Lion de Bourges: Folios 141 – 150 (lines 27147-28892)

Read in English

The queen of Ascalon is abducted by the horrible dwarf Otinel, who wants to marry her. She promises Olivier that she will convert providing he confronts the dwarf in single combat. Olivier accepts and attacks Otinel. Due to his demonic power, the dwarf is able to make incredible leaps that allow him to avoid all the blows. Olivier, nonetheless, succeeds in dealing him a fatal blow, causing the devil to leave Otinel’s body.

Guillaume is in his city of Palermo with Ganor the squire of Lion, Girart, Henry and Morandin, the eldest son of Hermer. All of them are telling Guillaume to marry, and he chooses Gracienne de Falise, niece of Sinagon to be his wife. Morandin serves as the messenger but he betrays Guillaume by suggesting to Sinagon to grant his niece and to send her to Palermo with ten thousand men. Morandin will be responsible for lowering the chain that blocks the entrance to the port in order to allow the ships to enter. The men will then be able to take back Palermo and seize Guillaume. The plan is carried out: Guillaume and his friends are thrown in prison. Sinagon once again rules Palermo and makes Morandin the army marshal, who encourages his brothers to take over Bourges.

As a ruse, one of his brothers, Ysacart de Monmort, replaces the magic horn with one that is impossible to sound. The sons of Hermer try to destroy the real horn, but cannot succeed. Instead, they bury it very deep in the earth where a tree then grows with leaves in the shape of horns.

After having captured Ascalon and Acre, Herpin de Chypre receives the news that his wife is dying. Herpin arrives just in time to hear his wife speak her last words. She begs him not to remarry, unless he can find a woman that is her exact image. After the funeral and the mourning period, the barons of Chypre urge Herpin to remarry. He accepts, but under the condition that his wife’s wishes be respected. The barons scour the kingdom and many countries, without success. Only the daughter of Herpin, Joieuse, fills the requirement. The barons recommend this marriage. Herpin joyfully accepts and opens his heart to Joieuse, who cannot hide her repulsion. Shortly before the wedding, Joieuse cuts off her left hand and throws it into the sea, where it is swallowed by a sturgeon. Joieuse confesses to her father, that she mutilated herself voluntarily, in order to avoid the marriage because now she no longer looks like her mother. Furious, Herpin wants to have Joieuse burned at the stake but the barons intervene and Joieuse is banished from the kingdom.

While Herpin is in Cyprus, Olivier conquers Jerusalem and opens it up to the Christians. Nevertheless, the pilgrims cannot safely make the journey from the Holy Land, because of a sea demon that destroys the ships as they approach the coast of Ascalon. Only Olivier is prepared to confront the monster. During the combat, the monster jumps on board Olivier’s ship injuring him. Olivier’s weapons are useless; it is thanks to the White Knight that the monster is finally slayed.

While Guillaume is imprisoned by Sinagon in Palermo, Gracienne, who is in love with the prisoner, risks her life by attempting to visit him. She succeeds and frees Guillaume who in return promises to have her baptized and to marry her. Mélior, Gracienne’s companion, takes Guillaume to the tower where Ganor, Henry and Girart are guarded by Hurtaut. But the latter sounds the alarm and Guillaume quickly returns to his cell in order to avoid any suspicion.

In the meantime, to trick Sinagon, Gracienne accuses Mélior of having tried to free the Christian. Thanks to the prison key that she had kept, Gracienne has no trouble in freeing Guillaume who then frees Mélior.

Back to top