They all arrive in Jerusalem where the King recognises the lady for who she is, names her little boy Octavian and allows her to stay, with her child and her lioness, in wealth and comfort.
The story now turns to the fate of the other child, the one who was taken by the ape, and it is this branch of the story that occupies the greater part of the romance.
The baby is bought by a travelling merchant, Clement the villain (villain in a feudal sense, as a type of farmhand, not a moral sense; Clement, in fact, earns the listener's sympathy as the story unfolds).
Geoffrey Chaucer also transports us back to the age of Augustus in his Book of the Duchess). When her time comes, she gives birth to two healthy boys. His mother, however, tells him that the children are not his, a malicious lie that she tries to corroborate by bribing a male kitchen servant to enter the empress's bed while she is asleep.
Octavian is taken to the room, sees the boy, kills him at once and holds his severed head in stark accusation before his terrified wife as she wakes from sleep.
Clement does his best for the baby, finds it a wet-nurse, brings it back to his home in Paris and gives it to his wife.
They rear the little boy as their own child, naming him Florent.
The empress goes ashore and finds her own baby being treated by the lioness as her cub (a griffin – we already know – had snatched away the lioness shortly after it stole the child and took it to this island, where the lioness had killed it).