“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 (PG-13): Alliances and Betrothals, March 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #724)

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 (PG-13): Alliances and Betrothals,   March 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #724)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood;& a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]  (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, and Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Nota Bene: And though I refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact.   The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s, Baronial investiture was sober and dignified as befits such a ceremony. And the celebration after was quite merry. But there are still many unknowns with regard to extended family alliances and betrothals.

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 (PG-13): Alliances and Betrothals

The days leading up to Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s investiture as a Baron at the LadyCaroline-age11-isDakotaFanning_Jan2815moviefanatic-sized3investiture ceremony in Leicester Cathedral had been merry and filled with tournaments and games. There are indeed several young knights from good families in attendance who try to impress the sweet and pretty eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford [(2) right] in the hope that they might press their suit and win her hand in betrothal–and her handsome 10,000 pound dowry upon their marriage in four or five years time.

And Lady Caroline’s father, the now fifty five year old Lord Edward Havorford, has finally arrived back in Leicester from his extended travels–sadly having missed Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s’s elevation to Baron–but eager to see his daughter Lady Mary Middleton’s newest baby he is quickly informed of, and then to assess if his other daughter Lady Caroline has met anyone she likes since last he saw her.

Naturally, this knowledge of competitors for Lady Carolyn’s hand rankles the ten and a half year old Seth Gisborne who feels that his true admiration and nascent love for the 6 months older Lady Caroline is pure and sincere–unlike the others who are only interested in her dowry. But Lady Caroline still has eyes only for Sir Roderick Merton–for his gallant rescue of Seth and his six year old sister Lady Helen from toppling off the keep tower. And Lady Caroline shyly gazes at Sir Roderick through the fluttering eyelashes of her bowed head.

However the tall and muscular and handsome and affable Sir Roderick Merton [(3) right] SirRoderick-isChrisHemsworth-andNataliePortman-inthor_Feb0515mrpopatin-croptoHemsworthhas been moved from the children’s dining table to a head table extended to accommodate both he and Lord Havorford. What with Prince John learning of Sir Roderick’s role in uncovering the plot against  Prince John–and the possibility of matching Rebecca Lady Leicester to him for a dowry tax, if her husband Lord John is dead or if he can be legally declared so–Prince John looks more favorably upon Sir Roderick. But as yet, Lady Caroline has not been made aware of Sir Roderick being spoken for. Nor is Sir Roderick aware of the very young Lady Caroline’s admiration of him since etiquette demands that everyone guard and shield their true feelings–and she does so quite convincingly.

And then there is Lord Havorford, whose daughter Lady Caroline is of interest to Prince John’s cousin Roseanna Lady Gisborne–Sir Guy’s baroness. So Prince John anticipates a dowry tax for Lady Caroline’s betrothal to Seth Gisborne if Havorford agrees, if not an betrothal tax as well. The waiving of the betrothal tax for the match being Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s agreed upon reward for saving Prince John’s life.

And Seth will have a little bit of help in pressing his suit to Lady Caroline from yet another quarter. At his sister Lady Roseanna’s urging–knowing that they also wish to extend a betrothal proposal for Lady Caroline to Seth–Lord George as Lady Caroline’s brother-in-law and de facto guardian in the absence of her father, had appointed Seth Gisborne as Lady Caroline’s chaperone for the post Baronial investiture feast last night. So Seth was never far from Lady Caroline’s side, as he is also today. Though Seth realizes that lacking in his full height–and him being not even a squire yet–the young knights, even those only four years his senior, have the advantage over him with regard to fascinating Lady Caroline.

As they sit side by side at the next morning’s breaking of their fast the next day, Wednesday, April 3, 1199, at the family children’s table, Seth and Lady Caroline are the picture of courteous companionship as they marshall the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge children. And yet, while the little ones are happily eating–with linen bibs in place so that they will not soil their nice daytime attire with food stains–Seth and Lady Caroline have leave to speak privately.

Lady Caroline:   “You must be pleased for the baronial honor for your father, Seth.” Lady Caroline politely opens their conversation.Seth--indaytime-tunic-manip-isTommyBastow-andMedievalTunic_Jan3015GratianaLovelace-crop2

Seth: “I am, My Lady.” Seth smiles shyly [(4) right]. “My Papa is a good and honorable man. I strive to be worthy to be called his son as I begin my studies for the knighthood.”

Lady Caroline: “Will that training take you away from home?” She asks sweetly. For she is to remain with her sister Lady Mary and brother-in-law Lord George at Middleton Hall to help tend to her new niece for the next three months.

Seth: “Initially, no. I will train with my Papa’s garrison. But if Lord Oxbridge returns soon, then I might train and live here at Gordon Castle with my cousins, Lady Leicester, Lord Graham and Lady Rachel.”

Lord Graham: “I will like you staying with us, Seth. You may have the room next to mine, there is a secret door so we may play together longer at night when we are not tired yet. Hhhh!” Little Lord Graham yawns. It is only about 8 o’clock in the morning, but yesterday with the investiture–and his role carrying Sir Guy’s coronet on a pillow–with a feast after, was a very full day for the three year old. And he needs his morning nap already.

Seth: “A secret passageway, you say Lord Graham?” Seth’s imagination is sparked. Forgetting all notion of paying attention to Lady Caroline, Seth asks Lord Graham. “Are there many such secret passageways in the castle?”

Lord Graham: “Yes.” He nods his head, then bites on his pastry roll using his fingers made sticky from the sugary icing on the pastry–which he then wipes upon his linen bib. “I know the passages between the family bedrooms, but Mama has not shown me all of them yet.”

Lady Caroline: “Do you play hide and seek in them?” She asks interestedly as she reenters the conversation.

Lord Graham: “No. Mama does not want my little sister Lady Rachel to get lost if she wanders into a secret passageway. They are only for state business, Mama says.”

Seth and Lady Caroline exchange curious looks. Seth wonders why Lady Leicester would have need to show her son–the heir apparent to the Earl of Leicester–secret passage ways? And for state business?

Seth: “Well, that sounds quite appropriate. As elder brother, Lord Graham, it is your duty to watch over Lady Rachel–as it is my duty to watch over my younger brother and sisters, Lady Helen, Louis, and Lady Sarah.” Seth smiles at his siblings–hinting at his bravery of saving his sister Lady Helen from falling–and they smile back at him.

Lady Helen: “Yes, Graham …” Lady Helen Gisborne is only 6 years old, so she eschews her cousin the 3 year old Lord Graham’s title when speaking to him. “… Seth saved me from falling.” She turns to her brother, Seth, and smiles sincerely. “Thank you also, Seth!”

Seth: “My pleasure, Helen.” Seth smiles even broader. And Lady Caroline nods and smiles to him. Progress, thinks Seth!

***

After noticing the seemingly pleasant exchanges between his daughter Lady Mary and Seth Gisborne, Lord Havorford leans over to Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne as they sit at the head table.

Lord Havorford: “My Lady and Lord Gisborne, am I to understand that you wish me to entertain a match between your son Seth and my daughter Lady Mary?” This is a new betrothal prospect for his daughter that had not occurred to Lord Havorford.

Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Just so. Is it not, my husband?”

Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Indeed. Our children get on well together. And we would be agreeable to cementing the growing bond between our two families by forming an alliance via their marriage in five years time when Seth will be sixteen.”

Lord Havorford: “Ah me!   Is not sixteen a trifle young for a boy to assume the mantle of husband? I had so much maturing to do at that age. I cannot even imagine taking onGuy-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi12_092ArcherGuyIsabellaFeb1712ranetmaskcroprev the role of husband and protector.”

Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne as a new baron–and protective father–stands up for his son. And Guy Baron of Gisborne is wearing his favorite black leather jacket [(5) right]–which always gives him a feeling of confident advantage.

Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “It is true that some men are too young for responsibility at that age. But I myself was leading a garrison and training other men when I was sixteen.” And he thinks, bedding everything in a skirt. He coughs at the randy memory. “Kkkhh!” it is one reason why he wants his son Seth to settle down while a young man–so that his needs do not overwhelm his common sense.

Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: Patting her husband’s back caringly, she asks him. “Are you alright, Guy? Might you prefer a sip of water to the wine?”

Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Ah! My thanks, My Love. But I am well. It was a temporary constriction of my throat that has now abated.” He smiles and takes a sip of wine. He is so glad that those days of youthful mayhem are behind him.

Having listened in to that side of the table’s conversation–since Lord Archer and Lady Saline, and Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick are boringly (to him) speaking of children–Prince John interjects to Lord Havorford.

Prince John: “Good god, Havorford! Your daughter could do no better than Seth Gisborne–who will one day be a knight and in a future year inherit his father’s barony and lands.” Prince John thinks that maybe he can tease a betrothal tax out of Lord Havorford–as long as Sir Guy Baron Gisborne is none the wiser.

Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne smiles, for not all of the Gisborne-Middleton estate lands are required to go to Seth upon her husband’s death, hopefully many years from now.   Little Louis and their girls Lady Helen Lady Sarah, and baby Lady Diana will also have dowries and a portion of the Oxbridge inheritance mingled within those lands–as well as, any future children she and her husband have sharing in their estate. And both she and her husband Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne are quite pleased and Prince John speaking of their son Seth in such favorable terms.

Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne: “Thank you my Prince.” He says in a studiedly even tone–glad that his son Seth is spoken well of, yet blanching at the mention of his own demise related to his son’s inheritance.   Though looking much younger, Sir Guy Baron Gisborne at forty five is only ten years younger than the not having aged well Lord Havorford. And he states a bit pridefully. “Afterall Lord Havorford, a person’s age is not the sole determining factor regarding their maturity–nor is it an indication of their state of vigor.”

Lord Havorford smiles pleasantly at sir Guy Baron of Gisborne, then returns to eating his meal. Nothing need be decided now while their children are yet so young.

***

Prince John finally turns his attention to the other half of the head table, observing Rebecca Lady Leicester and Sir Roderick. Of course, they behave with decorum whilst in company, as they are now. But Prince John senses a deep and a deepening connection between the two. It is in the way that Rebecca Lady Leicester demurely keeps her head bowed so as not to look directly into Sir Roderick’s eyes. And then there is the almost perpetually shy smile upon Sir Roderick’s face when Lady Leicester is near him.   Currently Lord Archer and Sir Roderick seem to be discussing Nottingham.

Lord Archer: “Oh you should see the result of my brother Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s bold redesign of Nottingham Castle and lands fortifications!   We could withstand a siege from the North for weeks if necessary!” He boasts.

Sir Roderick:   “I would be very interested in viewing the improvements. Perhaps on my way to my estate in Staffordshire, I could detour and pause a day in Nottingham.”

Lord Archer: “That would be splendid! So you are not to return to London with Prince John after all?” Lord Archer has also noticed the seeming preference of Sir Roderick for the lovely Lady Rebecca’s company.

Sir Roderick: “Prince John has kindly granted me leave to tend to my estates. And … well … and he has named me protector of Lady Leicester and her children–until her husband returns, of course.”

Lord Archer: “Of course.” Lord Archer narrows his eyes, then he leans toward Sir Roderick. “And if Lord Oxbridge is no more?”

Sir Roderick: “Then I hope to be of aid and comfort to her and the children in their grief.”

Lord Archer: Smiling wryly, Lord Archer nods. “Well put!”

Lady Rebecca: “Lord Archer, for my children’s sake, I must wish for my husband’s safe return.” She gives the required and expected response.

Sir Roderick winces, even knowing this. For his heart cannot envision life without his Lady Becca.

Prince John: Interjecting, Prince John says blasely. “Yes yes, so you have said. Most commendable, Lady Leicester. You are a credit to your husband and family. Yet, you must not sacrifice yourself and your children’s future for the memory of a man to whom you were barely married to for a year and a half before he followed my brother to the Holy Land on a crusade.” Prince John rolls his eyes sneeringly.

Lady Rebecca looks shocked at Prince John’s remarks.

Lady Rebecca: “How do you mean, sir?” Not Sire, not Prince, but sir.

