Guy stood at a window speaking with Sir Tirry about his impending voyage, and of his intention to visit his own country, when a knight came riding up looking as though he had been on quite a hard journey. Guy asked him at once where he was from, what news he carried and where he was bound for.
‘I am seeking Sir Tirry, the son of the Earl of Gormaz,’ the knight replied. ‘I have been looking for him in many lands. Tirry seized the daughter of Duke Loyerer of Lorraine by force and carried her away with him, and now the duke is taking it out on Tirry’s father. Duke Otoun of Pavia is supporting him with many men from Lombardy, for he was the one who was going to marry the maiden, and whether Sir Tirry is dead or alive now I’ve no idea, but I’ve been searching many countries for him. Duke Loyerer and Duke Otoun have already destroyed the countryside for miles around Gormaz and taken everything they can. Unless I can find Sir Tirry that land will be lost for certain; his father is white-haired and old, and hasn’t the strength to defend it.
‘By God almighty, if you stay with me tonight I’ll tell you all that I know about the whereabouts of Tirry of Gormaz,’ said Guy. He commanded his men to make the knight welcome.
‘Have mercy upon my father,’ said Tirry to Guy, later. ‘We have sworn fellowship together, so lend your strength to him now. He is in great need of us.’
‘Tirry, say no more,’ replied Guy. ‘As long as I can ride a horse, I will never fail you.’
‘Thank you,’ said Tirry.
Guy sent a messenger into Germany and the emperor sent him knights at once, five hundred in all.
‘Tirry,’ said Guy, ‘quickly make yourself ready to help your father.’ They hastily prepared, then rode day and night until they came into the land surrounding the city of Gormaz.
When they came up to Gormaz itself, they heard a lot of noise and activity. They entered the city at once, for the apparent dangers held no fears for them. Earl Aubrey was delighted to see his son, and also to see Sir Guy. They kissed, and the earl wept.
‘Dear father,’ said Tirry, ‘give Guy the honour that he deserves. I want you to know that we have sworn fellowship together. He saved my life.’
‘May God reward him for it,’ replied the earl. ‘He shall have the freedom of my lands: cities, castles, town and tower shall be his to command as he sees fit. I am too old for all this.’
They rose the next morning and everybody gathered before Earl Aubrey. A great shout rang out as Duke Loyerer appeared before the city. Guy addressed his fair company: ‘Gentlemen, arm yourselves, if you please. We are going to ride out at once against these men.’
‘Sir, we are ready!’ came the reply. Guy went off to his inn and was soon fully armed. When they were all prepared and had assembled with their helmets shining, Guy said to Tirry: ‘Take two hundred knights with you and make an attack upon the men of Lorraine. See that your hearts do not fail you!’
Tirry rode off with his knights, went out of the city and soon encountered the hostile army. An enemy knight came boldly out to challenge him. Tirry struck him with his spear so hard that the knight tumbled from his horse. Then he gave a deep wound to another knight. He fought valiantly and so did all of his men, but soon many of them had been killed or captured, many a brave and noble soul, and it distressed Tirry to see this. But he fought on, like a lion, for he was reluctant to flee.
‘Hereward said to Guy: ‘Can you see Sir Tirry? He must be the most valiant knight here, apart from you, of course. Let’s go and help him!’
Guy and Hereward rode into the fray and threw themselves into the fighting. Guy struck Duke Loyerer’s nephew Gayerer with his lance, toppling him from his horse, and took him prisoner, as the rules of war permit. Then Guy rode at another and impaled him with his lance, then attacked another and another. No knight had any thoughts of retreat or of mercy, and many brave knights met their end here.
At last the men of Lorraine were forced to retreat. Tirry and Guy gave chase and the enemy were all killed or wounded, scarcely thirty of them managed to escape. Tirry, Hereward and Guy made their way home victorious.
Duke Otoun rose early the next morning, stepped out of his pavilion and rode quickly to Gormaz with a thousand knights. As Guy was walking through a churchyard, he looked over the city wall and saw the host that the duke had brought with him, approaching beside a hill. He called Tirry and showed him what was happening. ‘Duke Otoun of Pavia is my old enemy,’ he said.
They had the bells rung immediately. Gathering their companions, the mood was one of deadly seriousness as they rode out of the city. They advanced at once, and soon many lances were shattered. Swords were drawn and the fighting was intense. Many were slain on both sides, but the Lombards had the worst of it. Duke Otoun began to gallop away in fast retreat, but Hereward spotted him and rode swiftly into the attack. But the duke was galloping so fast that Hereward had difficulty catching him up. ‘Turn around!’ he shouted. ‘There is no one here but you and me. Defend yourself against me, for that gross villainy you did to us in Lombardy!’
The duke pulled up his horse. They struck each other on helmet and shield. Sparks flew from every blow, for neither cared to give an inch. Helmet and chainmail shattered and blood flowed from their bodies, the effort was intense, the fighting ferocious. ‘I shall be avenged, or I shall die,’ thought Hereward. ‘One or the other,’ and he hit the duke so hard that a piece of the duke’s helmet broke away and the sword ran on down through the duke’s shoulder, plunging half a foot through his flesh before coming to a stop. The duke fell to the ground. Hereward delivered another blow, with great anger; he intended to cut off the duke’s head, but his strength momentarily failed him. At once, a hundred knights appeared.
Hereward was able to defend himself from them, but luck was against him. He would have retreated back into the city but his horse had received a nasty wound and the Lombards were beginning to overwhelm him with their spears; they broke his coat-of-mail and his helmet and he was very soon close to death. A Lombard sprang on him like a leopard and gave him another deep wound. Hereward defended himself, another head went tumbling to the ground from the edge of Hereward’s sword as he swung it ferociously, but the blade dug into the front of the man’s saddle and, in trying to release it quickly, it broke in Hereward’s hand.
