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Tilting At The Ring

Answer :

"By my halidame!" exclaimed Sir Hugh, "if some of yon varlets had been put in chains, which for their sins they do truly deserve, then would they well know, mayhap, that the length of any chain having like rings is equal to the inner width of a ring multiplied by the number of rings and added to twice the thickness of the iron whereof it is made. 

It may be shown that the inner width of the rings used in the tilting was one inch and two-thirds thereof, and the number of rings Stephen Malet did win was three, and those that fell to Henry de Gournay would be nine."

The knight was quite correct, for 1-2/3 in. × 3 + 1 in. = 6 in., and 1-2/3 in. x 9 + 1 in. = 16 in. 
Thus De Gournay beat Malet by six rings. 
The drawing showing the rings may assist the reader in verifying the answer and help him to see why the inner width of a link multiplied by the number of links and added to twice the thickness of the iron gives the exact length. 
It will be noticed that every link put on the chain loses a length equal to twice the thickness of the iron.



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