Prince John: His voice softening, Prince John clarifies. “I only mean to say that your children need a father. And you remaining without a husband means that they are deprived of one.”

Lady Saline: Bold as brass as usual, Lady Saline bristles at Prince John’s further presumptuous statements. “Lady Leicester has done no such thing as depriving her children of a father. He left voluntarilay. If anything, she has gifted her children with memories of their father. And what would you know what children need, My Prince? Have you sired any? Let alone taken responsibility for them?”

Lord Archer: His face ashen in horror–however much he despises Prince John–Lord Archer whines at his wife for speaking so boldly. “Saline!”

Prince John: “My Lady, I have not been blessed with children, yet. However were I to be blessed in the future, you can be certain that I will provide for them.” He says tartly.

Lady Saline: “Oh?” Lord Archer is nearly apoplectic with a red face and stilled breath due to his wife. His brother Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne watches his brother worriedly from the opposite end of the table, him not knowing the nature of their conversation.

Prince John: “Madam, both your husband and my cousin Seth have benefitted by my boons of legitimacy decrees–and thus, your children directly benefit. Does not that prove my devotion to family–or, extended family, in your case?” He asks petulantly. After being threatened with assassination, Prince John would hope that his extended family would be more considerate of him. But then, Prince John does not always behave so charitably toward others.

Lady Saline: “Hmm!” She tosses off, somewhat chastened.

***

No one in the Gisborne-Middleton-Oxbridge-Locksley extended family feels like eating any more food–they were done anyway–and everyone rises from their tables. The children gravitate toward their parents–with Seth once again offering his arm to Lady Caroline who smiles at him pleasantly and takes his arm. His sister Lady Helen notices and makes a beeline for her Mother. And then some innocent questions provoke some embarrassed reactions.

Lady Helen: “Mama?”

Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Yes, my dearest.” She smiles and caresses her daughter’s cheeks.

Lady Helen: “If Lady Caroline marries Seth, will she become my sister, too?” Seth had asked a similar question of Lord George about Lady Mary when he was five.

Lady Caroline’s eyes widen at such a bold question. And her face blushes as she lowers her eyes demurely. The adults smile at her knowingly. Lord Havorford waits and observes his daughter’s reactions. However Seth is appalled.

Seth: “Helen! You have no right to say such a thing!” Seth jerks his head to look at Lady Caroline. “My abject apologies my lady. She is only six.” Seth tries to bluff.

Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne: “Helen, Dear, one does not discuss such things unless a formal betrothal has been contracted.”

Lady Helen: “But Mama, Seth is being nice to Lady Caroline. And she seems to like it. And I would like her to be my sister.” All is simple and straightforward to a six year old.

Lady Caroline:   Finding her voice, Lady Caroline adds. “I do like Seth–and all of you, Lady Helen. I thank you for the honor you do me in considering me to be a worthy bridal choice for Seth someday–as well as being your sister.” Lady Caroline replies to a smiling Lady Helen, Lady Caroline not realizing that she really is a bridal choice for Seth.

Seth: “Nay, My Lady. It is I who am honored to be considered as your future husband.”

Seth lifts Lady Caroline’s hand to his lips and kisses it as he has seen his Papa do with his Mama hundreds of times. But of course, they are a love match, and Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne’s kisses linger–as does Seth’s kiss to Lady Caroline now. Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne smiles–seeing his son seeming to mature before his very eyes. Lady Caroline’s eyes widen at the realization that they are speaking in partial truths.

Lady Caroline: “Oh!” She utters in shock, but she does not pull away from him.

Lord Havorford:   Lady Caroline’s father soothingly consoles her in a soft deep voice. “Caroline, Dear, nothing is settled. Your Mama and I are only beginning to narrow the choices for your betrothal husband. And as with your sister Mary Lady Middleton, your wishes will be taken into consideration–with regard the final choice for your future husband.” He smiles at her kindly. Of course with Lady Mary, she was originally betrothed to Lord Archer–and Lady Saline to Lord George–but they switched partners and are all happily wedded.

Prince John: Rolling his as at the underlying subterfuge, Prince John whines. “Well, family, someone please inform me when a betrothal announcement is to be made. Because technically, as Prince Regent, I must approve intended noble marriages–before they take place.”

They had all forgotten about that aspect of noble marriages–royal approval being required. And they exchange looks with each other of both concern and amusement. Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne had already initially proffered the possibility of a betrothal between his son Seth Gisborne and Lady Caroline Havorford to the Prince Regent, Prince John. And of course, Lady Roseanna Baroness of Gisborne will collect some spiders in a jar to set loose upon her cousin Prince John if he mucks up this betrothal for Seth.

And then disturbingly, there is a commotion as an unknown person in royal messenger attire briskly enters the Great Banquet Hall of Gordon Castle followed by his retinue of guards. The royal messenger looks slightly haggard and has obviously had little sleep by virtue of his bloodshot eyes and tired expression. All are intrigued by this newcomer to their midst. Bowing, the royal messenger then kneels down before the Prince Regent, Prince John. The room is abuzz, wondering what this is about.

And they will find out soon enough. The dark cloud has come to England’s shores.

To be continued with Chapter 20

 

                        “Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 19 References, March 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #724)

1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found at http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/t_full/v1364991191/fantastic-fanning.jpg

3) Sir Roderick Merton (crop) is Chris Hemsworth in a still with Natalie Portman from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://mrpopat.in/admin/upload/wallpaper/201310301383113308920383985.jpg

4) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html

5) Sir Guy image (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) entranced, image from the BBC’s Robin Hood, series 3 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_064.html

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 18 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post#722)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-18-sir-guys-baronial-investiture-march-23-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-722/

 

Posted in "Sir Guy's Atonement" (Book 3), Creative Writing, Drama, Family, Fan Fiction, Fathers, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wild Card Wednesday: Up Next, RA Monking Around in Pilgrimage, March 25, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #723)

The exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage (right) seems to be going from 2014--RichardArmitage-Clsup_Mar2515RCATweet-sizedproject to project–with very little down time between. So that means more choices for RA fans in what we see him in–surely something for everyone. Though a rom com would also be nice.

 

Next up for RA, filming is soon to begin on “Pilgrimage”, the tale of a group of monks moving a precious religious relic from point A to point B. I am sure that will be interesting. Uh huh. So we can only hope for some monk in-fighting, bawdy girls trying to get under their cassocks, and a skinny dipping scene at a lake to liven things up a bit.  Ha! Just kidding! Me being facetious!  But heck! This film is billed as “action-adventure”.  So monks running amok come to mind. Again, meant facetiously.  Sheesh!

Pilgrimage--RCA-Weibo-Tweet-of-OddNerdomPainting_Mar2215rabulgariaThanks to RA Bulgaria for the copy of RA’s Weibo tweet and image (left). Thanks to Servetus for pointing out the Norwegian contemporary painter as Odd Nerdrum.

“Pilgrimage” will film on location in Ireland and France. And here is some background about the historical period at Perry’s blog.

The-Name-Of-The-Rose_240-Sean-Connery-body-RichardArmitagehead_Mar2515movieforums-GratianaLovelace-Pilgrimage-manip-crop-GLlabel
And for RA’s look as a monk, I’m thinking Sean Connery’s monk cassock in “In the Name of the Rose” mashed up manip with RA’s face (from Laura, Thanks!) and Cadfael’s hairstyle (right).

 

Finally, here are some RA tweets and other links about RIchard Armitage’s role in “Pilgrimage:

1)  Empire Article

2)  Brief mention about the film, thanks to Violet Dutchblogger for the link!

3)  And RA mentioning filming will start soon at

Posted in "Pilgrimage" film, Drama, Fiction, movies, Mystery, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 18: Sir Guy’s Baronial Investiture, March 23, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #722)

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 18: Sir Guy’s Baronial Investiture, March 23, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #722)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]  (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, and Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Nota Bene: And though I refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact.   The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After informing the quite shocked Prince John of his toady courtier Sir Jasper’s death, Sir Guy of Gisborne sought and found comfort in his wife Lady Roseanna’s loving arms the night before his investiture to a barony. The morrow will bring an elevation in rank for Sir Guy and his family–but not without some consternation.

 

“Sir Guys’ Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 18: Sir Guy’s Baronial Investiture

The bright Spring Tuesday morning of April 2, 1199, finds both Gordon Castle and Leicester Cathedral abuzz with activity regarding the last minute preparations for the midday baronial investiture of Sir Guy of Gisborne. And since the Prince Regent, Prince John had literally lost his aide de camp yesterday–the now deceased Sir Jasper–Prince John’s cousin George Lord Middleton somewhat fills that role for Prince John regarding the preparations for today’s ceremony. And today’s investiture will prove more trying for everyone.

Being admitted into his sister Lady Roseanna’s and brother-in-law Sir Guy’s guest suite in Gordon Castle, Lord George finds the parenting pair surrounded by their children who are showing off their new ceremonial finery to their parents. Lady Roseanna is even wearing a tiara–the Oxbridge-Middleton tiara that had been her mother’s. Were Lord George’s wife Lady Mary not still confined to her bed after just giving birth to their third child Lady Juliana yesterday, she would be wearing the larger Middleton tiara that always pinches at her ears–so she is glad to be excused this day as a new mother still lying in bed resting.

The Gisborne children–10 year old Seth, 6 year old Lady Helen, 4 year old Louis, and even 2 year old Lady Sarah–are all bejeweled and attired in elegant ceremonial clothes for attending their father Sir Guy’s baronial investiture. Their 6 month old baby Lady Diana will remain in her nursery with her nurse and a guard–for Sir Guy still does not trust Prince John as far as he can throw him. Lady Roseanna will see to her baby’s needs again between the investiture ceremony and the feast to celebrate it.Seth--indressRedTtunic-manip-isTommyBastow-andMedievalTunic_Mar2215GratianaLovelace1

Seth: “Mama? Will Lady Caroline think that I look older in my fine new tunic of rusty red and gold?” The ten year old preens like a young man on the cusp of adulthood [(2)right].

Lady Roseanna: “She will most certainly admire the fine young man before her, Seth Dear. My how you have grown! But you are still my little boy.” She caresses his face and then kisses his cheek.

Seth: “Oh Mama.” Seth whines as he wrinkles his nose and shyly pulls away from her. “I am nearly eleven–too old for such motherly attentions.” That age is significant to him because Lady Caroline is already eleven years–her being 6 months older than Seth.

Sir Guy: “Mind your manners, Seth. Your Mama only wishes to see you cared for.” Sir Guy admonishes gently to his son.

Lady Roseanna: “Thank you, Guy, My Love.” Lady Roseanna smiles sweetly. They are always in accord and supportive of one another in front of the children.

Seth nods agreeably in obeisance to his parents, then Seth takes Louis’ hand to take him to his nurse to tend to Louis’ personal need before the long ceremony, whilst Lady Helen and little Lady Sarah are holding hands and dancing in circles. The girls’ heads are adorned with diamond studded pink velvet head bands rather than tiaras–which might topple off their rambunctious heads and be damaged.

Lady Roseanna: “Girls, please don’t over do your play whilst in your pretty dresses. You have to stay nice for another hour before we leave for the cathedral. And then be certain to wear your linen bibs at the feast to prevent your clothes from getting food on them.”

Lady Helen: “Yes Mama.” Lady Helen smiles in contrition as she curtsies to her mother. Then Lady Helen demures to just swinging her little sister Lady Sarah’s arm as they smile adoringly at each other. Theirs is a loving family and a loving home.

Sir Guy: “I wish you luck with that, My Love.” Sir Guy smiles impishly, him knowing full well the mischief that their children can get up to. Then Sir Guy leans down and chastely kisses his Lady Rose as they look deeply into each others’ eyes.

Standing at the suite doorway with a bemused expression, Lord George makes his presence known.

Lord George: “Oh Guy.” Lord George waves to get his brother-in-law’s attention amidst the childhood chaos. “We must check the fit for the coronet you will be crowned with today. I have brought the Middleton-Oxbridge coronet for you to borrow for the ceremony until your own is made.”