‘Alas!’ he cried. ‘Now I am a dead man!’
Another cowardly Lombard attacked Hereward. Hereward struck out at him and broke the man’s neck with his fist. ‘I would rather die here than be taken prisoner,’ he thought. But then a French knight appeared, one of the duke’s professional horsemen.
‘Hereward, yield to me,’ he cried. ‘No harm will be done to you by the duke or his men, you have my word.’
‘Sir,’ replied Hereward, ‘since it appears that I now have no other choice but to appear before the duke, alive or dead, I agree to these terms.’
They set Hereward upon a horse and led him towards the duke’s forces, and the duke’s army was very happy to see their new captive.
But let us turn again to Sir Guy, and to the bold Sir Tirry.
‘Where is Hereward?’ asked Sir Guy. ‘What’s happened to him?’
‘I saw him on a white horse chasing after Duke Otoun,’ said one.
‘Alas!’ cried Guy. ‘I’ll see if I can find out what’s happened to him. Everybody else, go back to the city.
Guy and Tirry searched ridges and furrows, open spaces and rough ground to see if Hereward was lying dead or injured, and when they could find no sign of him they galloped in the direction of the duke’s pavilions and quickly saw Hereward being led by the duke. He looked to be wounded and in a bad way.
‘Alas,’ said Guy. ‘Hereward has been taken prisoner. Tirry, will you help me?’
‘Of course I will,’ replied Tirry.
Guy and Tirry galloped at the Lombards with their spears levelled, then drew their swords and killed many a doughty knight with the blows that they wielded. Guy soon battled his way to where Hereward was standing and threw him a good sword, extolling him to defend himself with it. The fight that ensued was immense. The three knights fought so magnificently that Duke Otoun fled back towards the safety of his encampment and Guy galloped after him. Guy caught up with him when they were within a bow shot of the enemy pavilions and at once attacked him with his sword. But the ferocious blow that he delivered missed the duke and inflicted a grievous wound to his horse instead.
Guy was quickly surrounded, but managed to escape the confines of the camp. The Lombards were close behind him as he re-joined Hereward and Tirry, who were very pleased to see him, since his sudden disappearance had puzzled them both. ‘It’s time to go!’ cried Guy to his fellows, and they galloped off towards the city.
Everybody gave thanks to God that Hereward was still alive. Guy summoned the best physicians to attend to him, and through their efforts, Hereward’s injuries were soon healed.
Duke Otoun returned to Pavia with great shame and embarrassment. Physicians were called to attend to his injuries and when his wounds were healed, he went to see Duke Loyerer in Lorraine and told him how badly things had gone. ‘The city has proved to be impregnable,’ he said. ‘They have imprisoned all your knights and killed many of your friends. If you will take my advice, we will resort to cunning in order to take revenge, for men should by all means avenge themselves upon their enemies.
‘Send friendly greetings to Sir Tirry and say that you will gladly give your dear daughter in marriage to him. Invite him to come to this city, and when he, his father, Hereward and Guy have set off and are a day’s journey away from Gormaz, set an ambush and have them all seized. Try them in your court and sentence them to be hanged from a tree. But I ask, please give Guy to me, and Hereward and Tirry. I’ll take them with me to Pavia and they’ll die in a deep prison. Then I shall marry your dear daughter.’
‘Don’t be so sour and vindictive, Otoun,’ replied Duke Loyerer. ‘I won’t have Tirry deceived like this, nor so badly treated; he has given me good service and helped me, and neither would I want Guy or Hereward tricked either.’
‘Why so much affection for these villains?’ asked Duke Otoun. ‘Earn ransom for them, at the very least. Make them pay for what they have done.’
So Otoun dreamed up another deceit. He approached Duke Loyerer with such words and entreaties that the duke agreed to send a messenger to Gormaz to explain to the earl that he and Duke Otoun were eager for reconciliation. They managed to so convince a bishop of their sincerity that he left that same day, with a great entourage, to undertake this embassy and to deliver this important communication. Before three days were out, the bishop arrived in the city of Gormaz, where he found Earl Aubrey and kissed him courteously.
‘Duke Loyerer greets you with great affection,’ he confided, ‘and invites you to travel to his city in friendship and reconciliation. If you will agree to this, he will give his fair daughter in marriage to your son Tirry. Bring all your noblemen along with you; all your knights as well, as many as will make you feel safe on your journey. Both sides shall meet for a parliament at a camp midway between our cities and there the reconciliation can take place, on equal terms, one with another.
Everybody replied enthusiastically: ‘Blessed be God and Saint Roger! Let’s take this opportunity and be reconciled with our lord.’
‘Are you sure that this isn’t a trick?’ asked Guy.
‘Have no fear,’ said the bishop. ‘There is no deceit in any of this, I assure you.’
The bishop set off to travel back to Lorraine. Sir Tirry was very happy.
When it was time to set off, every knight, young and old, dressed in his finest clothes and they made their way to the parliament. Earl Aubrey arrived there with Tirry, Hereward and the good Sir Guy, along with five hundred valiant knights, all clothed in costly gowns and resplendent in scarlet. Each rode a magnificent horse and riding along with them was the fair young maiden; for they suspected nothing.
They made their way to the parliament, intending to agree to the reconciliation. When they arrived, they saw many foreigners there as well, who had come to attend the wedding. Duke Loyerer of Lorraine was surrounded by all his nobility and there were many bachelor knights, all there to witness the marriage of their lord’s daughter. Duke Otoun of Pavia was in attendance, with many earls of Lombardy.
