Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chapter 59 [part 1 of 3]

How King Cildadan and Sir Galaor were taken away to be healed, and one was put in a strong tower surrounded by the sea, and the other in a garden with high walls adorned by iron fences, where each one became conscious and thought he was in prison, but they did not know by whom they had been brought there or what else had happened to them. 

[Tower of Juan II at Segovia Castle. Photo by Katheline Vrenati-Finn.] 

Now we shall tell you what became of King Cildadan and Galaor. Know that the damsels who took them away also cared for their wounds, and on the third day they were fully conscious.

Sir Galaor found himself in a garden in a beautifully made building with four marble pillars, enclosed from one pillar to the next by strong wrought iron screens, so he could view the garden from the bed in which he was lying. From what he could manage to see, it was surrounded by a tall wall in which there was a small door covered by iron plates. He was frightened to find himself there, believing himself imprisoned, and he was in great pain from his wounds, so he expected nothing but death. Then he remembered how he had been in a battle, but he did not know who had taken him from it nor how he had been brought there.

When King Cildadan returned to full consciousness, he found himself inside a vaulted room in a large tower lying on a rich bed next to a window. He looked from one end to another, but he saw no one else, and he heard someone speaking above the ceiling, but he could see no door or entrance to the chamber where he was. He put his head out of the window to look, and he saw the sea and that he was in a tall tower built on a sharp peak, and there seemed to be sea on all three sides.

He remembered how he had been in a battle, although he did not know how he had been taken from it. But he well believed that since he was in such bad condition and was a prisoner, his men would not be free. As he saw there was nothing more he could do, he lay down in his bed, groaning and in great pain from his wounds, waiting to see what would befall him.

Sir Galaor, in the house in the garden as ye have heard, saw the small door open and raised his head with great effort. He saw a beautiful, well-dressed damsel enter, and with her a man who was so weak and old it was amazing he could walk. They came to the iron screen at the bed and they said:

“Sir Galaor, think of your soul, or we cannot save or protect you.”

Then the damsel took out two boxes, one iron and the other silver, showed them to Sir Galaor, and said:

“The man who brought you here does not wish ye to die before he learns if ye shall do his will, so he wants your wounds to be healed and ye be given food.”

“Good damsel,” he said, “if the will of whom ye speak wishes me to do what I ought not, then it would be harder for me than death, but otherwise, I ought to save my life.”

“Ye may do the best that ye can,” she said, “for what ye speak of we cannot help you. To live or die is in your hands.”

Then the old man opened the door in the screen and they entered. She took the iron box and told the old man to leave, which he did. She said to Sir Galaor:

“My lord, I am so sad for you that, to save your life, I wish to risk death. I shall tell you what my orders were. I was to fill this box with poison and the other with an unguent that will make you sleep, because the poison works best during sleep, so that when the poison would be put in your wounds and then the other for sleep, ye would die soon. But it hurt me to have such a good knight die, so I did the contrary, and here I put such medicine that if ye take it every day, in seven days ye shall be so well that ye can easily ride a horse.”

Then she put that unguent in his wounds, and it was so effective that the swelling and the pain were immediately soothed. He found himself very relieved, and he told her:

“Good damsel, I am very grateful for what ye have done for me, and if I leave here by your hand, never has the life of a knight been so well rewarded as yours shall be. But if by chance your effort is not enough and ye wish to do something for me, find a way to let Urganda the Unrecognized know that I am in this dangerous prison, for I have great hope in her.”

The damsel began to laugh out loud, and she said:

“What? Ye have such faith in Urganda, who does so little for your good or harm?”

“Yes,” he said, “for she knows the will of others, and so she knows mine is to serve her.”

“Do not be concerned about this Urganda but about me,” she said, “because, Sir Galaor, as ye made such an effort to place your health in danger, ye ought equally to try to make it well, and your great and brave heart ought to show itself in this fight as in others. I want ye to grant me a boon for the danger that I am putting myself in to heal you and to get you out of here, and it shall not be to your loss or harm.”

“I will grant it,” he said, “if I can do it rightly.”

“Then I shall leave until it is time to see each other again. Lie down and look like you are sound asleep.”

He did so, and the damsel called the old man and said:

“Look at how this knight sleeps. Soon the poison shall work in him.”

“This is necessary,” the old man said, “so that he who brought him here can be avenged. And since ye have complied with your duty, from here on ye may come without a guard. Keep him thus for two weeks, not dead and not alive except in great pain, and in that time people will come to give him his due for the offense he has done to them.”

