1 "There are at least two hundred men assembled in the woods," answered a squire who was in attendance.
2 The Disinherited Knight then addressed his discourse to Baldwin, the squire of Brian de Bois-Guilbert.
3 The squire departed with a profound reverence, and in a few minutes returned, marshalling in Isaac of York.
4 Lastly, he laid aside his shield, which had received some little damage, and received another from his squires.
5 First let us speak of thy master; the knight's matters must go before the squire's, according to the due order of chivalry.
6 So please ye," said the squire, who was still in attendance, "I think old Urfried has them somewhere in keeping, for love of the confessor.
7 You have spoken well, good squire," said the Disinherited Knight, "well and boldly, as it beseemeth him to speak who answers for an absent master.
8 This letter being folded, was delivered to the squire, and by him to the messenger who waited without, as the answer to that which he had brought.
9 Ay, gracious sir," answered the Jew, with more confidence; "and knight and yeoman, squire and vassal, may bless the goodly gift which Heaven hath assigned to her.
10 Add to all this, Cedric had fasted since noon, and his usual supper hour was long past, a cause of irritation common to country squires, both in ancient and modern times.
11 These two squires were followed by two attendants, whose dark visages, white turbans, and the Oriental form of their garments, showed them to be natives of some distant Eastern country.
12 A second squire held aloft his master's lance, from the extremity of which fluttered a small banderole, or streamer, bearing a cross of the same form with that embroidered upon his cloak.
13 If any combatant was struck down, and unable to recover his feet, his squire or page might enter the lists, and drag his master out of the press; but in that case the knight was adjudged vanquished, and his arms and horse declared forfeited.
14 He rode, not a mule, like his companion, but a strong hackney for the road, to save his gallant war-horse, which a squire led behind, fully accoutred for battle, with a chamfron or plaited head-piece upon his head, having a short spike projecting from the front.
15 Well, you have said enough," answered the Templar; "I will for a night put on the needful restraint, and deport me as meekly as a maiden; but as for the fear of his expelling us by violence, myself and squires, with Hamet and Abdalla, will warrant you against that disgrace.
16 Before each pavilion was suspended the shield of the knight by whom it was occupied, and beside it stood his squire, quaintly disguised as a salvage or silvan man, or in some other fantastic dress, according to the taste of his master, and the character he was pleased to assume during the game.
17 The whole appearance of this warrior and his retinue was wild and outlandish; the dress of his squires was gorgeous, and his Eastern attendants wore silver collars round their throats, and bracelets of the same metal upon their swarthy arms and legs, of which the former were naked from the elbow, and the latter from mid-leg to ankle.
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