The Knight and the Lion

"Laudine's Messenger"

No one came to help her or take her horse, but she dismounted and came into the tent. Finding the King, she let her cloak fall to the floor as she said:

'My mistress sends greetings to King Arthur and to Gawain and to all who are gathered here except Yvain - for he is disloyal, a liar, a trickster who deceived his wife, deserted her and betrayed her. My mistress expected nothing but good from him, but he has cheated her, stealing her heart like a thief. A true lover is no thief, but keeps the heart of his lady safe and brings it back to her when he promises her he will.'

'Yvain!' the girl cried, turning to him where he sat next to Gawain. 'How could you forget? You could not even be bothered to remember the date your lady had set. A year from Saint John's Day - she kindly gave you a whole year. She has counted every day, adding up the nights, unable to sleep, watching the seasons, waiting - this is how true lovers are - but you, you've never thought of her at all.

Give back her ring, Yvain. My mistress disowns you and never wants to see you again. The one who persuaded her to marry you was a traitor too!'

Yvain could not speak. His tongue would not move. He could not think. He hardly saw or heard but stared straight ahead. The girl stepped forward and pulled the ring from his finger. Then she politely took her leave of everyone except him, mounted her horse and was gone.