Lady Roseanna: “How lovely! Thank you, George.”

Lord George lifts the small gold crown coronet out of its box, it has 6 silver balls adorning Baron-coronet-w-4of6silver-balls-showing_Mar2215byInkscape-viaWiki-mask1its perimeter, with a bright red velvet cap, and ermine serving as a cushion around the perimeter of the crown’s base for comfort in wearing it [(3) right]. Sir Guy looks at what his brother-in-law presents to him and blanches, before sneering.Guy-inIndigoTunicManip-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5pix111_Feb1514GratianaLovelaceManip-sized-revMar2215

Sir Guy: His countenance taking on a horrified pout as he looks away in disgust [(4) right], Sir Guy hisses. “I am not wearing that!” At forty five years old, Sir Guy knows what he likes and does not like. And he does not like the coronet.

For although Sir Guy will wear an ermin edged navy velvet cape and he has his father’s gold and silver ceremonial sword that his son Seth will carry in front of him in the processional–and that Prince John will ceremonially affix to his person–Sir Guy had completely forgotten about the baronial headgear.

Lord George: “Guy! You have to wear it! It is a sign of your new office as Baron of Gisborne, when Prince John places it upon your head. We will all be wearing them–each design according to our rank of Marquess, Earl, or Prince.” Lord George makes a wincing face, as if to convey, we will all look silly, so you will be in good company.

Sir Guy: “Can not you say that the coronet was forgotten at home? Then I could do without it.” Sir Guy whines manfully as he looks hopefully at his brother-in-law Lord George, only to have his hopes dashed.

Lord George: “Nay Guy. Even if that were the case, Gordon Castle is awash with all manner of ceremonial accoutrements to choose from.”

Sir Guy looks pleadingly at his wife Lady Roseanna, who smiles knowingly at her proud husband.

Lady Roseanna:   “Guy, it is how this is done. And once your own coronet is made, you will be required to wear it at all royal ceremonial occasions as befits your elevated rank and status.” She smiles serenely at her roguish husband. He is his most charming to her when he adopts this pouty boyish attitude.LadyRoseinPinkVelvetGownCompositeOct0812cropbiggratianalovelace-Mar2215Rev-wTiara

Sir Guy: “And yet I see that you do not wear the ladies’ version of the coronet.” He points to her delicate diamond tiara sitting regally upon her head as she wears her lovely pink velvet gown that he so admires her in [(5) right].

Lady Roseanna: “Oh this?” She smiles beguilingly. “Ladies’ choice.” Lady Rose squinches up her nose cutely as she executes a graceful sashay of her velvet skirts.

Lord George: “Just try it on, Guy.” Lord George urges. Lord George holds out the coronet to Sir Guy who begrudgingly plops it atop his head.

Sir Guy: “There! Happy now? I look like a popinjay!” Sir Guy grumbles. He knows that he looks silly in the coronet, like a fop or a popinjay [(6)]. Unfortunately, he is right.

And to all of their dismay, the coronet is much too small for Sir Guy’s head. The small coronet makes Sir Guy look big headed–which he is.

Lady Roseanna: “Ohhhh! This coronet is too small for you, Guy My Love.” She sighs and shakes her head. “George, please ask Lady Rebecca to open Gordon Castle’s tower vault to bring us two larger baronial coronets for Guy to try on.” Lord George nods and leaves to attend to his task.

Sir Guy scowls. This coronet headgear is one more reason for Sir Guy to be disabused of the notion that being elevated to a Barony is worth the trouble. The only good thing to come out of this in Sir Guy’s mind has been the death of the conniving and devious Sir Jasper by the boar–so his hands were not soiled by the deed. But Sir Guy’s ill thoughts about the demise of the nefarious courtier are enough to let him into ill favor with the almighty–were it not for Sir Guy’s other sins already quite out weighing Sir Guy’s thoughts.

***

Standing in a small anteroom also used as a necessary room at the back of the stately Leicester_Cathedral_exterior_Mar2215WikiLeicester Cathedral [(7) right] while waiting for everyone to take their seats for Sir Guy’s Baronial Investiture Ceremony, Fr. Bale, Prince John, Sir Guy, Lord George as Marquess of Middleton, little 3 year old Lord Graham as his absent father Lord John Earl of Oxbridge’s representative, and Lord Archer as Earl of Huntington all wait patiently for their cue–which will be when the brass fanfare begins.

Of course, seeing the chamber pot in the corner behind the privacy screen necessitates Little Lord Graham wanting to use it. So he walks over to it, hikes up his tunic and pees into the chamber pot. In fact, Lord Graham’s aim is quite good for a three year old. Seth and the fathers in the room roll their eyes in bemusement. However, the Royal Prince John is disgusted as he frowns.

Prince John: “Lord! Save me from children!”

Fr. Bale: “Now now, My Prince. Be careful what you wish for.”

Little Lord Graham finishes, arranges his tunic again, dips his hands in the bowl of cleansing water on the nearby table as his Mama has taught him, then he dries his hands on the towel on the table.

Sir Guy: “Well done, Lord Graham!” Sir Guy praises the little boy by patting his shoulders, for Sir Guy remembers how difficult it was to train their sons Seth and Louis to wash their hands after.

Cocking his head up at his very tall cousin by marriage, Sir Guy, little Lord Graham smiles broadly.

Lord Graham: “Thank you, My Lord Gisborne! May I have my treat now?” For Lord Graham receives treats for aiming well and for remembering to wash his hands.

Sir Guy: Speaking kindly and softly to the little boy, Sir Guy promises. “After the ceremony, we will go back to Gordon Castle for a feast. I am certain that there will be treats for you, Lord Graham. And I will insure that your Mama knows that you earned an extra treat.” Lord Graham smiles even harder at that, eagerly anticipating his treats. And Sir Guy warmly smiles as he looks down at the little boy while still caringly patting the child’s back.

Prince John looks at the fierce warrior knight Sir Guy of Gisborne–soon to be Baron of Gisborne–as if Sir Guy had grown a second head.

Prince John: “Who are you?” Prince John asks Sir Guy incredulously at the kindly man before him.

Sir Guy instantly straightens up to his full height and he glowers at Prince John.

Sir Guy: “I am a father whose delightful children are well behaved and mind their manners. Would that other parents could make so bold a claim.”

Sir Guy intones, intimating that Prince John’s own parents the late King Henry II and the very much alive but exiled in France Queen Eleanor [(8)] would be displeased with Prince John’s antics. However, King Henry and Queen Eleanor were not without their own contretemps. But as usual, Prince John as a child of his parents, does not make the connection that Sir Guy is inferring to himself.EuropeanCathedralChapelDoors_Jan2415BestPicturesTweet

Seeing a page give him the nod, the cordially smiling old cleric and Middleton family friend Fr. Bale ushers everyone to the beautiful nave [(9] right] just before one enters the sanctuary of Leicester Cathedral.

Fr. Bale: “Gentlemen, Lords, and My Prince. Our presence is requested for Sir Guy’s Baronial Investiture Ceremony.” He opens the doors.

Sir Guy: “Lord!” Sir Guy sighs with displeasure as he gazes heavenward for aid.
But Seth is all smiles as he takes his place in the processional line in front of his father Sir Guy while holding his late grandfather Crispin Edward, Sir Roger of Gisborne’s ceremonial sword in front of him. His Papa will be named Baron of Gisborne this day. And in due time, many years from now–long after Seth has become a knight of the realm and served the crown–Seth will inherit the Barony as his father’s legacy, and the Gisborne line will endure.

Then the prelude begins and then the brass fanfare that will play during their processional march. [(10)]

The other nobles quickly take their places as well in the beautiful nave behind the sanctuary doors. The processional line up is Fr. Bale, Prince John, Little Lord Graham as proxy Earl of Oxbridge carrying Sir Guy’s borrowed coronet securely lashed to a velvet pillow so that he does not accidently drop it, Lord Archer Earl of Huntington, Lord George Marquess of Middleton, the Squire Seth Gisborne, and Sir Guy of Gisborne. Everyone is wearing their coronets–except for Sir Guy who will receive his coronet during the ceremony and Seth who is wearing a bejeweled velvet cap–and ermine lined capes. Then Fr. Bale leads them into the sanctuary of the great Leicester Cathedral as they walk slowly and regally up the center aisle. They present quite a spectacular vision of nobles.

Of course as they walk up the aisle, Sir Guy and his brother Lord Archer and brother-in-law Lord George can not help but make sideways glances at the pews on the sides and up into the viewing gallery above to see if some rogue assassin might still be lurking about. Though blessedly, their worries are unfounded. And they have the good knight Sir Roderick Merton sitting with their wives Lady Roseanna, Lady Saline, and Rebecca Lady Leicester and their families for protection–with Lord George’s two older boys included, whilst their mother and new baby sister rest in their guest suite in Gordon Castle under guard. They will return to them as soon as this ceremony is over–before the feast begins.

And even Prince John has relented about his reluctance for Sir Guy’s elevation to a Barony by his brother King Richard. Oh Prince John is still put out, but Prince John now has a further way to wield influence upon Sir Guy, as one of his barons swearing fealty to him, Prince John, the Prince Regent, as King Richard’s representative. Sir Guy can not dishonor himself by breaking his oath before god. Yes, if ever there were a silver lining in this whole Sir Guy Baronial investiture situation, that is it for Prince John.

And in due course, with full pomp and majesty on display–in the form of the PrProclamationRev3--SirGuyofGisborne-toaBarony_Mar2215GratianaLovelaceManipince Regent, Prince John–Sir Guy of Gisborne is invested as The Right Honourable Lord Guy Crispin Roger, Baron of Gisborne [(11)] as commanded by Royal Proclamation by King Richard [(12) right].

[Translation: On this day of April 2, in the year of 1199, in the presence of these nobles, and with the Great Seal of England affixed, for his bravery and honour in the service of his country, Crispin Roger, Sir Guy of Gisborne is hereby annointed and invested as The Right Honourable Lord Guy Crispin Roger Baron of Gisborne
Richard the King
]

And though Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne would say otherwise, his ermin edged velvet cape and his father’s ceremonial sword–and even his crowning but borrowed coronet–make him a fine vision of a noble aristocrat. But as soon as they are away from the ceremony in their Gordon Castle guest suite before the feast, Sir Guy eagerly removes the said loaned coronet and relishes being without what he deems to be pompous headgear.

Well, you cannot change everything about a man–no matter his elevation in rank. The essentials of Sir Guy now Baron of Gisborne are the same–his knightly prowess , his commanding presence, and his strategic leadership abilities–only with his intentions and actions more noble and honorable these past seven years with the kind and loving influence of his beloved wife and now his Baroness, the Right Honourable Roseanna, Lady Gisborne.

But there is a dark cloud hanging over England that none of them know of, as of yet. And the morrow will bring dire news to England’s shores. And what these tidings will bring for Baron Gisborne and his extended family are not at all glad ones.

