Thursday, March 22, 2012

All about me

Here are links to some recent interviews. 

Me in front of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. Photo by Jerry Finn.


In case you're wondering about the person translating this novel, you can read about me in a series of interviews posted recently by members of the Blog Ring of Power.

About me and moving to Spain, at Terri Bruce's blog:

About writing, at T. W. Fendley's blog:

How translating is different from writing, at E. M. LaBonte's blog, The Realms of a Fantastical Mind:

Technical aspects of translating, at Sandra Ulbrich Almazan's blog:

Business aspects, at Dean C. Rich's blog, The Write Time:

In addition, at Jaleta Clegg's blog, The Far Edge of Normal, she and I recently discussed more personal topics, including how I relax and what inspires my creativity:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chapter 55 [middle part]

[How Beltenebros was challenged by ten knights to joust, and what happened to them.] 

[Illustration for the month of May from The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.]

Beltenebros saw Enil, his squire, who was holding Sir Cuadragante's horse and was very happy and joyful at the blessing that God had given his lord. Beltenebros mounted the horse and give his arms to Enil and returned to the road, but he had not traveled far before he found a damsel hunting with a falcon, and three other damsels with her who had seen the battle and heard every word that had been spoken.

When they saw how injured he was and how he needed to rest, they begged him to go with her to her castle where he would have everything at his service in payment for the will that he had shown to serve their lord the King. He agreed, because he was in great pain from his labors. But when they got there, he checked to see if he was injured, and he found no other wound besides the small one on his nipple, which had bled a lot. After three days he left there and rode the entire day without finding adventure, and that night he stayed at the house of a man who lived near the road.

The next day he rode until noon and climbed a hill, from which he saw the city of London, and to his right the castle of Miraflores, where his lady Oriana was. When he saw that, he felt great joy in his soul. Then he spent a while thinking about how he could separate from Enil, and said to him:

"Dost thou know this land where we are?"

"Yes, I do," he said. "London is in that valley, where King Lisuarte is."

"Are we so close to London?" he said. "Well, I do not wish to make myself known to the King nor anyone else until my deeds merit it, for, as thou seest, I am a young man, and I have not done much that could be considered worthy. But since we are so close to London, go to see that squire Gandalin that Durin gave thee regards from, and learn what they say in the court about me, and when the battle with King Cildadan will be."

"How can I leave you alone?" Enil said.

"Do not worry," he said, "for at times I am accustomed to traveling with no one else, but first, I want us to decide on some place where thou shalt find me."

Then they continued on their way, and soon they saw two tents standing alongside a river, and between those two a third which was very fine. Knights and damsels were relaxing in front of them. He saw five shields at the doorway of one tent, and five more at the other tent, thus ten armed knights, but since he had no reason to joust with them, he left the road that led to them.

The knights at the tents called him to come and joust.

"I do not wish to joust now," he said, "for ye are many and rested, and I am alone and tired."

"But I think," one of them said, "that ye avoid fighting out of fear of losing your horse."

"And why would I lose it?" he said.

"Because it would belong to the one who knocks you from it," the knight said. "It is more certain that we would win than you."

"Well, if that is how it must be," Beltenebros said, "I would rather ride on it than place it at risk." And he began to ride away from them again.

The knights told him:

"It seems to us, knight, that your arms are better protected by pretty words than by the courage of your heart. You could keep them to put on your tomb, though ye may live for a hundred years."

"Ye may think of me as ye will," he said, "and nothing ye say shall diminish my skills, whatever they are."

"May God now grant ye the sudden urge to fight," one of them said, "and ye shall not seek refuge on this horse as a penalty for being a traitor, or this year I shall not mount another."

Beltenebros said:

"My good lord, I doubt that, and that is why I am going another way."

All of them began to say:

"Oh, Holy Mary help us, what a frightened knight!"

But he did not reply and went on his way, and when he came to a ford in the river that he wanted to cross, he heard someone tell him:

"Stop, knight!"

He looked to see who it was and saw a well-attired damsel on a beautiful palfrey, who came up to him and said:

"My lord knight, in that tent is Leonoreta, the daughter of King Lisuarte, and she and all the damsels beg you to joust with those knights. Do this for their love, for ye are more obligated by their request by that of the knights."

"What," he said, "the daughter of the King is there?"

"My lord, yes," she said.

