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- In the Court of King Arthur - 1/26 -


IN THE COURT OF KING ARTHUR

by Samuel E. Lowe

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter

I. Allan Finds A Champion

II. Allan Goes Forth

III. A Combat

IV. Allan Meets The Knights

V. Merlin's Message

VI. Yosalinde

VII. The Tournament

VIII. Sir Tristram's Prowess

IX. The Kitchen Boy

X. Pentecost

XI. Allan Meets A Stranger

XII. The Stranger And Sir Launcelot

XIII. The Party Divides

XIV. King Mark's Foul Plan

XV. The Weasel's Nest

XVI. To The Rescue

XVII. In King Mark's Castle

XVIII. The Kitchen Boy Again

XIX. On Adventure's Way

XX. Gareth Battles Sir Brian

XXI. Knight Of The Red Lawns

XXII. Sir Galahad

XXIII. The Beginning Of The Quest

XXIV. In Normandy

XXV. Sir Galahad Offers Help

XXVI. Lady Jeanne's Story

XXVII. Sir Launcelot Arrives

XXVIII. A Rescue

XXIX. Facing The East

XXX. Homeward

XXXI. The Beggar And The Grail

WHO WAS KING ARTHUR?

King Arthur, who held sway in Camelot with his Knights of the Round Table, was supposedly a king of Britain hundreds of years ago. Most of the stories about him are probably not historically true, but there was perhaps a real king named Arthur, or with a name very much like Arthur, who ruled somewhere in the island of Britain about the sixth century.

Among the romantic spires and towers of Camelot, King Arthur held court with his queen, Guinevere. According to tradition, he received mortal wounds in battling with the invading Saxons, and was carried magically to fairyland to be brought back to health and life. Excalibur was the name of King Arthur's sword--in fact, it was the name of two of his swords. One of these tremendous weapons Arthur pulled from the stone in which it was imbedded, after all other knights had failed. This showed that Arthur was the proper king. The other Excalibur was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake--she reached her hand above the water, as told in the story, and gave the sword to the king. When Arthur was dying, he sent one of his Knights of the Round Table, Sir Bedivere, to throw the sword back into the lake from which he had received it.

The Knights of the Round Table were so called because they customarily sat about a huge marble table, circular in shape. Some say that thirteen knights could sit around that table; others say that as many as a hundred and fifty could find places there. There sat Sir Galahad, who would one day see the Holy Grail. Sir Gawain was there, nephew of King Arthur. Sir Percivale, too, was to see the Holy Grail. Sir Lancelot--Lancelot of the Lake, who was raised by that same Lady of the Lake who gave Arthur his sword--was the most famous of the Knights of the Round Table. He loved Queen Guinevere.

All the knights were sworn to uphold the laws of chivalry--to go to the aid of anyone in distress, to protect women and children, to fight honorably, to be pious and loyal to their king.

CHAPTER ONE

Allan Finds A Champion

"I cannot carry your message, Sir Knight."

Quiet-spoken was the lad, though his heart held a moment's fear as, scowling and menacing, the knight who sat so easily the large horse, flamed fury at his refusal.

"And why can you not? It is no idle play, boy, to flaunt Sir Pellimore. Brave knights have found the truth of this at bitter cost."

"Nevertheless, Sir Knight, you must needs find another message bearer. I am page to Sir Percival and he would deem it no service to him should I bear a strange knights message."

"Then, by my faith, you shall learn your lesson. Since you are but a youth it would prove but poor sport to thrust my sword through your worthless body. Yet shall I find Sir Percival and make him pay for the boorishness of his page. In the meantime, take you this."

With a sweep the speaker brought the flat side of his sword down. But, if perchance, he thought that the boy would await the blow he found surprise for that worthy skillfully evaded the weapon's downward thrust.

Now then was Sir Pellimore doubly wroth.

"Od's zounds, and you need a trouncing. And so shall I give it you, else my dignity would not hold its place." Suiting action to word the knight reared his horse, prepared to bring the boy to earth.

It might hare gone ill with Allan but for the appearance at the turn of the road of another figure--also on horseback. The new knight perceiving trouble, rode forward.

"What do we see here?" he questioned. "Sir Knight, whose name I do not know, it seems to me that you are in poor business to quarrel with so youthful a foe. What say you?"

"As to with whom I quarrel is no concern of anyone but myself. I can, however, to suit the purpose, change my foe. Such trouncing as I wish to give this lad I can easily give to you, Sir Knight, and you wish it?"

"You can do no more than try. It may not be so easy as your boasting would seeming indicate. Lad," and the newcomer turned to the boy, "why does this arrogant knight wish you harm?"

"He would have me carry a message, a challenge to Sir Kay, and that I cannot do, for even now I bear a message from Sir Percival, whose page I am but yesterday become. And I must hold true to my own lord and liege."

"True words and well spoken. And so for you, Sir Knight of the arrogant tongue, I hope your weapon speaks equally well. Prepare you, sir."

Sir Pellimore laughed loudly and disdainfully.

"I call this great fortune which brings me battle with you, sir, who are unknown but who I hope, none the less, are a true and brave knight."

The next second the two horses crashed together. Sir Pellimore soon proved his skill. The Unknown, equally at ease, contented himself with meeting onslaught after onslaught, parrying clever thrusts and wicked blows. So they battled for many an hour.

Allan, the boy, with eyes glistening, waited to see the outcome of the brave fight. The Unknown, his champion, perhaps would need his aid through some dire misfortune and he was prepared.

Now the Unknown changed his method from one of defense to one of offense. But Sir Pellimore was none the less skillful. The third charge of his foe he met so skillfully that both horses crashed to the ground. On foot, the two men then fought--well and long. Until, through inadvertence, the Unknown's foot slipped and the next moment found his shield splintered and sword broken.


In the Court of King Arthur - 1/26

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