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Chapter 10
Thus, like the sad presaging raven, that tolls
The sick man's passport in her hollow beak,
And in the shadow of the silent night
Doth shake contagion from her sable wings;
Vex'd and tormented, runs poor Barrabas,
With fatal curses towards these Christians.
Jew of Malta
The Disinherited Knight had no sooner reached his pavilion, than squires and pages in
abundance tendered their services to disarm him, to bring fresh attire, and to offer him
the refreshment of the bath. Their zeal on this occasion was perhaps sharpened by
curiosity, since every one desired to know who the knight was that had gained so many
laurels, yet had refused, even at the command of Prince John, to lift his visor or to name
his name. But their officious inquisitiveness was not gratified. The Disinherited Knight
refused all other assistance save that of his own squire, or rather yeoman---a clownish-
looking man, who, wrapt in a cloak of dark-coloured felt, and having his head and face
half-buried in a Norman bonnet made of black fur, seemed to affect the incognito as
much as his master. All others being excluded from the tent, this attendant relieved his
master from the more burdensome parts of his armour, and placed food and wine
before him, which the exertions of the day rendered very acceptable.
The Knight had scarcely finished a hasty meal, ere his menial announced to him that
five men, each leading a barbed steed, desired to speak with him. The Disinherited
Knight had exchanged his armour for the long robe usually worn by those of his
condition, which, being furnished with a hood, concealed the features, when such was
the pleasure of the wearer, almost as completely as the visor of the helmet itself, but the
twilight, which was now fast darkening, would of itself have rendered a disguise
unnecessary, unless to persons to whom the face of an individual chanced to be
particularly well known.
The Disinherited Knight, therefore, stept boldly forth to the front of his tent, and found in
attendance the squires of the challengers, whom he easily knew by their russet and
black dresses, each of whom led his master's charger, loaded with the armour in which
he had that day fought.
"According to the laws of chivalry," said the foremost of these men, "I, Baldwin de
Oyley, squire to the redoubted Knight Brian de Bois-Guilbert, make offer to you, styling
yourself, for the present, the Disinherited Knight, of the horse and armour used by the
said Brian de Bois-Guilbert in this day's Passage of Arms, leaving it with your nobleness
to retain or to ransom the same, according to your pleasure; for such is the law of