fiend
that filled my soul with fury, and much harm has come of it."

Then Bors rode away, leaving Lionel in the company of those whom he had
slain, and took the most direct road towards the sea.

At length he came to an abbey that was near the water-side. And at
midnight as he rested there he was roused from his sleep by a voice,
that bade him leave his bed and ride onward.

He started up at this, and made the sign of the cross on his forehead;
then took his harness and horse, and rode out at a broken place in the
abbey wall. An hour or so brought him to the water-side, and on the
strand there lay awaiting him a ship all covered with white samite. Bors
alighted, and leaving his horse on the stand entered the ship,
commending himself to Christ's fostering care.

Hardly had he done so before the sails spread, as of themselves, and the
vessel set out to sea so fast that it seemed to fly. But it was still
dark night, and he saw no one about him. So he lay down and slept till
day.

When he awaked he saw a knight lying in the middle of the deck, all
armed but the helm. A glance told him that it was Percivale de Galis,
and he sprang towards him with joy. But Percivale drew back, asking him
who he was.

"Know you me not?" asked Bors.

"I do not. But I marvel how you came hither, unless brought by our Lord
himself."

Then Bors took off his helm and smiled. Great was Percivale's joy when
he recognized him, and long did they converse in gladness, telling each
other their adventures and temptations.

And so they went far over the sea, the ship taking them they knew not
whither, yet each comforted the other, and daily they prayed for God's
grace.

"Now, that we two are together," said Percivale, "we lack nothing but
Galahad, the best of knights."




CHAPTER VI.

THE ADVENTURE OF THE MAGIC SHIP.


After Galahad had rescued Percivale from the twenty knights, he rode
into a vast forest, through which he journeyed for many days, meeting
there many strange adventures. Then fortune took him past a castle where
a tournament was in progress, and where the men of the castle had so
much the worse of it that they were driven back to their gates, and some
of them slain. Seeing this, Galahad rode to the aid of the weaker party,
and did marvellous deeds of arms, soon aiding them to drive back their
foes.

As it happened, Gawaine and Hector de Maris were with the outer party,
and when they beheld the white shield with the red cross, they said to
one another,--

"That hewer of helms and shields is Galahad, none less. We should be
fools to meet him face to face."

Yet Gawaine did not escape, for Galahad came at full career upon him,
and gave him such a blow that his helm was cleft, and so would his head
have been but that the sword slanted, and cut the shoulder of his horse
deeply.

Seeing Gawaine thus dealt with, Hector drew back, not deeming it wise to
meet such a champion, nor the part of nature to fight with his nephew.
Galahad continued his onset till he had beaten down all the knights
opposed to him. Then, seeing that none would face him, he turned and
rode away as he had come, none knowing whither he, who had come upon
them with the suddenness of a thunder-clap, had gone.

"Lancelot du Lake told no less than the truth," declared Gawaine,
bitterly, "when he said that, for seeking to draw the sword from the
stone, I would get a sore wound from that same blade.



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