Cut to: Tristram looking down on two likely knights, is how Malory phrases it.  He’s caught up to the troublemakers, Sir Lusty and Sir Thug.  He gears up to give them what-for!

 

Gouvernail, Tristram’s valet/Latin tutor/squire, frets. “Sir, sir, I would counsel you not to have ado with them, for they be two proved knights of Arthur’s court.”

 

“Don’t worry,” says Tristram.  “When I defeat two hardened Knights of the Round Table, it’ll merely increase my personal legend.”

 

“Fine, whatever, you’re the boss,” says Gouvernail with a sigh.

 

So Tristram rides in on the two knights.  “You!  Knights, if knights you be!  Where come you from?  Where go you to?  Spill!  Or else get cut!”  He’s really kind of a jerk about it.

 

Sir Sagramore the Lusty takes a bit of offense at Tristram’s attitude.  “You there, are you a knight of Cornwall?”

 

“Who wants to know?  Why do they want to know?  What’s your angle?” roars Tristram.  Tristram is not trying to make friends.

 

Sir Sagramore the Lusty and Sir Dodinas the Thug exchange glances, and nod significantly one another.  “It’s funny,” says Sagramore.  “We’d always heard that Cornish knights, the Fighting Gamecocks, were tough bullroar.  Which is funny, and not at all true, because just two hours ago we met a Cornish knight who talked a good game but he seemed more inclined to lie down in the mud and take a nap than two get back up and joust us.  You look like you could use a little nap yourself, stranger!”

 

“Oooooh,” goes the studio audience, like you do when one character on the sitcom talks smack right to the face of another character on the sitcom.

 

“Well, we’ll find out,” says Tristram.  “Because that was my cousin!”

 

This doesn’t have the dramatic effect that Tristram was hoping for.  Sagramore and Dodinas just look at him.

 

“So do your best because I’m going to knock both of you at once into the mud!”

 

This gets a rise out of Dodinas, who draws a spear and tells Tristram to shut up and move along, and instead Tristram gets out his own spear and they joust.  Long story short, Dodinas gets his neck broken, and Sagramore gets a compound fracture of his right femur.  In Arthurian times these sorts of wounds meant a year or so of bed-rest, then you were fresh as a daisy.

 

Afterwards, Tristram asks if he’s the new king of England or whatever, since he beat two Knights of the Round Table, and they smile politely and explain that isn’t how it works, but they’ll be happy to pass along his name to their supervisor.  Tristram introduces himself, and Sagramore and Dodinas suggest they all three head back to Camelot, but Tristram takes a rain check on that.  He’s got to find Sir Bleoberis de Ganis, prince of France and latest lover of Sally, the hottest lady-in-waiting in Mark’s court.

 

“Sure, yeah, they’re right over there,” says Sagramore, and points to the other side of a hill.  Tristram crosses the hill and, sure enough, there’s Sir Bleoberis and also Sally, riding off together.


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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VIII Chapter 16 — No Comments

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