For a year Sir Galahad ruled the country well and wisely.
“A year ago they crowned me king,” thought Galahad gravely, as he woke one morning. He would get up early, and go to pray at the precious table.
But before the king reached the table he paused. It was early. Surely all the city was asleep. Yet some one was already there, kneeling before the table on which, uncovered, stood the Sacred Cup.
The man kneeling there looked holy as the saints look. Surrounding him was a circle of angels. Was it a saint who kneeled, or was it the Lord Himself?
When the man saw Sir Galahad, he said, “Come near, thou servant of Jesus Christ, and thou shalt see what thou hast so much longed to see.”
And with joy Sir Galahad saw again the Holy Grail. Then as he kneeled before it in prayer, his soul left his body and was carried into heaven.
ADAPTED BY MARY MACGREGOR
It was not to win renown that King Arthur had gone far across the sea, for he loved his own country so well, that to gain glory at home made him happiest of all.
But a false knight with his followers was laying waste the country across the sea, and Arthur had gone to wage war against him.
“And you, Sir Modred, will rule the country while I am gone,” the King had said. And the knight smiled as he thought of the power that would be his.
At first the people missed their great King Arthur, but as the months passed they began to forget him, and to talk only of Sir Modred and his ways.
And he, that he might gain the people’s praise, made easier laws than ever Arthur had done, till by and by there were many in the country who wished that the King would never come back.
When Modred knew what the people wished, he was glad, and he made up his mind to do a cruel deed.
He would cause letters to be written from beyond the sea, and the letters would tell that the great King Arthur had been slain in battle.
And when the letters came the people read, “King Arthur is dead,” and they believed the news was true.
And there were some who wept because the noble King was slain, but some had no time to weep. “We must find a new king,” they said. And because his laws were easy, these chose Sir Modred to rule over them.
The wicked knight was pleased that the people wished him to be their king. “They shall take me to Canterbury to crown me,” he said proudly. And the nobles took him there, and amid shouts and rejoicings he was crowned.
But it was not very long till other letters came from across the sea, saying that King Arthur had not been slain, and that he was coming back to rule over his own country once more.
When Sir Modred heard that King Arthur was on his way home, he collected a great army and went to Dover to try to keep the King from landing.