‘Lords,’ said Duke Otoun, ‘listen to me. You are well aware how Tirry carried out a criminal act against his lord, who loved and cherished him. Tirry served in Duke Loyerer’s court for a long time while he blossomed into manhood, and the duke regarded him so highly that he knighted him, and the only thanks he got for this was for him to run away with his daughter. And yet, I ask that the duke uses this parliament publically to forgive Sir Tirry and to give him his daughter’s hand in marriage. Then we shall be forever friends, and I will return to my country. For God’s love, Duke Loyerer, grant us this today.’
‘I shall grant everything that you have just said,’ replied Duke Loyerer.
‘Furthermore, I ask you all,’ said Duke Otoun, ‘to do your best to persuade Sir Guy of Warwick of our sincerity. With a promise of reconciliation, let him kiss me here, and we shall become friends.’
‘Sir duke, this has gone far enough!’ replied Guy, ‘I have no desire to kiss you. You betrayed me when I was in your country and you killed three of my knights. But it is not the time to recount this here, so let us speak of other things instead. Kiss Earl Aubrey if you like, and make friends with his son Tirry. I will not stand in your way.’
They all kissed one another with joy and enthusiasm but Sir Guy drew back; he had no intention of kissing Duke Otoun. He went straight over to kiss Duke Loyerer.
Duke Loyerer,’ said Earl Aubrey, ‘I present to you my son Tirry. I offer you a fine young knight; he goes with my blessing, always.’
Shortly afterwards, the earl set off back to Gormaz. Duke Loyerer prepared to set off as well, accompanied by all his knights, and Hereward rode with the fair maiden Ozolde, for her father was happy for her to stay with him. Guy, Hereward and Tirry rode along, singing merrily. They were in good spirits and had no idea that they were in any danger. But before the sun had reached its zenith, their song was to change.
They rode quickly, and the duke invited them all to dismount, to rest their horses for a while. It was a hot day and they had been following the route for quite a while. But when they had all alighted, Duke Otoun suddenly stood up and shouted: ‘Listen! Men of Lorraine and Pavia, listen to me! I command you to seize these traitors! Bind them securely and tie their hands behind their backs. We shall bring them to Lorraine and condemn them all to hang upon a gallows, and if anyone objects or refuses to help, he shall suffer the same fate.’
The Lombards jumped enthusiastically to their feet. They were as numerous as sheep in a fold and they were joined by many knights of Lorraine who were equally happy to obey this command. Tirry was quickly surrounded and seized; he was captured, and so was Hereward.
‘Duke Loyerer, why do you allow this treason!’ exclaimed Guy. ‘Have we not kissed and cemented our friendship before all the barons?’
Duke Loyerer was embarrassed and upset. He couldn’t speak a word, but just rode away; he could stay there no longer.
An angry knight darted forwards, seized Guy by his robe and tried to pull it off, breaking the cord that fastened it into three pieces. Guy turned around angrily and punched him with his fist. The man fell to the ground and didn’t move. The Lombards pulled Guy’s robe into shreds, every man had a piece of it in his hand but Guy was agile and strong and managed to fell many of those who were trying to assault him. He quickly made it to his horse, leapt up onto it and urged it forwards, striking its flanks as he frantically galloped off.
When Duke Otoun saw that Guy had escaped, he cried to his men: ‘Leap onto your horses! What’s the matter with you? Go after him!’
Many knights joined the chase, two hundred in all. Guy galloped ahead of them, alone and unarmed. One knight was wearing a helmet and carried a spear and rode at Guy with this weapon levelled; the spear glanced between Guy’s arm and his side, grazing his skin a little too closely for comfort. Guy turned his horse and struck the knight so hard that the man fell from his horse. Guy galloped off at once, but another knight was wielding a long sword with a sharp blade that embedded itself into Guy’s saddle. His pursuers were not giving up.
At last, Guy saw a man carrying a stout staff and pulled his horse to a standstill. ‘Give me that pole, dear friend and as I am a gentle knight, I shall repay you quickly, as soon as I can.’
‘Gentle knight, take it at once. I can see the trouble that you are in.’
Guy took the staff and defended himself with it. The first man that he met he hit so hard that he broke his neck. Guy seized the man’s horse and took it to the owner of the staff. ‘Have this horse in payment, it’s a fitting reward.’
‘Thank you!’ exclaimed the man, and he leapt up and rode off. Guy galloped off too, sparing for nothing. He managed to fend away all his pursuers until he came to a river. Without hesitating, Guy entered the water and urged his horse across. None of his pursuers dared to follow. The current was so strong that they all turned around and went back. Duke Otoun was furious when he learnt what had happened.
‘That villain has got away,’ he told Duke Loyerer. ‘Let’s return to Pavia. I shall marry your daughter there and I’ll throw Tirry and Hereward into my prison. You can decide what you want to do with them after I’ve finished with them.’
‘No,’ said Duke Loyerer, ‘by Saint Roger, that’s not going to happen. Take Sir Tirry with you and make sure that you look after him well until I’ve decided what to do. Hereward shall come with me. I’ll put him in my prison. I don’t want you to have him. You’ll kill him, I know.’
They parted respectfully. Duke Loyerer set off for Lorraine, taking a reluctant Hereward with him. Duke Otoun made for Pavia with Tirry and with the maiden Ozolde.
Tirry was placed on a riding horse with his hands tied behind his back; he made for a very unhappy sight and Ozolde couldn’t bear to see him treated in this way. They hadn’t gone far before she fell from her horse in distress.
‘Woman, are you mad! Why make such an exhibition of yourself? The man is a scoundrel!’ shouted Duke Otoun. ‘I swear to you, by Saint Roger, if you carry on like this in front of me I shall kill him before your very eyes! Dear sweetheart, be merry. We shall soon be married. In Pavia you shall be married. Then I’ll make Tirry comfortable and see that he is well looked after, I promise, if only you will cheer up.’
