Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chapter 69 [part 4 of 4]

[How King Lisuarte learned that Amadis had fought for him.] 

[A street in Granadilla leading to its castle. The town, in the province of Cáceres in western Spain, was founded in the 800s and became an important strategic and commercial location in the Middle Ages. Its present castle was built by the Duke of Alba in the 1470s. The town was abandoned in the 1960s after it was surrounded by the water of a new reservoir. Starting in the 1980s, it became a university student architectural rehabilitation workshop, and its former residents and their descendants visit twice a year for fiestas. Photo by Orlacos.

So Sir Galaor and Norandel rode for three days, spending pleasant nights in towns, and on the fourth day they reached a town named Alfiad that was a seaport, and they found two ships traveling to Gaul. They boarded the ships and without delay they arrived where King Perion, Amadis, and Florestan were.

So it happened that, as Amadis was in Gaul preparing to go seek adventures to make up for the time he had spent there, during which his honor had been so diminished, each day he continued to ride along the seashore, looking at Great Britain, which held his desires and everything he valued.

One day he was riding with Sir Florestan, and they saw some boats coming, so they went there to learn the news. When they reached the shore, they saw Sir Galaor and Norandel getting into a skiff. Amadis recognized his brother and said:

“Holy Mary, that is our brother, Sir Galaor. May he be very welcome.” And he asked Sir Florestan, “Do ye know the one who is coming with him?”

“Yes,” he said, “that is Norandel, son of King Lisuarte, companion of Sir Galaor. And know that he is a very good knight, as he proved in the battle we had with his father at the Island of Mongaza, but he was not known as his son until after the great battle with the seven kings, when the King was pleased to have had him made known for his great skill.”

Amadis was very happy to have him as the brother of his lady and knew that she loved him, according to what Durin had told him. Then the knights arrived at the shore and came onto land, where they found Amadis and Florestan on foot, who welcomed them and embraced them repeatedly. They gave each of them a palfrey and left to see King Perion, who was riding out to receive them.

When they met, they wished to kiss the King’s hands, but he did not give them to Norandel. Instead, he embraced him and did him great honor, and brought them to the Queen, where they received no less honor.

Amadis, as I told you, was prepared to leave there in four days. The day before, he spoke with the King and his brothers, telling them how he needed to leave and take to the road the next day. The King said:

“My son, God knows the loneliness that I will feel, but not for that shall I keep you from going to gain honor and praise, as ye always do.”

Sir Galaor said:

“My lord brother, if it were not for a quest in which Norandel and I are involved and which we may not rightly set aside, we would give you company. But we must fulfill it or pass a year and a day trying, as is the custom in Great Britain.”

The King asked him:

“My son, what quest is this? May it be told?”

“Yes, my lord,” he said, “for we promised it in public, and it is this: know, my lord, that in the battle we had with the seven island kings, on the side of King Lisuarte there were three knights with the same dragon insignia, but their helmets were different, one white, one purple, and one gold. These knights did such marvelous feats at arms that we were all amazed, especially at the one who wore the gold helmet, whose skill I do not think could be equaled by anyone. In fact, it is believed that without them, King Lisuarte would not have been victorious. When the battle was won, all three left the field with their faces so well hidden that they could not be recognized, and because of what has been said about them, we have promised to find them and learn who they are.”

The King said:

“We have heard about those knights here, and may God give ye good news about them.”

So they spent the day until nightfall. Amadis took his father aside with Sir Florestan, and told them:

“My lord, I wish to leave tomorrow, and it seems to me that after I go, Sir Galaor should be told the truth about that which he seeks because his labor would be in vain without us, for no one else knows it. Show him the arms, which he will easily recognize.”

“Ye speak well,” the King said, “and so it shall be done.”

That night they were with the Queen and her daughter, and with many of their ladies and damsels, relaxing with great pleasure, but they all knew they would greatly miss Amadis, who wished to travel but no one knew where. After he bid farewell to all of them, they went to sleep.

