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Tilting At The Ring


Another favourite sport at the castle was tilting at the ring. A horizontal bar was fixed in a post, and at the end of a hanging supporter was placed a circular ring, as shown in the above illustrated title. By raising or lowering the bar the ring could be adjusted to the proper height—generally about the level of the left eyebrow of the horseman. The object was to ride swiftly some eighty paces and run the lance through the ring, which was easily detached, and remained on the lance as the property of the skilful winner. It was a very difficult feat, and men were not unnaturally proud of the rings they had succeeded in capturing.

At one tournament at the castle Henry de Gournay beat Stephen Malet by six rings. Each had his rings made into a chain—De Gournay's chain being exactly sixteen inches in length, and Malet's six inches. Now, as the rings were all of the same size and made of metal half an inch thick, the little puzzle proposed by Sir Hugh was to discover just how many rings each man had won.

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