Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book X, Chapters 53 and 54
To make a long story very slightly shorter, Tristram and Palomides and Pitiless Bruce paper over this schism by randomly accosting the first knight they see and challenging him to a joust for funsies. It turns out to be Sir Bleoberis, Knight of the Round Table, cousin of Sir Launcelot! And he’s way into the joust, because he knows Pitiless Bruce for the B-grade supervillain that he is!
Pitiless Bruce ends up running away, straight into Sir Percivale and some of his friends. Bleoberis is hot on his trail!
“Whoa there buddy,” says Percivale. “Where’s the fire?”
“I’m on the run from Pitiless Bruce,” says Pitiless Bruce. “He’s the guy right behind me, wearing a Sir Bleoberis disguise!”
“Dang!” says Percivale. “I’ve heard of this Pitiless Bruce guy. He’s supposed to be a real dick. Never worry, stranger, we’ll protect you. Sir Ector the Lesser,” he continues, turning towards one of the knights with him. “Go take that guy out!”
“I’m on it!” says Sir Ector the Lesser, and rides up on Bleoberis.
Bleoberis sees Ector, Percivale, and Percivale’s other friend, whose name is “Sir Harry of Fise Lake.” Fise has two meanings, thirty seconds of Googling tells me. First meaning is farts, second meaning is spaniel. So let’s call him Harry of Spaniel Lake, because I’m not a fan of fart jokes. Anyway, Bleoberis sees that somewhere Pitiless Bruce has gotten three friends, and now they outnumber him four to one. Will he run away?
No he won’t! Then he said to himself, “I am a knight of the Round Table, and rather than I should shame mine oath and my blood I will hold my way whatsoever fall thereof. If I gotta fight four guys, I gotta fight four guys.”
So Bleoberis and Ector joust, and Bleoberis wins, and then Percivale comes in to rescue Ector. Percivale and Bleoberis fight to a draw.
“Hmm,” says Sir Harry. “On Spaniel Lake they don’t raise no fools. I don’t recall Pitiless Bruce being so good at jousting that he can defeat Ector and hold his own against Sir Percivale.” Nevertheless he moves in to rescue Percivale, because a buddy is a buddy.
But Pitiless Bruce can’t resist villainy! He waits until Bleoberis is disadvantaged, then rides in and tramples him in a tremendously unknightly manner!
“What the hell, buddy?” demands Sir Harry, irate at this display.
So Pitiless Bruce tramples him, too!
“Traitor knight!” cries Percivale, and tries to ride down Bruce, but Bruce flees.
Afterwards Bleoberis identifies himself, and Ector points out that he, Ector, and Percivale are all cousins, all members of Sir Launcelot’s extended family. They share a good laugh over it. But not too good a laugh, because Pitiless Bruce got away.
Then: main plot advancement! It’s kind of like one of those episodes of, like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the first forty minutes are monster-of-the-week, and then at the end they shoehorn in a little push to the season-long metaplot. Palomides rides up. At first he wants to finish his interrupted joust with Sir Bleoberis, but mostly he comes bearing news.
Lamorak is dead!
Dun dun DUNNN!
It seems there was a jousting tournament, which happened entirely offscreen, and Lamorak showed up and won it, and afterwards as he was leaving, Sir Gawaine and several of his brothers ambushed him and murdered him. They slew him feloniously, unto all good knights’ great damage.
Percivale is Lamorak’s kid brother, you may recall. When he hears Lamorak is dead, he breaks down sobbing. His cousins are pretty miserable about it, too. Percivale recalls that Gawaine and his brothers also ambushed and murdered his and Lamorak’s father, King Pellinore, and wonders aloud if maybe he ought to do something about it.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book X, Chapters 53 and 54 — No Comments
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