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How after long fighting Beaumains overcame the knight and
would have slain him, but at the request of the lords
he saved his life, and made him to yield him to the lady.

AND then thus they fought till it was past noon, and never would
stint, till at the last they lacked wind both; and then they
stood wagging and scattering, panting, blowing and bleeding, that
all that beheld them for the most part wept for pity.  So when
they had rested them a while they yede to battle again, tracing,
racing, foining as two boars.  And <239>at some time they took
their run as it had been two rams, and hurtled together that
sometime they fell grovelling to the earth: and at some time they
were so amazed that either took other's sword instead of his own.

Thus they endured till evensong time, that there was none that
beheld them might know whether was like to win the battle; and
their armour was so forhewn that men might see their naked sides;
and in other places they were naked, but ever the naked places
they did defend.  And the Red Knight was a wily knight of war,
and his wily fighting taught Sir Beaumains to be wise; but he
abought it full sore or he did espy his fighting.

And thus by assent of them both they granted either other to
rest; and so they set them down upon two mole-hills there beside
the fighting place, and either of them unlaced his helm, and took
the cold wind; for either of their pages was fast by them, to
come when they called to unlace their harness and to set them on
again at their commandment.  And then when Sir Beaumains' helm
was off, he looked up to the window, and there he saw the fair
lady Dame Lionesse, and she made him such countenance that his
heart waxed light and jolly; and therewith he bade the Red Knight
of the Red Launds make him ready, and let us do the battle to the
utterance.  I will well, said the knight, and then they laced up
their helms, and their pages avoided, and they stepped together
and fought freshly; but the Red Knight of the Red Launds awaited
him, and at an overthwart smote him within the hand, that his
sword fell out of his hand; and yet he gave him another buffet
upon the helm that he fell grovelling to the earth, and the Red
Knight fell over him, for to hold him down.

Then cried the maiden Linet on high:  O Sir Beaumains, where is
thy courage become?  Alas, my lady my sister beholdeth thee, and
she sobbeth and weepeth, that maketh mine heart heavy.  When Sir
Beaumains heard her say so, he abraid up with a great might and
gat him upon his feet, and lightly he leapt to his sword and
gripped it in his hand, and doubled his pace unto the Red Knight,
<240>and there they fought a new battle together.  But Sir
Beaumains then doubled his strokes, and smote so thick that he
smote the sword out of his hand, and then he smote him upon the
helm that he fell to the earth, and Sir Beaumains fell upon him,
and unlaced his helm to have slain him; and then he yielded him
and asked mercy, and said with a loud voice:  O noble knight, I
yield me to thy mercy.

Then Sir Beaumains bethought him upon the knights that he had
made to be hanged shamefully, and then he said:  I may not with
my worship save thy life, for the shameful deaths that thou hast
caused many full good knights to die.  Sir, said the Red Knight
of the Red Launds, hold your hand and ye shall know the causes
why I put them to so shameful a death.  Say on, said Sir
Beaumains.  Sir, I loved once a lady, a fair damosel, and she had
her brother slain; and she said it was Sir Launcelot du Lake, or
else Sir Gawaine; and she prayed me as that I loved her heartily,
that I would make her a promise by the faith of my knighthood,
for to labour daily in arms unto I met with one of them; and all
that I might overcome I should put them unto a villainous death;
and this is the cause that I have put all these knights to death,
and so I ensured her to do all the villainy unto King Arthur's
knights, and that I should take vengeance upon all these knights. 
And, sir, now I will thee tell that every day my strength
increaseth till noon, and all this time have I seven men's