WHAT BEAUMAINS ASKED OF THE KING 45
After that Sir Gareth wished to go his own ways, and departed. When he was gone, Sir Lancelot went back to Sir Kay and ordered some men that were by to bear him home on a shield, and in time his wounds were healed ; but he was scorned of all men, and especially of Sir Gawaine and Sir Lancelot, who told him it was no good deed to treat any young man so, and no one could tell what his birth might be, or what had brought him to the Court.
Then Beaumains rode after the damsel, who stopped when she saw him coming. ' What are you doing here ?' said she. 'Your clothes smell of the grease and tallow of the kitchen! Do you think to change my heart towards you because of yonder Knight whom you slew ? No, truly ! I know well who you are, you turner of spits ! Go back to King Arthur's kitchen, which is your proper place.' ' Damsel,' replied Beaumains, ' you may say to me what you will, but I shall not quit you whatever you may do, for I have vowed to King Arthur to relieve the lady in the castle, and I shall set her free or die fighting for her.' ' Fie on you, Scullion,' answered she. ' You will meet with one who will make you such a welcome that you would give all the broth you ever cooked never to have seen his face.' ' I shall do my best to fight him,' said Beaumains, and held his peace.
Soon they entered the wood, and there came a man flying towards them, galloping with all his might. 'Oh, help! help ! lord,' cried he, ' for my master lies in a thicket, bound by six thieves, and I greatly fear they will slay him.' ' Show me the way,' said Sir Beaumains, and they rode together till they reached the place where the Knight lay bound. Then Sir Beaumains charged the six thieves, and struck one dead, and another, and another still, and the other three fled, not liking the battle. Sir Beaumains pursued them till they turned at bay, and fought hard for their lives; but in the end Sir Beaumains slew them, and