The next day they all heard Mass and left with Amadis, who rode armed on horseback, with Gandalin and his dwarf and no one else to keep him company. The Queen gave Gandalin enough money to suffice for his lord for a year. Sir Florestan asked him very humbly to take him with him, but Amadis would not agree for two reasons: first, to be more free to think about his lady; and the other, because he hoped to achieve great undertakings alone so that he alone would achieve either glory or death.

When they had traveled a league, Amadis bid them farewell and took to the road, and the King and his sons returned to the town, where he spoke privately with his son Galaor and with Norandel, and told them:

“Ye are involved in a quest that if not here, then no where else in the world will ye find the answer, for which I give thanks to God for guiding you here to release you from great labor without success. Know now that the three knights with the dragon insignia whom ye seek are myself and Amadis and Sir Florestan. I wore the white helmet, Sir Florestan wore the purple one, and Amadis wore the gold one and did such great and extraordinary deeds as ye saw.”

He told them how they had agreed to go fight, and how Urganda sent them the arms. “And so ye may fully believe this and hold your adventure to be finished, come with me.”

He took them to another chamber, the armory, and showed them the arms with the dragon insignia damaged in many places by great blows, which they immediately recognized because they had seen them often in the battle, sometimes coming to their aid, and other times they had felt great envy over what their wearers were doing.

Sir Galaor said:

“My lord, God has done us a great mercy, as have ye, to save us from this quest because our concern was that with all our effort to look for the knights with these insignia, we might fall into a situation in which we could not escape from their anger without great shame and would have to engage them in a fight to the death and make them known to all. Although they did more in public than all others in the battle, in private they would be judged differently or die for it.”

“God has done better by His mercy,” the King said.

Norandel asked repeatedly for those arms, and with much more solemnity the King gave them to him. Then the King told the two how they had been imprisoned by Arcalaus, and by what fate they were able to get out. Tears came to Galaor’s eyes for his grief at such great danger, and he told what had happened with him and Norandel with Arcalaus, and how he had called himself Granfiles and escaped from them, and everything that happened with Dinarda, and how she remained in the castle, and what took place with Ambades, the host.

They spent fourteen days there relaxing, and, after saying goodbye to the King and Queen, they got on a ship, taking the arms with the dragon insignia, and with good weather sailed to Great Britain. They arrived at the town where King Lisuarte and the Queen were, disarmed in their lodging, and went to the palace to show him that their quest had been fulfilled, bringing him the arms with the dragon insignia on their surcoats.

They were well received by the King and everyone in court. Galaor told the King:

“My lord, if it pleases you, have us heard before the Queen.”

“Yes,” he said.

They immediately went to her chamber, and everyone followed to see what they brought. The Queen was pleased with their arrival, and they kissed her hands. Galaor said:

“My lords, ye know how Norandel and I left here on a quest to look for the three knights with the arms with the dragon insignia, who were in your battle and at your service. And God be praised, without effort we have found them, as Norandel shall show you.”

Then Norandel took the white helmet in his hands and said:

“My lord, do ye recognize this helmet?”

“Yes,” the King said. “Many times I saw it where I wished it would be.”

“This was worn on the head of King Perion, who loves you dearly.”

Then he took the purple one and said:

“Ye see here the one worn by Sir Florestan.”

He took the gold one and said:

“Ye see, my lord, this one, who did in your service what none other could do, and it was worn by Amadis. And of whether or not I am speaking the truth, ye are the best witness, for many times ye found yourself among them, they enjoying the fame and ye the victory.”

And he told them how King Perion and his sons came to the battle secretly, and why they had left afterwards without being recognized, and how they were imprisoned by Arcalaus and how they left, burning the castle, and how he and Sir Galaor found Arcalaus in the stretcher, and how he escaped calling himself Granfiles, cousin of Sir Grumedan, at which they all laughed, including Sir Grumedan, who was there, saying that he was very happy to find himself in such a debt he had not known about.

