“Guy’s Rose”, Ch. 28: Presenting Seth to Prince John; Sir Guy’s Dream, 2/03/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #121)
Author’s Scheduling Note: “Guy’s Rose” will continue being serialized here on my blog on Mondays and Fridays until the story line is completed. Links to earlier chapters are found after the image references. This chapter is rated PG-13 for sensual situations.
After midday supper in Lady Roseanna’s apartments with Seth and his caretaker mother Colleen, Seth warms to Lady Roseanna [(2) right]. And he even spends the afternoon with her without his mama–whom he is told is napping. Then after Bessie bathes the little boy–fitfully, with water and soap going everywhere to little Seth’s delight–Bessie attires him in some of the small child clothes that Lady Roseanna had made in anticipation of Seth coming to live with them.
Seth sees his mama Colleen once more before Lady Roseanna takes the bull by the horn–knowing that the palace gossips are at work already–and walks with Seth holding her hand to tonight’s palace dinner banquet. Lady Roseanna is nervous as to whether Prince John will believe the tale she will spin about Seth [(3) right]–and what Seth will do. But if Seth is to become a part of Lady Roseanna’s family–become her son as well as being Sir Guy’s son in more than just name–she must find a way to ease him into the fabric of their lives with minimum disruption to Seth, and minimum suspicion by the other nobles and Prince John.
Seth is agog with all the wonders of the Palace, never having been inside so grand a place as this before and he points to everything new he sees–the wall tapestries, the torches lining the hallway, and the many people in pretty clothes milling about.
Seth: “Pointing to a man standing guard in a colorful tunic in rich fabrics at the entrance to the banquet hall, Seth asks. “Is that the king?”
Lady Roseanna: Laughing lightly, she says. “No Seth dear, that is one of the Prince Regent’s guards. The Prince Regent is my cousin Prince John. When you meet him, you must bow.” She bows and he imitates her. “Very good!” Lady Roseanna strokes the cheek of this little boy, of her son.
Lady Roseanna and Seth walk into the banquet hall and they see several long tables along the edges, making a “U” shape with an open center for dancing and entertainments. There are musicians playing off to one side and Lady Roseanna spies Lord and Lady Talkington and she heads straight for them. She needs allies tonight if she is to pull this off.
Lady Talkington: “Roseanna my dear. Who have we here?” She smiles down at the little boy.
Seth: “I’m Seth!” He announces gleefully. Well, he is a 3 year old boy and he knows his own name.
Lady Roseanna: “Eliza, Lord Talkington, this is my cousin Seth–you remember, my late cousin Lenore’s orphaned child.” She smiles sweetly hoping they will play along.
Lord Talkington: “Was Lenore on your father’s side?” He asks quizzically, trying to remember the Middleton lineage.
Lady Roseanna: “No, on my mother’s side. Seth, this is Lord and Lady Talkington.” Seth waves at the Talkington’s which amuses the adults. “Very good, Seth Dear. Now let’s practice our bows.” She bows, Seth bows to the Talkington’s, then the Talkington’s bow. And Lady Roseanna rubs Seth’s back in approval as Seth clings to her skirt as his maternal substitute.
Lady Talkington: “He is such a little cherub. He reminds me of someone.” She thinks. Of course, Seth looks like Sir Guy. But she does not think of that.
Lady Roseanna: “Perhaps you are thinking of Lenore’s Brother, Harold?” She offers, trying to help them make the connection. “Seth is so like Harold was as a little boy.” She fibs.
Lady Talkington: “Ah, just so.” She agrees with her out of politeness–and not wanting to seem forgetful. Of course, one can not forget someone who never existed. “I had not heard of Lenore’s death. When was it?”
Lady Roseanna: “Over a year ago. Seth has been cared for by a family in the country whom he is much attached to–even calling her mama.” Lady Roseanna says in half truths and winces. “But I hope that he will soon think of me as his mama now that he will be under my care.” Lady Roseanna smiles down at Seth.
