Malagigi did not go far, but having changed his disguise, returned to where the king was, and employed his best art in getting the brothers of Rinaldo out of prison. He succeeded; and all three got safely to Montalban, where Rinaldo’s joy at the rescue of his brothers and the recovery of Bayard was more than tongue can tell.
The distress in Rinaldo’s castle for want of food grew more severe every day, under the pressure of the siege. The garrison were forced to kill their horses, both to save the provision they would consume, and to make food of their flesh. At last all the horses were killed except Bayard, and Rinaldo said to his brothers, “Bayard must die, for we have nothing else to eat.” So they went to the stable and brought out Bayard to kill him. But Alardo said, “Brother, let Bayard live a little longer; who knows what God may do for us?”
Bayard heard these words, and understood them as if he was a man, and fell on his knees, as if he would beg for mercy. When Rinaldo saw the distress of his horse his heart failed him, and he let him live.
Just at this time Aya, Rinaldo’s mother, who was the sister of the Emperor, came to the camp, attended by knights and ladies, to intercede for her sons. She fell on her knees before the king, and besought him that he would pardon Rinaldo and his brothers: and all the peers and knights took her side, and entreated the king to grant her prayer. Then said the king, “Dear sister, you act the part of a good mother, and I respect your tender heart, and yield to your entreaties. I will spare your sons their lives if they submit implicitly to my will.”
When Charlot heard this he approached the king and whispered in his ear. And the king turned to his sister and said, “Charlot must have Bayard, because I have given the horse to him. Now go, my sister, and tell Rinaldo what I have said.”
When the Lady Aya heard these words she was delighted, thanked God in her heart, and said, “Worthy king and brother, I will do as you bid me.” So she went into the castle, where her sons received her most joyfully and affectionately, and she told them the king’s offer. Then Alardo said, “Brother, I would rather have the king’s enmity than give Bayard to Charlot, for I believe he will kill him.” Likewise said all the brothers. When Rinaldo heard them he said, “Dear brothers, if we may win our forgiveness by giving up the horse, so be it. Let us make our peace, for we cannot stand against the king’s power.” Then he went to his mother, and told her they would give the horse to Charlot, and more, too, if the king would pardon them, and forgive all that they had done against his crown and dignity. The lady returned to Charles and told him the answer of her sons.