The King asked many questions about King Perion, and Norandel told him:

“Believe, my lord, that in the whole world there is no king with as much land who is his equal.”

“And nothing shall be lost,” Sir Grumedan said, “with such sons.”

The King was quiet so as not to praise Galaor, who was present, or the others with whom he was still not pleased, but he ordered the arms put in a glass case in his palace where the arms of other famous men were kept.

Sir Galaor and Norandel spoke with Oriana and Mabilia, and gave them the greetings and courtesies of Queen Elisena and her daughter, which were received by them with great affection, since they loved each other dearly. They felt great sorrow when they were told that Amadis had left alone to go to foreign lands of diverse languages to seek the most mighty and dangerous adventures. Then they went to their lodgings and the King remained speaking with his knights about many things.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

The lovers of Teruel

Silly girl, silly boy. 

Each February since 1996, the city of Teruel has celebrated a reenactment of the wedding of Isabel de Segura.


Spoiler: This is a medieval tale, and they loved tragic endings back then, so get out your kleenex.

In 1217 in the city of Teruel in east-central Spain, Isabel de Segura and Juan Diego Martínez de Marcilla grew up together and fell in love. Both were of noble families, in fact the Seguras were very rich.

Some versions of the story say the Marcillas had fallen on hard times, others say that as the second son, Diego inherited only a horse, but both Diego and Isabel knew her parents would never grant him permission to marry her if he was poor. Some versions of the story says Diego talked to her father, others say he spoke only to Isabel, but in any case they reached an agreement: he would have exactly five years to seek his fortune. And so he rode off.

For five years, Isabel waited with no news from Diego while she fended off suitors, claiming that she had vowed to remain a virgin until age 20 and that no woman should marry until she knew how to run a household. At exactly five years, her father gave her in marriage to Pedro de Azagara.

As Teruel celebrated the wedding, city guards announced a commotion at a gate: Diego was arriving, and he was rich. She had started counting five years from the day they made their agreement, and he began his count on the following day.

That night, he snuck into the newlyweds’ bedchamber, woke Isabel, and begged: “Kiss me, for I am dying.” She refused out of dedication to her new husband. Diego fell dead next to the bed. She woke Pedro, who praised her virtue but feared he would be blamed for Diego’s death, so their servants quietly carried his body to his parents’ home.

The next day during the funeral, a woman walked into the church and proceeded toward the altar: Isabel, in her splendid wedding dress. She stopped at the corpse of her beloved Diego, bent to kiss him, and after she did, fell dead on top of him.

They were buried together, finally united in love for eternity.

The legend spread and gave rise to the refrain: “Los amantes de Teruel, tonta ella, tonto él.” The lovers of Teruel, silly girl, silly boy, commenting on the way passion can give rise to misfortune.  

Is this story true?

 Maybe. In Italy in 1353, Boccaccio told a similar story about Girolamo and Salvestra, and he may have borrowed it from Spanish folklore. In Spain, writers including Tirso de Molina and Tomás Bretón have also dramatized the story.

In 1555, the bodies of the lovers (or of some people) were exhumed and found to have mummified, which is not unusual in Spain’s dry climate, and they were placed into beautiful new marble tombs sculpted by Juan de Ávalos in San Pedro Church. The two lovers are carved into the lids of their tombs, and their outstretched hands almost touch. On the sides of the tombs, open stonework filigree allows visitors to view their mummified remains.

If you can’t get to Teruel to visit the mausoleum, you can visit the website of “The Lovers Foundation” here.

But if you can get to Teruel, each February it hosts a city-wide recreation of the tale with plenty of medieval festivities, as you can see in the promotional video for 2013: food, dance, and spectacle.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chapter 69 [part 3 of 4]

[How Galaor and Norandel met Dinarda and her damsel, and how they fell in and out of love.] 

[Illustration from Roman de la Rose, written by Guillaume de Lorris in the 1200s and made into a manuscript for Count Engelbert of Nassau around 1487.]


Arcalaus left quickly because night had already fallen, but the moon shone bright. He was taken over a ridge, then left that road and took another more hidden route that he knew.

