Book IX - Chapter XXIX - How Sir Launcelot jousted with Palomides and overthrew him, and after he was assailed with twelve knights.
THEN Sir Palomides sent unto Sir Launcelot a squire, and required him of jousts. Fair fellow, said Sir Launcelot, tell me thy lord's name. Sir, said the squire, my lord's name is Sir Palomides, the good knight. In good hour, said Sir Launcelot, for there is no knight that I saw this seven years that I had liefer ado withal than with him. And so either knights made them ready with two great spears. Nay, said Sir Dinadan, ye shall see that Sir Palomides will quit him right well. It may be so, said Sir Tristram, but I undertake that knight with the shield of Cornwall shall give him a fall. I believe it not, said Sir Dinadan. Right so they spurred their horses and feutred their spears, and either hit other, and Sir Palomides brake a spear upon Sir Launcelot, and he sat and moved not; but Sir Launcelot smote him so lightly that he made his horse to avoid the saddle, and the stroke brake his shield and the hauberk, and had he not fallen he had been slain. How now, said Sir Tristram, I wist well by the manner of their riding both that Sir Palomides should have a fall.
Right so Sir Launcelot rode his way, and rode to a well to drink and to repose him, and they of Northgalis espied him whither he rode; and then there followed him twelve knights for to have mischieved him, for this cause that upon the morn at the tournament of the Castle of Maidens that he should not win the victory. So they came upon Sir Launcelot suddenly, and unnethe he might put upon him his helm and take his horse, but they were in hands with him; and then Sir Launcelot gat his spear, and rode through them, and there he slew a knight and brake a spear in his body. Then he drew his sword and smote upon the right hand and upon the left hand, so that within a few strokes he had slain other three knights, and the remnant that abode he wounded them sore all that did abide. Thus Sir Launcelot escaped from his enemies of North Wales, and then Sir Launcelot rode his way till a friend, and lodged him till on the morn; for he would not the first day have ado in the tournament because of his great labour. And on the first day he was with King Arthur thereas he was set on high upon a scaffold to discern who was best worthy of his deeds. So Sir Launcelot was with King Arthur, and jousted not the first day.