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Palamides, our
king!" they shouted, while one adorned his brows with a wreath of
laurel, and others tore off his armor and applied ointments to his
bleeding limbs.

"Fair friends, your crown is not for me," he said. "I have delivered you
from your tyrants, but you must choose some other king, as I am under
promise to return with all speed to my lord King Arthur at the castle of

This decision filled them with grief, but they brought him to the city
and treated him with all the honor which they could bestow upon him. And
as he persisted in his refusal of the crown, they proffered him a third
part of their goods if he would remain with them. All this he declined,
and in a short time departed, bearing with him a thousand good wishes
and prayers for success and fortune.

He was received with like joy and congratulation at the castle, Sir Ebel
warmly pressing him to change his decision and remain as their king. To
this Palamides would by no means consent, and after a day's stay he took
ship again, and sailed up the Humber to the castle of Lonazep.




When Palamides learned that Tristram was not at Lonazep, he tarried not
there, but crossed the Humber, and sought him at Joyous Gard. Here he
found lodgings in the town, and word was quickly brought to Tristram
that a knight-errant had come.

"What manner of man is he? and what sign does he bear?" he asked.

The messenger described his armor and appearance.

"That is Palamides," said Dinadan. "The brave fellow is already back,
and victorious, I doubt not."

"It looks that way, indeed. Go and bid him welcome to Joyous Gard," said

So Dinadan went to Palamides, and joyfully greeted him, listening
eagerly to the story of his exploits, and congratulating him on his
signal success. He remained with him that night, and in the morning they
were visited by Tristram and Gareth before they had arisen.

Many were the warm congratulations which Tristram gave Palamides on his
noble achievement, and after they had breakfasted he invited him to ride
into the fields and woods, that they might repose under the cool shelter
of the forest. Here they alighted by a refreshing spring, and as they
sat conversing an armed knight came riding towards them.

"Who are those knights that are lodged in Joyous Gard?" he asked.

"That I cannot say," answered Tristram.

"At any rate you can tell me who you are. You are not knights-errant, I
fancy, since you ride unarmed."

"Whether we be or no, we prefer not to tell our names."

"You are not courteous, sir knight, and this is the way I pay
discourtesy," said the stranger. "Guard yourself, or you shall die by
my hands."

Then, spear in hand, he rode on Sir Tristram, with brutal intent to run
him through. But Palamides sprang up hastily, and smote the knight's
horse so fierce a blow with his clinched fist that horse and man fell
together to the earth. He then drew his sword to slay him.

"Let the dog go," said Tristram. "He is but a fool, and it were a shame
to slay him for his folly. Take the fellow's spear from him, though. It
is a weapon he has not learned the use of."

The knight rose groaning, and when he had regained his saddle he again
requested their names.

"My name is Tristram de Lyonesse, and this knight's name is Palamides.
Would you know more?"

"No, by my faith!" cried the other, and, hastily putting spurs to his
horse, he rode away as fast as the animal would carry him.

Hardly had he gone when a knight, who bore a bended shield of azure,
came riding up at a furious gallop.

"My fair sirs," he asked, "has a knight passed here bearing a shield
with a case of red over it?"

"Yes. We but now had some trouble with such a fellow. Who is he?"

"And you let him escape? That was ill-advised, fair sirs. He is the
falsest rogue and the greatest foe to knights-errant living. His name is
Breuse Sans Pité."

"And I had him under my sword!" cried Palamides. "Fool I was to let him

"If I overtake him there will be another story to tell," answered the
knight, as he spurred onward on the track of the fugitive.

Then the four friends mounted and rode leisurely back towards Joyous
Gard, much conversing as they went. When they reached the castle
Palamides wished not to enter, but Tristram insisted on it, and, taking
him by the hand, led him in.

When Palamides saw La Belle Isolde, whom he had not met for years, but
for whom his love burned as warmly as ever, he was so ravished with joy
that he could scarcely speak. And when they were at dinner he could not
eat a morsel, but sat like a dumb man, scarcely venturing to raise his
eyes to Isolde's lovely countenance.

Poorly he slept that night, and with many dreams of her he loved. When
morning broke they all prepared to ride to Lonazep. Tristram took with
him three squires, and Queen Isolde had three gentlewomen, all attired
with great richness. These, with the other knights and their squires,
and valets to bear their shields and spears, formed their train.

