Lion de Bourges: Folios 171 – 180 (lines 32289-33834)

Read in English

The horn is sounded to the great joy of the people. That day, Lion suggests to his sons to go together to Palermo to free Girart, Bauduyn and other prisoners. All approve but Olivier convinces his father to go first to Caffaut to meet Joieuse.

After crossing Spain, Lion and his sons see the castle of Caffaut. Elie and the viscount Gérard come to meet them. Olivier immediately asks for news of his wife and his children. Gérard and Elie are stupefied and do not know how to respond. Finally, they tell him of the message that they had received, signed by Olivier. In hearing them speak, Olivier draws his sword and tries to strike Gérard and Elie, when Lion stops him in order to get more information. Gérard shows the message that he had received and everyone is convinced that it is a fake. Henry the messenger is brought to the castle for questioning: he confesses having stopped at Béatris’ and that he had been drunk. Olivier is sure that it is Béatris that thought up this evil plot. She denies the accusations of Olivier and of Henry but the latter challenges Thiéry to a duel to prove that he is telling the truth. Henry wins the duel. Before being hung, the clerk confesses and tells of Béatris’ plotting. Henry is knighted while Olivier spares his adoptive mother.

Now, Lion and his sons are ready to set sail for Palermo, which had been conquered by Sinagon thanks to the help of the traitor Morandin.

At the sight of the immense fleet lead by Lion and his sons, Sinagon understands immediately that he had been betrayed by his niece, Gracienne. His nephew, Lucion promises to attack the Christians the next day. During the night, Sinagon offers the decapitation of the imprisoned Christians to his young wife Margalie, daughter of the king of the Indies. Margalie believes that they could be valuable and that it is better to spare them. To avoid a possible betrayal of the jailers, she obtains the keys of the cells.

The next day, Lucion leads the attack but Guillaume recognizes him and hits him with a fatal blow. Their leader being killed, the Saracens retreat back to Palermo while the messenger Henry pursues them. He hoists himself up the ramparts of the city, where he is captured and imprisoned in the same cell as Girart, Thiéry and Henry de Palermo; he tells them of all that has happened.

That night, Margalie finds the Christian prisoners and declares her love for Henry the messenger. After some hesitation he accepts the proposition of marriage. She offers him the kingdom of Tyre and that of the Indies. Then she frees all the Christians. Lion finds his son Girart, who tells him of the deaths of Bauduyn de Monclin, that of the squire Ganor and his wife Marie. In spite of his sorrow, Lion welcomes Margalie, baptizes her then marries her to Henry after she has received the Christian name of Suzanne (after her death, she will be canonized and called Sainte Suzanne).

Back to top