"I am sorry to have enmity with those knights, for I would prefer to serve her, but since she orders it, I must ask that those knights do not ask for anything more than a joust from me."

The damsel returned with his request and Beltenebros took up his arms. Returning to the tents, he found a good, flat field and waited there, and soon he saw the knight come who had said he would not let him leave on his horse unless he jousted with him. Beltenebros had thought a lot about him, so he was glad to see that he was the first. When he got closer, they let their horses charge as fast as they could. The knight broke his lance, and Beltenebros struck him so hard that he threw him out of the saddle to roll around on the field.

He ordered Enil to take his horse, and the knight remained broken from the fall, senseless, and came to groaning and thrashing on the ground, as one who had three ribs and a hip broken.

Beltenebros told him:

"My lord knight, if your word is true, for the next year ye will not fall again from a horse, as ye had promised if ye did not win mine."

At this point, he saw that another knight come to joust, shouting at Beltenebros to protect himself, so he charged at him and knocked him down like the first one. He did the same to the third and the fourth, and on that one he broke his lance, but the knight was badly hurt, for the lance had passed through his shield and his arm. Beltenebros had all their horses taken and tied to the branches of some trees, and since he had knocked down those four knights, he wanted to leave, but he saw another knight coming, ready to joust. He brought a squire who carried four lances, and he said:

"My lord knight, Leonoreta sends you these lances, and sends word to do with them what ye must with the knights that remain, since ye knocked down their companions."

Beltenebros said:

"For the love of Leonoreta, who is daughter of such a good king, I shall do what she orders, but for the knights I tell you that I would do nothing, since I hold them very unjust to make knights who are going on their way fight against their will."

He took a lance and charged at the knight and knocked him down like the others, and so he did against all of them, except the last, who jousted with him twice and broke two lances against him, but could not move him from his saddle, until finally Beltenebros knocked him down like the others. And if anyone were to ask who he was, I say it was Nicoran of the Fearful Bridge, who at that time was one of the best jousters in the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Having completed these jousts, as ye have heard, he sent all the horses he had won to Leonoreta, and ordered her to tell her knights either to be more courteous to those who passed them on the road or to joust better, for a knight might come who could make them wind up traveling on foot. The knights were so ashamed of what had happened that they did not reply. They were amazed that they were knocked down by a single knight, and they could not imagine who he was, for none had seen a knight who wore arms with those colors.

Nicoran said:

"If Amadis were alive and well, I would say he was him, for I do not know of any other knight who could leave us in this condition."

"Truly," said Galiseo, "it must not be him, for one of us would have recognized him, and especially because he would not wish to joust, for he knows us all as his friends."

Giontes, nephew of the King, said:

"If God were pleased to have him be Amadis, He used him well to give us shame, but whoever he is, may God give him good fortune wherever he goes, for although he rightly won our horses, he was good enough to return them to us."

"May he be cursed," said Lasanor, "for I am suffering from broken ribs and a broken hip, but it is my fault, for I and no one else sought my own harm." That knight was the first to joust.

Beltenebros left them and felt very happy about how what had happened, and he went on his way talking with Enil and looking at the lance that he had acquired, which seemed very good. It was hot and the jousting had made him thirsty, and when he had gone a quarter of a league, he saw a hermitage covered with trees, and he went there to pray and to drink water. He saw three palfreys at the gate with saddles for damsels and another two for squires. He dismounted and entered, but he saw no one inside, and he prayed from his heart to God and the Virgin Mary. When he left the hermitage, he saw three damsels under some trees at a spring, and the squires with them, and they told him:

"Knight, are ye of the court of King Lisuarte?"

"My good damsels," he said, "I would like to be such a knight that they would want me in his company. But as for you, where are you going?"

"To Miraflores," they said, "to see our aunt who is abbess of a convent, and to see Oriana, the daughter of King Lisuarte. We decided to rest here until the heat passed."

"In the name of God," he said, "I shall keep you company until it is time to leave." And he asked them about the name of that spring.

"We do not know," they said, "nor of any other that is in this forest, except for the one in that valley next to those big trees, which is called the Spring with Three Streams."

They showed him the valley nearby, but he knew it better than them, for he had often traveled there hunting, and he wanted that spring to be the place where Enil would look for him, from whom he wanted to separate so he could go see his lady.

