Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVII Chapter 2
Galahad rides on, stopping briefly at his grandfather’s castle Carbonek, and on. One night at a cottage, he meets a woman. Let’s give her a solid religiousy name, like Magdalena. While Galahad sleeps, Mags comes up to the door of the cottage and knocks and tells the hermit within (Sir Ulfin, retired knight; all hermits are either Nacien or a retired knight) she’s come for Galahad. Ulfin wakes Galahad, and Galahad seems not in the slightest surprised to see her.
“Magdalena,” he says.
“Galahad,” says Mags. “I will that ye arm you, and mount upon your horse and follow me, for I shall show you within these three days the highest adventure that ever any knight saw.”
The strange adventure scale tops out at highest, which is up above even marvelous. “Check,” says Galahad. He’s already got his things together, and within minutes Galahad and Mags are riding together towards the sea.
Mags takes Galahad down to Collibe, at the seaside, and in a castle there they both get a meal and a shower and a little sleep. But before the sun rises, Mags and Galahad are down on the beach, where Mags points out the white samite ship.
Percivale and Bors are waving frantically on the deck, trying to get Galahad’s attention. He waves back. “What’s the plan?”
“We swim the rest of the way.” Mags dismounts, then removes her horse’s saddle and tack and makes a bundle out of it. Galahad follows suit, and then they swim out with their bundles to the ship.
It had been deadly calm, but once Mags and Galahad are aboard the ship, the wind picks up from nowhere. It hits the sails with a whump and the ship starts accelerating. Percivale, who’s been through this a couple of times already, leads everybody down belowdecks where they won’t get blown off.
Galahad tells Percivale and Bors about his trials, mainly the Castle of the Maidens, and listens as Percivale and Bors recount their own temptations. “Truly ye are much bounden to God, for ye have escaped great adventures. The three of us did it; we’re on our way to the Grail. Also Mags is here.”
Bors is troubled. “What about Launcelot?”
“What about him?”
Bors shrugs. “I have a hard time believing that I succeeded at something he failed. I mean, sure, you’re some kind of prophesied messiah, and Percivale here likewise sat in the Siege Perilous and also he castrated himself, which shows real dedication. But me? I’m just a man. I even have an illegitimate child, named Pale Elian or Sir Helin or Elaine if it’s a girl.”
“Launcelot’s doing his own thing,” replies Galahad, and doesn’t want to talk about this any more.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVII Chapter 2 — No Comments
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