Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 15, 1904.djvu/69

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55
Arthur and Gorlagon.

mangled him again had he not been held back by the bystanders.

What need of many words? When the King insisted, sometimes with threats, sometimes with coaxing, the sewer confessed the crime of which he had been guilty, and humbly prayed to be forgiven. But the King, blazing out in an excess of fury, delivered the sewer up to be kept in prison, and immediately summoned the chief men from the whole of his kingdom to meet, and through them he held an investigation into the circumstances of this great crime, Sentence was given. The sewer was flayed alive and hanged. The Queen was torn limb from limb by horses and thrown into balls of flame.

Arthur, dismount and eat. For yours is a mighty question, and there are few who know how to answer it: and when I have told my tale you will be but little the wiser.

Arthur. If you are not tired of eating, you need not mind my fasting a little longer.

(18) Gorlagon. After these events the King pondered over the extraordinary sagacity and industry of the wolf with close attention and great persistence, and afterwards discussed the subject more fully with his wise men, asserting that a being who was clearly endued with such great intelligence must have the understanding of a man, "for no beast," he argued, "was ever found to possess such great wisdom, or to show such great devotion to any one as this wolf has shown to me. For he understands perfectly whatever we say to him: he does what he is ordered: he always stands by me, wherever I may be: he rejoices when I rejoice, and when I am in sorrow, he sorrows too. And you must know that one who has avenged with such severity the wrong which has been done me must undoubtedly have been a man of great sagacity and ability, and must have assumed the form of a wolf under some spell or incantation." At these words the wolf, who was standing by the King, showed great joy, and licking his hands and feet and