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While Beltenebros remained in the Nunnery, his health and strength recovered, and he sent Enil to the next town to get arms made for him, a green shield with as many golden lions as it could hold, and to buy him a horse, and a sword and breastplate, the best he could find. In twenty days all was ready, as he had ordered it, and at the end of that time Durin arrived. Beltenebros was right glad to see him, and asked him before Enil how the Damsel was, and wherefore he had returned. Durin answered, that the Damsel commended herself to him, and had sent for two jewels which she had left in her bed; and then he delivered to Enil the bidding of his cousin Gandalin. Who is Gandalin said Beltenebros. A Squire, my cousin, replied Enil, who long time served a Knight called Amadis of Gaul. Then Beltenebros took Durin apart to walk with him, and heard the message of Oriana, and also how his brethren were to be in the battle with Cildadan, and of the defiance that Famongomadan had sent, and how he had demanded Oriana to be serving-damsel to his daughter, till he should give her in marriage to his son. When he heard this, his flesh shook with exceeding anger, and he resolved in himself, so soon as he had seen his Lady, to undertake no adventure till he had found Famongomadan, and fought with him a combat to the utterance for what he had
That night Beltenebros took leave of the Nuns, and early the next day, armed in his green armour, he set forth, and Enil with him carrying his shield and helmet and lance. The day was clear, and he feeling himself in his strength and once more in arms, began to manage his horse so skilfully that Enil said to him, I know not, Sir, what the strength of your heart may be, but I never saw a Knight appear so well in arms. The worth, quoth Beltenebros, lies in a good heart, not in a good appearance happy dole hath he whom God has gifted with both ! You have judged the one, judge the other as you shall see it deserves when put to proof. Seven days they travelled without adventure, and Beltenebros, as he drew nearer, wore his helmet
that he might not be known. On the eighth, as they were passing the foot of a mountain, they met a Knight upon a large bay horse, so huge in stature that he appeared to be a Giant, and two Squires carrying his arms. He cried out with a loud voice to Beltenebros, Stop, Sir Khight, till you have told me what I want to know ! Beltenebros looked at the stranger's shield, and seeing three golden flowers in a field azure, he knew it was Don Quadragante, for he had seen a like shield in the Firm Island, hanging above all the others, as his who had approached nearest the Forbidden Chamber. Yet, remembering Famongomadan, he would willingly now have avoided battle; as also, because he was on his way to Oriana, and feared lest the great prowess of this Knight should cause him some delay. Howbeit he stopt, and bade Enil give him his arms if they were wanted. God protect you ! quoth Enil, he looks to me more like a Devil than a Knight! He is no Devil, quoth Beltenebros, but a right good Knight, of whom I have heard heretofore. By this Quadragante was come up, and said to him, Knight, you must tell me if you belong to the household of King Lisuarte 2—Why ask you ?—Because I have defied him and all his household, and kill all of them whom I meet. Beltenebros felt his anger rising, and replied, you are one of those who have defied him —I am ;
and I am he who will do to him and his all the evil in my power—And who are you ?—My name is Don Quadragante.—Certes, Don Quadragante, notwithstanding your high lineage, and your great prowess in arms, this is great folly in you to defy the best King in the world ! they who undertake more than they can effect, are rather rash than hardy. I am not this King's vasoal, nor am I of his land, but for his goodness my heart is disposed to serve him, so that I may account myself among those whom you have defied : if you chuse battle with me, you may have it; if not, go your way !
I believe Knight, said Quadragante, you speak thus boldly because you know me so little pray you, tell me your name 2—They call me Belte
nebros : you will know me by it no better than
before, for it is a name of no renown ; but, though
I am of a far land, I have heard that you are
seeking Amadis of Gaul, and, by what I hear of him, it is no loss to you that you cannot find him.
What quoth Quadragante, do you prize him,
whom I hate so much, above me * Know, that your death-hour is arrived take thy arms, and defend thyself if thou canst. I might do it with
some doubt against others, he replied, but can
have none in opposing thee, who art so full of pride and threats.
Then they ran their course; both felt the shock; the horse of Beltenebros reeled, and he himself was wounded at the nipple of his breast. Quadragahte was unhorsed and hurt in the ribs; he rose, and ran at Beltenebros, who did not see him, for he was adjusting his helmet, and he mortally stabbed his horse. Beltenebros alighted, and went against him sword in hand in great anger. There was no courage in this cried he your own horse was strong enough to have finished the battle without this discourtesy . The blows fell as thick and loud as though ten Knights had been in combat, for both put forth all their strength and skill, and the fight lasted from the hour of tierce till vespers; but then Quadragante, overcome with fatigue, and with a blow that Beltenebros gave him on the helmet, fell down senseless. Beltenebros took off his helmet to see if he were dead; the air revived him ; he placed the sword-point at his face, and said, Quadragante, remember thy soul, for thou art a dead man. Ah, Beltenebros, cried he, for God's sake let me live for my soul's sake!— Yield thyself vanquished, then, and promise to fulfil what I command I will fulfil your will to save my life, said Quadragante, but there is no reason wherefore I should confess myself vanquished: he is not vanquished, who in his defence