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CHAPTER XXX

How Sir Gareth was espied by the heralds, and how he escaped out of the field.

BUT before he was in so many colours, and now he is but in one colour; that is yellow. Now go, said King Arthur unto divers heralds, and ride about him, and espy what manner knight he is, for I have spered of many knights this day that be upon his party, and all say they know him not. And so an herald rode nigh Gareth as he could; and there he saw written about his helm in gold, This helm is Sir Gareth of Orkney. Then the herald cried as he were wood, and many heralds with him:--This is Sir Gareth of Orkney in the yellow arms; wherby all kings and knights of Arthur's beheld him and awaited; and then they pressed all to behold him, and ever the heralds cried: This is Sir Gareth of Orkney, King Lot's son. And when Sir Gareth espied that he was discovered, then he doubled his strokes, and smote down Sir Sagramore, and his brother Sir Gawaine. O brother, said Sir Gawaine, I weened ye would not have stricken me.

So when he heard him say so he thrang here and there, and so with great pain he gat out of the press, and there he met with his dwarf. O boy, said Sir Gareth, thou hast beguiled me foul this day that thou kept my ring; give it me anon again, that I may hide my body withal; and so he took it him. And then they all wist not where he was become; and Sir Gawaine had in manner espied where Sir Gareth rode, and then he rode after with all his might. That espied Sir Gareth, and rode lightly into the forest, that Sir Gawaine wist not where he was become. And when Sir Gareth wist that Sir Gawaine was passed, he asked the dwarf of best counsel. Sir, said the dwarf, meseemeth it were best, now that ye are escaped from spying, that ye send my lady Dame Lionesse her ring. It is well advised, said Sir Gareth; now have it here and bear it to her, and say that I recommend me unto her good grace, and say her I will come when I may, and I pray her to be true and faithful to me as I will be to her. Sir, said the dwarf, it shall be done as ye command: and so he rode his way, and did his errand unto the lady. Then she said, Where is my knight, Sir Gareth? Madam, said the dwarf, he bade me say that he would not be long from you. And so lightly the dwarf came again unto Sir Gareth, that would full fain have had a lodging, for he had need to be reposed. And then fell there a thunder and a rain, as heaven and earth should go together. And Sir Gareth was not a little weary, for of all that day he had but little rest, neither his horse nor he. So this Sir Gareth rode so long in that forest until the night came. And ever it lightened and thundered, as it had been wood. At the last by fortune he came to a castle, and there he heard the waits upon the walls.

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