So they were speaking, as ye hear, and soon they saw a cart coming along the same road on which Beltenebros had traveled. Twelve palfreys pulled the cart, and two dwarfs on it guided them. In it they saw many armed knights in chains, and their shields hung from its sides, and among them were beautiful damsels and girls who were wailing. In front of the cart came a giant so huge that he was terrifying to see, riding on a black horse and wearing strong plate armor and a helmet that shined brightly. He carried a long iron spear. Behind the cart rode another giant who was even bigger and more frightening than the first.

The damsels with Beltenebros were so frightened that they hid among the trees. The giant in front turned to the dwarfs and told them:

"I shall tear you into a thousand pieces unless ye make sure the damsels do not spill their blood, for I wish to make a sacrifice with it to the god I worship."

When Beltenebros heard this, he knew that was Famongomadan, who had a custom that he would never abandon, which was to cut the throats of many damsels in front of an idol that he kept at the Boiling Lake, by whose advice and declarations he was guided in all things. He kept it content with those sacrifices, since the Evil Enemy could be satisfied with such vile works.

Although Beltenebros had wanted to fight with him for what he had said about Oriana, he had not wanted to find him until he had passed the night with his lady, as had been arranged, and he was tired after having jousted with those ten knights. But since he knew the knights in the cart, and Leonoreta and the damsels with them, he felt great sorrow to see them, and he knew how it would hurt his lady if such ill fortune were to befall her sister. It seemed likely that, after he had departed from the jousts, as ye have heard, leaving those knights injured, those two giants soon arrived, father and son, who had challenged King Lisuarte. They had taken the knights and damsels and put them, as ye heard, into the cart which they brought with them to carry any prisoners they could take.

Beltenebros immediately mounted his horse and asked Enil to give him his arms, who told him:

"Why do ye want them? First let those devils go past."

"Give me them," Beltenebros said, "for before they go past, I wish to test the mercy of God, and if whether will please Him to have me put an end to the labors of these enemies of His."

"Oh, my lord," he said, "why do ye want to end the joy of your youth? Even the twenty best knights that King Lisuarte has would fail here, and they would not dare to do this."

"Do not worry," he said, "for if this went past me and I did not do what I could, I would not be fit to appear before good men. Thou shalt see what my fate will be."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The men who tricked a king

You probably heard this story as a child, but in a different version. Here's the medieval original.

Illustration for the Hans Christian Anderson version of the story by Vilhelm Pederson, 1849.


In 1335, Sir Juan Manuel (1282-1348) sat down to write a book of tales to exemplify good and foolish behavior. He was a nephew of King Alfonso X the Wise of Castile, grandson of Saint Ferdinand III, King of Castile, and was himself Prince of Villena, among other titles. He had been well-educated as a youth and had spent his life involved in politics and the defense of the realm.

Although literature was deemed unworthy a man of his high estate, he became the first writer in Castilian to consider himself what we would call a professional writer, and he worked hard to perfect his works. He wrote a dozen books on topics ranging from chivalry and hunting to history and religion, but his best-known is El libro de los enxiemplos del Conde Lucanor e de Patronio (The Book of Examples of Count Lucanor and Patronio).

In that book, Count Lucanor asks his advisor Patronio for counsel about his problems and concerns, and Patrionio answers with short stories or fables — 50 stories in all. Some are drawn from Arabic folk tales or classical sources like Aesop, others are original.

Eventually these stories were translated into different languages, and they inspired future writers. Here is Example XXXII from El Conde Lucanor. The Count says that a man has proposed an important business matter that could be very advantageous, but insisted that it be kept secret. Patronio responds:


My lord Count Lucanor, so that you understand what I think would be best for you to do, I would like you to know what happened to a Moorish king when three rogues came to see him....

My lord Count, the three rogues came before a King and told him they were excellent master weavers. Their greatest skill was to make a cloth that could be seen by any man who was the son of his father as everyone believed, but the cloth could not be seen by a man who was not the son of the man everyone said was his father.

This seemed very good to the King, for by that means he would know the men in his realm who were the true sons of their fathers and who were not, and that way he could confiscate their estates and increase his own, because Moors did not inherit from their fathers if they were not truly their sons. To do that, he ordered the weavers be given a large hall so they could make the cloth.

