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The copy of the letter written for to revenge the king's death,
and how Sir Palomides fought for to have the battle.

RECOMMENDING unto King Arthur and to all his knights
errant, beseeching them all that insomuch as I, King
Hermance, King of the Red City, thus am slain by felony
and treason, through two knights of mine own, and of
mine own bringing up and of mine own making, that
some worshipful knight will revenge my death, insomuch
I have been ever to my power well willing unto Arthur's
court.  And who that will adventure his life with these
two traitors for my sake in one battle, I, King Hermance,
King of the Red City, freely give him all my lands and
rents that ever I wielded in my life.  This letter, said
Ebel, I wrote by my lord's commandment, and then he
received his Creator; and when he was dead, he commanded
me or ever he were cold to put that letter fast
in his hand.  And then he commanded me to put forth
that same vessel down Humber, and I should give these
mariners in commandment never to stint until that they
came unto Logris, where all the noble knights shall
assemble at this time.  And there shall some good knight
have pity on me to revenge my death, for there was
never king nor lord falslier nor traitorlier slain than I
am here to my death.  Thus was the complaint of our
King Hermance.  Now, said Sir Ebel, ye know all how
our lord was betrayed, we require you for God's sake
have pity upon his death, and worshipfully revenge his
death, and then may ye wield all these lands.  For we all
wit well that an ye may slay these two traitors, the Red
City and all those that be therein will take you for their

Truly, said Sir Palomides, it grieveth my heart for to
hear you tell this doleful tale; and to say the truth I saw
the same letter that ye speak of, and one of the best
knights on the earth read that letter to me, and by his
commandment I came hither to revenge your king's death;
and therefore have done, and let me wit where I shall find
those traitors, for I shall never be at ease in my heart till
I be in hands with them.  Sir, said Sir Ebel, then take
your ship again, and that ship must bring you unto the
Delectable Isle, fast by the Red City, and we in this castle
shall pray for you, and abide your again-coming.  For
this same castle, an ye speed well, must needs be yours;
for our King Hermance let make this castle for the love
of the two traitors, and so we kept it with strong hand,
and therefore full sore are we threated.  Wot ye what ye
shall do, said Sir Palomides; whatsomever come of me,
look ye keep well this castle.  For an it misfortune me
so to be slain in this quest I am sure there will come one
of the best knights of the world for to revenge my death,
and that is Sir Tristram de Liones, or else Sir Launcelot
du Lake.

Then Sir Palomides departed from that castle.  And
as he came nigh the city, there came out of a ship a
goodly knight armed against him, with his shield on his
shoulder, and his hand upon his sword.  And anon as he
came nigh Sir Palomides he said:  Sir knight, what seek
ye here? leave this quest for it is mine, and mine it was
or ever it was yours, and therefore I will have it.  Sir
knight, said Palomides, it may well be that this quest was
yours or it was mine, but when the letter was taken out
of the dead king's hand, at that time by likelihood there
was no knight had undertaken to revenge the death of
the king.  And so at that time I promised to revenge his
death, and so I shall or else I am ashamed.  Ye say well,
said the knight, but wit ye well then will I fight with you,
and who be the better knight of us both, let him take the
battle upon hand.  I assent me, said Sir Palomides.  And
then they dressed their shields, and pulled out their
swords, and lashed together many sad strokes as men of
might; and this fighting was more than an hour, but at
the last Sir Palomides waxed big and better winded, so
that then he smote that knight such a stroke that he made
him to kneel upon his knees.  Then that knight spake on
high and said:  Gentle knight, hold thy hand.  Sir Palomides
was goodly and withdrew his hand.  Then this
knight said:  Wit ye well, knight, that thou art better
worthy to have this battle than I, and require thee of
knighthood tell me thy name.  Sir, my name is Palomides,
a knight of King Arthur's, and of the Table
Round, that hither I came to revenge the death of this
dead king.