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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 31

Summary and Notes

There is no news of Lancelot. Rumors are milling about Camelot of his death and the events of his crusade.

One by one other knights return from the search for the Holy Grail, most of them exhausted and broken. All of the characters from the previous two books appear in this section, mentioned briefly; the reader has probably wondered what had happened to Kay, Ector, Grummore, etc.; they have been questing and have failed.


Because all of the knights have returned or have been confirmed dead, the rumor heightens that Lancelot has died - either by murder or by natural disaster -as well. The inhabitants of Camelot from Arthur to the serving maids are morose as each day passes. Guenever cannot react because of the possibility of such intense grief and because Mordred and Agravaine are watching her like hawks to gauge her infidelity.

Finally one rainy night, Lancelot returns, his head humbly down, wearing a hairshirt as penance under his red garment. He is weary and broken and wants to sleep. Uncle Dap puts him to bed and Lancelot tells him that Galahad, Bors and Percy found the Grail; that Galahad and Percy have taken it to Babylon and will never return to Camelot.

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