They asked the King to order the hall locked until the cloth was finished so he could be sure there was no trickery. This also seemed very agreeable to the King. They were given a great deal of gold, silver, silk, and everything else they needed to make the cloth, and they entered the hall and were locked inside.

They put up their looms and seemed to spend all day weaving the cloth. After several days, one of them went to tell the King the cloth had been begun and it was one of the most beautiful things in the world. He described the patterns and decorations that they had begun to create and asked him, if it was his wish, to come and see it, but no one at all should accompany him. The King was pleased by all of this.

The King, to have someone else test himself first, sent his chamberlain, whom he did not think would be fooled. When the chamberlain saw the weavers and heard what they said, he did not dare to say that he could not see it. And so, when he returned to the King, he said he had seen the cloth. The King then sent another servant, who said the same thing. And since all those who had been sent by the King assured him that they had seen the cloth, the King went to see it.

He entered the hall and saw the weavers working while they said, "You can see this decoration here, and this pattern, and this figure, and this color."

And they all agreed about what they said, yet they had not woven anything. The King saw nothing and heard them describe the cloth, but he could not see it even though the others had. He felt frightened to death, believing that he could not see it because he was not the son of the man he thought was his father the king. He feared that if he said he could not see it, he would lose his kingdom.

Because of that, he praised the cloth and paid close attention to all the details that the weavers showed him. When he returned to his court and his courtiers, he began to speak wonders about how good and how marvelous that cloth was, and he described the figures and patterns that were in it, but he felt very unsure about himself.

After two or three days, he sent his governor to see the cloth and told him about the virtues and marvels that he would see in it. The governor went and when he entered, he saw the weavers working and describing the decorations and patterns of the cloth, but, since the King had said he could see it and the governor could not, he believed it was because he was not the son of the man he had held to be his father. He thought that if anyone found out, he would lose his honors, so he began to praise the cloth as much or more than the King had.

When he returned to the King and told him that he had seen the cloth and it was the most worthy and handsome thing in the world, the King felt even more disgraced, thinking that since the governor had seen the cloth and he had not, he had no doubts that he was not the son of the king, as he had believed. For that reason, he began to praise even more highly the quality and beauty of the cloth and the skills of those who had woven it.

The next day the King sent his favorite courtier, and the same thing happened to him. What more shall I tell you? This way, out of fear, the King and many in his land were fooled because none dared to say that he did not see the cloth.

And so the business continued until a big festival approached, and everyone told the King he should wear that cloth for the occasion. The weavers brought the cloth wrapped in fine linen sheets, and they acted as if they unrolled it, then asked the King what kind of outfit they should sew. The King described the kind of clothing he wanted. They measured him and acted as if they were cutting the cloth and sewing.

When the day of the festival arrived, the weavers brought the King the cloth, cut and sewn, and made him think they were dressing him and smoothing out the folds. When the King thought he was dressed, he did not dare to say that he could not see the cloth.

And clothed that way as you have heard, he mounted a horse to ride through the city. It was good for him that it was summer.

When people saw him coming dressed that way, they knew that he who could not see the cloth was not the son of the man he thought was his father. Everyone believed that although he did not see it, the rest could, and if he were to say so, he would be lost and dishonored.

That way the secret was kept and no one dared to reveal it until a black man, the King's horseman, who had nothing to lose, approached the King and told him, "My lord, it makes no difference to me if you think I am the son of the man I say is my father or someone else, and because of that, I tell you that either I am blind or you are naked."

The King began to insult him, saying that he could not see the clothes because he was not the son of the man he believed was his father.

But after the black man had said this, someone who had heard him said the same thing, and then others said so until the King and all the rest lost their fear and recognized the truth, and so they understood the trickery that the rogues had done. When they went to look for them, they did not find them, for they had left with everything they had gotten from the King by means of the trickery that you have heard about.

And so, Count Lucanor, since that man has told you that no one you trust should know what he has proposed, you may be sure that he wishes to trick you. You should realize that he has no reason to want your success, since he hardly knows you, while those who have lived with you have given and done much for you, because they will always want what is good for you and to serve you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chapter 55 [first part]

How Beltenebros ordered arms and equipment made so he could go see his lady Oriana, and the adventures that happened to him on the road, defeating Sir Cuadragante and the giants Famongomadan and Basagante. 

[13th century Jewish representation of David and Goliath from France.]

