The Story: Yvain challenges the Knight of the Fountain, and they joust. Yvain smashes the other knight’s helm, which proves to be the deciding blow. Knowing death is coming, the knight flees back to his castle, with Yvain in hot pursuit. As they race toward the gates, Yvain is so close he can almost lean forward and touch the other knight. This close distance proves to be a saving grace for Yvain because the knight had set a trap. When he rides through the gate, he triggers a spring, which releases a sharp blade that comes down with the gate. Had Yvain been a handbreadth farther behind, the blade would have sliced him in two.
Yvain is trapped between two gates, but he is not alone. A door opens and a maiden steps out, startled to find Yvain there. She knows who he is and warns him that he will be seized and killed if he is discovered. She says she will help him because once long ago he helped her. When she was sent to Arthur’s court on an errand for her lady, none of the knights save Yvain would talk to her. For that act of courtesy, she now gives him a ring, explaining that this little ring of hers has the power to conceal the one wearing it. All he has to do is turn the stone inside his fist and close his hand over it tightly. He is then able to escape.