Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur Book XIV Chapters 4 and 5
Percivale rides away from Castle Goothe for about a half a day, stopping only when he stumbles upon a funeral. We join that funeral, already in progress.
A couple of dozen men-at-arms crowd around a casket, acting as pallbearers for a knight deadly slain.
“Yo!” says Percivale, as he approaches.
The men-at-arms exchange shifty looks. “Where’d you come from, then?” asks one.
Percivale smiles in a broad, nonthreatening way. “Oh, I’m from Camelot!”
This turns out to not be a very popular place of origin. “Slay him!” the armsmen shout, and charge at Percivale.
Though Percivale is a holy knight and a fabulous fighter he can’t handle 20+ to one odds. He takes out a third or so of his opponents, but then they kill his horse! Oh no! Is this the untimely end of Percivale?
No! Because Galahad springs up out of nowhere, all in red, and lays into the funeral-goers, until they break and flee into the woods. That Galahad! He’s so dreamy!
As he watches Galahad chase the opposition into the woods, Percivale marvels at how the target of his quest just appeared out of nowhere like that. “Hey, Galahad! Thanks for saving me!” he shouts. “Come back here so I can thank you properly!”
But alas, Galahad disappears into the woods, and Percivale is left alone.
Before Percivale can do more than collect his thoughts and marvel about how Galahad is so dreamy, along comes a serf with a big black horse.
“Hey, serf! Lend me that big black horse, will you? Mine is dead and I want to chase after a paladin of my acquaintance.”
“Sorry, no-can-doosville,” says the serf. “I give you this horse, what if it comes back scratched or with a broken windshield? Then its owner, a scary-ass knight believe you me, would kill me. I don’t wanna get killed, buddy.”
“Dang it,” says Percivale, which is as close as he ever comes to swearing. “I really wanted to catch up to Galahad.”
“What if you mugged me and stole the big black horse?” suggests the serf. “That way my boss can’t be mad at me, it was you forcing yourself.”
“Nah, I’m not the thieving kind. It’s not worth ruining my spotless record.”
But Percivale will not mug the serf, and so they part. The serf rides off and Percivale sits under a tree and feels sorry for himself.
Shortly afterwards, the aforementioned scary-ass knight rides past on the big black horse. Percivale waves to him, but he ignores it.
A couple of minutes later, the serf reappears, looking scared.
“Did you see a villain on a big black horse ride by?” he asks.
“Yeah,” says Percivale. “What up?”
“That was my boss. He’s mad at me for literally no reason Malory deigns to provide! If he finds me, he’ll kill me!”
“Ouch. Sucks to be you, man.”
Luckily, the serf has an idea. “How about you take my horse and catch up to him and stop him from killing me by killing him? He’s totally a villain!”
“Well, I don’t know.” Percivale examines the serf’s horse with an appraising eye. “See, this here is a peasant horse. Very slow. Dishonorable for a knight like myself to ride…”
“Oh, all right.”
So Percivale mounts up on the serf’s horse, and takes off after the knight on the big black horse. Unfortunately, Percivale is on the horse equivalent of a VW bug and the big black horse is the horse equivalent of a high-end roadster. Percivale can’t catch up to him, is what I’m saying.
He gets within shouting distance, but the other knight just ignores him, which frustrates Percivale so much that he dismounts and grumbles and feels sorry for himself and then he takes a nap.
This whole chapter is just random incident, and I’m sorry to waste your time. Quick recap of this chapter: “Percivale accomplishes nothing for a while, and then he takes a nap.”
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur Book XIV Chapters 4 and 5 — No Comments
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