Returning to Beltenebros, who was waiting at a convent for orders from his lady, the story says that now much of his health and strength had returned due to his great contentment. He ordered Enil to go to the village nearby and have some arms made with a green field and as many golden lions as could fit on it, and a matching tabard, and to buy a good horse and a sword and the best chain mail he could. Enil went to the village and did all that he had been told, and in the space of twenty days everything necessary had been supplied.

At this time, Durin arrived with the message he carried, which gave Beltenebros great pleasure, and in front of Enil he asked him how fared Durin's sister, the good Damsel of Denmark, and why he had come. Durin he said that the Damsel sent him her best regards, and that he had come for the two pieces of jewelry they had forgotten, which had been left between the cushions on which she had slept. And he told Enil that his cousin Gandalin sent him his greetings, and everything else that he had been instructed to say.

Beltenebros asked him who this Gandalin was.

"A squire and my cousin," he said, "who spent a long time serving a knight called Amadis of Gaul."

Then Beltenebros took Durin with him and walked through a plaza, asking him about news of his sister, but when they had gone a ways away, Durin told him the message from his lady, who was waiting for him at Miraflores, and she how had prepared well for him there, but he should come very secretly. And he told Beltenebros how his brothers and Agrajes were at the court, and how they would fight in the battle that King Lisuarte had set with King Cildadan of Ireland, and about the challenge that Famongomadan and the other giants and knights had made, and how they had demanded that Oriana be the damsel of Madasima and marry Basagante, son of Famongomadan.

When Beltenebros heard this, his flesh shook with the great ire within him, and his heart burned with rage, and he decided that until he saw his lady, he would not take upon himself another battle or quest except to look for Famongomadan and fight with him, and to either die or kill him over what he had said about Oriana.

After telling Beltenebros everything that ye have heard, Durin took the gifts, said goodbye, and returned, very happy because he had completed what he had come to do.

Beltenebros remained, giving many thanks to God because He had helped return the mercy of his lady to him, which, by losing, had placed his life in the extremity that we have told you. That night, he said farewell to the nuns, and an hour before dawn, he put on those new green arms and, on a beautiful strong horse, and with Enil, who carried his shield, helmet, and lance, he got on the road to go see his lady, whom he loved so much. As he rode down the road on that clear day, he spurred his horse and made it gallop from side to side in such a way that Enil, who was watching, was amazed and said:

"My lord, I know nothing of the burning of your heart, but I have never seen a knight who seemed so handsome when armed."

"The hearts of men," Beltenebros said, "do good things, not their appearances, but when God puts both together, He grants a great gift. And how that thou hast judged the appearance, judge the heart by what thou seest of its merits."

And so he went talking and laughing with him, since the great gloom that had hung over him had been dispersed, and he had been returned to the delight that he could not live without. They traveled that way until night, when they lodged at the home of an elderly knight, who did them many honors, and the next day, at his departure, Beltenebros wore his helmet on his head so as not to be recognized. He traveled seven days without finding adventure, but on the eighth it happened that, going past the foot of a mountain, he saw a knight so large and muscular that he could only be a giant coming down a side road on a grand bay horse, along with two squires who carried his arms. When he had neared, the large knight shouted at Beltenebros:

"Ye lowly knight who comes here, stay and go no further until I learn from you what I want to know."

Beltenebros waited in the wide field through which he had been traveling, and looked at the shield of the knight and saw that it had three flowers of gold on an indigo field, and recognized him as Sir Cuadragante. He had seen that shield displayed higher than the others on Firm Island because Cuadragante had gained the most honor in the test of the protected chamber. It troubled him because he had hoped to avoid him in battle, since he had planned to fight with Famongomadan and, due to that, wished to avoid all other fights, and because he wanted to fulfill the orders that his lady had sent, and he feared that the great skill of that knight might cause some problem.

He remained still, called Enil, and told him:

"Come to me and give me my arms if they are needed."

"God save you," Enil said, "for this man seems more like the devil than a knight to me."

"He is not the devil," Beltenebros said, "only a good knight about whom I have heard others speak."

At that, Sir Cuadragante arrived and told him:

"Knight, ye must tell me if ye serve King Lisuarte."

"Why do ye ask?" Beltenebros said.

"Because I have challenged him," Cuadragante said, "and not just him but all his men and friends, and I shall kill all of them that I meet."

