A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court HTML version

The Ogre's Castle
Between six and nine we made ten miles, which was plenty for a horse carrying triple--
man, woman, and armor; then we stopped for a long nooning under some trees by a
limpid brook.
Right so came by and by a knight riding; and as he drew near he made dolorous moan,
and by the words of it I perceived that he was cursing and swearing; yet nevertheless was
I glad of his coming, for that I saw he bore a bulletin-board whereon in letters all of
shining gold was writ:
I was glad of his coming, for even by this token I knew him for knight of mine. It was Sir
Madok de la Montaine, a burly great fellow whose chief distinction was that he had come
within an ace of sending Sir Launcelot down over his horse-tail once. He was never long
in a stranger's presence without finding some pretext or other to let out that great fact. But
there was another fact of nearly the same size, which he never pushed upon anybody
unasked, and yet never withheld when asked: that was, that the reason he didn't quite
succeed was, that he was interrupted and sent down over horse-tail himself. This innocent
vast lubber did not see any particular difference between the two facts. I liked him, for he
was earnest in his work, and very valuable. And he was so fine to look at, with his broad
mailed shoulders, and the grand leonine set of his plumed head, and his big shield with its
quaint device of a gauntleted hand clutching a prophylactic tooth-brush, with motto: "Try
Noyoudont." This was a tooth-wash that I was introducing.
He was aweary, he said, and indeed he looked it; but he would not alight. He said he was
after the stove-polish man; and with this he broke out cursing and swearing anew. The
bulletin-boarder referred to was Sir Ossaise of Surluse, a brave knight, and of
considerable celebrity on account of his having tried conclusions in a tournament once,
with no less a Mogul than Sir Gaheris himself--although not successfully. He was of a
light and laughing disposition, and to him nothing in this world was serious. It was for
this reason that I had chosen him to work up a stove-polish sentiment. There were no
stoves yet, and so there could be nothing serious about stove-polish. All that the agent
needed to do was to deftly and by degrees prepare the public for the great change, and
have them established in predilections toward neatness against the time when the stove
should appear upon the stage.
Sir Madok was very bitter, and brake out anew with cursings. He said he had cursed his
soul to rags; and yet he would not get down from his horse, neither would he take any
rest, or listen to any comfort, until he should have found Sir Ossaise and settled this
account. It appeared, by what I could piece together of the unprofane fragments of his
statement, that he had chanced upon Sir Ossaise at dawn of the morning, and been told
that if he would make a short cut across the fields and swamps and broken hills and
glades, he could head off a company of travelers who would be rare customers for