Not far had they gone before they saw on the road before them a group of
knights. Chief of these was the knight Galihodin, who was attended by
twenty companions.

"Fair fellows," said Galihodin, "yonder come four knights escorting a
richly-attired lady. What say you? shall we take her from them?"

"That is not the best counsel," said one.

"At any rate, it is my counsel," answered Galihodin. "We shall show them
that we have the right of the road." And he sent a squire to them,
asking them if they would joust, or else lose their lady.

"We are but four," said Tristram. "Tell your lord to come with three of
his comrades, and win her if he can."

"Let me have this joust," said Palamides. "I will undertake them all

"As you will," said Tristram. "Go tell your lord that this one knight
will encounter him and any three of his fellows."

The squire departed with his challenge, and in a trice Galihodin came
riding forward spear in rest. Palamides encountered him in mid career,
and smote him so hard a blow that he had a terrible fall to the earth,
and his horse with him. His three comrades were served in the same
summary manner, while Palamides still bore an unbroken spear. At this
unlooked-for result six knights rode out from the opposite party with
purpose of revenge on the victor.

"Hold your hands," cried Galihodin. "Let not one of you touch this noble
knight, who has proved himself a man of worth. And I doubt if the whole
of you could handle him."

When Palamides saw that the field was yielded to him he rode back to Sir

"Well and worshipfully have you done," said Tristram. "No man could have
surpassed you."

Onward they rode again, and in a little while after met four knights in
the highway, with spears in rest. These were Gawaine and three
companions. This joust also Tristram gave to Palamides, and he served
these four as he had served the others, leaving them all unhorsed in
the road. For the presence of La Belle Isolde gave the strength of ten
men to the arm of her lover, the Saracen.

They now continued their route without molestation, and in good time
reached the spot where Tristram had ordered his pavilions to be set up.
Here were now many more pavilions than they had seen on their previous
visit, and a great array of knights, who had been gathering for many
days, for far and wide had spread the news of the great tournament.

Leaving Palamides and Gareth at the pavilions with Queen Isolde,
Tristram and Dinadan rode to Lonazep to learn what was afoot, Tristram
riding on the Saracen knight's white horse. As they came into the castle
the sound of a great bugle-blast met their ears, and many knights
crowded forward.

"What means the blast?" asked Tristram.

"Sir," answered a knight, "it comes from the party who hold against King
Arthur at this tournament. These are the kings of Ireland, of Surluse,
of Listinoise, of Northumberland, of North Wales, and of other
countries. They are calling a council to decide how they shall be
governed in the lists."

Tristram thereupon followed them to their council, and listened to the
debate. He then sought his horse again, and rode by where King Arthur
stood surrounded by a press of knights. Among those were Galihodin and
Gawaine, who said to the king: "That knight in the green harness, with
the white horse, is a man of might, whoever he be. To-day he overthrew
us both, with six of our fellows."

"Who can he be?" said the king, and he called Tristram to him, and
requested to know his name.

"I beg pardon, my liege lord," answered Tristram, "and pray that you
will hold me excused from revealing my name at this time," and he turned
his horse and rode away.

"Go after him, Sir Griflet," said the king. "Tell him that I wish to
speak with him apart."

Griflet rode to Tristram and told him the king's wish, and the two
returned in company.

"Fair sir," said the king, "what is the cause that you withhold your

"I have an excellent reason, but beg that you will not press me for it."

"With which party do you hold?"

"Truly, my lord, that I cannot say. Where my heart draws or my fancy
bids I will go. To-morrow you shall see which side I take. To-day I know
not myself."

Leaving the king, he rode back to where his pavilions were set. When the
morning dawned he and his three companions armed themselves all in green
and rode to the lists. Here young knights had begun to joust, and,
seeing this, Gareth asked leave of Tristram to break a spear.

"Go in and do your best if you care to play with beginners," said
Tristram, laughing.

But Gareth found himself encountered by a nephew of the king with the
hundred knights, who had some of his uncle's tough fibre, and both got
ugly falls, and lay on the ground till they were helped up by their
friends. Then Tristram and Palamides rode with Gareth back to the
pavilions, where they removed their helmets. When Isolde saw Gareth all
bruised in the face, she asked him what ailed him.

"Madam, I had a hard buffet, and gave another, but none of my fellows
would rescue me."

"Only unproved knights are yet in the field," said Palamides.

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