‘As you wish,’ said the maiden. ‘But I would ask you one thing: that you give me forty days to rest and to come to terms with things, and then I will be ready in my chamber and willing to become your wife.’
‘I grant you this, my sweet maiden,’ replied the duke.
With that, they continued onwards to Pavia. But Ozolde’s mind was racing. Only one thing gave her comfort: that Guy had managed to escape unhurt, and she clung on to the hope that he might be able to come up with some plan to rescue Tirry and herself.
When they arrived in Pavia, Duke Otoun threw Tirry into the deepest pit of his darkest dungeon. In the blackness, Tirry had no idea whether it was day or night, and he was given no food or water.
Guy is very worried about his friend, so let’s turn to him now. When he had crossed the river, he looked about and saw that he was alone: ‘Lord, how can I carry on?’ he cried. ‘Hereward and Tirry are prisoners and I know full well that they will be killed. Alas! Duke Loyerer, how could you do this to us? And as for Duke Otoun, he is a villain through and through! Lord, what will the Emperor of Germany think? I won’t be able to show my face at his court again! When I set out for this country, he sent some fine knights to accompany me, and now they are all prisoners.’
Guy rode all day, for miles and miles, until he came at last to a castle beside a lake. It looked like a good place to spend the night, and he was exhausted. At the gate stood a courteous and well-dressed knight, surrounded by three other knights, and Guy was uncertain which of them to address.
‘God save you,’ said Sir Guy. ‘I am a knight from a far country and would crave hospitality for the night.’
‘Sir, you are welcome here,’ answered the lord, heartily. He asked someone to take Sir Guy’s horse to the stables. ‘Look after this horse as well as you would my own,’ he instructed.
The lord was courteous and led Guy into his hall. He took a red robe and cast it over Sir Guy as a mark of honour. Then he said: ‘Sir, I implore you, tell me your name? Who are you and where are you from?’
‘My name is Guy of Warwick,’ Guy replied.
‘I know you,’ said the lord. ‘You were once my friend. I was then your squire and you were very kind to me. You knighted me yourself and afterwards you led me into many lands, to jousting and to tournaments, and I became an accomplished warrior. But then I married, as you can see. My name is Amis of the Mountain.’
‘As soon as Guy realised who he was, he embraced him heartily.
‘Why are you on your own?’ asked Amis. ‘Where’s Sir Hereward?’
‘I’ll tell you everything,’ said Guy, and he related the whole story; how he’d found Sir Tirry injured in the forest and how they went to help Tirry’s father Earl Aubrey at Gormaz and how they were both betrayed and how he had now managed to escape but had had to leave Tirry behind, and also Hereward, who was now, like Tirry, a prisoner: ‘And with them were five hundred valiant knights who were given to me by the Emperor of Germany,’ said Guy, ‘all taken prisoner, and whether they are alive or dead, I have no idea.’
When Guy had related the whole sorry tale: ‘There is no tower or castle in my land that is not at your disposal,’ said Amis. ‘I can bring five hundred knights to help you. We can destroy Duke Otoun, burn his castles and his towns and you will be well avenged. We shall not leave his lands until he has been captured and killed.’
‘Sir,’ said Guy, ‘thank you. But there is no time to gather an army. I need to act quickly.’
Guy spent six days there, in great distress. Amis tried to lift his spirits and wanted to go with him, but Guy wouldn’t hear of it: ‘I need to get back before my friends are killed. I’m not afraid to die in the attempt,’ he said. So Amis remained behind as Guy set off.
Guy arrived at Pavia. Before entering the city, he smeared his face and his fair hair with a black ointment, so that he looked dirty and dishevelled and nobody would recognise him.
‘Sir duke, may God protect you,’ said Guy when he found Duke Otoun. ‘You are a rich and powerful man, and I have come from a far country in order to see you. I have brought you the finest horse that any knight has ever ridden. He was taken from a Saracen and I acquired him off my cousin. There is no horse in this world so swift or courageous. He would swim across the sea if you asked him to. If you don’t believe me, I can prove it to you, whenever you like. But he is very ill-tempered and has an evil manner. No man can go near him without him trying to kill that man, unless I’m looking after him.’
‘Thank you,’ said Duke Otoun. This is a worthy gift. You can stay to look after your horse. Gold and silver shall be your reward. I have need of such a steed. Of all my enemies, I have taken most of them but one has escaped me, and now I feel that his time is up, and a swift horse will be a great asset to me. Under better circumstances this man would be hanging by his neck already.’
‘Sir,’ said Guy, ‘by the Holy Trinity, who is this?’
‘My friend, this villain’s name is Guy of Warwick. He is a great danger to me.’
‘Sir, I know Guy very well. I wish to God that he was standing here now. He killed my brother in battle and I would love to get my revenge for it; on both he and a friend of his named Tirry. Do you know him? They slew my dear brother less than six months ago. May God allow me to live long enough to avenge his death.’
‘My friend, I have Tirry in my prison,’ replied the duke. ‘Would like you to be his jailor? You have my permission to give him as much grief as you like.’
‘Sir, thank you! I shall do as you say! He’ll wish he’d never been born.’
Duke Otoun gave Guy the keys and made him his jailor. The duke asked him his name and Guy said: ‘John.’ John was assigned a spacious room and given a servant.
Little does Duke Otoun know who he’s entrusting the keys to his prison to! For the love of Saint Thomas of Canterbury, charge your goblets and make merry, for now Guy has everything he wants!
The prison was forty fathoms deep and strongly built. Guy could hear in the distance the sound of a man in distress.
‘Who are you?’ he called out.
