Gawaine and Ector ride around together for another full week before Malory relents and allows something interesting to happen. Interesting may be a bit of a stretch. What happens is, they pull into a disused chapel one Saturday night. As they stay there overnight, they have some crazy dreams.
Gawaine dreams that there’s a huge herd of bulls, and three of the bulls are awesome shiny white bulls (one of the three has a little black spot, but that’s no account). All the bulls decide to go off looking for better pasture, and long story short the bulls that are stand-ins for Galahad, Percivale, and Bors leave and find the Grail and then one of them comes back and all of the other bulls feel sorry for themselves.
Ector dreams that he’s with Sir Launcelot! He and Launcelot are riding along, and he asks Launcelot where they’re going, and Launcelot says “go we seek what we shall not find.”
This strikes Ector as kind of a defeatist attitude, but then he’s Sir Launcelot himself, like happens in dreams. Ector (as Launcelot) rides around on a donkey and wearing a hair shirt. He stops to drink from a well but the well dries up when he tries to drink from it! Then he visits a rich man’s house where there was a wedding and Sir Launcelot gets turned away, because he’s not welcome at the wedding feast.
Gawaine and Ector wake up, and compare notes on their dreams and recent events. All but four knights are accounted for, Grail-quest-wise. Three bulls (one with a black spot) found better pasture. Sir Launcelot, wearing a hair shirt, was turned away from a feast.
“Truly this is a riddle we cannot solve!” cries Gawaine. “I give up! We should go ask a hermit!”
And then — get this — they have a marvellous vision! They’re in this disused chapel and suddenly there’s a giant candle, hanging in the air, held by a disembodied hand with a red silk sleeve! And anon came down a voice which said “Knights of full evil faith and of poor belief, these two things have failed you; and therefore ye may not come to the adventures of the Sangreal.”
Then the candle vanishes!
“Whoa,” says Gawaine. “Ector, did you hear that?”
“I did,” says Ector.
“Anyway, like I was saying, we have no way of knowing how to progress on the Grail Quest or what our visions mean. We’ve got to find Nacien and get him to explain it to us.”
Ector hasn’t met Nacien, but Gawaine assures him the guy is loads of fun. So they ride onwards, getting directions to Nacien’s hovel from the first peasant they see.