34 MORGAN LE FAY
When the King awoke and missed his scabbard, he was angry, and asked who had been there; and the nuns told him that it was his sister, Morgan le Fay, who had gone away with a scabbard under her mantle. ' Alas !' said Arthur, ' you have watched me badly !'
' Sir,' said they, ' we dared not disobey your sister.'
' Saddle the best horse that can be found,' commanded the King, ' and bid Sir Ontzlake take another and come with me.' And they buckled on their armour and rode after Morgan le Fay.
They had not gone far before they met a cowherd, and they stopped to ask if he had seen any lady riding that way. ' Yes,' said the cowherd, ' a lady passed by here, with forty horses behind her, and went into the forest yonder.' Then they galloped hard till Arthur caught sight of Morgan le Fay, who looked back, and, seeing that it was Arthur who gave chase, pushed on faster than before. And when she saw she could not escape him, she rode into a lake that lay in the plain on the edge of the forest, and, crying out, 'Whatever may befall me, my brother shall not have the scabbard,' she threw the scabbard far into the water, and it sank, for it was heavy with gold and jewels. After that she fled into a valley full of great stones, and turned herself and her men and her horses into blocks of marble. Scarcely had she done this when the King rode up, but seeing her nowhere thought some evil must have befallen her in vengeance for her misdeeds. He then sought high and low for the scabbard, but could not find it, so he returned unto the Abbey. When Arthur was gone, Morgan le Fay turned herself and her horses and her men back into their former shapes, and said, 'Now, Sirs, we may go where we will.' And she departed into the country of Gore, and made her towns and castles stronger than before, for she feared King Arthur greatly. Meanwhile King Arthur had rested himself at the Abbey, and afterwards he rode to Camelot, and was welcomed by