‘A wretch,’ came the reply. ‘Earl Tirry was my name. I am in a dungeon and I’m shackled by a weight of iron that is so heavy my body feels as though it’s made of lead. No man has ever been made to suffer like this. I haven’t eaten for three days. I’m going to die of hunger, I know.’
‘Be still,’ replied Guy. ‘Listen to me. I am Guy. I will get you out of here.’
‘For God’s love are you Guy!’
‘Guy?’ cried a Lombard who had overheard them. ‘You’ll both be hanged!’
‘What will you gain from it if we are shamefully killed?’ said Guy, turning to face the jailor. ‘I’ll become your man. I’ll serve you as my lord. Then I’ll make you a noble knight when this is all over. I give you my word.’
‘Away with you!’ shouted the Lombard. He ran out of the dungeon towards the court. Guy followed, and when he caught up with him, he hit the man on the head such a marvellous blow that he fell dead to the ground. There he lay; he would tell no tales now.
‘What have you done!’ exclaimed Duke Otoun. ‘How dare you kill one of my men in front of my very eyes?’
‘My lord, let me explain,’ said Guy. ‘I was walking around, exploring my new surroundings, when I came across this traitor speaking with Tirry in the prison. He was giving him plenty of food, and wine and ale, and when I challenged him about it he threatened to kill me. When I said I was coming to tell you what was going on, he punched me with his fist and ran away. I ask you, therefore, please forgive me this insult to your court. I did it to uphold your honour. You need someone in your prison who is prepared to defend your authority, not flout it entirely.’
The duke swore: ‘By heaven’s king! Are you telling me the truth?’
‘Yes, by the grace of God.’
‘I forgive you, then,’ said Duke Otto.
Guy thanked him. Then he went into the city and bought a lot of food. He did this almost every day and smuggled it into the dungeon until Tirry had regained most of his strength, and he removed all the iron chains and shackles from his friend as well.
One day, Guy came across Ozolde. She seemed very downhearted and was dressed very plainly. ‘I am Guy of Warwick,’ Guy told her, ‘although I don’t look like him at the moment I know. But I’ve come to this city and no one knows who I am.’
Ozolde fell down weeping for joy. Guy took her up at once and said: ‘Don’t be silly! We mustn’t attract attention like this.’
‘Have pity on me,’ the maiden cried. ‘The wedding is to take place in only three days’ time. I intend to kill myself with a knife rather than marry Duke Otoun.’
‘Wait! Listen,’ said Guy. ‘Do everything that he wants you to do. He won’t achieve his aim, I promise, he’ll fail before he ever gets to the church. I’ll kill him before he arrives. Then you can make your escape with me.’
Guy hurried to the prison. ‘Tirry,’ he said, ‘it’s time for you to escape. Go as quickly as you can, travel day and night until you reach Amis of the Mountain, in a castle in Spain. Greet him courteously, for he’s an honourable man, and stay with him; he is your friend. Stay there until I arrive, or until I send word.’
‘I’ll go as quickly as I can,’ said Tirry.
Guy led Tirry to the main road and they said goodbye to one another. Guy kissed him, and then Tirry sped off, leaving Guy on his own. Guy returned to the prison, then went to see the maiden, and gave her all the comfort that he could.
As Tirry hurried away from the city, he travelled over a vast landscape of hills, woods and wide fields, but at last, after a long journey, he arrived at Amis’s castle. He found Amis in the hall, playing chess, and there were thirty knights around him; they were staying in the castle and serving their lord, for there was war in the land.
‘Sir,’ said Tirry, ‘God protect you. But may I speak with you alone and in private?’
‘Sir, if you wish,’ replied Amis. ‘We can speak alone.’ Amis rose and led Tirry to a window.
‘Amis,’ said Tirry, ‘I carry greetings from Sir Guy. He has sent me to stay with you, if this is alright, until he arrives in person or sends word of his intentions. He is going to confront Duke Otoun.’
‘Sir,’ replied Amis, ‘absolutely! It will be a great honour! My dear friend, what is your name?’
‘Sir, my name is Tirry. I am the son of Earl Aubrey of Gormaz.’
‘Sir, you are very welcome.’ Amis embraced and kissed Sir Tirry, but as he looked at the filthy and tattered clothes that Tirry was wearing, tears came to his eyes and he quickly brought him some fine garments, the best in all the land, clad him in rich silk and a purple robe and made him feel very much at ease, and he instructed his knights to do the same. He assured him that he was welcome to stay for as long as he wanted, until they heard again from Guy.
But let us return now to speak of Duke Otoun. The duke instructed that it be announced that all men, all those in Lombardy and all those in the city of Pavia, should make themselves ready to attend his wedding. The duke was very happy that his wait would soon be over. He went to the maiden in very light-hearted mood and said: ‘Darling, get into your wedding clothes. Today you are going to be married!’
‘Sir,’ she said, happily, ‘I’ll do anything you want me to.’
She put on a beautiful dress, to please the duke, then mounted a riding pony and made her way through the city towards the church, accompanied by her husband-to-be. He firmly believed that he was going to marry this maiden.
Guy armed himself in steel; he had no lack of such equipment. Duke Otoun rode towards the church, with Ozolde riding obediently beside him, or so he imagined. Guy mounted his steed and, fully armed, rode quickly out of the castle. He spurred his horse through the city and overtook the wedding procession.
‘Duke, stand still!’ Guy shouted. ‘I command you, don’t move! Have you forgotten the treason that you once committed against Sir Guy, when we were at a ford across a river? All my men were killed. And you have insulted me yet again by betraying Sir Tirry. This is Guy you are looking at, and you will pay for it all, by Saint Roger!’
Guy drew his sword and held it naked in his hand. Then he struck the duke so hard upon the head that the blade sliced down through his body.
