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Jan 7th, 2012
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  1. King Arthur was at Caerlleon upon Usk; and one day he sat in his
  2. chamber; and with him were Owain the son of Urien, and Kynon the son
  3. of Clydno, and Kai the son of Kyner; and Gwenhwyvar and her
  4. handmaidens at needlework by the window. And if it should be said
  5. that there was a porter at Arthur's palace, there was none. Glewlwyd
  6. Gavaelvawr was there, acting as porter, to welcome guests and
  7. strangers, and to receive them with honour, and to inform them of the
  8. manners and customs of the Court; and to direct those who came to the
  9. Hall or to the presence-chamber, and those who came to take up their lodging.
  10. In the centre of the chamber King Arthur sat upon a seat of green
  11. rushes, over which was spread a covering of flame-coloured satin, and
  12. a cushion of red satin was under his elbow.
  13. Then Arthur spoke, "If I thought you would not disparage me," said
  14. he, "I would sleep while I wait for my repast; and you can entertain
  15. one another with relating tales, and can obtain a flagon of mead and
  16. some meat from Kai." And the King went to sleep. And Kynon the son
  17. of Clydno asked Kai for that which Arthur had promised them. "I,
  18. too, will have the good tale which he promised to me," said Kai.
  19. "Nay," answered Kynon, "fairer will it be for thee to fulfill
  20. Arthur's behest, in the first place, and then we will tell thee the
  21. best tale that we know." So Kai went to the kitchen and to the mead-
  22. cellar, and returned bearing a flagon of mead and a golden goblet,
  23. and a handful of skewers, upon which were broiled collops of meat.
  24. Then they ate the collops and began to drink the mead. "Now," said
  25. Kai, "it is time for you to give me my story." "Kynon," said Owain,
  26. "do thou pay to Kai the tale that is his due." "Truly," said Kynon,
  27. "thou are older, and art a better teller of tales, and hast seen more
  28. marvellous things than I; do thou therefore pay Kai his tale."
  29. "Begin thyself," quoth Owain, "with the best that thou knowest." "I
  30. will do so," answered Kynon.
  31. "I was the only son of my mother and father, and I was exceedingly
  32. aspiring, and my daring was very great. I thought there was no
  33. enterprise in the world too mighty for me, and after I had achieved
  34. all the adventures that were in my own country, I equipped myself,
  35. and set forth to journey through deserts and distant regions. And at
  36. length it chanced that I came to the fairest valley in the world,
  37. wherein were trees of equal growth; and a river ran through the
  38. valley, and a path was by the side of the river. And I followed the
  39. path until mid-day, and continued my journey along the remainder of
  40. the valley until the evening; and at the extremity of a plain I came
  41. to a large and lustrous Castle, at the foot of which was a torrent.
  42. And I approached the Castle, and there I beheld two youths with
  43. yellow curling hair, each with a frontlet of gold upon his head, and
  44. clad in a garment of yellow satin, and they had gold clasps upon
  45. their insteps. In the hand of each of them was an ivory bow, strung
  46. with the sinews of the stag; and their arrows had shafts of the bone
  47. of the whale, and were winged with peacock's feathers; the shafts
  48. also had golden heads. And they had daggers with blades of gold, and
  49. with hilts of the bone of the whale. And they were shooting their daggers.
  50. "And a little way from them I saw a man in the prime of life, with
  51. his beard newly shorn, clad in a robe and a mantle of yellow satin;
  52. and round the top of his mantle was a band of gold lace. On his feet
  53. were shoes of variegated leather, fastened by two bosses of gold.
  54. When I saw him, I went towards him and saluted him, and such was his
  55. courtesy that he no sooner received my greeting than he returned it.
  56. And he went with me towards the Castle. Now there were no dwellers
  57. in the Castle except those who were in one hall. And there I saw
  58. four-and-twenty damsels, embroidering satin at a window. And this I
  59. tell thee, Kai, that the least fair of them was fairer than the
  60. fairest maid thou hast ever beheld in the Island of Britain, and the
  61. least lovely of them was more lovely than Gwenhwyvar, the wife of
  62. Arthur, when she has appeared loveliest at the Offering, on the day
  63. of the Nativity, or at the feast of Easter. They rose up at my
  64. coming, and six of them took my horse, and divested me of my armour;
  65. and six others took my arms, and washed them in a vessel until they
  66. were perfectly bright. And the third six spread cloths upon the
  67. tables and prepared meat. And the fourth six took off my soiled
  68. garments, and placed others upon me; namely, an under-vest and a
  69. doublet of fine linen, and a robe, and a surcoat, and a mantle of
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