To be continued with Chapter 19

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 18 References, March 23, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #722)

1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic (changed to red) found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html

3) This coronet illustration for a baron—with 4 of the 6 silver balls (known as “pearls”) showing was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronet

4) Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) entranced, image from the BBC’s Robin Hood, series 3, episode 5 (pix 111) (2009) and was found athttp://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_111.jpg

5) Lady Roseanna in pink velvet and tiara image is a composite including:
a) that of British actress Emma Watson (head only) and was found at http://images.werdyo.com/2011/01/10/watson/emma-watson-pink-dress-0.jpg ;
b) Drew Barrymore’s pink gowned body from the film “Ever After” (1998) was found at
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EOk2VCc5f0Q/Tj-Uz–J9OI/AAAAAAAAAn4/-l5axymiDtw/s400/breathe12.jpeg; and
c) the Regina B small vintage tiara was found at https://perfectdetails.com/mm5/graphics/00000002/T423_lg.jpg

6) The definition of a popinjay or foppish look is one who wears overly ornate clothing that draws undue attention to their appearance, was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fop

7) The exterior image of Leicester Cathedral is a Victorian restoration of the church—which has had a church on this site dating back to Medieval times; for the picture and more information, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leicester_Cathedral_exterior.jpg

8) Prince Regent Prince John’s parents were the late King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_II_of_England

9) Image used for the nave of Leicester Cathedral a Best Pictures tweet labeled European Cathedral Chapel Doors_Jan2415

10) A Medieval type “Fanfare by ‘Dy Trumpet’” in a video by CalibansDream1 was found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w_ZAmGQSBs

11) For information about the rankof Baron, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron

12) The Royal Proclamation of Sir Guy’s Barony is a manip by Gratiana Lovelace, compositing the following elements together:
a) MSWord Clip Art red bow manip;
b) proclamation scroll found at http://www.padremarcelorossi.com.br/images/pergaminho.png;
c) “Seal – Richard I of England” by Selbymay – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seal_-_Richard_I_of_England.jpg#/media/File:Seal_-_Richard_I_of_England.jpg ;
d) proclamation wording by Gratiana Lovelace, translated into Latin by Google Translate

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 17 Blog Link (Post#721)

https//gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-17-pg-13-d-s-loves-healing-kiss-march-20-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-721/

 

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Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 17 (PG-13, D, S): Love’s Healing Kiss, March 20, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #721)

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 17 (PG-13, D, S): Love’s Healing Kiss,   March 20, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #721)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace] (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Nota Bene: And though I might refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact.   The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically. And medical incidences represented in the story–such as the crisis child birth sequence–are pure conjecture on my part.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Sir Jasper was gored by the boar he and the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley brothers were hunting. Whilst a very pregnant Lady Mary Middleton gave birth to her and Lord George’s third child, a daughter whom they have yet to name.  And Prince John needs to be informed–of many things.

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 17 (PG-13, D, S): Love’s Healing Kiss

After the euphoria of Lord George and Lady Mary Middleton’s third child being born–their hoped for daughter named Lady Juliana born the Monday April 1st afternoon before Sir Guy of Gisborne’s baronial investiture the next day–all Sir Guy wants to do is to take his wife to bed to lovingly celebrate the lifting of the gloom surrounding them about the assassination plot against Sir Guy. With Sir Jasper dead and his co-conspirators exiled from court, the assassination plot has been well and truly thwarted. At least that is Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George’s hope.

But they must first tend to the formalities of actually informing Prince John that his toady Sir Jasper is dead. With Lord George needing to stay with his wife and new baby, Sir Guy and his brother Lord Archer stride toward Prince John’s large guest suite in the guest wing of Gordon Castle. The two brothers mull over exactly how to relate that important news–and what reactions they might elicit from Prince John regarding it.

Lord Archer: “Guy, I think we should simply tell Prince John, Sir Jasper was speared by the boar he stalked. And therefore, that unfortunate courtier’s lifeless body–now installed in the Gordon Castle stables–awaits Prince John’s decision on its ultimate destination.”

Sir Guy: “Archer, not that I care a fig for Prince John’s reaction, but Sir Jasper’s death is likely to be a shock to him. And he is apt to be more annoyed with the need to replace Sir Jasper, than grieving that fellow’s timely demise.”

Lord Archer: “So? What of it?”

Sir Guy: “I do not want to be detained as an audience for Prince John voicing his displeasure. I have better ways to employ my time.” Sir Guy raises a saucy eyebrow.

Lord Archer: “Indeed? And what would that be, Lord Gisborne? Practicing your strutting down the aisle at your investiture tomorrow without fear of being felled by an arrow?” He teases with a smile.

Sir Guy: “Lord! I forgot the ceremony is tomorrow. I wish this was now the day after and all would be behind me.”

Lord Archer: “Nervous, Guy? You need not be. The assassins are vanquished. You and Seth–and Prince John–are safe from attack.”

Sir Guy: “For now. But if Prince John wanted to stop my elevation to a barony before, what is to prevent him from doing something else to disrupt in the ceremony? Some rewards come at a very high price to my peace of mind–and this barony is one of them.”

Lord Archer: “Now, now. Do not forget that your heirs will forever be among the aristocracy of England. And in particular, your son Seth will inherit your title upon your death. That has to be measured more for good than for bad.”

Sir Guy: “I know, I know.” Sir Guy sighs in a low rumble, reminiscent of a growl.

Coming to a stop as they reach Prince John’s guest suite in the castle, they hear a patchwork of conversations within the open door.

Prince John: “Ah! Gisborne, Locksley!” Prince John beckons. “Tell us news of the Middletons’. Has their new babe been born? Might they name it after me?” Prince John smiles mockingly. The courtier around him titter with laughter. Prince John is not that amusing. It is just that courtiers would rather laugh at a Prince John’s poor jests with their heads still attached to their necks.

Lord Archer: “Yes. And not unless they name the child Johanna.” Prince John narrows his eyes quizzically at him

Sir Guy: “The baby is a daughter, My Liege.” Sir Guy can not bring himself to address the Prince Regent, Prince John, as Sire. That title is reserved for King Richard, in Sir Guy’s mind. “They named her Lady Juliana.”

Prince John: “Ah! Well, I suppose that having a girl baby now and again can not be helped. Please give my cousin Georgie and his wife Lady Mary my felicitations.”

Sir Guy: He bows. “Of course, My Prince.”

Lord Archer elbows his brother Sir Guy to stop stalling. Prince John notices the exchange between the brothers.

Prince John:   “And what of your boar hunt? Hmm? Did you make a killing?” For he has not heard any news about Sir Jasper yet, since it was usually Sir Jasper who gave Prince John news and gossip.

Lord Archer: “The hunt was, indeed, successful in eliminating the rats in our presence.” Lord Archer speaks metaphorically.

A scowling Sir Guy now elbows his brother Lord Archer.

Prince John: “Rats? You were hunting boar?”

Sir Guy: “Indeed, and we were successful–you will feast on boar this night. But … our hunting party suffered a loss.”

Prince John: “Oh? You two seem intact.” Prince John sneers to say with some irritation.

Lord Archer: “Can you not think what or perhaps whom is missing from this room.” Prince John’s eyes narrow at Lord Archer.

Sir Guy: “Archer!” Sir Guy hisses. And Prince John’s attention turns to Sir Guy. “My Liege, before we killed it, the boar attacked Sir Jasper, impaling him on its tusk. He is was killed instantly. Sir Jasper is dead.”

Lord Archer: “Quite dead.” Lord Archer says with a faint hint of ennui belying the cheerful flips his mind is doing with this happy occurance.”

Prince John: Setting down his goblet of wine slowly, Prince John utters. “You cannot be serious. Sir Jasper is needed at court. He cannot be dead.”

Lord Archer: “Sorry to disappointment you, My Prince. But needed or not, Sir Jasper is dead.”

Sir Guy: “I instructed our attendants on the hunt to relay Sir Jasper’s body to the stables awaiting your command.”

Prince John: “My command? If Sir Jasper is dead, then my commands are meaningless to him.”

Sir Guy: “Yes, but did he have family to whom you wish to convey the body? Or should he be buried here?” Sir Guy wishes to have the matter dispensed with as quickly as possible to extricate himself from thinking about Sir Jasper ever again.

Prince John: “You are in earnest? Sir Jasper is dead?” Prince John looks astonished as he flops back onto his throne. Well, in the chair that he is using for his throne at Gordon Castle. Prince John had not thought of this outcome. Now he will have to find and train a new courtier to act as his eyes and ears and agent when necessary. Then Prince John commands disinterestedly–as if he were ordering wine.   “Bury him here. He has no family to speak of.” And, thinks Prince John, I will confiscate Sir Jasper’s estates that I had given him for his service. Hmm.

So with a sanguine Prince John attended to and dispensed with, Sir Guy and Lord Archer head back to their respective families.

***

The boar was indeed quite tasty this night–and the Gordon Castle feast a merry one. But Sir Guy was never so happy to get his family back to their guest suite and settled in for the night, as he is tonight–except for Sir Roderick who said he needed a stroll in the cool night air again, whom Sir Guy presumes will somehow find his way to Lady Rebecca for a secret assignation, however chaste. Then tomorrow will be Sir Guy’s baronial investiture ceremony and then they may thankfully all go home. For this honor of being named a Baron by King Richard has proven to be more trouble than what value some may place upon it.

However, Sir Guy eagerly contemplates the comfort of lying in his beloved wife Lady Rose’s arms this night force out all other and sundry thoughts. They have been too long apart due to their being guests in cramped quarters the past several days. But let the devil take him, for Sir Guy desires this night the pure love and affection that he shares with his wife. After putting their children to bed, telling them stories, and kissing their cheeks, Sir Guy and Lady Rose walk serenely to their bed chamber on the other side of their guest suite’s sitting room. Tonight will belong to them and them alone.

Having dismissed their personal attendants for the night, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna help Guy-isRichardArmitage-inRH2epi03_104GuyBrChstdNov0711ranetcropbrteach other out of their garments, kissing each other softly in between partings to complete their respective tasks–her dress lacings, his tunic fasteners, and so on. Sir Guy removes his blousey shirt to stand before her bare from the waist up [(2) right].  Lady Roseanna cannot help but be in awe of her husband’s masculine perfection.She marvels at the muscular definition of his shoulders chest, abdomen, and arms. Then she removes all but her thin linen shift, and they embrace each other joyfully, their hands exploring and caressing each other–reacquainting themselves, one with the other.

Lady Roseanna reaches out for her handsome husband [(3) right]. However, a parental Guy-withLadyRoseReachingOuttothim-isRichardArmitage-inRH2epi03_115_Mar1915ranet-sized-brtconcern enters Lady Roseanna’s mind and stills her amorous purpose. Then she expresses it in a hushed voice for their six month old baby Lady Diana lies nearby, sleeping in her cradle.

Lady Roseanna: “Guy? Should we have waited until the older children fell asleep before we retired? Helen has still not fully gotten over her ordeal. And I fear that Louis and Sarah are still so little to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, as we are here.”

Sir Guy: Also whispering so as not to awaken their baby, Sir Guy kisses her ear, then nibbles her neck. “Beloved, our children have two nurses to tend to them. They will want for nothing.”

Lady Roseanna: “Still.” She bites her lower lip.

Sir Guy: “Come, let us focus upon ourselves.” Sir Guy gazes upon his loving wife. “I have missed our nightly adorations of each other.” Sir Guy growls suggestively. Then he kisses her at first tenderly, then with a heated passion–leaving her in no doubt about his intentions.

Lady Roseanna: “As have I.” She smiles tenderly.   “But did you not wish to celebrate tomorrow night? After your investiture to a barony?” She asks sweetly.

Sir Guy: “Oh I intend to. But tonight is ours as well, My Love.”

Sir Guy gently picks up his wife Lady Roseanna and carries her to their bed. And then he slides in with her. As they begin their lovers’ dance, Sir Guy quickly divests himself and her of their remaining out coverings. Skin against skin, they feel the warmth and contours of each others’ bodies as they mold themselves together.

At forty-five years old, Sir Guy has maintained the tone in his muscular physique well past the time when his contemporaries might have let their bodies soften and expand. Perhaps, they do not have a lovely twenty seven year old wife to adore as Sir Guy does. Lady Roseanna is all soft curves to her husband’s hard sinews. Then feeling along his clavicle scaffolding his magnificent frame as she then trails kisses as her hands caress his powerful frame.

Sir Guy is equally enraptured with the beauty of his sweet wife, Lady Rose. Her full curving bosoms betoken the evidence of her fecundity, as they have expanded again during her last pregnancy and have remained so as she nurses their baby daughter. And it is, perhaps, inevitable that his gentle caresses cause her to spill some nectar from her breasts–to which he languorously trails his kisses to her murmuring encouragement. And her belly once flat when they first wed, bears the small plump evidence at her hips of her having given birth four times to their much loved children, Helen, Louis, Sarah, and Diana. And though Seth was not born of Sir Guy’s Lady Rose, he has grown in her heart as her son.

