Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book IV Chapter XXVI
Okay, so, Sir Uwaine and the sixty-year-old damosel, Ursula, they ride off and have a ton of strange adventures Malory can’t be bothered to describe, most of a year’s worth, right off the bat. Uwaine wins a big jousting tournament and wins a falcon and a horse, and Ursula advises him with good advice. They’re a solid team, having adventures we’re aren’t looking at in detail.
At some point Ursula introduces Uwaine to a friend of hers, the Lady of the Rock. The Lady of the Rock, no relation to the late Lady of the Lake, she’s a nice and polite damosel, but she’s got a problem. Two knights, Sir Edward of the Red Castle and Sir Hue of the Red Castle — the Red Castle brothers — they’ve been riding around her barony lighting up peasants and demanding the Lady of the Rock sign the barony over to them.
So the Lady of the Rock is way too virtuous to come right out and demand Uwaine joust these two guys, instead she just passive-aggressively brings them up at various opportunities, steers the conversation that way, et cetera.
“Madam of-the-Rock,” Uwaine says, over dinner, “these dudes you’re talking about, they sound like jerks. I was taught that if you put a SIR in front of your name, then, well, you’re expected to behave like a gentleman, and these dudes don’t sound like gentle men. I’m a knight, I’m a knight of the Round Table in fact, well, okay, technically I’m suspended but that’ll get sorted out eventually I’m sure. So, tell you what, I’ll have a talk with these two, Sir Edward and Sir Hue, the Red Castle guys.”
“Oh, that’d be awesome.”
“Yeah, and if they refuse to listen to reason, I’m a reasonable guy, but I can fight ‘em, if we need to do that. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.”
So the Lady of the Rock couriers over an invitation to the Red Castle, asking Sir Edward and Sir Hue to come over for tea and crumpets and frank discussion to settle their dispute. And they show up! But they bring a hundred knights in armor with them. Soon they’re standing outside the Lady’s castle, knocking at the gates.
“I don’t think we should let them in,” says the Lady of the Rock.
“I’m sure it’s fine,” says Uwaine. “We invited them!”
“They brought a hundred men at arms. You stand here, on top of the wall, and shout down at them, okay?”
Ursula endorses this plan, but Uwaine really wants to either let them into the castle or else go out himself and talk to them. Ursula and the Lady of the Rock have to work hard to convince him these aren’t realistic options. Anyway, eventually Uwaine gets up on the wall and shouts down, and Edward and Hue shout back up, and Uwaine tries to negotiate with them, and Edward and Hue aren’t much for listening to reason.
“Okay then,” shouts down Uwaine. “I’ll come out and joust with one of you, all right? Winner decides this whole deal.”
Edward and Hue confer. “No way,” they shout back. “We’ve got a hundred men and arms, they’re on our team. You’ve got two women.”
“This is between knights!”
“Our guys are all knights! We knighted them just now!”
“Well I’m not fighting a hundred and two guys, don’t be stupid!”
Edward and Hue confer, and pitch an actual counter-offer, which is Uwaine by himself versus Edward and Hue and nobody else, Uwaine picks the time and place of their joust.
Uwaine agrees to this, and says he’ll joust them bright and early the next morning outside the Lady of the Rock’s castle. So as negotiations go, talking the other side down from 102 combatants to 2, that’s pretty good. I’d give Uwaine a B+ for the day.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book IV Chapter XXVI — No Comments
HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>