A couple of days later Sir Lamorak rides along, comes across a knight and a lady sleeping. As he watches from a distance, the lady wakes up as a second knight approaches. The second knight is Sir Gawaine! The lady climbs up on Gawaine’s horse and they ride off, which Lamorak thinks is unfair to the sleeping knight.
So Lamorak rides after Gawaine, and catches up to him.
“What? What? What do you want? I’m King Arthur’s nephew!” cries Gawaine.
(If you think I’m joking, let me quote Malory verbatim: “And then said Sir Gawaine: what will ye do with me? For I am nephew unto King Arthur.”)
“Listen, Gawaine, it’s me, Lamorak. I saw you make off with that knight’s lady. Either you put her back, or I do — your choice.”
“Do I get a say?” asks Sally. Let’s just say it’s Sally. Why not? Malory doesn’t specify, but that Sally, she’s a firecracker, you know?
“No,” says Lamorak.
“Fine, fine, fine.” Gawaine pouts a bit, but turns and rides back towards the other knight.
Lamorak watches as Gawaine rides up, and winces as the other knight doesn’t even hesitate, just whap, knocks Gawaine off his horse before Gawaine was ready for it. Then he grabs Sally back and starts to ride off.
“Dang it,” says Lamorak. “If I don’t do something Gawaine is going to make trouble for me at Camelot…. You there!” he shouts at the knight, and gets him to pause. “Let’s you and me joust! You just dehorsed a guy who is technically my friend!”
“Joust you? You bet!” cries the other knight. He sets Sally down.
Lamorak and the other knight joust with relish, and then Lamorak kills the other knight, who turns out to be — it’s true! Sir Frol from last chapter.
Sally runs off to Frol’s brother’s castle, which is nearby. She tells Frol’s brother, Sir Belliance the Orgulous, about Frol’s death. Belliance and Sally then ride back to Lamorak, who for some reason was just waiting around, and Belliance demands a joust to avenge Frol.
They joust! A couple of hours in, Belliance realizes he never learned Lamorak’s name, and asks. When Lamorak identifies himself, Belliance jousts with renewed vigor. “Thou art the man in the world that I most hate, for I slew my sons for thy sake!”
This is news to Lamorak. “Have we met?”
Lamorak doesn’t know what’s going on, but he decides the prudent thing to do is surrender and apologize. “I had no idea about your sons, man, really.”
“I don’t accept your surrender or your apology!” cries Belliance.
Lamorak tries a few more times, but they just end up jousting some more. Eventually both are wounded and tired. Belliance collapses first, but only by a little bit.
“I’m lulling you into a false sense of security,” pants Belliance.
“You know? You could have pretended to accept my surrender and then just murdered me,” says Lamorak. “Plus I’m also bleeding pretty badly. Truce?”
“Sure, fine, truce,” says Belliance.
Belliance and Lamorak stumble to a nearby abbey, where they sweet-talk some nuns into nursing them back to health. By the time they’ve both convalesced, they’re fast friends.
And on that note, for some reason, we end Book VIII!