Moving to lie his body atop his wife Lady Rose, Sir Guy seeks to join his body with hers–to be as one with her in the loving communion of husband and wife. Lady Rose welcomes her husband Sir Guy’s loving ministrations and she beckons her encouragement with first one leg intertwined around his, and then the other, pulling him closer to her. Sir Guy’s and Lady Rose’s arousals are complete, and he joins their bodies together again, and again, and again, and again. They are each lost in the whirl of pleasurable sensations as their bodies reach their blissful sensual release. Spilling his seed within her–hoping to give her yet another child, another son, for them to love and to nurture–Sir Guy strains upward as they both cry out their joy, before leaning down to her again in an achingly tender kiss full of love for her, even as her kiss is like a healing balm to him.

Then each spent from their loving conjugation, Sir Guy rolls their still joined bodies such Guy&MarianLyinginBedJan0812Maltysalivejournalcropbrt-sized-clrthat he is now lying on his back and she lying atop him, cradled within the embrace of his loving arms as he pulls the sheets and blanket around them for warmth. They sleep cherishingly like this for several hours until they shift to lying on their sides [(4) right], with Lady Rose tucked within her love Sir Guy’s embrace, his cheek resting on top of her shoulder as they nestle into one another as they slumber.

Theirs is a love so all consuming that Sir Guy finds acceptance and peace in his wife’s loving arms. Lady Rose is his sweetness and his joy–as he is hers. With his loving wife Lady Rose and their growing family, Sir Guy has become a better man, a good man, an honorable man. He is happier than he could have ever imagined that he would be. And for now, in this place, at this time, with this life, he is content. To be otherwise would be foolish and ungrateful for the blessings of love and family that he has been given.

Tomorrow Sir Guy will become a baron, Crispin Roger, Sir Guy, Baron Gisborne. But for the boon that this elevation will bring to his family–and especially to Seth–Sir Guy would not seek it. But just as Sir Guy is impelled to accept this honor, so too must he continue to strive to be worthy of it.

To be continued with Chapter 18

 

 “Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 17 References, March 20, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #721)

1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res);  and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11
2) Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 2, episode 3 (pix 104) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode3/slides/rh203_104.jpg
3) Sir Guy of Gisborne ‘s (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) bare torso in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 2, episode 3 (pix 115) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode3/slides/rh203_115.jpg
4) Cropped image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) and image of Lady Marian (as portrayed by Lucy Griffiths) representing Lady Roseanna is a beautiful photo manipulation artwork created by the talented artist Maltysa and was originally found at http://maltysa.livejournal.com/355.html

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 16 Blog Link (Post#719)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-16-pg-13-d-life-and-death-march-16-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-719/

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armtiage, Romance, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Digital Theatre Presents The Crucible Starring Richard Armitage as John Proctor Available for Download on March 17th! March, 17, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #720)

Our patience is rewarded and The Old Vic’s production of The Crucible starring the Digital-Theatre--TheCrucible-avail-Mar1715_Mar1115DigTheCrucible-GratianaL-sized-added-textexquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage is available for download today starting at 9am EST (New York) from Digital Theatre.

DigitalTheatre-logo_Mar1615DigitalTheatre

 

  1. FAQs from Digital Theatre about the Download

The most pertinent issues for me are cost and size off the download. In tweet replies from Digital Theatre and others, it seems that an SD version of the file would be about 3GB–so clear up some space now on your hard drive. And below is the cost structure from the FAQ l ink (I am buying not renting)”
Here is the cost structure from Digital Theatre:

GBP (£) USD ($) EUR (€)
Rent 3.99 5.99 5.49
Buy (SD) 8.99 12.99 11.99
Buy HD 10.99 15.99 14.49

 

And some important how to watch info from the Digital Theatre email FAQ’s:
“Can I keep The Crucible forever?

Yes, if you purchase an SD or HD download, The Crucible will remain in your DigitalTheatre.com library forever.


How do I watch The Crucible?

To watch The Crucible you must be a registered user of DigitalTheatre.com. Visit http://www.digitaltheatre.com/ to sign up now. More details about how to watch are available here: www.digitaltheatre.com/how-to-watch .”

And here is the link for downloading the Digital Theatre Desktop Player for both online and offline viewing of your downloaded items. Though, the player is not required to view your downloaded versions. You may view them in the cloud via your browser.

  1. The Digital Theatre Interview of Richard Armitage(images right and below by Johan Persson):dDigTheCrucible--JohnProctorWary-isRichardArmitage_Mar0615theatremania

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hobbit Star Richard Armitage on the Digital Theatre Release of The Crucible

“Armitage played John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s drama when it ran at London’s Old…by Theatre Mania.”

Thanks to RANet for the link to RA’s tweet about his interview with Theatre Mania regarding the release of the filmed The Crucible production!

dDigTheCrucible--ProctorandElizabeth-areArmitageandMadley_Ma40615theatremania

  1. Finally to leave you with, Isabelle shared online a lovely The Crucible fan art that she came TheCrucible--ElizabethandJohn-fan-art-byCro-gall-on-tumblr_Mar1615viaIsabelleacross that was attributed to Cro-gall on tumblr. I also found the image here (right) after a google image search.The image of Proctor and Elizabeth partially engaged with each other is evocative for me of  figurative relationship and literal dance metaphors. In dancing, the partners generally hold hands to keep themselves in sync with one another–notice Elizabeth reaching for John and he turning back toward her.  In relationships, couples  must also hold on and stay in sync if couples hope to last. And Proctor’s back to Elizabeth betokens to me their estrangement giving way to greater understanding and reunion. And though there might be some dance/relationship moves away from each other, the dance inevitably brings them back together again–just as in the end of The Crucible, John and Elizabeth come together again at last.

 

At 9am EST, I will be at work. So I will wait to do my download Tuesday night. It will be a long day of anticipation for me, to finally be able to view Richard Armitage and his colleagues bring The Crucible to vivid life.  Enjoy!

Posted in Drama, Fiction, History, Honor, John Proctor, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, RA Artwork, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, Something About Love, The Crucible, The Old Vic Theatre, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 (PG-13, D): Life and Death, March 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #719)

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 (PG-13, D): Life and Death,
March 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #719)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]  (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Nota Bene: And though I might refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact.   The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically. And medical incidences represented in the story–such as the crisis child birth sequence–are pure conjecture on my part.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After a family meeting with Prince John to tell him they know of his plot and then to tell him of the plot to assassinate him, the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family discusses what to do. Sir Guy and his brother Lord Archer share a look of resignation. Their pasts of infamy that they long thought they had to put to rest, must resurface if they are to save their families’ lives. They have each done in the past what they needed to survive–including murder. And though they had vowed to themselves and to their spouses never to seek violent solutions–in their mind, there is no other choice with their present predicament of two assassination plots brewing against them. Either Sir Jasper, the other conspirators’ and their expert bowmen must die–or Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and maybe Seth will die. And neither Sir Guy nor Lord Archer will let any danger befall their children. If their saving their families lives through murder be a sin, then so be it, thinks Sir Guy. He can live with that–he hopes.

And so the Gisborne brothers’ day of manly pursuits of hunting and such planned for tomorrow on Monday, April 1st will see more than boar and deer being hunted. And though life and death will hang in the balance scales, would be assassins will not be the only ones at risk.

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 (PG-31, D): Life and Death

As the men leave for their Monday April 1st hunt at dawn–including Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and even Lord George whom his very pregnant wife insisted he go to stop fussing over her–Sir Roderick stays behind to watch over the families, including his love Lady Leicester, Lady Becca.

At first, Gordon Castle’s usual Monday morning routine seems to be in evidence–Monday morning prayers, then breaking their fast, then the garrison drilling while Lady Leicester and her family’s ladies and children who are visiting take advantage of the lovely weather in the beautiful gardens. However, this morning will be anything but usual.

With the family children playing some chasing game that their Gisborne cousins taSarahG-at2-barefeet-ingrass_1-kids-oil-painting_Jan2215webneel-GLsized-clrgrnught them on the grassy knoll–with two year old little Lady Sarah Gisborne enjoying the feel of the grass between her toes [(2) right] — the ladies chat while embroidering baby clothes for Lady Mary who can’t quite get comfortable in her seated position, despite a profusion of pillows brought to achieve it.

Lady Mary: “Hhhhh!” Lady Mary adjusts a pillow behind her back in frustration.

Lady Saline: “Come, come, Mary. Your sighing will not help your back feel better.   Have you tried massage on your back?”

Lady Mary: “Massage?”

Lady Roseanna:   “Most beneficial.” Lady Rose nods in agreement.

Lady Rebecca: “I have heard tell of such a thing, but never witnessed it.”

Lady Saline: “Well, I wonder if Althea the Healer Woman might attempt it?”

Lady Rebecca: Motioning to a nearby page boy, Lady Rebecca directs him. “Please find the Healer Woman Althea and bring her to us on the terrace here. We wish her to massage Lady Mary’s back to ease her discomfort.”

Page boy: “Yes My Lady.” He bows respectfully, then scampers off to do her bidding.

Lady Roseanna: “He looks like a cheerful boy.” Lady Roseanna remarks.

Lady Rebecca:   He is our cook’s son. Most of the Gordon Castle staff have whole families that work within–both learning an occupation and earning a bit of extra money for their families. Gordon Castle is a community of families unto ourselves.” She smiles graciously.

Sir Roderick: Beaming with pride at his secret love’s compassion, Sir Roderick compliments her. “That is most kind of you, Lady Leicester.” Though Sir Roderick maintains his formal demeanor around Lady Rebecca when they are in public–as they are now–his voice is tinged with love and tenderness.

Lady Rebecca: “Thank you, Sir Roderick.” Lady Rebecca blushes prettily as she lowers her eyes.   She and Sir Roderick cannot be together as husband and wife because she is still married–until it is proven that her husband has died in the Holy Land–but she finds a comfort in having her Roddy near her.

Lady Roseanna: “Our children look to be having much fun.” She gestures to the two, three, four, and five year olds running pell mell on the lawn–with the eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford and the ten year old Seth Gisborne ably supervising them.

Lady Saline: Leaning over to her lifelong friend Lady Rose, she observes with a knowing smile. “And Seth is certainly besotted with Lady Caroline.”

Lady Mary: “NO!” She grunts in pain. Then Lady Mary begins breathing in short shallow breaths.

Lady Roseanna: “No?” Lady Roseanna turns to look at her sister-in-law quizzically.

Lady Saline: “Oh my! Mary is in her birthing trials.”

At once everyone jumps up from their seat and scurries around Lady Mary hoping to see to her comfort and aid. And when it is discovered that her walking is completely out of the question, Sir Roderick picks up Lady Mary to carry her back to her guest suite.

Lady Roseanna: Calling out to the children, Lady Roseanna urges them to make haste. “Come children! Your Mama will give you another brother or a sister this day–and cousin in the case of the rest of you.” The children cease their chasing game and look at their mother and their aunt. “Come everyone!” Lady Roseanna appeals to them again.

So the children straggle behind the adults as they make their way to the family guest chambers wing of Gordon Castle. As they go, they pass by Prince John and some of his entourage.

Prince John: “What is this?” He asks obtusely–even though he sees Lady Mary writhing in labor pains in Sir Roderick’s arms.

Lady Roseanna: “Oh Johnny.” She whines. “What does it look like? Mary is going to have her baby.” Lady Roseanna rolls her eyes.

Prince John:  Prince John blanches. Women’s concerns make him ill at ease. He prefers his women less troublesome and always tidy. “Well then, carry on.” He waves them away officiously and they go hurriedly to the Middleton’s guest suite in the family wing.

***

Meanwhile, Prince John’s thoughts turn to the morning’s boar hunt [(3)] by his kinsmen and Sir Jasper–wondering what if anything might have occurred that might alter future events regarding the assassination plots against Sir Guy and himself.

