At the Tower Of The Hot Chick, Bors gets seriously feted. It is a whole big thing. Before he knows it, he’s in Catherine’s boudoir, and she’s sitting very close to him on a sofa, and she’s wearing something see-through. On the coffee table in front of them there’s meat and pastries and creams and fruits and liquor, and there’s a strong sense in the air that all Bors needs to do is say the word, and Catherine will climb into his lap and hand-feed him strawberries, or douse herself with whipped cream for him to lick off, or whatever.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but still. By Malory’s standards, Catherine is seriously up for anything, and she is not subtle with her hints.
Bors finds his throat has gone seriously dry. “I need some water,” he says weakly.
Catherine claps her hands and calls for a squire to fetch Sir Bors some water.
So Bors drinks some water, and then he takes a little bit of the least-appetizing-looking pastry and soaks it in the water, so he won’t enjoy eating it, and then he eats it.
Catherine watches this. Needless to say she’s a little disappointed. “I trow ye like not my meat.” She pauses. “I’m making a double entendre. By ‘meat’ I mean not only the smorgasbord laid out here, but also my fabulous body.”
“Yes, truly, God thank you madam,” Bors says all in a rush, before Catherine can demonstrate the fabulousness of her body by doing squats or something. “I’m currently not eating meat. It’s a thing, I mean…”
Catherine clucks her tongue. “There there,” she tells him. “It’s okay. I don’t want to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to. We don’t have to have wild monkey sex; we can just talk.”
So they just talk! Or as Malory puts it, after supper they spake of one thing and another.
Just as their small talk reaches its zenith, Catherine signals to her handmaiden and her handmaiden nods and crosses over to the window and opens and closes the Venetian blinds three times, and down in the courtyard a guy sees that and he responds by hitting a gong, and some guy hears the gong and… anyway Malory doesn’t go into any of this but the whole thing seems highly pat, because the upshot is that a squire comes into Catherine’s boudoir and gives the following speech, which doesn’t sound suspiciously well-rehearsed or anything:
“Madam, ye must purvey you to-morn for a champion, for else your sister will have this castle and also your lands, except ye can find a knight that will fight to-morn in your quarrel against Pridam, the black knight.”
Catherine gets super-theatrical! She puts the back of her hand up to her forehead and groans. “Woe! Woe! Lord God, wherefore granted ye to hold my land, whereof I should now be disherited without reason or right? If only some heroic knight could save me! Perhaps one whom I attempted to seduce but that turned out to be a nonstarter. Even if he isn’t interested in ravishing me and licked whipped cream off of various parts of me, surely this hypothetical knight would be virtuous enough to save me in my hour of need!”
“I shall comfort you,” says Bors.
“Oh! Sir Bors! I completely forgot you were here! How rude of me,” says Catherine. “I wouldn’t want you to put yourself out for my benefit.”
But Bors insists, gallant dude that he is!