Seth: “Mama? Where is mama?” Seth looks worried now that he realizes his Mama Colleen is not with him.
Lady Roseanna made the classic mistake of mentioning others Seth is attached to–his mama Colleen–thus reminding Seth of his changing situation. But, she thinks fast and tries to ply him with food.
Lady Roseanna: “Seth, are you hungry? Let us see what is on the table to nibble on before dinner.” Seth nods hungrily and they walk over to their place at the table as they wave good bye to the Talkington’s. Well, Roseanna’s place. Seth will sit with her.
Prince John [(4) right] enters the banquet hall and everyone applauds–again to stay in his good graces. And Prince John waves at them as if they were his adoring public–rather than his wary nobles. The prince sees Lady Roseanna with a small child–being mindful of hearing something earlier about Lady Roseanna having visitors–and he asks the Talkington’s who it is?
Prince John: “A child? What is Lady Roseanna doing with a child? She’s not even wed yet, and she hasn’t known Sir Guy long enough for it to be their child. Ha!” He laughs, but if Roseanna could hear him, she would be cringing at him hitting so close to the mark–since this is Sir Guy’s child.
Lord Talkington: “Sire, I believe the little boy is the orphaned child of one of her distant cousins.” Lady Roseanna’s planted seed of a background story for Seth is taking root.
Prince John: “Oh? I thought I knew all of her and our family.” He looks askance at Lady Roseanna and Seth as they start to walk toward them.
Lady Talkington: “You remember, Sire, this is Lenore’s little boy. He looks so like her brother Harold did at that age.” Now the background story is flowering.
Prince John: “I suppose so.” He still looks at them uncertainly thinking that he doesn’t remember a Lenore or a Harold. But, he can’t be expected to remember marginal relations of cousins only by marriage, he thinks.
Lady Roseanna: Walking up to Prince John and the Talkington’s with Seth’s hand in hers, Lady Roseanna says “Johnny, this is Seth, my ward–Lenore’s son.” Then she turns to Seth and says “Seth, this is Prince John. Bow.” And she and Seth bow–with the little boy staying bent over crouching and then looking at the design on Prince John’s leather tooled shoes intently.
Seth: “Your shoes are pretty.” Seth says touching their soft leather tops lightly.
Prince John: Not having been around children much–except when he was one–he says amusingly “Yes, well, we’re dressed for dinner and these are my dinner shoes.”
Seth: “You have more shoes?” Seth asks incredulously as he looks at Prince John in wonder. Seth has only ever had one pair of shoes, and then sometimes none at all. And the shoes he is wearing tonight are the first he has worn in a very long time.
Lady Roseanna: Smoothing over Seth’s country ways she says. “Milord, Seth has been cared for in the country for the past year. So, he has been allowed to run and play without shoes most of the time.”
Prince John: “Well Rose, will he be visiting long? Or will you send him to your estates for safe keeping?” He asks somewhat disdainfully–hoping that the little boy’s hands weren’t dirty when they touched his shoes.
Lady Roseanna: “Seth will be staying with me in the palace now.” She says gingerly, because she hasn’t figured out a way to tell Seth yet that his life will change forever. But she just did.
Seth: “Are mama and papa coming to live in the palace, too?” Seth asks looking up at Lady Roseanna curiously.
Prince John: “I thought you said his parents were dead?” Oh dear. This was not the right thing to say in front of Seth, who bursts into tears.
Seth: “Mama is here! I want Mama!” Seth wails and begins to cry. Lady Roseanna realizes that she may have been pushing things too quickly for little Seth.
Lady Roseanna: “Seth, your mama is having dinner in her room and resting from your long journey tonight.” She hugs the little boy soothingly as she kneels down to his height and gently sways back and forth–as her late mother used to do with her when she was an upset little girl. Then looking up at Prince John, Lady Roseanna says “Johnny, Seth’s ‘Mama’ is the lady who has cared for him this past year.” Lady Roseanna continues to rock Seth soothingly in her arms. “Seth, now we’re going to have fun tonight so we have lots of fun stories to go back and tell your Mama. Hmmm? So let’s dry your eyes. There now. That’s my boy.” She smiles and kisses his cheek tenderly. “Then tomorrow, you’re going to ride my horse Wildfire with me. Would you like that?”