‘Sirs,’ he shouted, ‘by my loyalty, if anybody chases after me, he shall quickly lose his head!’ and he set the maiden on his horse beside him and galloped quickly away with her.
A great cry was raised throughout the city, but they couldn’t catch him; not one of them was able to get near Guy and Ozolde except for a single man whose name was Barrard, Duke Otoun’s nephew, for he was riding a fast horse. He followed Guy relentlessly with a spear in his hand, and when Guy had covered five miles: ‘Guy,’ this man shouted, ‘wait a while! For the love of Christ, joust with me.’
Guy turned his steed and, lifting the maiden down onto the ground, he took up his spear and rode hard at his adversary. Barrard managed to strike Guy a damaging blow with his lance. Guy felt it; he marvelled at the man’s skill and turned his horse about for another attack. This time he struck Barrard such a blow on the shield that it caused damage to the man’s armour and sent his horse stumbling to the ground. Barrard jumped to his feet and drew his sword angrily. Then he swung it at his horse’s back, killing it instantly.
‘May the devil take you!’ he cried. ‘You’re so frail that you cannot stand a blow from a knight! Guy! Dismount and fight with me! This day shall determine which of us is best, and may the grace of God be taken from me if I cannot cut off your head!’
‘My friend, stop this,’ said Guy. ‘I will fight with you no more. We may meet again in battle, at a more appropriate time.’
Guy rode off and travelled all that day. Barrard walked back to the city.
They quickly brought Duke Otoun to church and buried him with every honour. Barrard carried news of the duke’s death to the Emperor of Germany. The emperor conferred upon Barrard the duchy of Pavia, and gave him all the arms that he wanted; in fact, he gave him everything he asked for, and in addition, he made him his steward, the steward of Germany. Many people were very pleased when they heard this.
Guy travelled onwards with the maiden, but she was anxious and her fears were increasing. ‘Sir Guy,’ she said, ‘what’s going to become of me? Will I ever see Tirry again? He will die if he stays in that prison. I want to turn back, so that I can help him.’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Guy. ‘No harm will come to him, only good. I spoke with the jailor, and he will keep him safe.’
They rode hard for so long that they came to the castle on the mountain at last. When they arrived, they made their way quickly to the hall. Amis spotted Guy at once. ‘By Saint Michael, welcome!’ he said.
When Tirry saw Guy with the beautiful maiden by his side, he ran to her and took her into his arms and kissed her. ‘Welcome, my darling,’ he said. Then he turned to Sir Guy and kissed him as well. ‘Welcome to you both; you are both so very welcome, you and my darling Ozolde. May God be thanked that you have both arrived safely, and may it please God that we are never parted from one another again.’
When the maiden caught sight of Tirry, whom she loved so very much, she fainted with joy, for she’d had no idea that he would be there. Tirry lifted her up into his arms and said: ‘Lady, be happy now. Our sorrows have turned to joy.’ They spent many happy hours together.
One day, Guy’s thoughts turned to Hereward. He called Tirry and Amis to him and said: ‘Listen to me my friends; wouldn’t it be a good thing if we travelled to Gormaz to visit the noble earl? Your father must be worried about us, Tirry. He’ll be happy to see us, I’m sure. And he might be able to help us to gain revenge on Duke Loyerer and bring about the release of my men, whom the duke has so unjustly imprisoned with such great treason.’
‘I’m sure he will be very happy to help you,’ replied Tirry. ‘Otherwise, he will lose my love entirely, because he owes this much to you at least. As long as there is breath in his body, I don’t think there will be any question.’
‘I’ll go with you as well,’ said Amis. ‘I shall bring along five hundred knights, and a thousand squires, and you can command them as you wish.’
‘Sir, thank you,’ said Guy.
Amis sent for his knights and when they were ready, they all set off on swift horses towards Gormaz, passing through Lorraine that same day, destroying all that they could find and killing everything that they came across. Earl Aubrey fainted with joy when he saw them arrive at Gormaz; he hadn’t expected to see his son ever again. All the men in the city welcomed them and celebrated their arrival.
Tirry told his father how Guy had rescued him from prison and killed Duke Otoun with his own hands: ‘And he took my lady away with him to safety,’ explained Tirry, ‘and now his thoughts are all upon waging war against Duke Loyerer and avenging all the wrongs that he has done to him.’
When Duke Loyerer heard that Guy was intending to visit his land with an army and that he had already done great damage to it and that his daughter Ozolde was with him, and with Tirry, and happy to be so, he was, perhaps surprisingly, very pleased. When Hereward heard that Guy was intending to come, and Tirry as well, and understood that Amis of the Mountain would be with them, along with all the men of Spain, he was very pleased as well; he was happier than he had ever been in all his life and thanked God many times.
‘Hereward,’ said Duke Loyerer, ‘I want you to be my messenger. You shall go to Earl Aubrey, to Guy and to Tirry as quickly as you can, and ask them if we cannot be reconciled. I am willing to right all the wrongs that have been done. I will give my daughter’s hand in marriage to Tirry, along with half my lands while I live, and all of them when I die. Please convey these words just as I have said them, and bear witness that they come from me personally.’
‘Sir,’ said Hereward, ‘I’ll be delighted to carry this message for you, and I’ll do all that I can to persuade them to accept your offer.’
The duke had the constable summoned and instructed him to let loose the prisoners. They were set free and all their equipment was returned to them. Soon, none of them was missing so much as a rivet or a spur. Then the duke let them all travel with Hereward, to lend him their support in trying to sue for peace.
Guy and Amis went one day with Tirry out into the countryside to amuse themselves when they looked across the landscape and saw knights moving en masse. Fearful of treason, Amis said to Sir Guy: ‘Do you see? Over there is a force of some sort. I’ve no idea who they are, but they seem to be coming our way. I shall go and find out, if I can, whether they are hostile or not.’