The two knights agreed that, since their horses were tired and night had come, they would rest alongside the spring.

“If that is what ye want,” Sir Galaor’s squire said, “an even better shelter is available than ye might think.”

“What is that?” Norandel said.

“Know,” he answered, “that the old building amid those brambles, the two damsels are hiding who were traveling with the knight on the stretcher.”

They dismounted next to the spring, washed their faces and hands, and went to where the damsels were. They entered through some narrow openings, and Sir Galaor shouted:

“Who is hidden here? Give me that fire, and I shall make them come out.”

Dinarda, when she heard this, was afraid and said:

“Oh, my lord knight, have mercy, for I shall come out.”

“Then come out,” he said, “so I shall see who ye are.”

“Help me,” she said, “for I can get out no other way.”

Galaor approached her, and she held out her arms, lit by the moonlight. He took her by the hands and helped her out from where she had been hiding. He was deeply struck by her, for he had never seen a damsel who looked so fair. She wore a scarlet skirt and a cape of white fur. Norandel helped out the other damsel, and they brought them to the spring, where they enjoyed the food that the squires had brought and what they found on one of Arcalaus’s packhorses.

Dinarda was afraid that Galaor would find out that she had imprisoned his father and brothers, so she desperately wished for him to become enamored of her and want her love, which until then she had given to no one. She gazed at him with desirous eyes and praised his handsome appearance to her damsel, all with the thought that, if he were to take her love and he were to find out afterwards, he would not wish to do her harm.

Galaor, given his ways, had no other thought than how to make her willingly become his beloved, and soon came to know that she was very willing; so after supper, he left Norandel with the damsel and, chatting, took Dinarda into some underbrush in the forest. He began to embrace her, and she threw her arms around his neck, showing him great love although she despised him, as some women sometimes do out of fear or selfish greed rather than happiness. So it happened that she who until that time had often needed to protect her chastity, for she had been desired by many lovers whom she had cast aside, now found herself with her enemy through adverse fate, although she considered it an advantage; and she changed from damsel to lady.

Norandel, who had remained with the damsel, had great hopes that she would give him her love because he was very struck by her, but she told him:

“Ye may do your will by force, but by my will it shall not be done unless my lady Dinarda orders it so.”

Norandel said:

“Is this Dinarda the daughter of Ardan Canileo, whom they say has come to this land to get advice from Arcalaus the Sorcerer about how to avenge her father’s death?”

“I do not know why she came here,” she said, “but she is the one of whom ye speak, and know that the knight who has attained her love has had great good fortune, because she is a damsel who has been coveted and desired by more men than any other, but until now no one could have her.”

At that, Galaor and Dinarda returned, who had enjoyed their leisure together, but not equally. Instead, I say that her sadness was greater than his pleasure. Norandel took Galaor aside and said:

“Do ye not know who this damsel is?”

“No more than ye do,” he said.

“Then know that she is Dinarda, daughter of Ardan Canileo, whom your cousin Mabilia told you had come to this land to seek the death of Amadis by trickery.”

Sir Galaor thought about that and said:

“Of her heart I know nothing besides that it seemed to show that she loved me dearly, and I would not wish to do her harm for anything in the world because of all the woman I have seen she is the one who has made me the happiest, and I do not wish her to be separated from me. Since we are going to Gaul, I will find a way to have Amadis make some amends to her so that she will forgive him.”

As they were talking, Dinarda was with her damsel and learned how she had not wished to consent to Norandel’s request, and how she had told him who she was, which Dinarda regretted, and said:

“My friend, in such times discretion means we must deny our wills, for otherwise we shall be in great danger. I ask you to do what that knight wishes, and let us show them love until we find a way to leave them.”

She said she would do so. Sir Galaor and Norandel, after they had spoken for a while, returned to the damsels, and spent part of the night talking and playing with them amid laughter and pleasure. Then, each man took his partner and lay down on beds of grass their squires had made, where they slept and enjoyed themselves all night.

