Littlelot – Episode Index
Fauskanger

The Joust

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

“Give up, Malegant! I am the best fighter of all the knights of the Round Table.”

“You are only the best until you are bested by another,” he said as he raised the point of his lance high.

 

Malegant and I charged at each other from across the field. Tilt's hooves pounded the ground like rolling thunder. I had to lean to the right in the saddle so Tilt and I wouldn't both fall over. As Malegant and I drew near to each other, I lowered the point of my lance and aimed it at his left shoulder. At the same time, Malegant raised his shield higher and deflected the blow, while the point of his lance passed by my left side, missing me.

When I reached the other end of the field, I turned Tilt back to face Malegant again.

“Give up, Malegant! I am the best fighter of all the knights of the Round Table.”

“You are only the best until you are bested by another,” he said as raised the point of his lance high.

I also raised my lance, and Gwenevere held up the banner then drew it down again.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham
Illustration by Arthur Rackham 1902

We charged. Still leaning to the right, I aimed at Malegant's shoulder again. Malegant also leaned to his right, only for an instant, to avoid the point of my lance. Then he moved back to the middle of the saddle, so he wouldn't fall from his mount. As he passed, he hit the left side of my shield with the point of his lance, and it glanced off.

Malegant turned his mount at the other end of the field. “That's the second time you have aimed for my left shoulder, Lancelot. The best fighter of all the knights of the Round Table must learn to vary his attack.”

I raised the point of my lance high. “Next time I might aim for the other shoulder.”

Malegant squinted at me and raised his lance. Gwenevere raised and drew down the banner, and we charged at each other for the third time.

This time, as we came together, I didn't change my aim, but I adjusted my position to the middle of the saddle, only for an instant, so that Tilt and I wouldn't both fall over. Thinking that I wouldn't aim for his left shoulder a third time, and that I probably wouldn't aim for the right shoulder as I had announced, Malegant held his shield down to protect against a lower attack.

Malegant's lance hit the center of my shield and broke into splinters, while the point of my lance struck his left shoulder. The impact forced him from the saddle, and he fell to the ground.

 


This episode is for my big brother, Jon, with whom I sometimes jousted. Our armor kept us from getting hurt most of the time.

 

Illustration by Arthur Rackham Illustration by Arthur Rackham 1902.

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