فصل 09

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 09

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  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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CHAPTER NINE

Sir Lancelot and his knights travelled to France and they settled there on the land that belonged to Sir Lancelot.

Meanwhile King Arthur gathered together a great army to pursue Sir Lancelot. Before he left for France, the king appointed Sir Mordred chief ruler of England.

The news that King Arthur had landed in France quickly reached Sir Lancelot and his friends.

‘You see how the king and Sir Gawain are determined to destroy you,’ Sir Bors said. ‘We must fight them if there is to be peace.’

‘King Arthur is the noblest king in the world,’ replied Sir Lancelot. ‘He is also my friend and I don’t want to fight him. We will try to make peace with him.’

Sir Lancelot sent a young girl into King Arthur’s camp with a message of peace for the king. She spoke so movingly of Sir Lancelot’s desire to be the king’s friend that King Arthur could not reply. Most of his knights were also moved by what she said and they would have been willing to go home in peace. Sir Gawain, however, would not let King Arthur make peace.

Sir Lancelot was sad when he heard that the war would go on.

He took his knights into the city of Benwick and there they waited for King Arthur’s army.

The city was soon besieged by King Arthur’s army. Every day there was fighting between Arthur’s knights and those of Sir Lancelot, but Sir Lancelot himself refused to come out of the city to fight.

‘King Arthur is the noblest king in the world and he used to be my friend,’ he explained to his men. ‘I will never fight against him.’

The siege lasted for nearly half a year and the knights on both sides were exhausted. One day Sir Gawain rode to the city walls and shouted a challenge to Sir Lancelot.

‘Why are you hiding like a coward?’ he cried. ‘Come out and fight, you traitor!’

Sir Lancelot’s knights heard Sir Gawain’s challenge and they were ashamed.

‘You must fight Sir Gawain,’ they told him. ‘You cannot let him call you a coward and a traitor.’

Sir Lancelot sighed deeply. He knew that he would have to fight now or lose his honour forever. He called for his armour. He then leaned over the city walls and shouted a message to King Arthur.

‘You have pursued me into France and besieged this city for six months,’ he cried. ‘I have been patient because I did not want to fight you. But Sir Gawain has called me a traitor and a coward and I am forced to defend myself against what he says.’

Sir Lancelot rode out of the city towards Sir Gawain. King Arthur’s army stood behind Sir Gawain and Sir Lancelot’s knights stood behind their leader.

Sir Gawain and Sir Lancelot charged towards each other with a noise like thunder. Their spears clashed together and they fell from their horses to the ground. They jumped up and drew their swords to continue the fight. Soon the ground beneath their feet was covered in blood.

Many years earlier, Sir Gawain had received the gift of strength from a magician. His strength increased three times between dawn and midday and this was the secret of his great reputation as a knight.

Sir Lancelot noticed that his adversary’s strength was increasing all the time and there was little he could do against him. Sir Lancelot defended himself against Sir Gawain as best he could, but he began to wonder if the other knight was too strong for him. Sir Gawain advanced all the time and he wounded Sir Lancelot very badly.

The two knights fought all morning and still Sir Gawain seemed to be winning. After midday, however, his strength began to decline. Sir Lancelot redoubled his efforts. He gave Sir Gawain such a blow on the head with his sword that the other knight fell to the ground.

‘Kill me!’ Sir Gawain cried. ‘Now is your chance to finish this war.’

‘I won’t kill you,’ Sir Lancelot replied. ‘You are a knight of the Round Table and I won’t kill you.’

‘If you don’t kill me,’ Sir Gawain warned, ‘I’ll return and fight you once more.’

‘If you must, you must,’ Sir Lancelot said sadly, ‘but I won’t kill you, Sir Gawain.’

He walked away from the injured knight.

King Arthur’s knights carried Sir Gawain back to his tent and dressed his wounds. He had been badly injured and he stayed in bed for three weeks to recover. As soon as he was well again, however, he rode to the city walls and issued another challenge to Sir Lancelot.

‘Come out, you traitor, and fight!’ he shouted once more.

Sir Lancelot prepared himself and rode out from the city towards Sir Gawain. The two knights charged towards each other and Sir Gawain’s horse fell to the ground.

‘My horse has failed me,’ cried Sir Gawain defiantly, ‘but my sword shall not!’

Sir Lancelot jumped down from his horse and drew his own sword. The two knights began to fight.

Once again, Sir Gawain’s strength increased and he wounded Sir Lancelot terribly with his sword. This time, however, Sir Lancelot knew what to expect and he waited patiently for Sir Gawain’s strength to diminish.

At last, just after midday, Sir Gawain began to weaken. Sir Lancelot now moved forward and struck a great blow with his sword on the old wound that he had made before.

Sir Gawain fell to the ground groaning.

‘Kill me,’ he cried, ‘or this war of ours will last forever. I will come back and fight you again until one of us is dead.’

‘If you must, you must,’ Sir Lancelot replied sadly. ‘But I will never attack you when you’re on the ground.’

Sir Lancelot returned to the city.

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