In which Meliagrance outwits Launcelot
Up in a tower in the castle, Guenever and all her ladies in waiting stood patiently, staring out the windows waiting for Launcelot to come rescue them.
“I see somebody!” said one of the ladies, pointing down to the cart below. “He can’t be Launcelot, though. He’s in a cart. Probably he’s in the cart because they’re taking him to be hanged.”
Guenever peered down at the cart and saw Launcelot, recognizing him by his distinctive shield. “Ha! I knew it! I knew he’d come for me! Oh, I’ll have to tease him about how he must have fallen on hard times and had to pawn his horse and ride in a lumber cart!” Then she turned sober. “Also, whoever it was that theorized he was going to be hung? You’re an idiot. This is Launcelot we’re talking about!”
Down in front of the castle, Launcelot climbed out of the cart and started shouting for Sir Meliagrance to come out and face him. The castle’s gate-guard made the mistake of trying to engage with Launcelot; Launcelot punched him in the throat so hard his head comes clean off!
“Crap,” said Meliagrance, witnessing this. “Crap crap crap.”
Thinking quickly, he dashed up to Guenever’s cell and there knelt before her. “Mercy, madam, now I put me wholly into your grace.“
“What? What’s the matter with you?” She was naturally perplexed.
“I very humbly apologize, and I surrender, and as your prisoner I respectfully request you not let Launcelot murder me.”
Guenever groaned. “Fine. Ye say well and better is peace than ever war. Let’s just get all this over with. Take me down from this cell into the nicer part of my new castle.”
Meliagrance led Guenever down to the nice part of the castle, where Sir Launcelot fumed, waiting for Meliagrance to come out and get murdered.
“Thou traitor knight come forth!” he bellowed, all wroth out of measure.
Guenever came out, instead of Meliagrance, and told Launcelot to calm down, because it had all been taken care of. “Quit bawling about your dead horse!”
Launcelot, understandably, was not immediately satisfied with this. “My hurt is but little for the killing of a mare’s son, but he did more than kill my horse! He abducted you!”
“And then he surrendered, so it’s all right now. Thank you so much for coming out, but you really can’t go any further with your murder-Meliagrance plan.”
Launcelot complained that he really wanted to murder Meliagrance, and maybe he would go ahead and do it anyway, but Guenever reminded him that she was his queen and she was giving him a direct order, and did he really want to commit treason?
So Meliagrance was pardoned. Guenever returned to Camelot (she gave Meliagrance his castle back because what’s she going to do with it?). Launcelot was ever after called “the Knight of the Cart” in memory of this particular misadventure.
The last thing that happened: as they left the castle, Sir Lavaine came running up, all out of breath. “Launcelot! I got your message! I have found your horse that was slain with arrows! I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you, boss, but someone killed your horse!”
Wah wah waaaah. The end! No moral.
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