Not a member?     Existing members login below:
Take Free-eBooks to GO! With our Mobile Apps here

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Knight-Errantry As A Trade
Sandy and I were on the road again, next morning, bright and early. It was so good to
open up one's lungs and take in whole luscious barrels-ful of the blessed God's untainted,
dew-fashioned, woodland- scented air once more, after suffocating body and mind for
two days and nights in the moral and physical stenches of that intolerable old buzzard-
roost! I mean, for me: of course the place was all right and agreeable enough for Sandy,
for she had been used to high life all her days.
Poor girl, her jaws had had a wearisome rest now for a while, and I was expecting to get
the consequences. I was right; but she had stood by me most helpfully in the castle, and
had mightily supported and reinforced me with gigantic foolishnesses which were worth
more for the occasion than wisdoms double their size; so I thought she had earned a right
to work her mill for a while, if she wanted to, and I felt not a pang when she started it up:
"Now turn we unto Sir Marhaus that rode with the damsel of thirty winter of age
"Are you going to see if you can work up another half-stretch on the trail of the cowboys,
"Even so, fair my lord."
"Go ahead, then. I won't interrupt this time, if I can help it. Begin over again; start fair,
and shake out all your reefs, and I will load my pipe and give good attention."
"Now turn we unto Sir Marhaus that rode with the damsel of thirty winter of age
southward. And so they came into a deep forest, and by fortune they were nighted, and
rode along in a deep way, and at the last they came into a courtelage where abode the
duke of South Marches, and there they asked harbour. And on the morn the duke sent
unto Sir Marhaus, and bad him make him ready. And so Sir Marhaus arose and armed
him, and there was a mass sung afore him, and he brake his fast, and so mounted on
horseback in the court of the castle, there they should do the battle. So there was the duke
already on horseback, clean armed, and his six sons by him, and every each had a spear in
his hand, and so they encountered, whereas the duke and his two sons brake their spears
upon him, but Sir Marhaus held up his spear and touched none of them. Then came the
four sons by couples, and two of them brake their spears, and so did the other two. And
all this while Sir Marhaus touched them not. Then Sir Marhaus ran to the duke, and
smote him with his spear that horse and man fell to the earth. And so he served his sons.
And then Sir Marhaus alight down, and bad the duke yield him or else he would slay him.
And then some of his sons recovered, and would have set upon Sir Marhaus. Then Sir
Marhaus said to the duke, Cease thy sons, or else I will do the uttermost to you all. When
the duke saw he might not escape the death, he cried to his sons, and charged them to
yield them to Sir Marhaus. And they kneeled all down and put the pommels of their
swords to the knight, and so he received them. And then they holp up their father, and so