فصل 01

مجموعه: کتاب های خیلی ساده / کتاب: له مورته د آرتور / فصل 1

کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 01

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CHAPTER ONE

When Uther Pendragon was King of England, he fought a long war against the Duke of Cornwall. However, Uther Pendragon finally decided to make peace with the duke. The duke and his wife, Igraine, came to the king’s palace to discuss the plan for peace.

Uther Pendragon made his guests very welcome and it seemed that there would soon be peace between the king and the duke. Unfortunately, the king fell in love with the duke’s wife. He told her that he was in love with her and asked her to betray her husband. Igraine was very angry with Uther Pendragon because she was in love with her husband.

‘The king wants to dishonour me,’ she told the duke. ‘I think we should return to our own castle where we will be safe from him.’

The duke followed his wife’s advice and they left Uther Pendragon’s palace secretly. When the king learned that his guests had left so secretly, he was furious. He called his advisers together and asked them what he should do.

‘Send a message to the Duke of Cornwall and order him to come back,’ one of the advisers suggested. ‘If he refuses, you must take an army and attack him.’

Uther Pendragon did as his advisers suggested and sent a message to the duke ordering him to return at once. The duke refused to obey him. The king’s army laid siege to the Duke of Cornwall’s castle. Soon, however, Uther Pendragon fell ill and no one knew the cause of his illness.

One of the king’s knights, Sir Ulfius, was determined to find out what was wrong with the king.

‘What is the matter, Sir?’ he enquired. ‘Why have you fallen sick?’

Uther Pendragon sighed deeply.

‘I’m sick for anger and love of Igraine,’ the king replied. ‘I’ll never be well again.’

Sir Ulfius decided to seek out Merlin, the king’s magician. He thought that Merlin might be able to help the king.

‘I know everything already,’ Merlin told him. ‘I can help him if he agrees to do something for me in return. Tell him that I will come to see him soon.’

Sir Ulfius hurried back to the king’s tent with Merlin’s message.

‘I’ve seen Merlin,’ he reported excitedly. ‘He says he can help you but in return, you must agree to do something for him.’

‘Where is he?’ Uther Pendragon asked quickly. Just then, he looked up and saw that the magician was standing at the entrance to the tent.

‘Come in, come in!’ he cried excitedly.

Merlin entered the tent and stood before the king.

‘I know everything,’ he told the king quietly. ‘I know that you’re in love with Igraine. If you promise to do something for me, I’ll help you.’

‘I promise,’ Uther Pendragon replied eagerly. ‘I’ll do whatever you want, Merlin, if you can make Igraine love me!’

‘Listen carefully,’ Merlin instructed him. ‘I’ll use my magic to make you look like Igraine’s husband. You can go into the castle tonight and Igraine will think you are the duke. You must tell her that you are tired and she will take you straight into the bedchamber. You will lie beside her tonight and she will treat you as if you were her husband.’

‘Can you really do that?’ Uther Pendragon cried.

Merlin smiled at the king’s astonishment and then he spoke seriously.

‘Igraine will have a child by you,’ he said quietly. ‘When the child is born, you must give it to me and I will be responsible for looking after it. That’s the promise you have to make me.’

‘Very well,’ Uther Pendragon agreed. ‘I’ll make sure that Igraine’s child is given to you when it is born.’

When evening fell, Uther Pendragon, Merlin and Sir Ulfius came out of the king’s tent. The duke was looking down from the castle walls when the three figures emerged. The duke recognised Uther Pendragon and he decided to come out from the castle to attack the king’s army. He came out through a little gate in the castle wall and began to fight the enemy soldiers. He was killed before Uther Pendragon entered the castle.

Everything went as Merlin had planned. Igraine thought that Uther Pendragon was her husband. She took him into the bedchamber and they spent the night together. Merlin came to their bedside very early in the morning and woke the king.

‘You must go,’ he whispered urgently. ‘You must leave the castle before anyone else wakes up.’

Uther Pendragon dressed quickly and left the castle with the magician.

Later that day Igraine heard the news that her husband had been killed the evening before. She realised that the man who had come to her bed in the night was not the duke.

‘But who was he?’ she wondered. ‘And why did he look like my husband?’

Igraine said nothing to anyone about the mysterious man who had come to the castle. She mourned her husband with great sadness because she had loved him deeply. She soon became aware that she was carrying the mysterious man s child. Still she said nothing to anyone.

A few months later Uther advisers suggested that the king should make peace with Igraine.

‘The duke is dead,’ they reminded him. ‘There is no cause for war between you and Igraine.’

Uther Pendragon agreed to make peace. He told Sir Ulfius that he was still in love with Igraine and that he wanted to marry her.

‘I’ll speak to her, Sir,’ Sir Ulfius said.

Sir Ulfius went and told Igraine of the king’s proposal. She agreed to meet the king and shortly afterwards they announced that they would be married.

The marriage between Uther Pendragon and Igraine was a happy one. He told her that the mysterious man who had come to her bed on the night of the duke’s death was really himself.

‘So the child I am carrying is really ours!’ Igraine cried with delight.

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