How Sir Launcelot Took Part in the Tournament Between King Bagdemagus and the King of North Wales, and How He Won that Battle for King Bagdemagus.
[Sidenote: How Sir Launcelot rode to find Elouise the Fair] Sir Launcelot rode by many highways and many byways at a very slow pace, stopping now and then when it pleased him to do so, for he took great joy in being free in the open air again. For the day was warm and that time the clouds were very thick, drifting in great abundance across the sky. And anon there would fall a sudden shower of rain, and anon the sun would shine forth again, very warm and strong, so that all the world sparkled as with incredible myriads of jewels. Then the cock crowed lustily because the shower was past, and another cock answered him far away, and all the world suddenly smiled, and the water trickled everywhere, and the little hills clapped their hands for joy. So Sir Launcelot took great pleasure in the day and he went his way at so easy a pace that it was night-time ere he reached that abbey of monks where he was to meet Elouise the Fair.
Now that evening Elouise was sitting in a certain apartment of the abbey overlooking the court-yard, and a maiden was reading to her by the light of several waxen tapers from a book of painted pictures. And the maiden read in a voice that was both high and clear; meanwhile, Elouise sat very still and listened to what she read. Now while Elouise the Fair sat so, there was of a sudden the sound of a great horse coming on the stone pavement of the court below. Therewith Elouise arose hastily and ran to the window and looked down into that court-yard. Then she saw who he was that came, and that it was Sir Launcelot of the Lake. For the light was not yet altogether gone from the sky, which was all shining with gray, so that she could see who it was who came there.
Then Elouise gave great exclamation of joy, and clapped her hands. And she ran down to the court where Sir Launcelot was, and several of her maidens went with her.
[Sidenote: Elouise the Fair gives welcome to Sir Launcelot] When she had come to the court she gave great welcome to Sir Launcelot, and she summoned many attendants and she bade them look to Sir Launcelot. So some of them aided Sir Launcelot to dismount and some took his horse, and some brought him up to a chamber that had been set apart for him, and there unarmed and served him, and set him at his ease.
Then Elouise sent to him a soft robe of purple cloth of velvet, lined with fur, and Sir Launcelot put it upon him and took great comfort in it.
After that Sir Launcelot descended to where Elouise was, and he found that a fair supper had been set for his refreshment. So he sat and ate, and Elouise the Fair herself served him.
[Sidenote: Elouise sends for King Bagdemagus] Meanwhile she had sent for her father, King Bagdemagus, who was at that time no great distance away, and a little after Sir Launcelot had finished his supper King Bagdemagus came to that place, much wondering why Elouise had sent for him.