Book IX - Chapter XXV - How Sir Tristram jousted with Sir Kay and Sir Sagramore le Desirous, and how Sir Gawaine turned Sir Tristram from Morgan le Fay.
BUT anon as the noble knight, Sir Launcelot, heard of the shield of Cornwall, then wist he well that it was Sir Tristram that fought with his enemies. And then Sir Launcelot praised Sir Tristram, and called him the man of most worship in the world. So there was a knight in that priory that hight Pellinore, and he desired to wit the name of Sir Tristram, but in no wise he could not; and so Sir Tristram departed and left Sir Dinadan in the priory, for he was so weary and so sore bruised that he might not ride. Then this knight, Sir Pellinore, said to Sir Dinadan: Sithen that ye will not tell me that knight's name I will ride after him and make him to tell me his name, or he shall die therefore. Beware, sir knight, said Sir Dinadan, for an ye follow him ye shall repent it. So that knight, Sir Pellinore, rode after Sir Tristram and required him of jousts. Then Sir Tristram smote him down and wounded him through the shoulder, and so he passed on his way. And on the next day following Sir Tristram met with pursuivants, and they told him that there was made a great cry of tournament between King Carados of Scotland and the King of North Wales, and either should joust against other at the Castle of Maidens; and these pursuivants sought all the country after the good knights, and in especial King Carados let make seeking for Sir Launcelot du Lake, and the King of Northgalis let seek after Sir Tristram de Liones. And at that time Sir Tristram thought to be at that jousts; and so by adventure they met with Sir Kay, the Seneschal, and Sir Sagramore le Desirous; and Sir Kay required Sir Tristram to joust, and Sir Tristram in a manner refused him, because he would not be hurt nor bruised against the great jousts that should be before the Castle of Maidens, and therefore thought to repose him and to rest him. And alway Sir Kay cried: Sir knight of Cornwall, joust with me, or else yield thee to me as recreant. When Sir Tristram heard him say so he turned to him, and then Sir Kay refused him and turned his back. Then Sir Tristram said: As I find thee I shall take thee. Then Sir Kay turned with evil will, and Sir Tristram smote Sir Kay down, and so he rode forth.
Then Sir Sagramore le Desirous rode after Sir Tristram, and made him to joust with him, and there Sir Tristram smote down Sir Sagramore le Desirous from his horse, and rode his way; and the same day he met with a damosel that told him that he should win great worship of a knight adventurous that did much harm in all that country. When Sir Tristram heard her say so, he was glad to go with her to win worship. So Sir Tristram rode with that damosel a six mile, and then met him Sir Gawaine, and therewithal Sir Gawaine knew the damosel, that she was a damosel of Queen Morgan le Fay. Then Sir Gawaine understood that she led that knight to some mischief. Fair knight, said Sir Gawaine, whither ride you now with that damosel? Sir, said Sir Tristram, I wot not whither I shall ride but as the damosel will lead me. Sir, said Sir Gawaine, ye shall not ride with her, for she and her lady did never good, but ill. And then Sir Gawaine pulled out his sword and said: Damosel, but if thou tell me anon for what cause thou leadest this knight with thee thou shalt die for it right anon: I know all your lady's treason, and yours. Mercy, Sir Gawaine, she said, and if ye will save my life I will tell you. Say on, said Sir Gawaine, and thou shalt have thy life. Sir, she said, Queen Morgan le Fay, my lady, hath ordained a thirty ladies to seek and espy after Sir Launcelot or Sir Tristram, and by the trains of these ladies, who that may first meet any of these two knights they should turn them unto Morgan le Fay's castle, saying that they should do deeds of worship; and if any of the two knights came there, there be thirty knights lying and watching in a tower to wait upon Sir Launcelot or upon Sir Tristram. Fie for shame, said Sir Gawaine, that ever such false treason should be wrought or used in a queen, and a king's sister, and a king and queen's daughter.