Michelant: Part 5

At this point Gawain returns to Brittany; he is received with the very greatest welcome by the king to whom he relates all the treasons plotted against him; in public he offers the queen the bird that had led him astray, and introduces the friend of the Round Table le Bel Inconnu, who has come to join them and who everyone welcomes eagerly; but at the same time he learns of the challenge that has been sent to him: he [xi] gets annoyed with his friends because they have not inquired about the name of the knight who accuses him and complains bitterly about it to the king, who to calm him assures him that the man will appear to prepare himself for the fight, to give himself up to numerous devotional practices; Girfflet no less tormented asks his brother to fight in his place, which he refuses. Girfflet then goes to consult a squire named Galantinet that Gawain had trained and they look for a way to avoid combat with the latter, so much so that they make him glum and dejected. After deliberating for a long time they arrive at a plan they propose to execute in utmost secrecy. Girfflet sends for a great and vigorous destrier to be purchased in another country that no one could recognise; he dons an old suit of arms that is completely rusty and embossed, over it a dirty and torn haqueton, he covers his head with a helmet of iron that had been forgotten in a fireplace; and equipped with a strong lance, he goes to take up his position on the road Gawain’s adversary has to take.


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