Galaor heard all this, and it truly seemed to him that the old man was his mortal enemy. But he took hope in what the damsel had said, that he would be healed in seven days, and if fate would catch him healthy, he could free himself from danger. So he found great courage, as the damsel had counseled him.

With that, she and the old man left, but soon he saw her return with two very beautiful and well-dressed young damsels, and they brought Sir Galaor food. They opened the door and entered, and the damsel fed him and left the two little damsels with him so they could keep him company and to read him books of stories and so he would not sleep during the day. Galor was greatly consoled by that, for he observed that the damsel had kept her promise, and he thanked her sincerely. Then she left, closing the doors, and the girls remained to accompany him.

At the same time, as ye have heard, King Cildadan found himself enclosed in a tall tower surrounded by the sea, and soon, while he was deep in thought, he saw a stone door open that was inserted in the tower so closely that it seemed to be the wall itself, and he saw a middle-aged lady and two armed knights enter. They came to the bed where he was. They did not offer him a greeting, but he did, speaking to them in a friendly way, but they did not respond at all. The lady removed his blanket and studied his wounds, put medicine in them, and fed him. And then they returned to where they had come from without having said a word, and closed the door as it had been before.

Having seen this, the King thought that he was truly in prison in the power of someone who did not hold his life in safety, but he tried to be as brave as he could, for he could do nothing else.

The damsel who was caring for Galaor returned to him when it was time and asked him how he was. He said he was well, and that he thought he would be in a good state of health within the time limit she had set.

“I am pleased by that,” she said, “and do not doubt that which I told you, for it shall be fulfilled. But I want you to give me a boon as a faithful knight: do not try to leave here except by my hand, because it will be to your mortal harm and a danger to your life, and in the end you would not manage to leave.”

Galaor granted it, and begged her to tell him her name. She said:

“Why, Sir Galaor, do you not know my name? Now I tell you that I am disappointed in you, because there was a time when I did you a service, which it seems ye do not remember. And if I must remind you of my name, know that they call me Sapience over Sapience.”

She immediately left, and he thought about it. He remembered the beautiful sword that Urganda had given him when his brother Amadis made him a knight. He suspected she might be her, but he doubted that because on that occasion he had seen her quite old and now she was young, so he did not recognize her.

He looked for the two little damsels and did not see them, but in their place he saw his squire Gasaval and Amadis’s dwarf Ardian, and he was surprised and happy. They were sleeping, so he called them until they woke. When they saw him, they came weeping with pleasure to kiss his hands and tell him:

“Oh, our good lord, blessed be God who brought us here where we might serve you!”

He asked them how they had come there. They told him that they only knew that “Amadis and Agrajes and Florestan sent us with you.” Then they told him the state of his life at the end of the battle and how, when Amadis held his head in his lap, the damsels had come to ask for Galaor, and how, by agreement between the damsels and his friends, he had been given to the damsels, since he was at the point of death, and how they had put him in a ship with King Cildadan.

Sir Galaor asked them:

“How was Amadis found at such a time?”

“My lord,” they said, “know that the knight who was called Beltenebros is your brother Amadis, and by his great effort the battle was won for King Lisuarte.”

And they told him how Beltenebros had rescued the King, who was being carried off beneath the arm of a giant, and how he had then declared himself Amadis.

“Ye have told me great things,” Galaor said, “and I take pleasure in the news about my brother, although if he did not have a legitimate cause for hiding himself from me for so long, I shall be very angry with him.”

And this, as ye hear, was the state of King Cildadan and Sir Galaor, one in the tall tower and the other in the house in the garden, where their wounds were healed until they could go where they wished without danger. Then Urganda made herself known to them, in whose power they were, on her island called Unfound. She told them she had made them afraid so that they would recover their health more quickly, which was necessary because of the great peril their lives were in.

She ordered two nieces of hers to serve them and finish their care. They were very beautiful damsels, daughters of King Falangris, the late brother of King Lisuarte, by Urganda’s own sister, Grimota, when he was a young man. One of them was named Julianda, the other Solisa, and as a result of their visits they became pregnant with two sons: the one by Sir Galaor was called Tanlanque; and the one by King Cildadan called Maneli the Discrete. Both became very valiant and brave knights, as shall be told later. Galaor and Cildadan had great pleasure with these damsels while they were there until Urganda chose to release them, as ye shall hear farther on.

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