The Knight and the Lion

"The Chase"

At last Yvain gave the other a blow to the helmet that left him dizzy and full of a sickening pain - for his skull was split. He had never had such a cruel blow before.

Then the Knight of the Spring knew that he would not live and that he must flee. With Yvain close behind, he galloped towards his town, where the bridge was lowered and the gate made open for him.

Yvain knows that he must catch the knight dead or alive, or bring back some proof that he has defeated him and kept his promise to Calogrenant. Otherwise, when he returns to King Arthur's court, the sneering Kay will be sure to say he made it all up. So Yvain spurs on his horse as fast as it will go.

Laid almost flat against the neck of his galloping horse, Yvain chases the dying knight towards the town - like a falcon swooping on a smaller bird who seems one moment about to snatch it from the air and the next just misses, then draws near again. Yvain is so close he can almost throw his arm around the other knight, and hears his groans of pain.

Through the gates of the town they sped. Not a man nor a woman was to be seen in all the streets they galloped through, right up to the gates of the knight's own castle.