Sir Galaor asked Dinarda the name of the evil knight who had wanted to kill them, and he meant the knight he had killed, but she understood that he meant the knight in the stretcher, and she told him:

“How did ye not know when ye approached the stretcher that he was Arcalaus? The knights ye defeated were his.”

“Really?” Sir Galaor said. “That was Arcalaus?”

“Yes, he truly was,” she said.

“Oh Holy Mary!” he said. “What subtlety he used to escape death.”

When Dinarda heard that they had not killed him, she was the happiest woman in the world, but she did not show it. She said:

“Earlier today I would have given my life for his, but now that I have your love and your mercy and restraint, I hope he will suffer an ignoble death because I know that he deeply despises you, and what he wishes for you and your family may God be pleased to have befall upon him.”

And she embraced him and showed him all the love she could. And so, as ye hear, they spent the night, and when day came, they armed themselves and took their lovers and their squires, who carried their weapons, and continued their travels toward the sea and Gaul.

Arcalaus arrived at midnight at his castle, terrified by what had happened to him. He ordered its gates closed and that no one be allowed to enter without his permission. He tended to his injuries with the intention of being more evil and doing greater crimes than ever, as evil men do; for although God’s spirit is within them, they do not wish or desire to be released from the mighty chains that the vile Enemy has thrown around them. Instead, enchained, they are taken to the lowest pit of hell, as it must be believed that this evil man was.

Sir Galaor and Norandel and their lovers rode for two days toward a port to go to Gaul, and on the third day they arrived at a castle where they decided to seek shelter. They found the gate open, went inside, and did not encounter a single person. But then a knight came out of a hall who was the lord of the castle, and when he saw them inside, he glowered at his staff because they had left the gate open.

But he greeted the knights with a happy face and received them very well, and did them many honors, although against his will because this knight, named Ambades, was a cousin of Arcalaus the Sorcerer, and he recognized Dinarda, who was his niece, and learned from her how the knights had brought her against her will.

In secret, Ambades’ mother wept with her and wanted to have them killed. But Dinarda told her:

“Do not let this madness take you or my uncle.”

Then she told them how the two knights had defeated Arcalaus’ seven knights, and everything that had happened to him, and said:

“My lady, do them honor, for they are very courageous knights, and tomorrow I and my damsel shall linger, and when they leave, pull up the drawbridge, and thus we shall be safe.”

She, Ambades, and his mother agreed, and they served supper to Sir Galaor and Norandel and their squires, and give them good beds to sleep in. Ambades did not sleep all night because he was so afraid to have such men in his castle. When morning came, he arose and put on his armor, went to his guests, and said:

“My lords, I wish to accompany you and show you the road, since this is my work: to ride armed in search of adventure.”

“Host,” Sir Galaor said, “we would appreciate that.”

Then they were armed, had their lovers mounted on their palfreys, and left the castle. But the host and the damsels remained behind, and when the knights and their squires were outside, the drawbridge was pulled up, and so the trick was executed. Ambades dismounted happily, went to the top of the castle wall, and saw the knights waiting to see someone they could ask about the damsels. He said:

“Go, wicked and lying guests, and may God confound you and give you as bad a night as ye gave me, for the ladies that ye thought to enjoy will remain with me.”

Sir Galaor said:

“Host, what are you saying? Do not be such a man who after having given us this service and pleasure in your home, in the end would do such dishonesty as to take our ladies by force.”

“If it were so,” he said, “it would be a bigger pleasure because the affront would be greater, but I took them willingly because they were forced to travel with their enemies.”

“Let us see them,” Galaor said, “and we shall learn if it is as ye say.”

“I shall do so,” he said, “not to give you pleasure but because ye shall see how detested ye are by them.”

Then he brought Dinarda to the wall, and Sir Galaor told her:

“Dinarda, my lady, this knight says that ye stay there by your will. I cannot believe it given the great love between us.”

