Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapter 21 [first third]

How Sir Galaor arrived badly injured at a convent and spent two weeks there, at the end of which he was well, and what happened to him after that.

[Fuente de Salud, "Spring of Health," near Enmedio Bridge in Roman road Via XXIV, which goes up Fuenfría Valley in the Guadarrama Mountains near Madrid, Spain. The road served as a major transportation route until 1788, when a more direct mountain pass between Madrid and Segovia was opened. These days, it's a popular hiking trail and part of the Madrid branch of the Camino de Santiago. Photo by Sue Burke.]


Sir Galaor spent two weeks recovering at the convent, brought there by the damsel he had rescued from imprisonment, and at the end of that time he felt well enough to take up arms. He left and rode where adventure guided him, for his will was no more to go one way than another.

At midday he found himself in a valley where there was a spring, and he saw an armed knight next to it who had no horse or other beast of burden, which was odd.

Galaor said:

"My lord knight, how did ye get here on foot?"

The knight at the spring responded:

"My lord, I was going through this forest to my castle, and I met some men who killed my horse, and I had to come back here on foot and I am very tired, but I must go back to the castle, for they do not know what has happened to me."

"Do not go back walking," Sir Galaor said. "Ye shall ride on my squire's palfrey."

"Many thanks," he said, "but before we go I want you to know the great virtue of this spring. No poison in the world is so strong that this water cannot cure it. Often poisoned wild animals come here to drink and are immediately relieved, and all the people of this region come here to cure their illnesses."

"Truly," Sir Galor said, "what ye say is amazing. I want to drink that water."

"And who would not want to?" said the knight at the spring. "Anywhere else, ye would need to search for such a spring."

Then Galaor dismounted and said to his squire:

"Get down and let us drink."

The squire dismounted and leaned Galaor's arms against a tree. The knight at the spring said:

"Go and drink. I will hold your horse."

Galaor went to the spring to drink, and while they drank, the other knight put on Galaor's helmet, picked up his shield and lance, and mounted his horse. He said:

"Lowly knight, I am going. Wait here until ye can fool someone else."

Galaor, who was drinking, turned and saw the knight leaving. He said:

"Truly, knight, not only have ye tricked me, ye have been greatly dishonest, and I shall prove it to you if ye wait."

"That will have to wait until ye find another horse and other arms with which to fight," said the knight. And spurring his horse, he went on his way.

Galaor was left greatly enraged, and after he had thought for a while, he rode on the palfrey that had carried his armor and went in the same direction that the knight had gone. When he came to a fork in the road, he stood there for a time wondering which way to go. He saw a damsel trotting down one of the roads on a palfrey, and he waited for her to approach.

When she arrived, he said:

"Damsel, by chance did ye see a knight who rode on a bay horse and who carried a white shield with a vermilion flower on it?"

"What do ye want from him?" the damsel said.

Galaor responded:

"Those arms and that horse are mine, and I want to get them back if I can, for he took them from me vilely."

"How did he take them?" the damsel said.

He told her everything that had happened.

"Then, what would ye do, being disarmed?" she said. "I doubt he took them from you in order to give them back."

"I only want to meet him," Galaor said.

"Well, if ye grant me a boon," she said, "I will take you to him."

Galaor, who wanted to talk to the knight very much, agreed.

"Now follow me," she said.

And turning back toward where she had come from, she rode down the road with Galaor behind her, but the damsel got far ahead, for the palfrey that Galaor rode on was not fast because it carried him and his squire. They went fully three leagues without seeing her, and after they had passed a thick grove of trees, he saw the damsel coming back toward him, and Galaor approached her.

But the damsel rode as a trick, for the other knight was her lover and she had gone to tell him that she was bringing Galaor there so he could take the rest of his arms. Thus prepared, the knight hid in a tent and told the damsel to bring Galaor there, so that he could kill him or dishonor him without danger.

So, as ye hear, Galaor and the damsel arrived at the tent, and the damsel said:

"Here is the knight that ye seek."

Galaor dismounted and went to the tent, but the other knight, who was in the doorway, said:

"Ye do not get a welcome here, for ye must give me the rest of your arms or ye are dead."

"Truly," Sir Galaor said, "from such a dishonest knight as you I fear nothing."

The knight raised his sword to attack, but Galaor dodged the blow, being so agile and strong that he had the skill for it. The knight missed and his sword met only air. Galaor struck him on top of his helmet with such a blow that he sank to the earth on his knees. Galaor took him by the helmet and tugged hard enough to pull it off his head and make him fall down. The knight called to his lover to help him, and when she heard it, she ran as fast as she could to the tent.

She shouted:

"Stay, knight! This is the boon that I asked for."

But Galaor, infuriated, had already injured him such that no doctor could have saved him. When the damsel saw him dead, she said:

"Oh, wretch, I came too late, and thinking cheat someone else, I was cheated!"

Then she said to Galaor:

"Oh, knight, may thou die a bad death. Thou hast killed the person I most loved in the world! But thou shalt die for him, for the boon thou hast promised me I shall demand somewhere where thou cannot escape death for all the strength that thou hast. And if thou dost not give me it, I shall tell everyone everywhere of thy failure."

Galaor replied:

"If I had realized it would sadden you so, I would not have killed him, although he deserved it. Ye ought to have come to his aid sooner."

"I was mistaken," she said, "and I shall remedy it, for I shall make thee give thy life for his."

Galaor mounted his horse, and the squire took his arms, and they left. But after they had only gone a league, he turned and saw the damsel coming behind him, and when she reached him, he said:

"My lady damsel, where do ye wish to go?"

"With you," she said, "until we come to where ye shall give me the boon that ye have promised me and I shall make ye die a bad death."

"It would be better," Sir Galaor said, "to take some other remedy from me, any other that ye wish, rather than the one that ye speak of."

"There is no other remedy but to give your soul for his," she said, "or to be a traitor and a liar."

So Galaor went on his way and the damsel with him, and she never stopped insulting him. After three days, they entered a forest named Angaduza.

Here the author ceases to speak of this, to return to it in its proper place, and turns to Amadis.

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