Seth: “Yeeess.” He says as his tears are drying. Little boys like horsies.
Lady Roseanna: “Ooh! Seth, look at the juggler. Isn’t he amazing?” She says trying to distract Seth now. And Seth does get caught up in trying to figure out how the man is not dropping the balls he is juggling.
Prince John: Whispering to Lady Talkington, he asks “Is Lady Roseanna really planning to care for Seth in the palace?”
Lady Talkington: “I believe so, Sire. She was much distressed with her betrothed Sir Guy leaving today. And little Seth will help fill her time until Sir Guy returns.”
Prince John: “Indeed.” And he thinks, keep Lady Roseanna from vexing him.
They all go on to have a lovely banquet. And with little Seth the only child in the room–since children are not normally seen at banquets, but Lady Roseanna is unconventional–there is much talk amongst the nobles about Seth and how he came to be with Lady Roseanna. Happily the esteemed Talkingtons are sharing what Lady Roseanna told them of Seth’s fabricated background. So, the nobles seem to accept this tale.
The journey to Nottingham that day for Sir Guy [(5) right] and his elite palace guards was a tedious one–taking nearly 16 hours since they had started at dawn and it is well into the evening now. They had a large caravan with wagons laden with the trappings needed to create an encampment in the woods. And, of course, they have their secret weapon. But, they find a clearing surrounded by trees in the Nottingham woods that will suit their needs and begin to set up tents for sleeping–at least Sir Guy’s tent. The soldier’s will sleep without shelter. Then tomorrow, the soldiers will begin to make a fort by felling trees and such.
But upon his arrival at Nottingham the night of his departure, Sir Guy writes a quick note to his secret wife, the Lady Roseanna, and sends it by courier to the palace to arrive the next mid morning by fast horse.
Sir Guy’s letter to Lady Roseanna: “My Dearest Lady Rose, We have arrived at Nottingham in safety and set up camp. I hope that our mission will be swiftly completed so that I may return to you well before our wedding in two weeks time. I also hope that our ‘visitor’ arrived in safety and that you find him well and agreeable. Would that I could see him as well.” Of course, Sir Guy is referring to his son Seth, but he does not want to make such a written statement were this note to fall into the hands of Prince John’s agents. “I count the hours and minutes we are apart, my love, consoling myself with the memory of your lovely smile and sweet nature. My heart is yours forever, Guy”
Sir Guy charges his courier to swiftly return to London and to place this note only into Lady Roseanna’s hands and no other. And the courier speeds away on his mission. Sir Guy is on the cusp of having everything he wants and needs for a happy life. He dedicates himself to the success of his mission–for he cannot tolerate failure.
That night Sir Guy dreams of Lady Roseanna and his son, Seth. Sir Guy’s sleeping dreams have been more pleasant these last few weeks as he and Lady Roseanna have enjoyed the first few weeks of their secret marriage together and she has brought a peace and contentment to his life for the first time. And the thought of finally making a home for himself and his son with Lady Roseanna fills his hopeful dreams. Sir Guy dreams he is walking through the Nottingham Castle hallways toward their large and comfortable apartments when Sir Guy is installed as the Sheriff there in a few months time–he is walking toward his future life. Sir Guy knocks at the door.
Lady Rose: “Come in.” Lady Rose says in that sweet honey toned voice reserved for her husband. Though Sir Guy’s Rose is indeed a spitfire, she is an angel on Earth with him–just as Sir Guy is strong and commanding with his soldiers and the nobles that he must now oversee as Sheriff of Nottingham, but tender and loving with her and their son, Seth.
Sir Guy opens the door and sees Lady Rose kneeling on the floor of the sitting room trying to get their son Seth to put on his night shirt for bed this evening. But Seth is wriggling mightily and giggling, too.
