'I do not think it possible that the ring can have all the power you say it has.'
Then the maiden opened the box and took the ring out, and it glittered as she held it like the clearest sunbeam.
The maiden, suspecting no treachery, gave him the magic ring.
The youth pretended to have forgotten what to do, and asked what finger he must put the ring on so that no sharp weapon could hurt him?'
Then he asked the maiden to show him how to split stones and rocks with the help of the ring. So she led him into a courtyard where stood a great boulder-stone.
"Nay," said he, "the youth is right; if the other dieth, he dieth in the wrestling ring, where he took his chance, and was cast fairly enow."
Here is the red-gold ring, and here the gloves, and yonder stands the pipe of wine to do with whatsoever thou dost list."
At this, the youth, who had donned his clothes and taken up his staff again, bowed without a word, then, taking the gloves and the ring, and thrusting the one into his girdle and slipping the other upon his thumb, he turned and, leaping lightly over the ropes again, made his way through the crowd, and was gone.
This William of ours is a stout man, too, and never have I seen him cast in the ring before, albeit he hath not yet striven with such great wrestlers as Thomas of Cornwall, Diccon of York, and young David of Doncaster.
As he stood thus, a stone struck his arm of a sudden with a sharp jar, and, turning, he saw that an angry crowd of men had followed him from the wrestling ring. Then, when they saw him turn so, a great hooting and yelling arose from all, so that the folk came running out from the dancing booth to see what was to do.
Again he ran around the ring, with raised head, looking at the faces of the thousands that hissed him, that threw orange-peel at him and called him names.
It was not a good bull, for again it ran around the ring, seeking to find a way out.
Once again, baffled and made angry by the walls of the ring that would not let him out, the bull was attacking his enemies valiantly.
The crowd went mad, and a rain of hats and money fell on the sand of the ring