On another occasion
a certain knight, Sir Ralph de
a guest of
the monks at Riddlewell Abbey.
Towards the close of a sumptuous repast
spoke as follows:
"My Lord Abbot,
knowing full well that riddles are
I will, by your leave, put forth one that was told unto me in foreign
A body of Crusaders went forth to fight the good cause, and such
was their number that they were able to form themselves into a
But on the way a stranger took up arms and joined them, and they were
then able to form exactly thirteen smaller squares.
Pray tell me, merry
monks, how many men went forth to battle?"
Abbot David pushed
aside his plate of warden pie,
and made a
Knight," said he at
length, "the riddle is
easy to rede.
first place there were 324 men, who would make a square 18 by 18, and
afterwards 325 men would make 13 squares of 25 Crusaders each.
of you can tell me how many men there would have been if, instead of
they had been able to form 113 squares under exactly the like
monks gave up this riddle,
but the Abbot
showed them the