Lion de Bourges: Folios 82-90 (lines 15775-17511)

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The Sicilian forces are defeated and King Henry is killed. The inhabitants of Bonivant take advantage of the confusion to gather their treasure and flee. The next morning, Garnier arrives at the deserted village, which he gives as a reward to his squire Henry. Florantine tries to take her own life when she learns of King Henry’s death.

From Bonivant, Garnier embarks for Monlusant, which he takes over after two days of laying siege. Only the tower resists, but supplies are missing. Florantine and her son Guillaume decide to leave Monlusant. Escorted by Bauduyn, they make a long journey to Palermo by sea.

Thiéry stays with his men to protect the tower. Being in short food supply, Thiéry plans a surprise attack using thirty chariots filled with provisions and heads for the duke of Garnier’s army. He succeeds in bringing them to the château ending the siege. Aware of this defeat, the duke of Calabria tries to bribe Thiéry who refuses the proposition and mentions that Florantine and her son have already left the tower. Stupefied by this news, Garnier realizes his defeat and decides to leave his squire Henry in charge of his army.

In the meantime, Lion travels through the Middle East and the Holy Land. He lands at Rhodes with his squire Ganor and stops in front of a fortress in which a young girl has been taken prisoner. Lion takes over the castle while the giant Mallabron is absent, and he rescues the young Margalie. After Mallabron returns, Lion defeats the giant in single combat. Margalie offers to become Lion’s wife but he tells her that he is already married. Lion offers her his squire Ganor. She accepts as does Ganor. Before the wedding, Margalie is baptized and takes the name of Alis, in memory of Lion’s mother.

The following day, Lion and his companions sail for Cyprus, where they are welcomed by the king. Having learnt from the traitor Gaudiffer that Cyprus was Herpin’s destination, he asks the king if he has any Christian prisoners. The king tells him that he had had two hundred, but he had given them as gifts to many Saracen princes. At the time, the king of Cyprus is at war with the sultan of Dumas and Sinagon de Palerme. Lion offers his assistance with the condition that the king helps him find Herpin, which the king accepts. Lion then leads a small troupe against an enemy greatly superior in number, who and his quickly surround him, but the White Knight, accompanied by an army of saints, intervene and save Lion and his men.

Witnessing such a miracle, the king of Cyprus is baptized and decides to convert his people. During the baptism, the king takes the name of Herpin, in memory of Lion’s father. As a result, the pope sends many priests to convert the island to Christianity.

Herpin had been sent as a gift to the emir of Toledo, while his wife Alis hid in the streets of this same town. The armistice between Marsilie and the emir of Toledo had ended, and the giant Orible sieges Toledo in the hope of obtaining Florie, the daughter of the emir. She swears that she would rather die than accept the giant. This heathen is so terrible, that she begins to like the mysterious Christian faith that Herpin is secretly teaching her. But under pressure from his starving subjects, as a result of the long siege, the emir decides to sacrifice his daughter to Orible in order to save his people. Herpin learns of this news and offers to fight the giant. The emir consents, and Herpin leaves the castle in the middle of the night, prepared to win or die. Before dawn, Herpin has already placed his men in ambush and attacks the moment the watch leaves.

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