Meanwhile, back in the plot, stuff is afoot. You remember Sir Bleoberis? He has a brother, Sir Blamore. Malory mentioned this before. What he didn’t mention before: these two cooked up a scheme to humiliate King Anguish of Ireland. Their reasons for doing so are unclear, but still, this is how the story goes. So step one, they arrange for King Arthur to extend an official invitation (also known as a summons) to Anguish, to show up at Arthur’s court at a particular time. If Anguish is so good as to attend, there will be a brief reception. If Anguish declines, Arthur will strip him of his crown, title, and lands.
Why does Arthur go along with this? It’s unclear. He’s not invested heavily in this plot; the particular day when Anguish is expected in Camelot, Arthur’s going to be out of town (specifically he’ll be at Castle Joyous Garde, Launcelot’s castle, which I’m sure there’s a great story about how Launcelot gets that castle and I don’t know why Malory hasn’t told it to us). Arthur arranges for a couple of kings to cover for him, the King of Carados and the King of Scots.
Whether this is the same King of Carados that was part of Team Lot & Mister 100, back in Book I: unclear. Whether this is the same King of Scots that was so eager to invade France in Book V: probably not, as Malory identified that king as King Anguish. To sum up I’m pretty sure Malory is just pulling names out of a hat at this point. This is like the fourth Carados in Le Morte D’Arthur so far. Normally I assume folks with the same name are the same person, but Carados is just all over the place.
King Anguish makes the trip out to Camelot, of course. When Arthur summons you for a pleasant little reception, you come running, if you know what’s good for you. He’s a little disappointed that Arthur himself isn’t at the reception, but what really shakes him is when Sir Bleoberis, out of nowhere, starts accusing him of murder!
Yeah! Bleoberis claims that his cousin was visiting Anguish’s court and got murdered!
Anguish hears this, he suddenly understands why this reception had been organized in the first place — it’s a trap! And Anguish has only one option: to answer him knightly.
Malory is kind enough to explain to us, at this point, that a) the usual method of trial for treason in those days was trial by combat, between the accused and the accuser (or their champions), and this is relevant because b) murder was at that time treated as a subcategory of treason.
“I’m going to need a little time to formulate a response,” says Anguish, because he’s pretty sure Bleoberis can joust the crap out of him in a fair fight. Bleoberis is a relation of Sir Launcelot’s, after all, and comes from a long line of infamous kickers of ass.
Carados and the King of Scots put their heads together and agree that Anguish can take all the time he needs, provided he doesn’t need more than seventy-two hours.