THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 42: WAR!
"Yes, I know; he quietly picked up nearly all of it for a song;
then he bought about twice as much more, deliverable upon call;
and he was about to call when I left."
"Very well, he did call. The boys couldn't deliver. Oh, he had
them--and he just settled his grip and squeezed them. They were
laughing in their sleeves over their smartness in selling stock
to him at 15 and 16 and along there that wasn't worth 10. Well,
when they had laughed long enough on that side of their mouths,
they rested-up that side by shifting the laugh to the other side.
That was when they compromised with the Invincible at 283!"
"He skinned them alive, and they deserved it--anyway, the whole
kingdom rejoiced. Well, among the flayed were Sir Agravaine and
Sir Mordred, nephews to the king. End of the first act. Act
second, scene first, an apartment in Carlisle castle, where the
court had gone for a few days' hunting. Persons present, the
whole tribe of the king's nephews. Mordred and Agravaine propose
to call the guileless Arthur's attention to Guenever and Sir
Launcelot. Sir Gawaine, Sir Gareth, and Sir Gaheris will have
nothing to do with it. A dispute ensues, with loud talk; in the
midst of it enter the king. Mordred and Agravaine spring their
devastating tale upon him. Tableau. A trap is laid for Launcelot,
by the king's command, and Sir Launcelot walks into it. He made
it sufficiently uncomfortable for the ambushed witnesses--to wit,
Mordred, Agravaine, and twelve knights of lesser rank, for he
killed every one of them but Mordred; but of course that couldn't
straighten matters between Launcelot and the king, and didn't."
"Oh, dear, only one thing could result--I see that. War, and
the knights of the realm divided into a king's party and a
Sir Launcelot's party."
"Yes--that was the way of it. The king sent the queen to the
stake, proposing to purify her with fire. Launcelot and his
knights rescued her, and in doing it slew certain good old friends
of yours and mine--in fact, some of the best we ever had; to wit,
Sir Belias le Orgulous, Sir Segwarides, Sir Griflet le Fils de Dieu,
Sir Brandiles, Sir Aglovale--"