The men hunting boar this morning on the grounds of Gordon Castle are in two large groups of Sir Guy, Lord Archer, Lord George and their attendants, and Sir Jasper, Sir Roland, and Sir Mead and their attendants. They are not using dogs–since their barking sounds often spook boars to run away, such that nothing is caught–in favor of trapping and killing the boar. Of course, there is more than boar being hunted this morning, but Sir Jasper does not yet realize that his plots have been found out and that he is also being hunted.   However both sets of men are wary as the dense forest growth provides cover for attacking boar or attacking men.

Lord George: “I will give you fellows another hour with this boar hunting nonsLordGeorgeimageisjames-mcavoy-is-tom-lefroy-in-becoming-jane_422_20810Dec2712mi9comense, but then I am going back to my Mary at the castle. She needs me in her delicate condition.” Lord George whines [(4) right].

Lord Archer: “Well George, it is a wonder you came along if you feel so felicitous toward your wife.”

Lord George: “My Dearest Mary insisted that I come. She said that it would be good if we spent some time in our own pursuits.”

Sir Guy: Sir Guy Smirks. “George your attentions to your pregnant wife are commendable. But even a lady about to give birth needs some relief from constantly being fussed over.”

Lord Archer: “Quiet!” Lord Archer hisses. “I hear something.”

Not thirty yards away in a similarly densely packed adjacent forest area, Sir Jasper and his men are moving into position. Their intent is to guide the boar to the other men–rather than both groups forcing the boar toward the trap–and then let the boar do their dirty work by impaling the lot of them on its horns, surely bringing them to their deaths. Sir Jasper is under orders from Prince John only to wound Gisborne and Locksley–while keeping Middleton unharmed altogether as Prince John’s cousin. But if the boar has other ideas, Sir Jasper can not help it, he reasons.

Sir Roland: Whispering so as not to attract the boar’s attention in the wrong direction, he says. “Sir Jasper, do you see where Gisborne and his lot are?” Sir Robert Noland does not like what they are about to do, but he has his reasons for participating in it.

Sir Jasper: “Over there somewhere.” Sir Jasper gestures generally in Gisborne’s direction. But in doing so, his arm brushes against a thorny bush branch and it catches upon his embroidered tunic sleeve. He is clearly over dressed for a hunt, with everyone else wearing lightweight leather jackets and breeches.

And unbeknownst to Sir Jasper and his henchmen, Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George are also wearing chain mail over silk shirts under their leather jackets. They are taking no chances of being hit by an arrow or stabbed by man or beast.

As Sir Jasper tries to carefully dislodge himself from the bush, he unthinkingly causes the branch to jostle back and forth–arousing the boar’s attention as it lifts its head and sniffs. With the stench of feral pig being alarmingly odiferous, one would think that boars could smell nothing beyond themselves. Yet the powdered and scented Sir Jasper quite stands out amongst the usual forest smells familiar to the boar.

Sir Mead: Sir Mead notices the boar’s attention has shifted to Sir Jasper. “Watch out, Jasper! Crap!”

Sir Jasper: “What?”

Sir Jasper looks up to see his two comrades point, then they run to climb up the nearest tree–with their attendants following closely behind. The hulking three hundred pound boar turns its body more quickly than one would have guessed for so large an animal and it bears down on Sir Jasper.

Hearing the commotion thirty yards away–with boar grunts, yelps, and then one very loud scream before silence–Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George stealthily run around the perimeter of the forest to approach the scene from another direction. The devastation they find is both horrific and strangely poetic.

A clearly dead Sir Jasper–from what looks like a gaping boar tusk hole in his middle chest gushing blood–is being dragged by that boar deeper into the forest, no doubt to be eaten later. Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George see Sir Roland and Sir Mead clinging to the trees. Then Sir Guy, and Lord Archer start shooting their arrows at the boar while Lord George hands them fresh arrows–Lord George cannot use a bow and arrow because of his lame arm–eventually felling the boar after over a dozen arrow hits, but with the boar’s jaws still tenaciously clamped on Sir Jasper’s arm. With the danger past, the knights and their attendants climb down from the trees.

And this being Lord George’s first boar hunt, Sir Guy bloodies him–by using a linen cloth from inside his leather jacket, dabbing it in the boar’s blood, and then rubbing it on Lord George’s cheeks.

Sir Guy: “There, George. You will have a tale to tell your children and grandchildren.” He smiles cordially at his brother-in-law.

Lord Archer: “As will you and I, Guy.” Lord Archer smiles. Then he uses his leather booted toe to gently touch a non bloodied part of Sir Jasper–still dead.

Lord George: Feigning distress, Lord George frowns. “Poor old Jasper–bested by that what he hunted.” Of course there is a double meaning to Lord George’s words, that only Sir Guy and Lord Archer appreciate.

Staring down at the lifeless body of their lead conspirator in the plots to kill Gisborne, Locksley, and Prince John, Sir Roland asks warily and politely.

Sir Roland: “What do we do now, Lord Gisborne?”

Sir Guy: “You are asking me that question?” Sir Guy poses his question to them in astonishment. For were Sir Roland and Sir Mead not the two men sent to kill him?

Sir Mead nods his head in agreement with Sir Roland’s question.

Lord Archer: “Walk with us.” Lord Archer grips the arms of Sir Roland and Sir Mead and starts guiding them away. Then turning back to Jasper’s and their attendants, Lord Archer commands. “Clean up this mess! And see that the boar is conveyed to the castle kitchens for proper dressing for tonight’s dinner. I daresay Lady Leicester will not mind a change to the menu.” He smirks.

Attendant: “But what of Sir Jasper, My Lord?” Their faces are pale with distress.

Sir Guy: “Hmmm.” Sir Guy growls. “Return his body to the castle stables. Then ask Prince John what is to be done with it.”

Then Sir Guy turns and follows Lord Archer and Lord George with Sir Jasper’s henchmen. After walking several paces away and into a more private area of the forest, they stop. Now they have to decide what to do with Sir Mead and Sir Roland. They cannot just let them go. Then Mead speaks up.

Sir Mead: “Lord Gisborne, I am Sir Mead Stanley. This is Sir Robert Noland.”

Sir Guy: “Yes, we have heard of you.”

Sir Guy crosses his arms and glares at them menacingly. The men try to recoil, but Lord Archer and Lord George hold them fast–even with Lord George having only one good arm

Lord Archer: “Now blokes, where would you be running off to?”

Sir Roland: Seeming to resign himself to his fate, he stops struggling. “Very well. We care not what you do to us. But …”

Sir Mead: “Speak for yourself!” He squeals. Lord Archer clamps his free hand over the knight’s mouth.

Lord Archer: “Stop your squealing–we have yet to stick you, pig.”

Sir Roland: Then he continues. “But … we need to know if we are truly free of Sir Jasper’s hold, Lord Gisborne. Sir Jasper had detained each of our younger teenaged brothers in the castle dungeon and he threatened to have them tortured and killed if we did not …” His voice trails away in obvious concern.

Sir Guy: “If you did not kill Prince John and I. Hmmm.” Sir Guy finishes his thought for him–growling in disgust for the putrid and now dead courtier, Sir Jasper.

Lord George: “That is outrageous!” Lord George is now even more certain that he is glad the boar killed Sir Jasper.

Sir Mead: “Lord Gisborne, I only agreed to wound you.” Sir Mead claims meekly after wrenching himself free of Lord Archer’s grasp, and trying to lessen his seeming offense in their eyes. Lord Archer grabs him again and holds him more securely and more silently this time.

Sir Guy: “Your brothers, you say?” Sir Guy looks solemnly at both men–Sir Roland and Sir Mead–who each nod their heads with distressed looks on their faces. Then Sir Guy looks over at his brother Lord Archer and his brother-in-law Lord George.

Lord George: “Guy, I am loathe to believe these assassins. But let us at least check the castle’s dungeons for the truth of what they claim.”

Lord Archer: Then Archer adds poignantly. “It is no less than what you did for me, Guy.” Lord Archer recalls when his brothers Sir Guy and Robin Hood helped him escape from the York dungeons.

Sir Guy: Pondering what they should do, Sir Guy glowers at their two prisoners. “Very well. We will go to the castle dungeons. Then we will decide what to do with you.”

The five men walk soberly back to Gordon Castle. Once there, they immediately head to the dungeons and ascertain that Sir Mead and Sir Roland were being truthful. And Sir Guy has their younger teenaged brothers freed–the boys are underfed, but otherwise unharmed. The four brothers have a joyous reunion with relieved hugs and touseling of hair. But then Sir Mead and Sir Roland turn regretfully to Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George–awaiting their fate.

Sir Guy: Directing his words to a castle guard, Sir Guy commands. “Take these young boys to their brothers’ quarters in the armory to bathe and be fed and dressed in clean clothes.”
The guards start to lead the boys away as their elder brothers Sir Roland and Sir Mead watch–still not knowing what their fate will be.

Boy#1: “But Roland, are you not coming with us?” The thirteen year old asks plaintively.

Boy#2: “Mead?”  The second boy asks his brother knight.

The boys sense that something is still wrong as they look at each other, their brothers, and then at Sir Guy.

Boy#1: “Lord Gisborne?” Sir Roland’s brother steps forward and for all his attempts to appear older, he is still just a boy.

In another life, Sir Guy would have had no compunction in killing the knights and their brothers to remove their threat. But Sir Guy is no longer that menacing and malicious evil man.

Sir Guy: “Hmmm. Guards! Take all four brothers to the armory guest lodging. See that the two boys are tended to and fed as I ordered. Then see the four of them escorted out of the castle and to their respective homes and then report back to me. I will inform Lady Leicester of these arrangements so that you are not missed from your posts.”

The castle guards bow formally at Sir Guy in obeisance. Sir Guy is family to their mistress Lady Leicester and to their absent Earl Lord Leicester–and Sir Guy is to be elevated to be a Baron on the morrow, with even their Prince Regent in attendance.

Guard: “As you command, My Lord Gisborne.”

Sir Mead, Sir Roland, and their brothers drop to their knees in humility before Sir Guy.

Sir Roland: “Lord Gisborne. We thank you for your gracious favor and benevolence.”

Sir Guy: Leaning toward both knights, Sir Guy intones sotto voce. “Do not make me regret it! Or I will follow my original impulse with regard to your proper punishment. Now go!”

The kneeling men and boys stand and are escorted by six guards to the armory to do as Sir Guy commands.

Lord Archer leans over to his brother as they and Lord George head to their guest apartments to freshen up before looking for their ladies and families.

Lord Archer: “Getting soft in your old age, brother?”

Sir Guy: “Soft am I? Hm!” Sir Guy snorts in response.

Lord George: “Nay Guy, you were just, and you acted with honor–as a true knight and noble Baron should. I admire you.”

For a moment, Sir Guy is touched. Then he regains his sense of self as austere elder brother to them both.

Sir Guy: “Thank you. But gentlemen, let is not wallow in such sentiments of brotherly affection. We have to make ourselves presentable, then see to our wives and families. Come!” Boar hunting is a messy dirty business.

***

Several floors above the dungeon, a different kind of trial is taking place as Lord George’s wife Lady Middleton is now in heavy labor with her third child–and without Althea the Healer Woman in attendance yet.

Lady Roseanna places her hands upon her still very young twenty year old sister-in-law MaryImage is hughes-againDec2112preraphaelitesisterhoodcropLady Mary’s [(5) right] linen shift covered pregnant belly. She is trying to feel if the baby has turned and is in position for the birth. But except for her own births, Lady Roseanna is relatively inexperienced about childbirth. Lady Saline is with her as is Lady Mary’s younger sister Lady Caroline. Then Lady Roseanna turns to Lady Caroline, whose face looks very fearful for her sister Mary.

Lady Roseanna: “Caroline, please go ask Lady Rebecca to send another page to look for Althea the Healer Woman. Your sister is in very great need of her.”

