Book VIII - Chapter XL - How Sir Lamorak departed from Sir Tristram, and how he met with Sir Frol, and after with Sir Launcelot.

SO turn we unto Sir Lamorak, that rode toward Arthur's court, and Sir Tristram's wife and Kehydius took a vessel and sailed into Brittany, unto King Howel, where he was welcome. And when he heard of these adventures they marvelled of his noble deeds. Now turn we unto Sir Lamorak, that when he was departed from Sir Tristram he rode out of the forest, till he came to an hermitage. When the hermit saw him, he asked him from whence he came. Sir, said Sir Lamorak, I come from this valley. Sir, said the hermit: thereof I marvel. For this twenty winter I saw never no knight pass this country but he was either slain or villainously wounded, or pass as a poor prisoner. Those ill customs, said Sir Lamorak, are fordone, for Sir Tristram slew your lord, Sir Nabon, and his son. Then was the hermit glad, and all his brethren, for he said there was never such a tyrant among Christian men. And therefore, said the hermit, this valley and franchise we will hold of Sir Tristram.

So on the morrow Sir Lamorak departed; and as he rode he saw four knights fight against one, and that one knight defended him well, but at the last the four knights had him down. And then Sir Lamorak went betwixt them, and asked them why they would slay that one knight, and said it was shame, four against one. Thou shalt well wit, said the four knights, that he is false. That is your tale, said Sir Lamorak, and when I hear him also speak, I will say as ye say. Then said Lamorak: Ah, knight, can ye not excuse you, but that ye are a false knight. Sir, said he, yet can I excuse me both with my word and with my hands, that I will make good upon one of the best of them, my body to his body. Then spake they all at once: We will not jeopardy our bodies as for thee. But wit thou well, they said, an King Arthur were here himself, it should not lie in his power to save his life. That is too much said, said Sir Lamorak, but many speak behind a man more than they will say to his face; and because of your words ye shall understand that I am one of the simplest of King Arthur's court; in the worship of my lord now do your best, and in despite of you I shall rescue him. And then they lashed all at once to Sir Lamorak, but anon at two strokes Sir Lamorak had slain two of them, and then the other two fled. So then Sir Lamorak turned again to that knight, and asked him his name. Sir, he said, my name is Sir Frol of the Out Isles. Then he rode with Sir Lamorak and bare him company.

And as they rode by the way they saw a seemly knight riding against them, and all in white. Ah, said Frol, yonder knight jousted late with me and smote me down, therefore I will joust with him. Ye shall not do so, said Sir Lamorak, by my counsel, an ye will tell me your quarrel, whether ye jousted at his request, or he at yours. Nay, said Sir Frol, I jousted with him at my request. Sir, said Lamorak, then will I counsel you deal no more with him, for meseemeth by his countenance he should be a noble knight, and no japer; for methinketh he should be of the Table Round. Therefore I will not spare, said Sir Frol. And then he cried and said: Sir knight, make thee ready to joust. That needeth not, said the White Knight, for I have no lust to joust with thee; but yet they feutred their spears, and the White Knight overthrew Sir Frol, and then he rode his way a soft pace. Then Sir Lamorak rode after him, and prayed him to tell him his name: For meseemeth ye should be of the fellowship of the Round Table. Upon a covenant, said he, I will tell you my name, so that ye will not discover my name, and also that ye will tell me yours. Then, said he, my name is Sir Lamorak de Galis. And my name is Sir Launcelot du Lake. Then they put up their swords, and kissed heartily together, and either made great joy of other. Sir, said Sir Lamorak, an it please you I will do you service. God defend, said Launcelot, that any of so noble a blood as ye be should do me service. Then he said: More, I am in a quest that I must do myself alone. Now God speed you, said Sir Lamorak, and so they departed. Then Sir Lamorak came to Sir Frol and horsed him again. What knight is that? said Sir Frol. Sir, he said, it is not for you to know, nor it is no point of my charge. Ye are the more uncourteous, said Sir Frol, and therefore I will depart from you. Ye may do as ye list, said Sir Lamorak, and yet by my company ye have saved the fairest flower of your garland; so they departed.