Galahad visited the princess every day, and by the fifth trip he only threw up a little in his mouth. He was beginning to stomach her looks, but she was beginning to stomach him less.
At first she had been pleased to have someone, anyone to talk to, but even in her grand naïveté she began to agree with her father’s assessment.
His visits began to tire her as he tended to bring up his favorite topic at every possible opportunity, himself. The battles he had won and trysts he had been involved in had never been heard of before on the Earth. This was mostly because he made them up on the spot, but he cared so little for her that he did not even attempt to engage her, only impress her. In his defense the princess’s face had brought with its ugliness a deep inscrutability that baffled even her mother while she was alive.
After a few months of daily visits Galahad believed broaching the subject of marriage to be a good idea. He dressed in his best suite of clothes, and for the first time thought to bring her something she liked. When he could not think of anything she liked, he settled on having his steward pick some flowers from the field.
However, when Galahad made his grand entrance, the princess was not there to see it. Lord Trapsfield, for as a regent he thought it only his due that he have an upgrade in title (and lands to boot), had moved her to another castle once he had learned of Galahad’s repeated visits.
Galahad had to bribe all the servants in the castle to find out where the princess had gone, but save for her method of transport none had details on her whereabouts. Two weeks passed this way until a groomsman from the stable heard a recently arrived noble joke about overwhelming nausea with another noble. The noble who had just arrived had come from a castle on the outskirts of the kingdom, deep within the land of Lord Trapsfield.
It was a small lead, to say the least, but Galahad was not about to let the princess slip through his fingers when he had just learned to stomach her face. He had his steward prepare his horse and rode out first thing the next morning.
Upon arrival at the castle Galahad begged an audience with Lord Trapsfield. To his surprise and consternation the servant agreed and asked him to wait in the hall. Having seen Lord Trapsfield earlier that day, Galahad did not expect to find him there. Luckily, Galahad had thought ahead and given the name of Samuel Bettsworth, a cousin of his from a neighboring county. As he was left to wait alone, he pulled out his handkerchief tied it around his face and set off to find the princess.
For nearly an hour he searched fruitlessly finding nothing of value or interest. Until he came to the kitchen and the servant’s quarters. There he came upon a maid throwing up. With bated breath he said, “Where is she?” Between wretches, the maid pointed and Galahad shoved his way into the room.
“Go away” she said.
“But it’s me,” he said.
She looked at him with her piercing eyes.
Thinking he knew the problem he pulled the handkerchief from his face.
“It’s Galahad Trite,” he said.
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“Why, to rescue you, of course.”
“I’m fine. Go back to your castle.”
“But you’re a prisoner.”
“And what do you propose to do about it?”
“I was going to propose.”
Galahad couldn’t be sure, but she didn’t seem ecstatic or joyful.
“How would that help?” she asked.
Galahad looked away and then mumbled, “Love conquers all.”
“Does Trapsfield know you’re here?”
“Ummm… Uhhh… Maybe…”
The princess dropped her head in frustration and let out a sigh. “Ok, I guess we’ll just have to go through with it. We’ll both be in trouble anyway.”
“You’ll marry me?” he asked, brightening.
“No,” she said with a quick sharpness he wished she hadn’t jumped to so quickly. “But I will let you rescue me. What’s the plan?”
Galahad smiled and looked up and to the left. “Umm… Well… I hadn’t really gotten that far yet…”
The princess sighed again. “Ok, go find my maidservant. She’s a horrible woman, but she’ll do anything to get rid of me. Have her bring some peasants clothes for both of us.”
“Peasant’s clothes?” Galahad asked, disgust dripped from every syllable. “I will not wear-”
“You’ll do what I tell you. You got me into this mess, and, so help me, I’m going to get us out of it.”
The maidservant was more than happy to send her charge off and asked that Galahad hit her over the head with a block of wood to make it all the more believable. When Galahad refused the maidservant took the block of wood and hit herself over the head. Unfortunately, it took several blows before she rendered herself unconscious.
After that awkward debacle they filled their pockets with whatever valuables the princess had and the little bit of food left in the room.
They took two horses from the stable. The stable boy ran away when the princess tapped him on the shoulder. (He later recounted to Lord Trapsfield’s steward a tale of a hideous beast with fangs and a colossal build who’d overpowered him and taken the horses.)
To Be Continued…