WHAT BEAUMAINS ASKED OF THE KING 41
kitchen, and had meat and drink, and now T will ask you for the two gifts that you promised me on this day.' ' Ask them,' answered the King. ' Sir, this shall be my two gifts. First grant me the adventure of this damsel, for it is mine by right.' ' You shall have it,' said the King. ' Then, Sir, you shall bid Sir Lancelot du Lake to make me Knight, for I will receive knighthood at the hands of no other.' ' All this shall be done,' said the King. ' Fie on you,' cried the damsel, ' will you give me none but a kitchen boy to rescue my lady ? ' and she went away in a rage, and mounted her horse.
No sooner had she left the hall than a page came to Beaumains and told him that a horse and fair armour had been brought for him, also there had arrived a dwarf carrying all things that a Knight needed. And when he was armed there were few men that were handsomer than he, and the Court wondered greatly whence these splendid trappings had come. Then Beaumains came into the hall, and took farewell of the King, and Sir Gawaine and Sir Lancelot, and prayed Sir Lancelot that he would follow after him. So he departed, and rode after the damsel. Many looked upon him and marvelled at the strength of his horse, and its golden trappings, and envied Beaumains his shining coat of mail; but they noted that he had neither shield nor spear. ' I will ride after him,' laughed Sir Kay, ' and see if my kitchen boy will own me for his better.' 'Leave him and stay at home,' said Sir Gawaine and Sir Lancelot, but Sir Kay would not listen and sprang upon his horse. Just as Beaumains came up with the damsel, Sir Kay reached Beaumains, and said, ' Beaumains, do you not know me?'
Beaumains turned and looked at him, and answered, ' Yes, I know you for an ill-mannered Knight, therefore beware of me.' At this Sir Kay put his spear in rest and charged him, and Beaumains drew his sword and charged Sir Kay, and dashed aside the spear, and thrust