Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VI Chapter IX
“Hey Yuffie!” Launcelot shouts. “I killed Turquine, so, we can go do that other thing you wanted to do! Am I going to need a horse?”
Yuffie rides up and reminds him about Gaheris and the sixty-four other prisoners.
“Right, right. Gaheris, can I borrow your horse?”
Gaheris has been lying insensible where Tarquine tossed him. Launcelot shakes him awake. “What?”
“What? Who’s there? What?”
“It’s me, Launcelot!”
“Wha? Launcelot, is that you? Hey, cool! Launcelot! It’s Launcelot, everybody! The Man from Benwick! The best knight ever!” Gaheris gestures to nobody in particular.
“I think he may have a concussion,” says Yuffie.
“Three cheers for Lancey!” Gaheris crows.
“He seems okay to me,” Launcelot says. “Gaheris, buddy, go down into the basement of Castle Turquine over there and you let everybody out, okay? I see a bunch of shields belonging to guys we know, hanging on the tree there.” Launcelot lists off a bunch of knights whose shields he recognizes, which list includes Sir Kay, Sir Marhaus, and of course Sir Ector-the-Lesser and Sir Lionel. “You let them out and tell them I give everybody permission to loot Castle Turquine as much as you guys want, okay? And I’m going to go do a thing with Yuffie, but I’ll be back at Camelot for next Pentecost, okay?”
Gaheris shakes his head. “Wha? Launcelot, is that you?”
“See? He’s fine. Let’s go.”
So Launcelot and Yuffie ride off, and Gaheris, bleeding from the head, stumbles into Castle Turquine, and nearly walks into Turquine’s porter.
“Can I help you?” asks the porter.
“WAUGH!” Sir Gaheris jumps him! Before the porter knows what’s happening, Gaheris is on top of him and they’re rolling around on the ground! Gaheris slams the porter’s head into the wall until the porter stops struggling. On the porter’s corpse, he finds a big ring of keys, which he takes. Gaheris then wanders downstairs and finds the main prison door, which he manages to unlock and open before collapsing.
Fortunately Sir Kay is right at the front of the prison, and he takes the keys from Gaheris and gets knights working on unlocking one another, then he helps Gaheris up.
“Gaheris! Excellent work! You defeated Sir Turquine, suffering a nasty head wound in the process! Let’s get you cleaned up.” Kay is all right there with the water and rags and such. He’s a pretty sensible dude, Kay is. Walt Disney’s the Sword in the Stone paints him as a bully and a sneering punk kid, but he’s all right, really.
“No, no, no,” Gaheris mumbles. “It wasn’t me. It was Sir Launcelot, he killed Turquine. He ripped him apart with his bare hands, I saw it myself, it was incredible. He says hi.”
Kay gets everyone freed and cleaned up and he finds Turquine’s venison supply, which he distributes such that each knight gets about ten pounds of sausage each. I did the math, and unless I’m very wrong, that’s how much sausage venison Kay has available to boil and he boils it all for a single meal. Ten pounds (precooked weight) of venison may seem like a lot to you and me, but these are some hungry knights! Many haven’t eaten in weeks. And Kay is a caterer, so he knows how much venison sausage a half-starved knight needs to get back into fighting shape.
Anyway, that night Gaheris is feeling better and he explains more accurately about Launcelot’s defeat of Turquine, and his instructions regarding how the knights should loot freely then go back to Camelot.
“He wanted me to chase after him, though, right?” asks Sir Lionel. “We were going to have a strange adventure together!”
“And I was going, too,” says Sir Ector-the-Lesser.
Gaheris shrugs. “No, I’m pretty sure he said for everyone to go back to Camelot.”
“Screw that,” says Lionel.
“We’ll catch up to him easily!”
“Oh, if you boys are going to run off like that I’ll have to go with,” sighs Kay. “Keep you out of trouble.”
AND SO in the morning all the knights ride back to Camelot, except for Kay, Lionel, and Ector-the-Lesser, who guess what direction Launcelot went and and ride off after him. Lionel and Ector-the-Lesser give up and go home before too long, though; Launcelot is just riding too hard and fast and knightly for them to catch up.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VI Chapter IX — No Comments
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