“Frederick,” said the king, “are you certain you wish to accuse this girl?”
“Her dreaminess can’t fool me,” said Frederick. “I have a witness to her crime. But my word alone should be enough, and I’m ready to defend it with my sword.”
“Then God alone must decide,” said the king, “in trial by combat. To the just he will give the victory. Elsa, who will fight for you?”
“The knight from my dream,” said Elsa. “As his reward, he shall take all my father’s lands—and myself as wife, if he’ll have me.”
At the king’s command, the herald called, “Let him who will fight for Elsa of Brabant come forth!” But no one stepped forward.
Elsa told the king, “He must yet be far away and not have heard. Please call again.”
The king assented, and the herald called again. “Let him who will fight for Elsa of Brabant come forth!” But still there was no response.
Elsa knelt in prayer. “Lord, tell my knight I need him now! Show him to me, just as he appeared before.”
Then shouts went up from men by the river’s edge.
“It’s pulling a knight in a boat!”