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Peredur, son of Efrawc

part 3

Meanwhile, Peredur journeyed on towards Arthur's Court. And before he reached it, another knight had been there, who gave a ring of thick gold at the door of the gate for holding his horse, and went into the Hall where Arthur and his household, and Gwenhwyver and her maidens, were assembled. And he page of the chamber was serving Gwenhwyver with a golden goblet.
Then the knight dashed the liquor that was therein upon her face, and upon her stomacher, and gave her a violent blow on the face, and said, "If any have the boldness to dispute this goblet with me, and to avenge the insult to Gwenhwyver, let him follow me to the meadow, and there I will await him."
So the knight took his horse, and rode to the meadow. And all the household hung down their heads, lest any of them be requested to go and avenge the insult to Gwenhwyver. For it seemed to them, that no one should have ventured on so daring an outrage, unless he possessed such powers, through magic or charms, that none could be able to take vengeance upon him. Then, behold Peredur entered the Hall, upon the bony piebald horse, with the uncouth trappings upon it; and in this way he traversed the whole length of the Hall. In the centre of the Hall stood Kai.
  "Tell me, tall man," said Peredur, "is that Arthur, yonder?"
  "What wouldest thou with Arthur?" asked Kai.
  "My mother told me to go to Arthur, and receive the honor of knighthood."
  "By my faith," said he, "thou art all too meanly equipped with horse and with arms."
Thereupon he was perceived by all the household, and they threw sticks at him. Then, behold, a dwarf came forward. He had already been a year at Arthur's Court, both he and a female dwarf. They had craved harbourage of Arthur, and had obtained it; and during the whole year, neither of them had spoken a single word to any one.
When the dwarf beheld Peredur, "Ha ha!" said he, "the welcome of Heaven be unto thee, goodly Peredur, son of Evrawc, the chief of warriors, and flower of knighthood."
  "Truly," said Kai, "thou art ill-taught to remain a year mute at Arthur's Court, with choice of society; and now, before the face of Arthur and all his household, to call out, and declare such a man as this the chief of warriors, and the flower of knighthood."
And he gave him such a box on the ear, and he fell senseless to the ground. Then exclaimed the female dwarf, "Ha ha! goodly Peredur, son of Evrawc; the welcome of Heaven be unto thee, flower of knights, and light of chivalry."
  "Of a truth, maiden," said Kai, "thou art ill-bred to remain mute for a year at the Court of Arthur and then to speak as thou dost as such a man as this."
And Kai kicked her with his foot, so that she fell to the ground senseless.
  "Tall man," said Peredur, "show me which is Arthur."
  "Hold thy peace," said Kai, "and go after the knight who went hence to the meadow, and take from him the goblet, and overthrow him, and possess thyself of his horse and arms, and then thou shalt receive the order of knighthood."
  "I will do so, tall man," said Peredur.
So he turned his horse's head towards the meadow. And when he came there, the knight was riding up and down, proud of his strength, and valour, and noble mien.
  "Tell me," said the knight, "didst thou see any one coming after me from the Court?"
  "The tall man that was there," said he, "desired me to come, and overthrow thee, and to take from thee the goblet, and thy horse and thy armour for myself."
  "Silence," said the knight; "go back to the Court, and tell Arthur, from me, either to come himself, or to send some other to fight with me; and unless he do so quickly, I will not wait for him."
  "By my faith," said Peredur, "choose thou whither it shall be willingly or unwillingly, but I will have the horse, and the arms, and the goblet."
And upon this the knight ran at him furiously, and struck him a violent blow with the shaft of his spear, between the neck and the shoulder.
  "Ha ha! lad," said Peredur, "my mother's servants were not used to play with me in the wise; therefore, thus will I play with thee."
And thereupon he struck him with a sharp pointed fork, and it hit him in the eye, and came out at the back of his neck, so that he instantly fell down lifeless.

To part 4

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