Study Guide

The Once and Future King Book 3, Chapter 20

By T.H. White

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Book 3, Chapter 20

  • King Pelles wants to find out more about Lancelot, and checks his genealogy to see if madness runs in his family. He's worried about his grandson, Galahad.
  • During this research, Pelles is disturbed by a noise in the courtyard. A Wild Man is running about down there. Sheesh—there sure are a lot of Wild Men. They should have their own guild or something.
  • The King goes down to see that the Wild Man's wounds are tended to (people are throwing rocks and such at him), and he asks him if he's Lancelot.
  • The Wild Man doesn't reply, so King Pelles decides to keep him as a jester. Makes perfect sense, we guess.
  • Soon, there's a big holiday in Pelles' town, since his nephew is going to be knighted. Everyone gets a new gown, and it seems like the whole court is drunk.
  • Uh oh… everyone except the Wild Man (now the court fool) gets a gown. The King has forgotten about him, so he ends up giving the guy his own gown.
  • We find out (but the others do not) that this is, indeed, Sir Lancelot, who looks so different with his beard and skinny physique that no one recognizes him.

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