Dinarda said:

“If I showed you love, it was due to the overwhelming fear I had, but since ye know that I am the daughter of Ardan Canileo, and ye are the brother of Amadis, how could I be made to love you, especially since ye wish to take me to Gaul where I would be in the power of my enemies? Go, Sir Galaor, and if I did anything for you, do not thank me, and do not remember me as anything but as an enemy.”

“Stay there, then,” Galaor said, “with the ill fate that God may give you, for from a root like Arcalaus, there can only be a bud like you.”

Norandel, who was irate, said to his lover:

“And ye, what shall ye do?”

“The will of my lady,” she said.

“May God confound her will,” he said, “and the will of this evil man for the way he tricked us.”

“If I am evil,” Ambades said, “ye are not such men that I would consider myself honored to defeat.”

“If thou art such a praiseworthy knight as thou sayest,” Norandel said, “come out and fight with me, I on foot and thou on horseback. And if thou wert to kill me, know that thou wouldst eliminate a mortal enemy of Arcalaus, and if I defeat thee, give us the damsels.”

“What a fool thou art,” Ambades said. “I hold you both as nothing. Then, what would I do to thee alone on foot, when I am on horseback? And as for what thou sayest about Arcalaus, my lord, he would not give a straw for twenty like thee or like thy companion.”

He took a Turkish bow and began to fire arrows at them. They pulled back and returned to the road that they had been on before, speaking about how Arcalaus’ vileness extended to all those in his lineage. They both laughed heartily about the answers from Dinarda and their host, and about Norandel’s ire, and about how their host, speaking from safety, held them as so little.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chapter 69 [part 2 of 4]

[How Gandalin helped King Perion, Sir Florestan, and Amadis escape, and how Arcalaus tricked Sir Galaor and Norandel.] 

[Loarre Castle in northeastern Spain, built in the 11th and 12th centuries; the curtain wall was added in the 13th or 14th century. It appeared in the 2006 film Kingdom of Heaven. Photo by Miguel Daza.] 

Gandalin, Orfeo, and the dwarf had been put in a prison below the floor where their lords were, and there they found a lady and two knights. One was her husband, long in years, and the other her son, a fine young man. They had been there a year. Gandalin told them how they had come in search of the three knights with the dragon insignia and had been captured.

“Holy Mary!” the knight said. “Know ye that those of whom ye speak were received very well in this castle, and while they were sleeping, four men came in here and turned this iron lever that ye see to lower the floor, so they have been betrayed.”

Gandalin, who was astute, immediately understood that his lord and the others were up there and in great danger of death. He said:

“If it is so, we must labor to raise it up. If we do not, neither they nor we shall ever leave here. Ye may be sure that if they are saved, we shall be freed.”

Then the knight and his son on one side and Gandalin and Orfeo on the other began to turn the lever, and the floor began to rise. King Perion, who was not sleeping peacefully more because of his worry for his sons than forr himself, immediately felt it move. He woke his sons and said:

“Do ye see how the floor is rising up? I do not know why.”

Amadis said:

“Whatever the reason, there is a great difference between dying as knights or dying as thieves.”

They leaped from their beds, had their squires arm them, and waited to see what would happen. The floor was brought up with great effort by those making it rise. King Perion and his sons, who were at the door, saw light between the boards and knew they were back where they had entered. The three worked hard to knock it down and came out on the castle wall, where the guards were. With such great courage and bravery that it was amazing, they began to kill and throw down everyone they found on the wall, and they shouted:

“Gaul, Gaul, for this castle is ours!”

Arcalaus heard that and was terrified. He thought that the deceit was by one of his men who had brought his enemies there, ran naked to a tower, and drew up the wooden ladder used to enter it. He did not fear the prisoners, whom he thought were securely locked up. He leaned out of a window and saw the knights with the dragon insignia rushing through the castle, and although he recognized them, he did not dare to leave and go down to them. Instead he shouted to his men not to fear them, for they were only three knights.

