Christopher Key, chapter three, scene one ending

All the knights dismounted at once, with a noise like twenty barrels of swords rolling downhill.
“Well,” said the knight who had spoken before, the one with the soft commanding voice. “Let’s take a look at you, boy.” He was tall, with grey hair. He stroked his chin as he looked Christopher up and down.
The other knights also stared. They gathered into a wall of armor surrounding Christopher, hard-eyed, serious-faced. “I didn’t believe it,” one said. Another cursed at length, suddenly and impressively.
Huge Sir Gawaine raised one steel-plate gauntlet. “Basil, shut your mouth, or I’ll gong you on the helm so hard your ears will still ring next week. Would you use that language before Queen Amily? Let alone in the presence of any young, ah—” Here he stopped short, shaking his head. “Person,” he finished.
Christopher wished Basil would keep talking, especially since most of the words had been unfamiliar. He was even more foul-mouthed than Master Lamplighter’s stableboys.
“I’m with Basil, actually,” said the commander. “Is this some divine judgment upon my son Alexander? Really, it would be easier if I just took the boy here up to the walls, and threw him off. Yes, Gawaine? Do you want to say something?”
“Much what I just said to Basil, sire,” said Sir Gawaine.
Sire? This was the king?
Christopher stared up at him, and the king of Everie stared back. He looked annoyed.
“All my plans, wrecked,” he complained. He clapped his hands. “Pages! Someone get me a page, I need Doctor Cicely. And Alexander. And my daughter. Gawaine, how fortunate that all our families have daughters as well as sons. And yet, damn you, boy.”
Sir Basil swore again, and Sir Gawaine gonged him on the helm.

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