One of the pilgrims
was a Dyer, but Chaucer tells
the Tales being incomplete.
Time after time the company had pressed
individual to produce a puzzle of some kind, but without
fellow tried his best to follow the examples of his friends the
the Weaver, and the Haberdasher; but the necessary idea would not come,
rack his brains as he would.
however, come to those who
wait—and persevere—and one morning he announced, in
a state of
considerable excitement, that he had a poser to set before
brought out a square piece of silk on which were embroidered a number
fleurs-de-lys in rows, as shown in our illustration.
the Dyer, "hearken anon unto my
awakened at dawn by the crowing of cocks—for which
din may our host
never thrive—I have sought an answer thereto, but by St.
Bernard I have
found it not.
There be sixty-and-four flowers-de-luce, and the riddle
to show how I may remove six of these so that there may yet be an even
number of the flowers in every row and every column."
Dyer was abashed when
every one of the company
difficulty whatever, and each in a different way, how this might be
But the good Clerk of Oxenford was seen to whisper something to the
who added, "Hold, my masters!
What I have said is not all. Ye must find
in how many different ways it may be done!"
All agreed that this was
quite another matter. And only a few of the company got the right