Sir Guy: “Beloved!” He strides over to Lady Roseanna and kisses the top of her head. Then she tilts her head back and captures his lips with her lips.
Lady Rose: “You have come back to us, my love.” She looks adoringly into his eyes.
Seth: “Papa!” Little 3 year old Seth says excitedly while tugging on Sir Guy’s leather doublet vest. Seth lifts up his arms to his tall and regal father and the strong Sir Guy obligingly lifts his son Seth up into his arms. Sir Guy offers her his hand and Lady Rose stands slowly and smiles at her two men, her two Guys. Since Lady Roseanna is now about five months along in her pregnancy, she moves a bit slower these days.
Sir Guy: “I think you’ve grown, my little fellow.” Sir Guy says lifting Seth up and down on his arm to Seth’s giggles.
Seth: “Oh Papa! Higher! I want to go higher! Make me fly like a falcon!” Sir Guy looks bemusedly over at Lady Rose.
Lady Rose: “Ha! Well you started it. Now you’ll have to finish it.” She laughs, wondering if they will be able to get little Seth to sleep tonight now that his Papa is home from his two week tour of the county. Sir Guy indulges his son so, thinks a smiling Lady Rose as she lays a protectively maternal hand on her growing with child belly.
Then Sir Guy lifts Seth high above his head with both his arms outstretched as he twirls Seth around the sitting room and into their shared bed chamber to Seth’s giggles. Eventually, Sir Guy lays Seth down on his small child’s bed in the bay window alcove slightly apart from their bed bed curtained four poster bed. Though Seth will eventually have his own room, for now Sir Guy and Lady Rose cannot bear to be apart from him since their being a family together is so new, in only the last several months.
Seth: “Tell me a sleep story, papa?” Seth asks sleepily.
Sir Guy: “Well, let me see.” Sir Guy ponders. “Hmmm. Now, there was a little boy who liked horses and falcons and lived in a large castle.”
Seth: “That’s me, papa!” Seth smiles sleepily–barely able to keep his eyes open now.
Sir Guy: “Yes. And this little boy grew up to be quick with a bow and kind to others–taking after his mother.
Seth: “That’s mama.” Seth sighs almost asleep. Lady Rose smiles and kisses her son’s forehead.
Sir Guy: “And when he becomes a man, he tends to his own village and the people’s welfare as his mama and papa taught him. And the people love him and respect him.”
Seth: “Hhhhhh.” Seth sighs as he slips into sleep.
Sir Guy: Then gently caressing his sleeping son’s cheek, Sir Guy says. “And it is said of Crispin Guy, Sir Seth of Gisborne that he lives a good and purposeful life and brings honor to his family.”
For the name Seth means “virtuous and excellent of character” [(6)]. Sir Guy smiles at his sleeping son’s form, kisses his forehead, and pulls the blanket up to cover Seth’s small shoulders.
Lady Rose: “As it is said of Seth’s papa, Crispin Roger, Sir Guy of Gisborne.”
Lady Rose softly kisses her husband’s lips. Then she takes his hand in hers and he stands. They walk around the folding screen partition in their room that gives them an additional measure of privacy and they slowly undress each other for bed. They have been apart for two weeks this time as Sir Guy toured Nottingham county to assess the stability of the villages and farms in the region and to solidify his new position as sheriff with the nobles. And each parting is only made bearable by their being together again now. When Lady Rose’s state of undress leaves her only in her soft linen sheath slip–with her five months pregnant body now symbolizing their love–Sir Guy wonderingly caresses her abdomen where their first child of many together sleeps and grows.
