So they joust for a while, blah blah blah, couple of hours of jousting. Turquine calls for a thirty-second time out, and makes Launcelot an offer.
“Look at me, stranger, what do you see? I’m gigantic, right?”
“Yeah, okay,” says Launcelot.
“You’re pretty badass yourself, though, you know?”
“I’ve been told that.”
“In terms of jousting ability, you’re as tall as I am!”
“That’s a pretty strained metaphor.”
“Yeah, I know. But, listen. There’s this one knight that I hate. Assuming, heh, assuming you’re not him —“
“Who is he?”
“Let me finish. Here’s what we do. We stop the joust right now, we become lifelong buddies, and I release all of my prisoners. You help me defeat the knight that I hate, I help you in all other areas of life, it’ll be great. They’ll write songs about us, and our manly bro hugs. The legendary partnership of Sir Turquine and Sir whatever your name is, you dig?”
“Cool, cool,” says Launcelot. “One question, just so I know, your enemy becomes my enemy and so on, so, who is this knight that you, and by you I mean we, hate so much, and why do we hate him?”
“Oh, pal, listen. This guy, Sir Launcelot du Lake, killed my brother, Sir Carados.”
“Really? The nice old knight who told Sir Gawaine about the backstory between Ettard and Pellas back in Book IV?”
“I don’t know about that,” says Turquine. “Maybe that was a different Carados. The one I’m talking about got killed, by Launcelot, at the Dolorous Tower.”
“Oh, that guy,” says Launcelot, remembering. Totes different Carados.
“Anyway, to attract Launcelot’s attention I’ve been abducting and just killing outright a whole pile of knights. I maimed some dudes, and right now I’ve got sixty-four, well, this guy is sixty-five, I have a bunch of prisoners, is what I’m saying. I’ll free them all, hough, and you and I can go kill Launcelot, together. It’ll be faster than waiting for him to come to me. That plans is taking way too long.”
“Man.” Launcelot sighs. “If I were a certain kind of guy I maybe would take you up on that offer, and then once you released the prisoners betrayed you, but I’m not that guy. I’m the guy who is known as Launcelot du Lake, King Ban’s son of Benwick, and we’re going to have to finish this joust after all.”
“You’re the Man from Benwick?” Turquine bursts out laughing. “I have to say, I’m thrilled to meet you! I’ve heard so much about you!”
And Turquine and Launcelot charge one another, Malory says, as two wild bulls rushing and lashing with their shields and swords, that sometime they fell both over their noses.
Another couple of hours of fighting goes by, and Launcelot wins eventually, which is kind of anticlimactic actually.
Discussion Question: Were it not for his oaths of chivalry and personal code of conduct, Launcelot could have given Turquine a false name. Then the two of them could have gone off on strange adventures together, winning tournaments and fighting armies and spiting Morgan le Fay and so on. Over the weeks and months, Turquine and Launcelot become a great and storied team, just as Turquine predicted. At all times, however, Launcelot remains troubled, for he knows that eventually his comrade will learn the truth. He has to work to constantly dodge people who know him and might call him by his proper name, and rumors abound of Launcelot eschewing knightly society in favor of riding around alone or in the company of a strange, huge knight whose name no one ever learns because Launcelot leads him away too quickly from all of the townspeople. Turquine speculates with his buddy about that darn Launcelot, and his odd-sounding companion, and how nobody seems to know what he’s doing or why. Finally Sir Gawaine, that bigmouth, rides Launcelot down with a message from Guenever, and Turquine learns the truth, and Launcelot and Turquine must fight a duel atop an active volcano. Okay, that wasn’t technically a question. I’m just saying. Missed opportunity, Malory.