| King Arthur and His Knights|
|by Maude Radford Warren|
|Twenty-one stories from the Arthurian legends specially selected and adapted for children and told in simple well-written prose. The stirring tales of these chivalrous knights awaken the readerís admiration for courage and gentleness and high sense of honor essential in all ages. Ages 9-12 |
THE KNIGHT WITH THE BADLY MADE COAT
NE day when Arthur and his knights were in the hall of
the Round Table, a young man entered. He was so large
that his shoulders were as wide as the doorway, and he
could hardly squeeze through. The knights looked at him
in amazement, for he was almost a giant.
When he came closer to them, they saw that he had on a
coat which was far too large for him. It hung in
wrinkles and folds all over his back, and the sleeves
were so long that he had to turn them up almost to the
elbow. The coat was of rich material, gold cloth, but
it was old and blood-stained.
The young man strode up to the king and said:
"My lord, my name is Brune. I can
 tell you no more than that. I beg you to make me a
At this Sir Kay laughed and said:
"He must be called The King with the Badly Made Coat."
"Call me what you will," said the young man. "Yes, I
take that name, for I will not tell my real one."
Then Arthur spoke to him gently:
"Young man, you ask a great thing. All those in my
Court who are made knights must serve for a long time
as squires. If they prove themselves loyal and brave, I
make them knights. But I must always know whence they
come, and who their fathers are."
"My lord," said the young man, "I do indeed ask a great
thing. I would gladly tell you more of myself, but I am
under a vow to reveal no more than you already know.
Yet I will tell you this, further. I am the son of a
noble who was as big as a giant. My good father was
very peaceable and did not care to fight; so he never
came to your Court, and you did not hear of him. He
lived at home with my mother and me, and the simple
 people who plowed the land about our castle.
"Every one ought to have loved him; but he had one
enemy. One day, six years ago, when I was only a boy,
my father and I were in the forest. My father was
sleeping at the foot of a tree, and I was bathing in a
brook near by. This enemy, who wanted my father's
lands, came up and drove his sword into my father's
heart. Then he rode away. I ran up to my dead father
and took off the coat which he wore and put it on. I
swore never to take it off, and never to tell my
father's name or where I came from, till I had avenged
"Then I rode home to our castle, but our enemy had
taken possession of it, and had made my mother
prisoner. As I was not yet grown up I vowed that I
would stay with the good shepherds near by till I was
strong enough to pull up a young tree by the roots.
Then I would go to King Arthur's Court and ask to be
made a knight. So every month I have tried to uproot a
young tree. This morning I succeeded, and here, my
lords, I am."
 The knights were much moved and prayed the king to make
him a knight. They said that they would teach him to
use arms. The king said that he would wait to see what
sort of man Brune was.
A few days after this all the knights rode off to a
tournament and Brune was left at home with a few
soldiers. He was in the castle yard practicing some of
the lessons in warfare which the knights had been
teaching him. While he was hard at work, Queen
Guinevere with twelve soldiers who were her bodyguard
As she was speaking kindly to Brune, they heard a
terrible noise, and looking in the direction from which
it came, saw a dreadful sight. A fierce lion which had
been confined in a tower of stone had broken out of its
prison and was rushing towards them. The twelve
soldiers fled, leaving the queen and Brune alone.
"Ah," said Brune, "not all the cowards in the world are
He stood still while the lion bounded towards him. He
had dropped his sword, and as the beast leaped upon
 seized its head in his hands. Then he slowly, slowly,
bent its head back. It was a strong lion, and with the
effort the muscles on Brune's neck stood out like great
ropes. Presently, the queen and Brune heard a loud
crack and they knew that the lion's neck was broken.
Brune loosed his hold, and the huge tawny body dropped
to the ground, quivered a moment, and was still.
While this was going on, the king and his knights
returned. They saw at a glance what Brune had done, and
cheered him loudly. The king rode up to him.
"Kneel down," he said.
Brune knelt down by the body of the lion, and the king
touched him lightly with his sword, saying:
"Sir Brune, I make you a knight of my Round Table Be
always loyal, brave, and merciful."
TOUCHED HIM LIGHTLY WITH HIS SWORD
Then all the knights were glad, but Sir Brune was
gladdest of all.
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