Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK VI CHAPTER IX

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How Sir Turquine was slain, and how Sir Launcelot bade
Sir Gaheris deliver all the prisoners.

THEN at the last Sir Turquine waxed faint, and gave somewhat
aback, and bare his shield low for weariness.  <189>That espied
Sir Launcelot, and leapt upon him fiercely and gat him by the
beaver of his helmet, and plucked him down on his knees, and anon
he raced off his helm, and smote his neck in sunder.  And when
Sir Launcelot had done this, he yode unto the damosel and said,
Damosel, I am ready to go with you where ye will have me, but I
have no horse.  Fair sir, said she, take this wounded knight's
horse and send him into this manor, and command him to deliver
all the prisoners.  So Sir Launcelot went unto Gaheris, and
prayed him not to be aggrieved for to lend him his horse.  Nay,
fair lord, said Gaheris, I will that ye take my horse at your own
commandment, for ye have both saved me and my horse, and this day
I say ye are the best knight in the world, for ye have slain this
day in my sight the mightiest man and the best knight except you
that ever I saw, and, fair sir, said Gaheris, I pray you tell me
your name.  Sir, my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake, that ought to
help you of right for King Arthur's sake, and in especial for my
lord Sir Gawaine's sake, your own dear brother; and when that ye
come within yonder manor, I am sure ye shall find there many
knights of the Round Table, for I have seen many of their shields
that I know on yonder tree.  There is Kay's shield, and Sir
Brandel's shield, and Sir Marhaus' shield, and Sir Galind's
shield, and Sir Brian de Listnois' shield, and Sir Aliduke's
shield, with many more that I am not now advised of, and also my
two brethren's shields, Sir Ector de Maris and Sir Lionel;
wherefore I pray you greet them all from me, and say that I bid
them take such stuff there as they find, and that in any wise my
brethren go unto the court and abide me there till that I come,
for by the feast of Pentecost I cast me to be there, for as at
this time I must ride with this damosel for to save my promise.

And so he departed from Gaheris, and Gaheris yede in to the
manor, and there he found a yeoman porter keeping there many
keys.  Anon withal Sir Gaheris threw the porter unto the ground
and took the keys from him, and hastily he opened the prison
door, and there he let <190>out all the prisoners, and every man
loosed other of their bonds.  And when they saw Sir Gaheris, all
they thanked him, for they weened that he was wounded.  Not so,
said Gaheris, it was Launcelot that slew him worshipfully with
his own hands.  I saw it with mine own eyes.  And he greeteth you
all well, and prayeth you to haste you to the court; and as unto
Sir Lionel and Ector de Maris he prayeth you to abide him at the
court.  That shall we not do, says his brethren, we will find him
an we may live.  So shall I, said Sir Kay, find him or I come at
the court, as I am true knight.

Then all those knights sought the house thereas the armour was,
and then they armed them, and every knight found his own horse,
and all that ever longed unto him.  And when this was done, there
came a forester with four horses laden with fat venison.  Anon,
Sir Kay said, Here is good meat for us for one meal, for we had
not many a day no good repast.  And so that venison was roasted,
baken, and sodden, and so after supper some abode there all
night, but Sir Lionel and Ector de Maris and Sir Kay rode after
Sir Launcelot to find him if they might.