THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 40: THREE YEARS LATER
This experiment was baseball. In order to give the thing vogue
from the start, and place it out of the reach of criticism, I chose
my nines by rank, not capacity. There wasn't a knight in either
team who wasn't a sceptered sovereign. As for material of this
sort, there was a glut of it always around Arthur. You couldn't
throw a brick in any direction and not cripple a king. Of course,
I couldn't get these people to leave off their armor; they wouldn't
do that when they bathed. They consented to differentiate the
armor so that a body could tell one team from the other, but that
was the most they would do. So, one of the teams wore chain-mail
ulsters, and the other wore plate-armor made of my new Bessemer
steel. Their practice in the field was the most fantastic thing I
ever saw. Being ball-proof, they never skipped out of the way,
but stood still and took the result; when a Bessemer was at the bat
and a ball hit him, it would bound a hundred and fifty yards
sometimes. And when a man was running, and threw himself on his
stomach to slide to his base, it was like an iron-clad coming into
port. At first I appointed men of no rank to act as umpires, but
I had to discontinue that. These people were no easier to please
than other nines. The umpire's first decision was usually his
last; they broke him in two with a bat, and his friends toted him
home on a shutter. When it was noticed that no umpire ever survived
a game, umpiring got to be unpopular. So I was obliged to appoint
somebody whose rank and lofty position under the government would
Here are the names of the nines:
KING ARTHUR. EMPEROR LUCIUS.
KING LOT OF LOTHIAN. KING LOGRIS.
KING OF NORTHGALIS. KING MARHALT OF IRELAND.
KING MARSIL. KING MORGANORE.
KING OF LITTLE BRITAIN. KING MARK OF CORNWALL.
KING LABOR. KING NENTRES OF GARLOT.
KING PELLAM OF LISTENGESE. KING MELIODAS OF LIONES.
KING BAGDEMAGUS. KING OF THE LAKE.
KING TOLLEME LA FEINTES. THE SOWDAN OF SYRIA.