ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND
THE SIX PRINCESSES OF THRACE
T. PATRICK'S road did not lead him into any such great
perils as the other champions met with. He had
adventures enough, and received the honour of
knighthood, and wandered into many lands doing whatever
deeds fell in his way; but there was no happening that
need be chronicled till he came into Greece, and found
himself riding through a great forest. He had heard of
the tournament at the King's court at Athens—all the
world of chivalry knew of it—and meant to adventure in
arms at it. He was thinking, as he rode, of certain
tricks of swordsmanship he had learnt from an old
knight in Bohemia, when suddenly loud cries broke upon
his ears. They were screams of distress, but with them
were mingled strange growlings and hideous laughter.
The sound came from a little way in front, and it
seemed that there were many people there.
 St. Patrick dismounted, so as to approach the more
silently, and tethered his horse. Then he drew his
sword, and crept on tiptoe through the trees. He
reached a little clearing in a few moments, and then he
saw the cause of the uproar. A band of satyrs, horrible
creatures like those which had guarded St. George long
before in Kalyb's realm, were trying to carry off with
them six beautiful maidens, who wailed and struggled,
but were in danger of being overcome.
St. Patrick flew out from his sheltering trees, and
laid about him with his sword. In a trice three of the
creatures lay dead, and a fourth was wounded. The rest
fled headlong with shrill squeals of dismay.
The champion turned to the six ladies. "Oh, Sir
Knight," said one of them, "you came only just in time! Why
did you not come before?"
"I came as soon as I heard your cries, fair
lady," answered St. Patrick courteously. Had I known you
were in peril, I would have hastened my horse. But I
did not know till the sounds reached me that there was
anyone in this forest. When I knew, I did all that was
in my power, as a Christian knight should. You are safe
now; but by
 your leave I will escort you on your
way, lest other dangers come upon you."
"You are a Christian knight, you say?" said one of the
Princesses. They had been whispering together as St.
Patrick spoke. But a Christian knight, if he be like one
we know, would have found out our danger without
waiting to hear our cries."
"My name is Patrick of Ireland, and I defend the
Christian faith. Forgive me, fair ladies, if I think
you are not just to me."
"Was not that one of them?" said a Princess to her
sister. "Did not our Sir Andrew speak of Sir Patrick?"
"What is this strange talk of yours?" interrupted St.
Patrick. I have done you a trifling service, and you
blame me because I could not do it more speedily. You
say a Christian knight would know of dangers before
they come to pass, which I take leave to doubt. And
then you speak of one who is my dear comrade and
brother-in-arms. What does it mean? Pray, who are you?"
For the poor knight was bewildered by their blaming him
and their mention of St. Andrew. Their heads, indeed,
were almost turned by the picture they had formed in
their own minds of the champion of Scotland
"Brave knight," said the eldest Princess,
our discourtesy and ingratitude. We are distraught by
our adventure, and also our minds are full of that
paragon of knighthood, Sir Andrew of Scotland, our
deliverer, whom we are going to seek at the court of
Greece. Tell us truly, are you that Christian knight,
Sir Patrick of Ireland, who is the comrade of our Sir
"I did not know that he was your Sir Andrew, fair
ladies. You did not tell me, and even a Christian
knight cannot guess such unknown things as that. But I
am indeed the brother-in-arms of Sir Andrew of
Scotland. With him and five others I seek to bring the
whole world into the Christian faith."
"Then we welcome you, Sir Patrick, and we thank you,
moreover, as we should have thanked you already, for
your valour; and we will gladly have your escort to the
court of Athens, if you are going thither, as I think
all Christendom is. Know that we are princesses,
daughters of the King of Thrace." And she told him all
the adventure of Blanderon's castle, and the doings of
St. Anthony and the Princess Rosalind.
St. Patrick was overjoyed to think that he would meet
two of his companions at Athens, and he gladly escorted
them thither. But he
 found others besides those two
champions there, for St. James and the Princess
Celestine, his wife, had come to the tournament, and
St. Denis also, with his Princess Eglantine; so that
five of the seven champions of Christendom had come
together again. There also arrived in due time the King
of Thrace, rejoicing to find his wandering daughters
again. And still other friends were to come to that