WHAT BEAUMAINS ASKED OF THE KING 59
the heralds marked who bare them best, and who were overthrown. All marvelled as to who the Knight could be whose armour sometimes seemed green, and sometimes white, but no man knew it was Sir Gareth. And whosoever Sir Gareth tilted with was straightway overthrown. ' Of a truth,' cried King Arthur, ' that Knight with the many colours is a good Knight,' and he called Sir Lancelot and bade him to challenge that Knight to combat. But Sir Lancelot said that though the Knight had come off victor in every fight, yet his limbs must be weary, for he had fought as a man fights under the eyes of his lady, ' and for this day,' said Sir Lancelot,' he shall have the honour. Though it lay in my power to put it from him, I would not.'
Then they paused for a while to rest, and afterwards the tournament began again more fiercely than before, and Sir Lancelot was set upon by two Knights at once. When Sir Gareth saw that, he rode in between them, but no stroke would he deal Sir Lancelot, which Sir Lancelot noted, and guessed that it was the good Knight, Sir Gareth. Sir Gareth went hither and thither, smiting anyone that came in his way, and by fortune he met with his brother Sir Gawaiue, and knocked off his helmet. Now it happened that while he was fighting a Knight dealt Sir Gareth a fierce blow on his helm, and he rode off the field to mend it. Then his dwarf, who had been watching eagerly, cried out to Sir Gareth to leave the ring with him, lest he should lose it while he was drinking, which Sir Gareth did; and when he had drunk and mended his helm he forgot the ring, at which the dwarf was glad, for he knew his name could no longer be hid. And when Sir Gareth returned to the field, his armour shone yellow like gold, and King Arthur marvelled what Knight he was, for he saw by his hair that he was the same Knight who had worn the many colours. 'Go,' he said to his heralds, ' ride near him and see what manner of Knight he is, for none can tell me his name.' So a herald drew close to