Then Sir Guy lifts his Lady Rose up into his arms and kisses her adoringly before gently laying her onto their bed, sliding in next to her and drawing the bed curtains. Their bed chamber is their private oasis–away from protocols and duty–when they may just be Guy the devoted husband and Rose his loving wife. As they kiss and caress each other tenderly, Sir Guy is an eager lover, but also mindful of Lady Rose’s delicate condition. Their lovemaking is sweet and gentle and sensuous and passionate. Each of them cleaving unto the other, as if they were the air that they breathe as they share their joy and bliss in their bodies union. For their love is life to them–and they will soon bring a new life into the world in four months time, a child to be born of their love. For these two souls, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna, are lovers true–two hearts intertwined for eternity, that naught even death can divide [(7) right].
As Sir Guy succumbs to deep sleep with this hopeful dream of his future family, home, position as sheriff, and his loving wife, Lady Roseanna also dreams of her loving husband, Sir Guy, with hope in her heart.
When Lady Roseanna receives Sir Guy’s note the following day from the courier arrived in London, her heart is filled with joy.
Sir Guy’s letter to Lady Roseanna: My Dearest Lady Rose, We have arrived at Nottingham in safety and set up camp. I hope that our mission will be swiftly completed so that I may return to you well before our wedding in two weeks time. I also hope that our ‘visitor’ arrived in safety and that you find him well and agreeable. Would that I could see him as well. I count the hours and minutes we are apart, my love, consoling myself with the memory of your lovely smile and sweet nature. My heart is yours forever, Guy”
Lady Roseanna clasps her beloved’s note to her breast and sighs hopefully for his swift return.
To be continued with Chapter 29
(1a) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image–Sir Guy, as portrayed by Richard Armitage in the BBC production of Robin Hood–drawing by Judiang and initially shared at http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/creativity-guy-drawing/
(1b) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image–rose graphic found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_D8VwTKAphks/TQ5I9nYhgdI/AAAAAAAAN6k/vdOKQ4QsSsU/s1600/pink_rose_petals.jpg
(1c) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image representing Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton was changed to grayscale and cropped to head only of “A Portrait of a Young Lady” by Eugene de Blaas was found at http://www.paintingall.com/images/P/Italian-Academic-Classic-Painter-Eugene-de-Blaas-A-Portrait-Of-A-Young-Lady-Oil-Painting.jpg
(2) Image representing Lady Roseanna is “A Portrait of a Lady” by Eugene de Blaas and was found at http://www.paintingall.com/images/P/Italian-Academic-Classic-Painter-Eugene-de-Blaas-A-Portrait-Of-A-Young-Lady-Oil-Painting.jpg
(3) Image representing Seth Gisborne is a “Portrait of a Young Boy” by Jean-Leon Gerome (1924 – 1904) and was found at http://www.paintingall.com/Jean-Leon-Gerome-Portrait-of-a-Young-Boy-Oil-Painting.html
(4) Cropped image of Prince John (as portrayed by Toby Stephens) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 6 (pix 94) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0094.html
(5) Image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 5 (pix 92) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_092.html
(6) The meaning of the name Seth–“virtuous and excellent of character”– is courtesy of Wikipedia and found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth Thanks also to regular blog commenter Carla (@CassiaDeWarren) for pointing out to me that the name Seth has biblical origins. Additionally, the extended name of the older Seth that I have created here–Crispin Guy, Sir Seth of Gisbourne–follows a common tradition of naming sons after father’s (the Guy reference) and including a family or saints name (Crispin). And it should also be noted that the actor portraying Sir Guy (Richard Armitage) has Crispin as his real middle name. Whether the character Sir Guy having Crispin has his middle name was serendipity or intentional by the Robin Hood show’s writers is a question someone will want to ask Mr. Armitage one day.
(7) Image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) and image of Lady Marian (as portrayed by Lucy Griffiths) representing Lady Roseanna is a photo manipulation created by the talented artist Maltysa and was found at http://maltysa.livejournal.com/355.html
Guy’s Rose Previous Story Links
Ch. 27: https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/guys-rose-ch-27-little-guy-arrives-at-the-palace-13012-gratiana-lovelace-post-118/ Other story links may be found at the above site, below the references. There was some extra ping backing going on–when I listed all of the links the last time–that I hope to avoid here. So I hope that you don’t mind taking an extra click to reach those references