Book V, Canto IV
Arthegall is a true knight of Justice not only for his wisdom, but for his physical strength. Justice isn’t easy to uphold.
He and Talus leave the wedding and passed by the sea. There he sees a large chest, two knights, and two ladies. The ladies are trying to stop the knights from fighting. They are the sons of Milesia, masters of two nearby islands. One is large and the other is small. The elder brother, Bracidas, recounts their story:
He was given an island of equal size with his younger brother Amidas’ island. He loved a lady named Philtera, who had a “goodly doure”. Amidas loved a lady named Lucy, who was poor in worldly wealth, but virtuous. Sadly, the ocean began to swallow up Bracidas’ island until he had very little land left. His girl left him and went to Amidas instead. Lucy threw herself into the sea in despair. While drowning, she caught hold of a chest that was floating and hung on until she washed ashore on Bracidas’ land. She decided to marry him. When they opened the chest, they found treasure! However, Philtera now claims it is her dowry that was lost in a shipwreck en route to Amidas.
Arthegall’s judgement is that the treasure belongs to Bracidas and Lucy, since the sea had taken away what belonged to Amidas just as it had previously taken away what had belonged to Bracidas.
Of course half of them are displeased with this, but Arthegall pays no mind and rides off. He comes to a crowd of people that upon closer inspection are Amazon women warriors. They have a blindfolded knight on his way to the gallows. Arthegall asks what’s going on and the women turn to attack him. He hates the idea of striking women, so he lefts Talus do it. They free the knight, whom Arthegall recognizes as Sir Turpine.
Sir Turpine had heard of this Amazon tribe whose mission is to defeat all Knights of Maidenhead. Their grudge stems from their leader, Radigund, whose advances towards Sir Bellodant were ignored. These Amazons capture men, dress them like women, and make them perform women’s housekeeping tasks. Turpine had refused this fate and was about to be hung for it.
Arthegall and co. ride to the Amazon town to bring justice. They decisively beat the much larger number of women, who retreat into their castle. Radigund recognizes that her people are outmatched, and after tossing and turning all night decides to fight single-combat style instead. Her terms are optimistic – the loser must submit to the laws and fashions of the winner.