Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK IX CHAPTER X

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How La Beale Isoud sent letters to Sir Tristram by her maid
Bragwaine, and of divers adventures of Sir Tristram.

NOW leave we here Sir La Cote Male Taile, and turn we unto Sir
Tristram de Liones that was in Brittany.  When La Beale Isoud
understood that he was wedded she sent to him by her maiden
Bragwaine as piteous letters as could be thought and made, and
her conclusion was that, an it pleased Sir Tristram, that he
would come to her <368>court, and bring with him Isoud la Blanche
Mains, and they should be kept as well as she herself.  Then Sir
Tristram called unto him Sir Kehydius, and asked him whether he
would go with him into Cornwall secretly.  He answered him that
he was ready at all times.  And then he let ordain privily a
little vessel, and therein they went, Sir Tristram, Kehydius,
Dame Bragwaine, and Gouvernail, Sir Tristram's squire.  So when
they were in the sea a contrarious wind blew them on the coasts
of North Wales, nigh the Castle Perilous.  Then said Sir
Tristram:  Here shall ye abide me these ten days, and Gouvernail,
my squire, with you.  And if so be I come not again by that day
take the next way into Cornwall; for in this forest are many
strange adventures, as I have heard say, and some of them I cast
me to prove or I depart.  And when I may I shall hie me after

Then Sir Tristram and Kehydius took their horses and departed
from their fellowship.  And so they rode within that forest a
mile and more; and at the last Sir Tristram saw afore him a
likely knight, armed, sitting by a well, and a strong mighty
horse passing nigh him tied to an oak, and a man hoving and
riding by him leading an horse laden with spears.  And this
knight that sat at the well seemed by his countenance to be
passing heavy.  Then Sir Tristram rode near him and said:  Fair
knight, why sit ye so drooping? ye seem to be a knight-errant by
your arms and harness, and therefore dress you to joust with one
of us, or with both.  Therewithal that knight made no words, but
took his shield and buckled it about his neck, and lightly he
took his horse and leapt upon him.  And then he took a great
spear of his squire, and departed his way a furlong.  Sir
Kehydius asked leave of Sir Tristram to joust first.  Do your
best, said Sir Tristram.  So they met together, and there Sir
Kehydius had a fall, and was sore wounded on high above the paps. 
Then Sir Tristram said:  Knight, that is well jousted, now make
you ready unto me.  I am ready, said the knight.  And then that
knight took a greater spear in his hand, and encountered with Sir
Tristram, <369>and there by great force that knight smote down
Sir Tristram from his horse and had a great fall.  Then Sir
Tristram was sore ashamed, and lightly he avoided his horse, and
put his shield afore his shoulder, and drew his sword.  And then
Sir Tristram required that knight of his knighthood to alight
upon foot and fight with him.  I will well, said the knight; and
so he alighted upon foot, and avoided his horse, and cast his
shield upon his shoulder, and drew his sword, and there they
fought a long battle together full nigh two hours.  Then Sir
Tristram said:  Fair knight, hold thine hand, and tell me of
whence thou art, and what is thy name.  As for that, said the
knight, I will be avised; but an thou wilt tell me thy name
peradventure I will tell thee mine.