In his hand he took a spear and galloped off quickly to confront the encroaching knights. Standing up in his stirrups, he scrutinised them all. Hereward recognised him immediately.
‘Amis!’ he cried. ‘Where is Guy? Why are you in such a rush?’
‘You can see Guy as soon as you like, Hereward,’ replied Amis. ‘I left him on that hill over there. He’ll still be there with his men.’
‘Then let’s all of us go there at once,’ said Hereward.
They rode a good pace. Guy stayed where he was until they came near to him. Then: ‘Lord God almighty!’ exclaimed Guy. ‘It’s Hereward! And all my men are with him!’ When they had all dismounted, Guy, Tirry and Hereward embraced and made a great fuss of one another.
‘Sir,’ said Hereward, ‘if it will please you, I have come as a messenger from Duke Loyerer, whom I ought to love as a brother since he has honoured me, and I tell you for your own honour that he wishes to be reconciled with you. He will give his dear daughter to Tirry to wed, and all his lands as well, in complete peace and security. He has sent me with this message to you, Sir Guy, and to Sir Tirry, and he instructs me to say that he will do everything he can to make amends for the wrongs that he has done to you. Whatever you want shall be yours. I can guarantee that this is what he desires, for I have heard it from his own lips.’
All the freed prisoners begged Sir Guy and Sir Tirry to agree to this reconciliation. Guy made his way to the city and told Earl Aubrey, and the next morning they made themselves ready to journey to Lorraine.
Duke Loyerer was very pleased to see them when they arrived. They put all their differences aside and there was great joy in the city, particularly now that Tirry was so much in Duke Loyerer’s favour again. The duke gave his daughter in marriage to Tirry, along with the greater part of his lands, and he confirmed this in front of all his noblemen, repeating it in many languages so that all who were there would understand. The wedding was arranged with great honour, and no more beautiful ceremony has ever been seen; it surpassed that even of a king or an emperor.
When the wedding feast was over the knights all took their leave and went home to their own countries. Earl Amis said farewell and went back to his castle, but Guy stayed on; he was enjoying himself too much to leave just yet!
One day, Guy went off to hunt deer with some dogs, in the company of Duke Loyerer, Tirry and many other brave knights. They entered some ancient forest and soon disturbed a wild boar. All the dogs ran after him and the boar killed a great many as he tried to escape from them; more than twenty dogs were killed, the boar would charge at them, then turn and try to outrun them, but they pursued him relentlessly. He sped through the forest, the dogs pursued and the knights galloped their horses after them as fast as they could, until exhaustion overcome their mounts. No dog dared to confront the beast alone and the few dogs that still lived turned for home at last, too weary to carry on the chase; all but three, these three hounds continued valiantly until they came into Brittany. There was no knight or huntsman following them now except for Guy alone; he galloped his horse after them, blowing his horn as he went.
By now, the boar was very hot and thirsty. He plunged into a marshy stream and began rooting around with his snout, and when Guy saw what the boar was doing, he dismounted and made his way towards it on foot. He drew his sword; the boar spotted him and prepared to charge. He raced ferociously at Guy, who managed to strike a blow onto his back with his sword that cut the beast into two pieces and killed it stone dead.
Guy blew a long blast on his horn. He imagined that one of his companions would hear it, but he waited and no one came. He was alone in a far country and as he butchered the boar, he blew long and hard on his horn.
Earl Florentine heard the sound: ‘What in God’s name is that?’ he asked. ‘Who’s hunting in my forest? They must have taken a wild beast!’ He called his son to him: ‘Go quickly and fetch this scoundrel back here,’ he said. ‘Regardless of whether he is a knight or a huntsman, bring him to me at once.’
The young man leapt upon a steed, rode quickly into the forest and soon came across Sir Guy. ‘You villain!’ cried the young man. ‘Who do you think you are, coming into my father’s forest like this without his permission?’
The young knight was carrying a long staff and clearly had it in his mind to use it against Sir Guy. ‘Give me your horn,’ he cried. ‘I’m going to seize you by the scruff of the neck and take you to see my father!’
‘Sir,’ said Guy, ‘I would happily go to see your father were you to moderate your tone a little.’
‘No, I’m going to drag you there. I’m not going to let you get away!’
The young man caught hold of the bridle of Guy’s horse and began hitting him with the stick that was in his other hand. The blows were quite severe and Guy was getting bruised.
‘This is very discourteous of you,’ Guy cried. ‘These blows are wholly unwarranted!’ and he hit the young knight on the head with his hunting horn, so hard that it fractured the young man’s skull.
Guy rode off and looked for a way out of the forest, but he was completely lost, he hadn’t the slightest idea where he was and hadn’t eaten all day. He remembered passing a town somewhere but hadn’t gone very far, scarcely more than a mile or so, when he saw a castle come into view, high up on a hill, so he rode quickly towards it.
Shortly, Guy came across one of the country folk: ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘who owns that castle over there?’
‘Earl Florentine,’ the man replied. ‘There is no better lord alive today.’
Guy rode to the castle gate and, finding no porter there, rode quickly to the hall and dismounted. He strode into the hall and saw, sitting at the high table, an old man, a grey and aged knight, but from the look of him he seemed still to be powerful and well-respected. Guy approached and greeted him courteously.
‘Sir, I am a knight from far away. If it pleases you, I would like to ask for food. Just a single meal, and then I shall depart.’
‘Sir, you are very welcome,’ said the lord. He quickly instructed his men to fetch some food, the best that he had, and Guy tucked into it heartily when it arrived. Shortly, the bells began to ring. They rang out incessantly, and all those in the hall became very perturbed by the noise. ‘Heaven’s queen!’ they cried out. ‘What misfortune does this signify?’
