The Knight and the Lion

"The Hunt for Yvain"

It was not long before knights came running through the castle looking for him. For their lord, the Knight of the Spring, was already dead and lying on his bier, and they were bent on revenge.

'Friend, can you hear them all hunting you?', Lunette asked Yvain. 'What a racket they're making - but don't let their noise make you move. As long as you stay on this couch you'll be safe.'

Then she went on her way, and the next moment a huge crowd of people armed with swords and big wooden clubs came swarming up to the gates, pushing and shoving and yelling with rage. They saw the back end of Yvain's horse lying in the dust, so they were sure that once the gates were drawn up they would find the man they were so eager to kill. The gates were opened and they charged through, jostling one another as they went - but no-one's eyes were keen enough to spy Yvain. They screamed and roared and cried out in fury:

'How can it be? There's no gap or way out of here. Even a bird or a squirrel or a rat could not get through. The knight who killed our lord must be here somewhere. Yet there's nothing to be seen except his chopped-off spurs and half a horse on each side of the gate. He's got to be here, or else we're all under a spell or the demons of Hell have snatched him away before we could get him.'

In a fury they barge into the room where Yvain lies on his couch and begin searching high and low, poking under the benches and tables and beating the walls, the couches and the cushions with their sticks and clubs. They swing their weapons about so wildly that Yvain would be black and blue but their blows never touch the couch where he lies. Instead, they bash about like blind men fighting great battles in the dark.