Lady Caroline: “I will. I will be back soon, Mary.” Her sister Lady Mary nods, but is too overcome with strain from her child’s labor to speak. Sweat pours down Lady Mary’s reddened face.

Of course a page had found Althea the Healer Woman earlier and escorted her to the terrace–where the ladies had been. But not finding them there, Althea returned to her tasks of making medicinal ointments in an ante room off of the kitchen. So she is in an out of the way place, not easily seen–nor found.

In the Middleton guest suite sitting room Sir Roderick [(6) right] paces back and forth with SirRoderick-isChris-Hemsworth-as-thor-the-dark-world-6_Feb0515collidercom-cropto-armsling-undercapeLady Rebecca watching him fretfully, him stopping in his tracks every time Lady Mary lets out a painful wail in the next room. It is a nightmare for him, as if his own late wife’s birthing horror has returned to him in the person of Lady Mary’s birthing trials.

Lady Caroline exits Lady Mary’s room and Seth, Lady Rebecca, and Sir Roderick approach her with worried eyes.

Lady Caroline: “No baby yet.” Lady Caroline sighs and shakes her head. “Lady Rose asks for Althea the Healer Woman to be searched for again and brought here. Mary needs her.” Lady Caroline pleads.

Lady Rebecca: “I will see to it at once–asking all the pages to find her now!” Lady Rebecca turns and exits the guest suite to command her staff.

Seth: “Are you alright, Lady Caroline?” Seth steps forward and asks in great concern because it is clear that Lady Caroline is in a state of high agitation.

Lady Caroline: Beginning to weep from the strain, Lady Caroline hiccups her response. “We do not… know what … to do … for my sister Mary. I fear … I fear …” But she can not finish her awful thought. Seth takes her into his arms and embraces her consolingly.
Seth: “There, there, Lady Caroline. All will be well.”

But Sir Roderick knows differently. He closes his eyes and bows his head trying to keep his own tears from being shed in remembrance of the night eighteen months ago that his own wife and child died during childbirth.

Lady Saline: Having walked out to the sitting area, Lady Saline asks. “Where is Lady Rebecca? We need Althea!”

Seth: Still embracing Lady Caroline, Seth responds. “Lady Leicester went to command her staff to search for the Healer Woman.”

Just then, Lady Mary cries out in a long piercing crying.

Lady Mary: “Eeeeeeeeeeeghhh!”

The occupants of the sitting room startle and then they turn ashen faced to the bed chamber from whence came that woeful cry–sans the extended family’s children who are being occupied with their nurses in the adjoining children’s bedroom blissfully unawares.

Lady Roseanna: “Come help us!”   Lady Roseanna cries toward the open bed chamber door.

Then all of them–Lady Saline, Sir Roderick, Seth, and Lady Caroline–bolt toward the open bed chamber door. The scene inside the bed chamber is a mass of chaos as an increasingly pale Lady Mary lies currently in a faint on the bed as Lady Roseanna stands there terrified with blood on her hands that is seeping from Lady Mary’s womb.

Lady Saline: “My god!”

Sir Roderick: “No!” He thunders. It is happening all over again. But this time, he takes charge–acting for Lady Mary as he saw what aid they had tried to give his late wife, but they were too late. He hopes that he is not too late now. “The baby must come out now or they both will die!” Sir Roderick moves around the bed.

Lady Roseanna: “The baby’s head is showing, but Mary does not have more labor. I do not know what to do.” She wails.

Lady Saline: “Nor I.” Lady Saline looks helplessly at Sir Roderick–helpless not being a state she is familiar with.

The two ladies have only had relatively easy births.

Lady Caroline: “Help my sister, please.” Lady Caroline wails to the room in general.

Sir Roderick places his hands on Lady Mary’s pregnant belly. He has assisted at the births of several cows and horses, he thinks that he feels that the baby is in the right position.

Sir Roderick: “We must assist Lady Mary in giving birth. It is a blessing that she has fainted, for this will not be without some pain.” Then he begins to bark orders. “Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline, help me to move Lady Mary to sitting up at the edge of the bed. Lady Caroline, you will sit behind your sister, letting her lean against you to hold her up.” They do so. And Sir Roderick walks around to stand in front of the now sitting and still fainted Lady Mary. “Now comes the painful part, I must push down on Lady Mary’s belly in the hope of guiding the baby further out of her womb.”

Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline exchange worried glances. But neither of them has a better idea.

Lady Roseanna: “Do it.”

Seth: “What about me?” All heads turn to Seth.

Sir Roderick: “Sit at my feet with a towel, to catch the baby.”

Seth: “Catch the baby?” Seth’s eyes go wide. But there is no time to argue. Every precious moment counts as Seth grabs a clean towel from the table and plops down between Lady Mary’s legs.

When everyone is in position, Sir Roderick begins gently massaging Lady Mary’s pregnant belly in a downward fashion. Lady Mary wakens with the pain and with a new contraction.

Lady Mary: “Aaaaah! What are you doing?” She asks after seeing herself sitting up at the edge of the bed and surrounded by family and Sir Roderick.

Sir Roderick: “You need to push hard, my Lady. Your baby needs to be born now!”

Seth: “The baby’s head is out.” Seth relates in some awe. He has seen animals give birth, but this is his first human birth. And prevented from seeing his Aunt Lady Mary’s face by the voluminous fabric of her gown above him, the delicacy of such familiarity on his part is not causing him to be squeamish, yet. “Push! We need the shoulders, then I can pull the rest of the baby out!” That is how it works with cows and horses, anyway, thinks Seth.

Sir Roderick: “Aye! Push!”

Lady Mary: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggh!” Lady Mary exerts herself one last time and screams in pain as her baby is born.

Seth: Catching the baby as requested, Seth shares some important news. “It’s a girl!” He grins up into the adult faces as he gingerly holds the big baby–her large size no doubt contributing to the difficulty of her being born by the petite Lady Mary Middleton.

Girl baby: “Waaa!   Waaa!” Little baby Lady yet to be named Middleton gives her birthing cries with strong and powerful lungs.

Lady Mary: “I have a baby girl?” Lady Mary asks wanly but delightedly as Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline help settle her back to lying prone on the bed to make her more comfortable. “Thank you, everyone.” She sighs gratefully.

Sir Roderick: “Aye. And the baby seems strong by its loud wailing.” Strong being something that his own infant son who died was not. Now with the crisis passed, Sir Roderick staggers back away from the bed and sits in a nearby chair. He drops his face into his hands and he weeps. If only he had thought to do this for his late wife, maybe she and the baby would have lived. If only.

Seth Gisborne stands up from the floor and he proudly hands his new baby girl cousin to her mama, his Aunt Lady Mary.

Seth: “She is beautiful, My Lady Aunt. Does she have a name?”

Lady Mary: “George and I will have to make our final choice now that she is born.” Lady Mary smiles. Names are very important and should not be rushed.

Just then, the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley husbands, Lady Rebecca, and Althea the Healer Woman burst into the Middleton Sitting room and race to the Master bed chamber where they see a happy scene before them of a beaming mother and child. Seeing Sir Roderick’s distress–and knowing about the loss of his wife and child in childbirth- Lady Rebecca goes to stand beside him, rubbing his shoulders soothingly in compassion for his loss.

Lord George: “Mary! My Love! You have had our baby!”

Lady Saline: “Astute as always, George.” Lady Saline sneers.

Lady Roseanna: Standing up for her brother from his harshest critic, her dear friend Lady Saline, Lady Rose admonishes her as she cleans her hands of the blood. “Not today Saline. Leave George alone.” Lady Saline rolls her eyes, but nods in agreement.

Lady Mary: “Husband, come close to see our …” Lady Mary smiles as her husband Lord George waits to hear whether they had a third boy or a girl. “… our daughter.” Lady Mary gushes happily. She is tired, drenched in sweat, and sore, but radiant happy at having given birth to their first daughter.

Lord George: “Oh Mary! My Love!   We have a little girl!” Lord George kisses his wife and baby daughter gleefully and gratefully.

Althea: Taking charge, the Healer Woman gives her orders. “Everyone out! I may have missed the birth, but there are things that still need tending to.” She tilts her head at the umbilical cord still attached between baby and mother.

***

While Althea tends to Lady Mary and the baby–giving them both baths and fresh linens and wrappers and swaddling blankets, or nightgowns, as needed, with Lord George’s help in holding the baby after it is cleaned–the family waits with happy anticipation in the sitting room.Seth--indaytime-tunic-manip-isTommyBastow-andMedievalTunic_Jan3015GratianaLovelace-crop2

The ten year old Seth Gisborne has washed his hands and stands proudly [(7) right] with his parents as they talk with the new baby girl’s other Aunt the eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford.

Lady Roseanna: Leaning into her strong husband, Lady Rose feels comforted in his caring embrace. “I am glad that, in the end, everything went well. But for Sir Roderick’s assistance, it might not have.”

Lady Caroline: “Oh yes! He was wonderful!” Lady Caroline gushes as she looks over at him standing with Lady Rebecca on his arm. Then Lady Caroline pouts a bit, recognizing that she is too young for him.

Sir Roderick: Having composed himself, Sir Roderick says stoically.   “I thank you, but thanks are due to everyone who helped–including you, Lady Caroline, and Seth who guided the baby’s shoulders out and then he caught the baby.”

Sir Guy: His smile wide and his eyes mirthful, Sir Guy [(8) right] slaps his son Seth on his Guy-Laughing-isRichardArmitage-rh3epi7_177_Jan2212ranet-GLcrop-sized-hairback. “Well done, Seth!” In Sir Guy’s mind, his new niece’s birth is a much better end to the day than to focus on Sir Jasper’s timely demise. And of that matter, Sir Guy will speak to his wife Lady Rose later before dinner, when they are alone.

Lady Caroline: “Yes, well done, Seth. Thank you.” She smiles sweetly at Seth.

Seth: “I was very happy to be of service. And your role in supporting your sister’s back during the birth, Lady Caroline, was very great indeed.” The smitten ten year old Seth Gisborne remarks graciously to her.LadyCaroline-age11-isDakotaFanning_Jan2815moviefanatic-sized3

Lady Caroline: “Thank you, Seth.” Lady Caroline [(9) right] smiles sweetly again.   She thinks that Seth seems more mature now that he has helped in her new niece’s birth.

Seth: Extending his arm to Lady Caroline, Seth says formally. “My Lady?”

Lady Caroline takes Seth’s arm gratefully. Now all the men and women–and boys and girls–in the room are paired up. Then a happy discussion of possible baby girl names ensues.

And Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca slowly retreat to a nearby corner of the sitting room and chat quietly in hushed tones. Their fate as loving soul mates is yet to be determined. And it is anyone’s guess what Prince John will say or do when he discovers that his right hand man, Sir Jasper, has been killed by a boar. But for now, the happy focus of the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family is on the new little life born this day–a new little Lady for the Middletons.

To be continued with Chapter 17

 

   “Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 References, March 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #719)

1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res);  and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) Lady Sarah Gisborne at 2 years old image was a charming painting by Zolan (sized, clr more green) found at http://webneel.com/daily/sites/default/files/images/daily/10-2013/1-kids-oil-painting.jpg; and http://webneel.com/daily/1-kids-oil-painting?size=_original

3) For general information about boar hunting, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boar_hunting

4) Image (cropped) of Lord George Middleton is that of James McAvoy portraying Tom LeFroy in “Becoming Jane” and was found at http://mi9.com/wallpaper/james-mcavoy-is-tom-lefroy-in-becoming-jane_20810/

5) Lady Mary image (cropped) is that of Arthur Hughes’ “Ophelia” circa mid 1800’s found at http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hughes-again.jpg

6) Sir Roderick Merton is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World(manip with left arm sling hidden under capte) that was found at http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth6.jpg ; for more information, visit http://collider.com/thor-2-dark-world-images/

7) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html

8) Sir Guy (crop) is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi7 pix 177 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_177.jpg

9) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found at http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/t_full/v1364991191/fantastic-fanning.jpg

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 15 Blog Link (Post #718)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-15-pg-13-d-out-plotting-the-plotters-march-13-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-718/

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“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 15 (PG-13, D): Out Plotting the Plotters, March 13, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #718)

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 15 (PG-13, D): Out Plotting the Plotters,   March 13, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #718)

avaaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan2415GratianaLovelace-180x280sidebarsize[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace] (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended) [(1) story logo, top right]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D), or foul language (L). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Nota Bene: And though I may refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact.   The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After Sir Guy and his extended family reveal the assassination plots to Prince John–both Prince John’s for Sir Guy, and Sir Jasper’s for Prince John, Sir Guy, and Seth Gisborne–all is out in the open. Well, not all–with more yet to be uncovered.

