Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XII Chapters 7 and 8
“All right here’s the plan,” says Percivale. “We split up. You stay out here, in case there’s trouble, and I’ll go in and check on this ‘Mister Guilty’ guy.”
“What if he’s Launcelot?”
“All the more reason for us to split up. Say we both go in, and it’s Launcelot, and he challenges us to a joust. We can’t both joust him at once.”
“Yeah, that makes sense,” says Ector. “Do as ye list, and here I shall abide you until that I hear of you.”
So Percivale pulls on a face-concealing helmet, and he goes on into the castle. He crashes the party, and of course Launcelot gets up from the table to sword-fight him. Launcelot has defeated an average of one knight every eight minutes for the last seventy-two hours straight; what’s one more?
But of course Percivale is a way better knight than any of those scrubs. He and Launcelot shield-fight (that is, after a perfunctory lances-and-horses bit, they toss their swords aside and hammer one another with shields, which I’ve never heard of before and I guess maybe it was a nonlethal jousting technique? Or maybe I’m misreading “they flang out their swords” and it means to unsheathe rather than to fling away! I like my probably-wrong interpretation better)! Anyway, they fight for two straight hours, until they’re both pretty much exhausted.
“So, strange knight wearing a device of a knight kneeling before a queen,” says Percivale. It’s the first thing he’s said since they started. “What’s your name?”
“They call me Mister Guilty,” says Launcelot shortly. “What’s yours?”
“I don’t hesitate to tell you! I am not using a pseudonym of any kind. I am Sir Percivale de Galis, that was brother to the good knight Sir Lamorak de Galis, and King Pellinore was our father, and Sir Aglavale is my brother. That’s a lot of information about me and who I am and I’m being completely open and honest about it. Hint hint.”
Launcelot sighs. “Damn it, I should have known that hosting a jousting tournament would be a bridge too far.” He kneels in surrender.
“Actual name,” says Percivale. “Just for the record?”
“So God me help, my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake, King Ban’s son of Benoy. By which I mean Benwick.”
“Sorry to be a dick about it,” says Percivale. “But Ector and I — he’s outside — we’ve been searching for you for years, boss.”
“The queen sent us, if that helps? Again, sorry about it.”
“It is soon forgiven,” Launcelot grumbles.
Launcelot and Ector have a tearful reunion, and Launcelot introduces Elaine to Percivale and Ector both, and she throws a big banquet in their honor, and Launcelot recaps his whole crazy misadventure, with Bliant and Selivant, and the boar, and the hermit, and the time living like a dog in Corbin, and so on and so on.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XII Chapters 7 and 8 — No Comments
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