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How Beaumains fought and slew two knights at a passage.

AND on the morn the damosel and he took their leave and thanked
the knight, and so departed, and rode on their way until they
came to a great forest.  And there was a great river and but one
passage, and there were ready two knights on the farther side to
let them the passage.  What sayest thou, said the damosel, wilt
thou match yonder knights or turn again?  Nay, said Sir
Beaumains, I will not turn again an they were six more.  And
therewithal he rushed into the water, and in midst of the water
either brake their spears upon other to their hands, and then
they drew their swords, and smote eagerly at other.  And at the
last Sir Beaumains smote the other upon the helm that his head
stonied, and therewithal he fell down in the water, and there was
he drowned.  And then he spurred his horse <218>upon the land,
where the other knight fell upon him, and brake his spear, and so
they drew their swords and fought long together.  At the last Sir
Beaumains clave his helm and his head down to the shoulders; and
so he rode unto the damosel and bade her ride forth on her way.

Alas, she said, that ever a kitchen page should have that fortune
to destroy such two doughty knights: thou weenest thou hast done
doughtily, that is not so; for the first knight his horse
stumbled, and there he was drowned in the water, and never it was
by thy force, nor by thy might.  And the last knight by mishap
thou camest behind him and mishappily thou slew him.

Damosel, said Beaumains, ye may say what ye will, but with
whomsomever I have ado withal, I trust to God to serve him or he
depart.  And therefore I reck not what ye say, so that I may win
your lady.  Fie, fie, foul kitchen knave, thou shalt see knights
that shall abate thy boast.  Fair damosel, give me goodly
language, and then my care is past, for what knights somever they
be, I care not, nor I doubt them not.  Also, said she, I say it
for thine avail, yet mayest thou turn again with thy worship; for
an thou follow me, thou art but slain, for I see all that ever
thou dost is but by misadventure, and not by prowess of thy
hands.  Well, damosel, ye may say what ye will, but wheresomever
ye go I will follow you.  So this Beaumains rode with that lady
till evensong time, and ever she chid him, and would not rest. 
And they came to a black laund; and there was a black hawthorn,
and thereon hung a black banner, and on the other side there hung
a black shield, and by it stood a black spear great and long, and
a great black horse covered with silk, and a black stone fast by.