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How King Pellinore rode after the lady and the knight that
led her away, and how a lady desired help of him, and
how he fought with two knights for that lady, of whom
he slew the one at the first stroke.

THEN King Pellinore armed him and mounted upon his horse, and
rode more than a pace after the lady that the knight led away. 
And as he rode in a forest, he saw in a valley a damosel sit by a
well, and a wounded knight in her arms, and Pellinore saluted
her.  And when she was ware of him, she cried overloud, Help me,
knight; for Christ's sake, King Pellinore.  And he would not
tarry, he was so eager in his quest, and ever she cried an
hundred times after help.  When she saw he would not abide, she
prayed unto God to send him as much need of help as she had, and
that he might feel it or he died.  So, as the book telleth, the
knight there died that there was wounded, wherefore the lady for
pure sorrow slew herself with his sword.  As King Pellinore rode
in that valley he met with a poor man, a labourer.  Sawest thou
not, said Pellinore, a knight riding and leading away a lady? 
Yea, said the man, I saw that knight, and the lady that made
great dole; and yonder beneath in a valley there shall ye see two
pavilions, and one of the knights of the pavilions challenged
that lady of that knight, and said she was his cousin near,
wherefore he should lead her no farther.  And so they waged
battle in that quarrel, the one said he would have her by force,
and the other said he would have the rule of her, by cause he was
her kinsman, and would lead her to her kin.  For this quarrel he
left them fighting.  And if <96>ye will ride a pace ye shall find
them fighting, and the lady was beleft with the two squires in
the pavilions.  God thank thee, said King Pellinore.

Then he rode a wallop till he had a sight of the two pavilions,
and the two knights fighting.  Anon he rode unto the pavilions,
and saw the lady that was his quest, and said, Fair lady, ye must
go with me unto the court of King Arthur.  Sir knight, said the
two squires that were with her, yonder are two knights that fight
for this lady, go thither and depart them, and be agreed with
them, and then may ye have her at your pleasure.  Ye say well,
said King Pellinore.  And anon he rode betwixt them, and departed
them, and asked them the causes why that they fought?  Sir
knight, said the one, I shall tell you, this lady is my kinswoman
nigh, mine aunt's daughter, and when I heard her complain that
she was with him maugre her head, I waged battle to fight with
him.  Sir knight, said the other, whose name was Hontzlake of
Wentland, and this lady I gat by my prowess of arms this day at
Arthur's court.  That is untruly said, said King Pellinore, for
ye came in suddenly there as we were at the high feast, and took
away this lady or any man might make him ready; and therefore it
was my quest to bring her again and you both, or else the one of
us to abide in the field; therefore the lady shall go with me, or
I will die for it, for I have promised it King Arthur.  And
therefore fight ye no more, for none of you shall have no part of
her at this time; and if ye list to fight for her, fight with me,
and I will defend her.  Well, said the knights, make you ready,
and we shall assail you with all our power.  And as King
Pellinore would have put his horse from them, Sir Hontzlake rove
his horse through with a sword, and said:  Now art thou on foot
as well as we are.  When King Pellinore espied that his horse was
slain, lightly he leapt from his horse and pulled out his sword,
and put his shield afore him, and said, Knight, keep well thy
head, for thou shalt have a buffet for the slaying of my horse. 
So King Pellinore gave him such a stroke upon the helm that he
clave the head down to the chin, that he fell to the earth dead.