Some of his men down in the castle began to arm themselves, but the three knights, who had by then eliminated the guards from the wall, heard them and came after them, and soon they had killed or injured so many of them that no one dared to oppose them. When the people in the prison heard what was happening, they shouted for help. Amadis recognized the voice of his dwarf, for he and the lady were the most afraid, and Amadis and his father and brother immediately went to free them.

And so they did. With great effort they broke the hasps and opened the door, and the prisoners escaped. They searched the stables around the courtyard and found their horses and those of their lords, and the horses of Arcalaus, which they gave to the knight and his son, and Dinarda’s palfrey to the lady.

They led the horses out of the castle, and when everyone had mounted, the King ordered the stables set on fire. They began to burn so fiercely that everything seemed to be aflame, and the fire was so big it reached the tower.

The dwarf shouted:

“My lord Arcalaus, receive this smoke as uncomplaining as I did when ye hung me by one leg and deceived Amadis.”

The King was delighted by how the dwarf insulted Arcalaus, and they all laughed to see how it was the result of their effort. Then they took the road that went to the ship, and as they rode up a mountain, they saw the great flames of the castle and heard the shouts of its people, which gave them great pleasure. They rode on until they were in the hills. When the day grew bright, they saw the ship at the seashore. They went there and when they were on board, they disarmed and rested.

The lady, when she saw the King disarmed, went to kneel before him, and he recognized her, raised her up by the hand, and embraced her with good will, for he loved her dearly. The lady said to the King:

“My lord, which of them is Amadis?”

He told her:

“The one in the green gambeson.”

Then she went to him, knelt, and wanted to kiss his foot, but he was embarrassed and raised her up. The lady introduced herself, saying that she was the one who threw him in the sea after he was born in order to save his mother’s life. She asked for his forgiveness.

He said:

“My lady, now I know what I never did, for although my foster-father, Gandales, told me he found me in the sea, I did not know why I was there. I forgive you, for it was no wrong to me, since it was done in the service of she whom I must serve all my life.”

The King was happy to speak about that time, and laughed with them for a while. And so they went out to sea, very happy with their adventures, and they arrived at the Kingdom of Gaul.

Arcalaus, as ye heard, was in the tower where he had taken refuge, naked, and he could not leave because the flames had reached the door. The smoke and heat were too much and he could not withstand them or find any protection, although he had climbed on the roof. The smoke was so dense that he suffered greatly. He spent two days there, for no one could enter the castle because the fire was too large. But on the third day they could get in without danger, and they went up into the tower.

They found Arcalaus unconscious and about to lose his soul. They poured water into his mouth and brought him to, although with great difficulty. They took him in their arms to carry him to the town, and when he saw the castle burned and completely destroyed, he sighed and said with great pain in his heart:

“Oh, Amadis of Gaul, how much harm comes to me from thee! If I could capture thee, such cruelty I would give thee to avenge my heart of all the harm I have received from thee. And because of thee, I swear and promise that I shall never let any knight live whom I capture, so that if thou wert to fall into my hands, thou wouldst not escape from them as thou hast done now.”

He spent four days in that town regaining his life, and then, in a stretcher with seven knights to guard him, he left for his castle at Mount Aldin, accompanied by the beautiful Dinarda and another damsel. That night he slept in the home of a friend, and the next day he was to arrive at his castle. After two thirds of the day had passed on the road, as he was resting alongside a spring, he saw two knights coming past the edge of a forest toward him. They came richly armed and rode splendidly. When they saw the stretcher and the knights, they waited to find out what had happened. And as they were waiting, Dinarda came to Arcalaus and said:

“Good uncle, over there you can see two knights who are strangers.”

He lifted his head, and when he saw them, he called his men and told them:

“Take your arms and bring me those knights without telling them who I am, and if they resist, bring me their heads.”

Know that those knights were Sir Galaor and his companion Norandel. Arcalaus’s knights came to them and told them to put down their arms, for they were taken at the orders of the man in the stretcher.

“In the name of God,” Galaor said, “who is this who gave such orders, and what does it matter to him if we come armed or unarmed?”

