THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 15: SANDY'S TALE
"Yes, but don't you ask me to explain; it's a new kind of a girl;
they don't have them here; one often speaks sharply to them when
they are not the least in fault, and he can't get over feeling
sorry for it and ashamed of himself in thirteen hundred years,
it's such shabby mean conduct and so unprovoked; the fact is,
no gentleman ever does it--though I--well, I myself, if I've got
"Never mind her; never mind her; I tell you I couldn't ever explain
her so you would understand."
"Even so be it, sith ye are so minded. Then Sir Gawaine and
Sir Uwaine went and saluted them, and asked them why they did that
despite to the shield. Sirs, said the damsels, we shall tell you.
There is a knight in this country that owneth this white shield,
and he is a passing good man of his hands, but he hateth all
ladies and gentlewomen, and therefore we do all this despite to
the shield. I will say you, said Sir Gawaine, it beseemeth evil
a good knight to despise all ladies and gentlewomen, and peradventure
though he hate you he hath some cause, and peradventure he loveth
in some other places ladies and gentlewomen, and to be loved again,
and he such a man of prowess as ye speak of--"
"Man of prowess--yes, that is the man to please them, Sandy.
Man of brains--that is a thing they never think of. Tom Sayers--
John Heenan--John L. Sullivan--pity but you could be here. You
would have your legs under the Round Table and a 'Sir' in front
of your names within the twenty-four hours; and you could bring
about a new distribution of the married princesses and duchesses
of the Court in another twenty-four. The fact is, it is just
a sort of polished-up court of Comanches, and there isn't a squaw
in it who doesn't stand ready at the dropping of a hat to desert
to the buck with the biggest string of scalps at his belt."
"--and he be such a man of prowess as ye speak of, said Sir Gawaine.
Now, what is his name? Sir, said they, his name is Marhaus the
king's son of Ireland."