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 How at the day Sir Bors made him ready for to fight for the
 queen; and when he would fight how another discharged
 THE day came on fast until the even that the battle
 should be.  Then the queen sent for Sir Bors and asked
 him how he was disposed.  Truly madam, said he, I am
 disposed in likewise as I promised you, that is for to say
 I shall not fail you, unless by adventure there come a
 better knight than I am to do battle for you, then,
 madam, am I discharged of my promise.  Will ye, said
 the queen, that I tell my lord Arthur thus?  Do as
 it shall please you, madam.  Then the queen went unto
 the king and told him the answer of Sir Bors.  Have ye
 no doubt, said the king, of Sir Bors, for I call him now
 one of the best knights of the world, and the most
 profitablest man.  And thus it passed on until the morn, and
 the king and the queen and all manner of knights that
 were there at that time drew them unto the meadow
 beside Westminster where the battle should be.  And
 so when the king was come with the queen and many
 knights of the Round Table, then the queen was put
 there in the Constable's ward, and a great fire made about
 an iron stake, that an Sir Mador de la Porte had the
 better, she should be burnt: such custom was used in
 those days, that neither for favour, neither for love nor
 affinity, there should be none other but righteous
 judgment, as well upon a king as upon a knight, and as well
 upon a queen as upon another poor lady.
 So in this meanwhile came in Sir Mador de la Porte,
 and took his oath afore the king, that the queen did this
 treason until his cousin Sir Patrise, and unto his oath he
 would prove it with his body, hand for hand, who that
 would say the contrary.  Right so came in Sir Bors de
 Ganis, and said:  That as for Queen Guenever she is in
 the right, and that will I make good with my hands that
 she is not culpable of this treason that is put upon her.
 Then make thee ready, said Sir Mador, and we shall prove
 whether thou be in the right or I.  Sir Mador, said Sir
 Bors, wit thou well I know you for a good knight.  Not
 for then I shall not fear you so greatly, but I trust to God
 I shall be able to withstand your malice.  But this much
 have I promised my lord Arthur and my lady the queen,
 that I shall do battle for her in this case to the uttermost,
 unless that there come a better knight than I am and
 discharge me.  Is that all? said Sir Mador, either come thou
 off and do battle with me, or else say nay.  Take your
 horse, said Sir Bors, and as I suppose, ye shall not tarry
 long but ye shall be answered.
 Then either departed to their tents and made them
 ready to horseback as they thought best.  And anon Sir
 Mador came into the field with his shield on his shoulder
 and his spear in his hand; and so rode about the place
 crying unto Arthur:  Bid your champion come forth an
 he dare.  Then was Sir Bors ashamed and took his horse
 and came to the lists' end.  And then was he ware where
 came from a wood there fast by a knight all armed, upon
 a white horse, with a strange shield of strange arms; and
 he came riding all that he might run, and so he came to
 Sir Bors, and said thus:  Fair knight, I pray you be not
 displeased, for here must a better knight than ye are have
 this battle, therefore I pray you withdraw you.  For wit
 ye well I have had this day a right great journey, and this
 battle ought to be mine, and so I promised you when I
 spake with you last, and with all my heart I thank you
 of your good will.  Then Sir Bors rode unto King Arthur
 and told him how there was a knight come that would
 have the battle for to fight for the queen.  What knight
 is he? said the king.  I wot not, said Sir Bors, but such
 covenant he made with me to be here this day.  Now my
 lord, said Sir Bors, here am I discharged.