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 15 (PG-13, D): Out Plotting the Plotters

Keep your friends and family close, and your enemies closer [(2)] had been Prince John’s father King Henry II of England’s best and only advice he had transferred to his youngest son Prince John. Never truer words were uttered as both the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family and Prince John must enter into a King Solomon like alliance to prevent Sir Guy and Seth’s deaths as misdirection for their cousin Prince John’s assassination during Sir Guy’s investiture. They have only a few days to discover who the conspirators are beyond knowing that Sir Jasper and someone named Roland are involved. Roland being the name of someone whom Prince John had a flicker of recognition about that–he omitted to share with his extended family.

Putting on serene smiles–or his usual scowls in Sir Guy’s case–the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family attends the weekend’s remaining dinners, church, and other daytime activities as they are expected to do. They do not want to raise suspicion that they have become aware of the plot. But an observant conspirator might have noticed that the families hardly let themselves out of each others’ sights. That is unusual because they all have their children with them–and children are not generally included at large festive gatherings. But perhaps because their hostess at Gordon Castle, Lady Leicester–their kinswoman Lady Rebecca Oxbridge–is also a mother with two young children that the presence of young ones is forgiven.

It had been decided Saturday at their family tea, that since Sir Roderick Merton was the mostly unknown entity amongst Prince John’s entourage–and now ingratiated with the Gisborne’s after saving their children–that he should seek to be a spy for them amongst the other courtiers. Sir Roderick hopes of giving the false impression that he is displeased with the Gisborne’s and the only reason that he is still a guest in their guest chamber is at Prince John’s request–otherwise, Sir Roderick would happily bunk in the Castle Armory’s temporary barracks with the rest of them. So Sir Roderick preys upon his fellow courtiers general state of envy and their love of juicy gossip.SirRoderick-isChrisHemsworth-andNataliePortman-inthor_Feb0515mrpopatin-croptoHemsworth

Pretending to be in his cups with the other courtiers in the Gordon Castle armory’s temporary sleeping quarters of many of them as he takes another swig of his ale–but only sipping–a jovial Sir Roderick [(3) right] intentionally slurs his words.

Sir Roderick: “The bed the Gisborne’s allotted to me is fine, I will grant that–good for my healing shoulder. But since the bed’s location is nestled between the masters’ and children’s bed chambers, it does not allow me any privacy for sport with the comely serving wenches at the castle.”

Sir Mead: “And comely, they are. Why jus tother day, I found myself quite pleasured by a wench in an out of the way corner.”

Sir Mead smiles leeringly for the benefit of his fellow knights–rather exaggerating what took place since all he managed was to steal a kiss before the serving girl skittered a way. But such is the way of men in groups–boasting to the point of lying about their prowess on and off the field of battle.

Sir Roderick: “With the castle bursting to the battlements with guests, pray tell what quiet corner was that?”

The men howl with laughter and add a few choice words of their own–that were Sir Roderick not attempting to appear as one of them would make him bristle for their disrespect of women.

Sir Kendall: “Aye! Why Sir Roland and I have yet to find any willing wenches. We might have to start looking to the ladies.”

Sir Roderick only flinches briefly before smoothing his facial expressions and response not to give anything away. So he claps the knight’s back and says jovially.

Sir Roderick: “By the by, who is this Sir Roland? I do not believe that we have been introduced?” Sir Roderick furrows his brow quizzically as he pretends to weave his body back and forth as if he would fall over in his pretend drunken stupor.

Sir Kendall:   “Of course you have!” Sir Kendall claps Sir Roderick on his back. Sir Robert Noland of Devon. Roland is just a family and close friends name for him.”
Sir Roderick’s eyes widen imperceptibly. He does know who this Sir Roland is. Then his face return to a placid glazed over smile.

Sir Roderick: “Of course! Sir Robert! Well then, Sir Kendall, perhaps you and I and Sir Roland will find some ladies at this evening’s dinner.”

Sir Roderick raises his eyebrows up and down several times with a broad smile to indicate his eagerness. Of course, they believe him–louts and reprobates that they are. Sir Roderick privately disdains his fellow knights’ lack of honour. But while he attempts to ingratiate himself with them to gain their trust and find out the exact details of the planned assassinations, Sir Roderick behaves as if he is their very best friend.

***

Meanwhile, Prince John has a word or two with his overly confident sycophant Sir Jasper in a private audience in Prince John’s family guest suite’s sitting room. Prince John feels certain that Sir Jasper would not try to kill him, himself–because there are too many witnesses to his entering the royal guest suite. Perhaps, he should rethink that logic.PrinceJohn-frowning-isTobyStephens-inRobinhood-series3-epi6-pix0095_Jan3115ranet-crop-sized-crop2

Prince John: “There you are, Jasper!” Prince John [(4) right] sounds and looks purposely annoyed–as he usually does–so as not to alert Jasper that they are on to him.

Sir Jasper: “My apologies, Sire. But the business of the realm …” Sir Jasper intone self-importantly. “… does not stop because we are in Leicester waiting for a soon to be abbreviated certain baronial ceremony. Ha ha ha!” He smirks evilly.

Prince John: “Ha ha ha! Guy of Gisborne will be more manageable if he feels he needs to tend to his own lands and not expand his influence to the new Nottingham Castle fortifications that are almost completed.”

Though Prince John might have guessed, given the negative memories Sir Guy has of his actions in Nottingham as Sherriff Vasey’s Lieutenant, that Sir Guy spends as little time there as possible. So Prince John’s worries are baseless. Sir Guy has no need for power grabbing and has most reluctantly agreed to accept King Richard’s bestowal of a barony–because of what it will mean in elevating his children–especially Seth who will inherit the title.

Sir Jasper: “Sir Guy’s visionary design of the rebuilt and expanded fortifications will make Nottingham Castle our strong hold of the North. And Lord Archer has made himself a champion of the people doing good works, giving them clean water and promoting trade and such.” Sir Jasper sneers.   “And with Nottingham Castle about to be outfitted with a full garrison again, those Gisborne brothers will have too much power unless Lord Archer is removed from office, shall we say?”

For though Sir Guy thinks that he and Seth are the indirect targets, Lord Archer also has several arrows pointed at him.

Prince John: “Yes, yes. They are a thorn in my side. Though they are family by marriage through lady Roseanna, it is a tenuous connection at best.” Prince John flicks his thumb and middle finger as he is wont to do when he is annoyed.   “Have all the arrangements been settled then? How is it to be accomplished?”

Sir Jasper:   “Yes, Sire. We will invite Lord Archer to join the processional, leading Sir Guy toward you before the altar. That consolidates our targets by having them all standing up front together.” Sir Jasper smiles–thinking aloud that. “Then with all four of them facing forward as the investiture begins, they will be easy targets for an expert bowmen to kill.”

Prince John: “Hhhh! Nooooo, Jasper! I do not think that killing them is necessary.” Prince John shakes his head and rolls his eyes.  “And certainly not in Leicester Cathedral.” Prince John crosses himself haphazardly. “I swear, Jasper, you would take a mallet to squash an ant. A lighter touch is required. I merely want you to wound Sir Guy and Lord Archer–so that they have to convalesce and stay out of my way for several months. And leave my little cousin Seth unharmed completely. Is that understood?” Sir Jasper nods to humor Prince John. “Seth’s adopted mother and Sir Guy’s wife–my cousin Lady Rose–will be difficult enough with her husband injured. We need not unleash her full fury by harming the boy, too.” Then Prince John smiles quite sheepishly. “Besides, Seth named his dog after me, and I have quite a soft spot for the boy.” Tis true, Prince John does think kindly about Seth.

Sir Jasper: “Of course, Sire. It will be as you command.” Not–thinks Sir Jasper.

And Prince John has another thought to aid his protection from any errant arrows fueled by Sir Jasper’s eagerness to put another on the throne and become Regent..

Prince John: “And given that you are so indispensable to me as my appointed Advisor, Sir Jasper, I should like you to stand beside me as a measure of my regard for you. Perhaps there will be more than one Baron made new at the ceremony.”

Prince John hints–just enough to set Sir Jasper’s mind turning in other, less lethal, directions. For even if Sir Guy’s baronial investiture ceremony is not interrupted by mayhem, at least Prince John will not have his cousin Lady Rose to contend with. They have been adversaries since their childhood–playing and fighting through them growing up and being around each other regularly. Had they not been cousins–even by marriage–Prince John supposes that someone might have suggested that they become betrothed. He shudders at the thought. Prince John likes his women docile–and that description in no way represents his cousin Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne.

***

Having received a report from Sir Roderick about who Sir Roland is–Sir Robert Noland of Guy-isRichardArmitage-and-Archer-isCliveStanden-inRH3episode11_109_Mar1215ranetDevon–Sir Guy and Lord Archer [(5) right] converse privately on the Keep Tower’s observation deck late Sunday evening, the scene of his children’s accident and salvation but two days ago. The darkness aiding their hoped for secrecy. Lord George is absent due to attending his very pregnant wife Lady Mary–who is feeling much discomfort due to her condition .

Lord Archer: “So Guy! You are not wary to be up here so soon after the accident that Helen and Seth had on Friday?

Sir Guy: “No Archer! Not if it means we can strategize in peace and privacy.”

Lord Archer: “And without My Lady Rose, I would surmise?” Lord Archer flashes his brother Sir Guy a smirking smile.

Sir Guy: “You know me too well, brother. And Rose is the last person who should know what we plan to do.”

Lord Archer: “Do you believe that she would object?”

Sir Guy: “I do. Rose has never had to make tough choices–as you and I have. In her sheltered life, she has mostly known justice prevailing. And she believes that situations can be resolved through discussion and negotiation. You and I know better, Archer.”

Sir Guy and his brother Lord Archer share a look of resignation. Their pasts of infamy that they long thought they had to put to rest, must resurface if they are to save their families’ lives. They have each done in the past what they needed to survive–including murder. And though they had vowed to themselves and to their spouses never to seek violent solutions–in their mind, there is no other choice with their present predicament of two assassination plots brewing against them. Either Sir Jasper, the other conspirators’ and their expert bowmen must die–or Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and maybe Seth will die. And neither Sir Guy nor Lord Archer will let any danger befall their children. If their saving their families lives through murder be a sin, then so be it, thinks Sir Guy. He can live with that–he hopes.

And so the Gisborne brothers’ day of manly pursuits of hunting and such planned for tomorrow on Monday, April 1st will see more than boar and deer being hunted. And though life and death will hang in the balance scales, would be assassins will not be the only ones at risk.

To be continued with Chapter 16

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 15 References, Mar. 13, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #718)

1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer quote attribution was found at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Godfather_Part_II

3) Sir Roderick Merton (crop) is Chris Hemsworth in a still (with Natalie Portman cropped out) from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://mrpopat.in/admin/upload/wallpaper/201310301383113308920383985.jpg
4) Prince John frowning image (crop) is Toby Stephens in the BBC’s Robin Hood (2009) season 3, epi 6, pix 95 that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0095.jpg

5) Sir Guy is Richard Armitage and Lord Archer is Clive Standen in Robin Hood (2009) Series 3, epi11, pix 109 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodeeleven/slides/RH3episode11_109.JPG

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 14 Blog Link

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-14-pg-13-d-a-cost-too-dear-march-09-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-716/

 

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