Who was wroth but King Mark! asks Malory, but it’s a rhetorical question. King Mark is wroth, I tell you what. “I can’t believe this! I just don’t have any suitable knights! My court sucks!”
Gaheris is pretty drunk, but he’s followed the conversation to this point, more or less. “All right, all right, all right. I’ll do it. I always end up doing it anyway. I’ll joust your guy, where is he?”
So Gaheris goes out to joust Uwaine. Uwaine recognizes him, though. “Sir, yo do not your part. For, sir, the first time ye were made Knight of the Round Table ye sware that ye should not have ado with your fellowship wittingly.”
“What’s that in English?” asks Gaheris.
“Sir Gaheris, it’s me, your cousin Sir Uwaine! We’re both Knights of the Round Table. We swore Guenever’s oath, back in Book III, that no Knight of the Round Table shall ever joust another Knight of the Round Table or do battle with one another. Now, you’re pretty drunk and maybe you don’t recognize me, but I recognize you and I’d know your shield and heraldry even if I didn’t know you. Maybe you’re willing to break Gunever’s oath, but I’m not.”
“Feh,” says Gaheris. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”
“No way! Besides, we’re cousins!”
Then was Sir Gaheris ashamed, says Malory. He goes back to Mark, and Uwaine shakes his head in disappointment that Cornwall is not a more civilized land, and departs.
King Mark just can’t let the matter drop, though. He mounts up on his horse and armor and all, and rides after Uwaine. When he catches up, he doesn’t challenge Uwaine to a joust, as would be appropriate. No, he just flat-out stabs Uwaine in the back with his lance!
“That’s what you get for making me feel small in my own country!” cries Mark, and rides off, abandoning Uwaine to die.
Uwaine doesn’t die, needless to say. Instead Sir Kay comes by. Kay sees a mess and he sighs, because always has to be the one to pick up after everybody. Feasts, parties, and now guys bleeding by the side of the road. Kay carries Uwaine to the nearest priory, the Abbey of the Black Cross, for medical treatment.
“It was weird, Kay,” Uwaine says later. “I wot not why nor wherefore, but by treason I am sure I gat this hurt. I was just riding along, minding my own business, and then wham! A lance in my back!”
Sir Andred shows up at the Abbey, to see what’s up, and Kay immediately accuses him of back-stabbing poor Uwaine.
“I didn’t!” Andred protests. “Knight’s honor! Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a cupcake in my eye!”
“The honor of a Cornish knight is plainly worth zilch,” says Kay. “You and everyone else in Mark’s court… you’re all a bunch of honorless losers. The only decent Cornish knight was Tristram, and you kicked him out.”
Back at Tintagil, somehow Gaheris becomes apprised of this whole situation. He turns to Mark. “Sir king, ye did a foul shame unto you and your court.”
“Wait wait wait,” says Mark. “I’m confused. Where are we? Are we at the Abbey? Why are Gaheris and I here? How did that happen?”
“Continuity errors won’t save you now, you no-honor pig,” snaps Gaheris.
“Who’s calling who a pig?” calls out Sir Kay, as he strides boldly into Tintagil. He smiles broadly and without any friendliness.
“Never mind that now,” says Mark, thinking quickly. “Who’s up for a strange adventure?”
“Sure, I’ll bite,” says Kay.
“This strange adventure to which I refer requires you to go out into the Morris woods near here. Maybe you need to wear a blindfold and also take your armor’s backplate off. That part’s just a suggestion…” Mark is straight up blue-skying it.
“Oh, I’ll take your strange adventure, I’ll advent it right proper,” sneers Kay, and heads out immediately. No time like the present!
Gaheris intercepts Kay on the road to the forest. “Kay, Kay, don’t be a hero! Mark is not to be trusted! He’s been humiliated by us Camelot knights, and he’s up to no good I’m sure. This is an ambush situation, Kay.”
“Well duh,” retorts Kay. “This isn’t my first jousting tournament, Gaheris. I’m King Arthur’s big brother, I know a trap when I stride boldy into it. But come with me if you’re worried for my safety. It’ll be a hoot.”
Sir Kay: kind of awesome!