“We do not know,” they said, “but it is best if ye did so, or we shall take your heads.”

“We are not at the point where ye could do so,” Norandel said.

“Now ye shall see,” they said.

Then they attacked, and at the first meeting two of them fell two the ground with mortal wounds. The others broke their lances but did not move the two knights from their saddles. Immediately they put their hands on their swords, and there was a wild and cruel battle among them all. But at the end, three of Arcalaus’s men were on the ground, badly injured, and the two who remained did not dare to await more mortal blows, so they left for the forest at a gallop.

The two companions did not follow them. Instead, they immediately went to learn who was in the stretcher. When they arrived, all of Arcalaus’s company ran away except for two men who were on horseback. Sir Galaor and Norandel raised the curtain covering the stretcher and said:

“Lowly knight, may God curse you, is this how ye treat knights who come down the road without danger? If ye were armed, we would make ye know that ye are vile and treacherous to God and the world. Since ye are ill, we shall send you to Sir Grumedan, who will judge you and give you the penalty ye deserve.”

When Arcalaus heard this, he was desperate, for he knew well that if he were taken to Sir Grumedan, his death was certain. As he was subtle in all things, he made his face look calm and said:

“Truly, my lords, send me to Sir Grumedan, my cousin and my lord, and ye do me a great mercy, for he knows my good and bad qualities well. But understand that I have suffered misfortune and sickness outside my reason, and my intentions are only to serve all knights-errant. I beg you, my lords, that ye listen to my misadventure, and then do with me what ye will.”

When they heard him say he was Sir Grumedan’s cousin, whom they deeply esteemed, they regretted the dishonorable things they had said to him, and told him:

“Now speak, and we shall gladly listen.”

He said:

“Know, my lords, that I was riding armed one day in the forest at Black Lake, where I found a lady who complained to me of an injury that had been done to her. I went with her and returned her rights to her before Count Guncestra. As I was returning home to my castle, I had not gone far before I met that knight whom ye killed there, may God damn him, who was wicked, accompanied by two other knights. To take my castle, they charged at me. When I saw this, I held my lance tight and came at them, and I did everything in my power to defend myself, but I was defeated and taken prisoner. He held me in his castle for a year, and if he did me any honor, it was to heal these wounds.”

Then he showed them his scars, for he had many because he was a valiant knight and had given and received many injuries.

“As I was desperate, I agreed to deliver him the castle to get out of his prison, but I was so weak that he could only bring me in this stretcher. I had planned to go immediately to Sir Grumedan, my cousin, and to King Lisuarte, my lord, and ask for justice for that betrayer who had robbed me. My lords, it seems ye have done me better than I had hoped for without my asking for it. And if I received no remedy there, I would have looked for Amadis of Gaul or his brother Sir Galaor to ask them to take pity on me and give me remedy, as they do for all others with grievances. The reason those traitors attacked you was so ye would not learn about me in this stretcher, for the reason I have told you.”

When they heard this, they believed it was entirely true, and asked forgiveness for the dishonorable words they had said. They asked what his name was. He said:

“I am called Granfiles. I do not know if ye have heard of me.”

“I have,” Sir Galaor said. “I know that ye do great honor to all knights-errant, from what your cousin has told me.”

“Thanks be to God,” he said, “that ye know of me that way. And since ye know my name, I ask you in equal measure to take off your helmets and tell me your names.”

Galaor told him:

“Know that this knight is named Norandel and is the son of King Lisuarte, and my name is Sir Galaor, brother of Amadis.”

And they took off their helmets.

“Thanks be to God,” Arcalaus said, “that I was rescued by such knights.”

Looking carefully at Sir Galaor to recognize him and do him harm if he were ever in his power, he said:

“I trust God, my lords, that eventually the time will come when fate will put me where the wish I have for you can be fulfilled. I ask you to tell me what to do.”

“Whatever ye wish,” they said.

He said:

“I wish to continue traveling to my castle.”

“May God guide you,” they said.