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Book VI, Canto II

July 17, 2011

Calidore is back on the road. He sees a young man dressed like Robin Hood fighting a knight on horseback, with a lady in dirty clothes watching them. The youth quickly kills the knight, and Calidore is amazed that a young woodsman is able to defeat an armed and armored knight.

The youth tells his story – he interfered because he saw the knight riding along with the poor lady tied to his horse. He was hitting her with his spear and she was crying, so the youth dispatched him with one of his darts.

The lady tells her story – she and the knight were riding along when they spied another couple in the woods. He decided that the other lady was more lovely, and despicably attacked her unarmed knight. The lady he wanted slipped away into the woods and disappeared. When he could not find his prize, he turned on his own lady and spitefully tied her to the horse.

Calidore knows that this woodsman is an aristocrat, and he is right. It is Tristram, brought to Faerie to hide from his usurping uncle. He is skilled in hunting and other activities but has yet to learn to fight with arms. Calidore promptly makes Tristram his squire, but gives him the task of escorting the dirty lady home, saying that he is not able to attend him on this particular quest. Tristram despoils the dead knight and does as he is asked.

Now Sir Calidore continues to ride and comes upon the other people who can validate the stories he recently heard. He finds the wounded unarmed knight and his lady grieving for him. Calidore tries to cheer them up by telling them of Tristram’s victory. He also lends his shield as a bier so he and the lady can between them carry the wounded man to a nearby castle.

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