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How Sir Palomides brought Sir Epinogris his lady; and
how Sir Palomides and Sir Safere were assailed.

NAY, nay, said Epinogris, your sorrow is but japes to my
sorrow; for I rejoiced my lady and won her with my
hands, and lost her again: alas that day! Thus first I
won her, said Epinogris; my lady was an earl's daughter,
and as the earl and two knights came from the tournament
of Lonazep, for her sake I set upon this earl and
on his two knights, my lady there being present; and so
by fortune there I slew the earl and one of the knights,
and the other knight fled, and so that night I had my
lady.  And on the morn as she and I reposed us at this
well-side there came there to me an errant knight, his name
was Sir Helior le Preuse, an hardy knight, and this Sir
Helior challenged me to fight for my lady.  And then
we went to battle first upon horse and after on foot, but
at the last Sir Helior wounded me so that he left me for
dead, and so he took my lady with him; and thus my
sorrow is more than yours, for I have rejoiced and ye
rejoiced never.  That is truth, said Palomides, but sith
I can never recover myself I shall promise you if I can
meet with Sir Helior I shall get you your lady again, or
else he shall beat me.

Then Sir Palomides made Sir Epinogris to take his
horse, and so they rode to an hermitage, and there Sir
Epinogris rested him.  And in the meanwhile Sir Palomides
walked privily out to rest him under the leaves, and
there beside he saw a knight come riding with a shield
that he had seen Sir Ector de Maris bear beforehand; and
there came after him a ten knights, and so these ten
knights hoved under the leaves for heat.  And anon after
there came a knight with a green shield and therein a
white lion, leading a lady upon a palfrey.  Then this
knight with the green shield that seemed to be master of
the ten knights, he rode fiercely after Sir Helior, for it was
he that hurt Sir Epinogris.  And when he came nigh Sir
Helior he bade him defend his lady.  I will defend her,
said Helior, unto my power.  And so they ran together
so mightily that either of these knights smote other down,
horse and all, to the earth; and then they won up lightly
and drew their swords and their shields, and lashed
together mightily more than an hour.  All this Sir Palomides
saw and beheld, but ever at the last the knight with
Sir Ector's shield was bigger, and at the last this knight
smote Sir Helior down, and then that knight unlaced his
helm to have stricken off his head.  And then he cried
mercy, and prayed him to save his life, and bade him take
his lady.  Then Sir Palomides dressed him up, because he
wist well that that same lady was Epinogris' lady, and he
promised him to help him.

Then Sir Palomides went straight to that lady, and
took her by the hand, and asked her whether she knew a
knight that hight Epinogris.  Alas, she said, that ever he
knew me or I him, for I have for his sake lost my
worship, and also his life grieveth me most of all.  Not
so, lady, said Palomides, come on with me, for here is
Epinogris in this hermitage.  Ah! well is me, said the
lady, an he be alive.  Whither wilt thou with that lady?
said the knight with Sir Ector's shield.  I will do with
her what me list, said Palomides.  Wit you well, said that
knight, thou speakest over large, though thou seemest me
to have at advantage, because thou sawest me do battle
but late.  Thou weenest, sir knight, to have that lady
away from me so lightly? nay, think it never not; an
thou were as good a knight as is Sir Launcelot, or as is
Sir Tristram, or Sir Palomides, but thou shalt win her
dearer than ever did I.  And so they went unto battle
upon foot, and there they gave many sad strokes, and
either wounded other passing sore, and thus they fought
still more than an hour.

Then Sir Palomides had marvel what knight he might
be that was so strong and so well breathed during, and
thus said Palomides:  Knight, I require thee tell me thy
name.  Wit thou well, said that knight, I dare tell thee
my name, so that thou wilt tell me thy name.  I will, said
Palomides.  Truly, said that knight, my name is Safere,
son of King Astlabor, and Sir Palomides and Sir Segwarides
are my brethren.  Now, and wit thou well, my name is
Sir Palomides.  Then Sir Safere kneeled down upon his
knees, and prayed him of mercy; and then they unlaced
their helms and either kissed other weeping.  And in the
meanwhile Sir Epinogris arose out of his bed, and heard
them by the strokes, and so he armed him to help Sir
Palomides if need were.