Back at Camelot, a knight named Ector — but a different Ector, not King Arthur’s adoptive father; this one is Ector de Maris — overslept and now he’s pissed because he’d wanted to go off on the strange adventure with Launcelot and Lionel and either there was miscommunication or they outright ditched him, Malory is vague. Anyway, Ector loads up and rides off in the same general direction as Launcelot and Lionel, across the woods and the stock footage and so on. He doesn’t find Launcelot immediately, but he does find a man who might be a forester.
Maybe he’s just dressed like a forester. Malory’s vague about that, too.
“Sirrah!” Ector says to the probable forester. “Have you seen Sir Launcelot?”
“The Man from Benwick? No? How about my brother-in-arms Sir Lionel, you seen him?”
“Listen, old man, I’m looking for a strange adventure, already in progress. Can you point me in the right direction?”
“Hmm. A strange adventure, you say?”
“Only strange adventure in these parts would be over at Castle Turquine. They’ve got a tree over there where they hang the shields of knights who lose to Turquine in battle, plus an old copper wash-tub that’s been converted into a gong.”
“Also thou hast the fairest grace that many a year had ever knight that passed through this forest,” the forester adds.
“…are you hitting on me?”
“I’m not not hitting on you…”
“Gramercy,” says Ector, and departed. Departs. Malory uses past tense. Anyway. Ector rides off in the direction the forester indicated, and arrives outside Castle Turquine, and sees a tree where, sure enough, hang a great many shields, including Sir Lionel’s shield.
“Lionel!” cries Ector. He assumes that Turquine or someone has slain Lionel, and sobs and shouts at the heavens. He pounds on the gong, demanding retribution, and then he waters his horse while he waits for someone to show up.
Someone does show up! Turquine! He’s just as large now as he was last chapter! Ector was expecting a smaller knight.
Still, to Ector’s credit I guess, he goes through with the joust. Ector and Turquine ride at one another, and Ector manages to catch Turquine under one arm, and unhorses him!
“Well, good for you, tiny man,” booms Turquine. “No one’s unhorsed me in twelve years! I like you, you’ve got moxie! If you surrender now, I’ll keep you alive as my prisoner!”
“Have it your way then, I’ll take you prisoner anyway,” says Turquine, and beats Ector within an inch of his life and throws him into the oubliette with Lionel and the various other knights Turquine’s taken prisoner.
“Lionel! You’re alive!”
“Ector? What are you doing here?”
“Where’s Sir Launcelot?”
“Last I saw him, he was sleeping under an apple tree.”
“Quiet, both of you,” say the knights who have been in the oubliette for a while already. “Quit with your talk of Launcelot and apple trees and rescue. No one can rescue us! Surely no knight exists who can defeat our captor Turquine!”
IN THE NEXT EPISODE: LAUNCELOT FINALLY WAKES UP!