Great anger came over Beltenebros, who told him:

"Are ye one of those who have challenged him?"

"I am," he said, "and I shall do all the harm I can to him and all his men."

"And what is your name?" Beltenebros said.

"My name is Sir Cuadragante," he said.

"Certainly, Cuadragante, however grand your lineage may be and however high your feats at arms, it is great madness to challenge the best king in the world. Knights must do what they should, and when they go beyond that, it should be taken more as madness than courage. I am not a vassal of this King of whom ye speak, nor native to his lands, but by his merits my heart is given to his service, so I may rightly be challenged by you, and if ye wish a battle, ye shall have it. If not, go on your way."

Sir Cuadragante told him:

"I well think, knight, that ye know little of me to speak to me with such daring and madness, and I ask ye to tell me your name."

"I am called Beltenebros," he said, "and with such a little-renowned name, ye know no more about me than before, but although I may be from a foreign and distant land, I have heard that ye seek Amadis of Gaul, and from what I know of him, ye are better off not finding him."

"What," said Sir Cuadragante, "ye hold him whom I disdain to be better than me? Know thou that thou hast found thy death. Take up thy arms, if thou darest defend thyself with them."

"Against others I would hesitate," Beltenebros said, "but not against you, due to your arrogance and threats."

Then, taking up their arms with great anger, they had their horses charge, and they met so hard that Beltenebros's horse almost fell, but Sir Cuadragante was knocked from his saddle, and each was hurt in the encounter. The nipple of Beltenebros's breast was cut by the blade of the lance, and the other knight was injured in the ribs, but the wound was slight, and he immediately arose, as one who was very brave and agile.

He put his hand on his sword and went at Beltenebros, who was straightening his helmet and so did not see him. Cuadragante struck the horse with the point of his sword and thrust half its length into its hindquarters, and the wound made it go bucking across the field. But Beltenebros immediately dismounted and, with his shield on his arm and his sword in hand, he went at Sir Cuadragante with great ire and bravery, because he had killed his horse, and said:

"Knight, ye did not show great courage in what ye did, but it shall be enough for he who will win victory in this battle."

Then they fought so bravely that it frightened those who watched, and the noise their swords made as they cut each other's armor was as if ten knights were fighting. At times they grabbed each other's arms to knock the other down, and so each one tested all his strength and valor against the other.

The squires watched them, very frightened to see such cruelty in the two knights, and they did not expect either could survive. And so they fought in their battle from the third hour [9 a.m.] until vespers [sunset], and neither knight rested nor spoke a word. But at that moment Sir Cuadragante was breathless from exhaustion and injured by a blow that Beltenebros had given him on his helmet, and he fell powerless and senseless on the field, as if he were dead. Beltenebros pulled the helmet from his head and to see if he were dead, but giving him air almost brought him back to his senses.

Amadis put the point of his sword in his face and told him:

"Cuadragante, think of thy soul, for thou art dead."

He had become more conscious and said:

"Oh, Beltenebros, I beg you, by God, let me live for the sake of my soul!"

He answered:

"If ye wish to live, declare that ye are defeated and that ye shall do what I order."

"I shall do your will," he said, "to save my life, but I rightly ought not to declare my defeat, for no one is defeated who showed no cowardice in defending himself and did all he could until he had no more strength or breath and fell at the feet of his enemy. Defeated is he who ceases to do all that he could for lack of spirit."

"Truly," Beltenebros said, "ye have spoken rightly, and I am pleased by what I have just learned about you. Give me your hand and pledge that ye shall do what I order."

He did so as best he could.

Then Beltenebros called the squires to watch and told him:

"I order you, by the agreement ye have made, to go immediately to the court of King Lisuarte and not to leave it until Amadis is there, the knight that ye are looking for. And when he comes, ye shall put yourself in his power and pardon him for the death of your brother, King Abies of Ireland, since, from what I know, they challenged each other of their own free will and entered in battle alone, so such death should not be avenged even among low men, and much less among those as yourself, given the great feats at arms that ye have done so virtuously. And I also order ye to retract your challenge of the King and all his men, and to take arms against no one in his service."

Cuadragante agreed to all that greatly against his will, but he did so out of his great fear of death, which was very close to him. Then he ordered his squires to make a litter and take him where Beltenebros had ordered so he could fulfill his promise.