Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 15, 1904.djvu/55

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41
Arthur and Gorlagon.

The Queen. You are undoubtedly mistaken, Arthur, for you acknowledge that you have never yet fathomed either the nature or the heart of a woman.

Arthur. I call heaven to witness that if up to now they have lain hid from me, I will exert myself, and sparing no pains, I will never taste food until by good hap I fathom them.

(2) So when the banquet was ended Arthur called to him Caius, his sewer, and said, "Caius, do you and Walwain my nephew mount your horses and accompany me on the business to which I am hastening. But let the rest remain and entertain my guests in my stead until I return." Caius and Walwain at once mounted their horses as they were bidden, and hastened with Arthur to a certain king famed for his wisdom, named Gargol, who reigned over the neighbouring country; and on the third day they reached a certain valley, quite worn out, for since leaving home they had not tasted food nor slept, but had ever ridden on uninterruptedly night and day. Now immediately on the further side of that valley there was a lofty mountain, surrounded by a pleasant wood, in whose recesses was visible a very strong fortress built of polished stone. And Arthur, when he saw it at a distance, commanded Caius to hasten on before him with all speed, and bring back word to him to whom the town belonged. So Caius, urging on his steed, hastened forward and entered the fortress, and on his return met Arthur just as he was entering the outer trench, and told him that the town belonged to King Gargol, to whom they were making their way. (3) Now it so happened that King Gargol had just sat down at table to dine; and Arthur, entering his presence on horseback, courteously saluted him and those who were feasting with him. And King Gargol said to him, "Who art thou? and from whence? And wherefore hast thou entered into our presence with such haste?"

Arthur. "I am Arthur," he replied, "the King of