Almost at once, men appeared in great despair, carrying the old man’s son on a bier. They laid him down in the hall and the old man cried: ‘Lord, is this my dear son?’ He tore at his clothes and pulled his hair, it seemed that his heart was going to break with sorrow.
‘Alas, my dear child! Who has killed you? If I knew, I wouldn’t hesitate but I’d kill him now with my own hands.’
A squire spoke up: ‘He’s sitting here right now. I saw him do it.’
When the earl heard this, he leapt up from the high table and grabbed a spear. ‘Traitor!’ he cried, drawing his arm back with murderous intent. ‘You shall die here!’ and he flung the weapon at Guy so hard that the point embedded itself half a foot into a board that formed part of the table top, missing Guy by a whisker.
‘Sir!’ cried Guy. ‘For God’s mercy, stop! It was self-defence.’
But they all set upon Guy at once, all the brave knights in the hall. Guy managed to grab his shield and get hold of an axe. Then, with his back to a wall, he fended them off as best he could. The lord’s steward stuck Guy with a sword; Guy took the blow on his shield and returned one with his axe and it did not miss; it cut the steward’s head into two pieces. Guy defended himself well and managed to kill three more knights, then: ‘Earl Florentine!’ he cried. ‘For love of the Holy Cross, if you kill me like this, you will be branded a man of great dishonour. Whatever the rights and wrongs, you will be vilified for killing a man who is a guest at your table. Avoid this shame! Let me have my horse and open the castle gates for me.’
The earl withdrew a little, obviously affected by Guy’s words, and when he saw his son and the other knights lying dead there, he didn’t know what to do.
‘Alas!’ he cried, ‘I’ve nothing now but a life of sadness to look forward to,’ and he fainted over the body of his son lying on the bier. There was no one there who didn’t feel pity for the old man.
When he had recovered, the earl commanded that no one should be so bold as to do any harm to Sir Guy. But as soon as Guy had left the castle, he was to be hunted down and killed like a dog. These were his instructions. Guy’s horse was fetched and his equipment was handed to him.
Guy grabbed hold of his horse and leapt upon it, seized his sword and his spear, and rode as fast as he could out of the castle. He quickly found a road that led away, but by now, the earl was galloping in pursuit with a bevy of knights. Guy turned his horse to face them. He defended himself from one knight, then from another, then the earl approached angrily with a spear in his hand. Guy saw him coming and prepared to defend himself.
They attacked one another with their spears levelled, and before the weapons broke, the earl struck Guy a hard blow that pierced his shield. But Guy’s blow toppled the earl from his horse.
Guy felt pity for this knight when he saw how strong he must once have been, and how he had just lost his son. It had been twenty winters since the earl had been properly able to bear arms or to take part in any serious conflict.
‘Take your horse,’ said Guy, ‘and ride home as quickly as you can. It would be better for you to be in a church than fighting with me here. I will pay you for the meal that I received in your hall, so here is your horse back. I would have asked for nothing if I had known, even if I was so thirsty and hungry that I might have died. I will never come here again asking for food, and you’ll not see me again in anything but perfect health, I hope.’
Guy galloped away and knights went after him, left and right, young men intent upon impressing their peers. The lie of the land was a help to them and they gave Guy a good chase. Guy rode hard through that land until he came to a great forest. Often, he would turn his horse around to engage one of his pursuers, and many were left with a nasty wound and many others were killed. But at last, he outrode them all and the earl’s knights were forced to turn back. The earl took his son that same day and buried him in a holy place.
Fill my cup with your best ale or wine, for God’s blessing, for Guy is riding quickly away!
Guy rode until nightfall. He had no intention of remaining in that land, and when dawn broke the next day he saw to his relief that he was back in Lorraine. He made his way to the city, where he found his men in a state of anxiety, fearing what may have happened to him. They were all delighted to see him back alive and well, and he quickly told them everything that had happened, and the peril that he had been in. They thanked Saint Michael that he had managed to extricate himself so well from such an unfortunate and dangerous situation.
It was not long afterwards that Guy expressed a desire, once more, to return to England.
‘Tirry,’ he said, ‘I intend to travel very soon to see how my mother and father are getting on and whether they are prospering or not. I don’t even know if they are still alive, for goodness sake! So I must go overseas. I haven’t seen them for seven years and I am to blame for this. If anything happens to you, no matter what, send for me and I will come at once. You have your noble wife with you now, and your conflicts have been resolved. Your land is at peace and no one will dare to rekindle war. I shall send messengers and remain in contact with you, and I beg you to do the same, my dear brother. I shall return some day to see you.’
‘Sir, thank you,’ said Tirry, ‘but this news fills me with sorrow. You have saved my life many times. If you go away now, I don’t know whether I will ever see you again. How will I defend my lands from the kinsmen of Duke Otoun? There are a lot of them, in many far-flung districts, and while we’re together here I have nothing to fear. If you’ll stay, I’ll give you castles and cities; the best in all the land, I promise. I’ll stay on here with Duke Loyerer and you can have Gormaz if you wish. I promise that I won’t claim back a foot of it.’
‘Tirry, stop my friend. This does nothing to lessen the sadness that I feel in having to say goodbye to you. I would love to take up your offer and would gladly do so, were it not for Felice. If it wasn’t for Felice, for your friendship I would stay here with you. But don’t feel so bad. I will return very soon, I promise.’ They embraced and kissed one another, and wept a little I believe.
There was not a dry eye when Guy finally got ready to leave for England. Guy took his leave from Duke Loyerer and asked him in the most friendly terms to take possession of all the booty that he had acquired, since he had no use for it now. Then he leaped upon a riding horse and set off for England.