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The Book Of Sir Balin Le Savage - XI

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

WITHIN a day or two King Arthur was somewhat sick, and he let pitch his pavilion in a meadow, and there he laid him down on a pallet to sleep, but he might have no rest. Right so he heard a great noise of a horse; and there with the king looked out at the porch of the pavilion's door, and saw a knight coming by him making great sorrow. "Abide, fair sir," said King Arthur, "and tell me wherefore thou makest this sorrow." "Ye may little amend it," said the knight, and so passed forth unto the castle of Meliot. Anon after there came Balin; and, when he saw King Arthur, anon he alighted off his horse, and came to the king on foot, and saluted him. "By my head," said King Arthur, "ye be welcome, sir. Right now came riding this way a knight making great sorrow, and I cannot tell for what cause; wherefore, I would desire you, of your courtesy and gentleness, that ye will fetch that knight again, either by force, or else by his good wilt" "I will do more for your lordship that that," said Balin, and so he rode more than a pace, and found the knight with a damsel in a forest, and said, "Sir knight, ye must come with me unto my lord, King Arthur, for to tell him the cause of your sorrow." "That will I not," said the knight ; "for it would scath me greatly, and do you none avail." "Sir," said Balin, "I pray you make you ready ; for ye must needs go with me, or else I will fight with you, and bring you by force, and that were I loth to do." "Will ye be my warrant," said the knight to Balin, "if I go with you ?" "Yea," said Balin, "or else I will die therefore." And so he made him ready to go with the good knight, Balin, and left there the damsel ; and, as they were afore King Arthur's pavilion, there came one invisible, and smote the knight that went with Balin throughout the body with a spear.

"Alas !" said the knight, "I am slain under your conduct and guard, with a traitorous knight, called Garlon; therefore, take my horse, the which is better than yours, and ride to the damsel, and follow the quest that I was in, whereas she will lead you, and revenge my death when ye may best." "That shall I do," said Balin, "and thereof I make a vow to you by my knight-hood." And so he departed from this knight, making great sorrow. So King Arthur let bury this knight richly, and made a mention upon the tomb how there was slain Herleus le Berbeus, and also how the treachery was done by the knight, Garlon. But ever the damsel bore the truncheon of the spear with her that Sir Herleus was slain with.

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