“Guy’s Rose” Chapter 35–Sunday Morning, the Palace Learns Incomplete News about Nottingham, 2/13/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #128)
Author’s Scheduling Note: My “Guy’s Rose” story is almost at its close. It will continue being serialized here on my blog for a few more chapters, until it concludes. Links to earlier chapters are found after the image references.
Despite her daily seclusion while she awaits news of her beloved Sir Guy, this Sunday morn, Lady Roseanna [(2) right] is obliged to attend Sunday Mass with her cousin Prince John. All through the church services, Lady Roseanna feels that her cousin Prince John has been overly cheerful. Johnny does not like going to church–except for the show of it. What is he up to she wonders? Then at the mid day meal, Lady Roseanna finds out what has caused his cheery mood as Prince John relates some news from Nottingham.
Prince John: Standing to make a speech and motioning everyone to sit back down because they had also stood up, he says “My Lords and Ladies, I have some momentous news from Nottingham this morn that I am gladdened to share with you.”
News? Lady Roseanna had not seen any messengers or new people about. How could he know anything? But, he is just about to tell her and the others as she looks up at him quizzically. Prince John motions to his aide who hands him a slip of paper.
Aide: “Sire.” He says respectfully bowing his head as he backs away from him.
Prince John: “I have received news from Sheriff Vasey of Nottingham that he had routed the outlaws and retaken Nottingham castle yesterday.” He pauses for effect, then says dramatically. “Robin Hood … is dead–as is that traitor, Sir Guy.” Prince John [(3) right] says this last bit almost as an afterthought. But then he looks down at his cousin Lady Roseanna with a faint but malicious smile. Sir Guy’s fear of Lady Rose hearing prematurely of his death is proven correct.
Frozen at what she has just heard–her husband is dead–Lady Roseanna pales and begins to tear up. But she clings to a faint hope that her love, Guy, still lives. He can’t be dead. Her heart cannot believe he is gone–surely she would feel his passing, as if her heart had been torn in two.
Lady Roseanna: Standing shakily, Lady Roseanna counters in a slightly quavering voice. “This can’t be true, Sire. How do you know this? A messenger has not come to the palace.”
Prince John: “Ah, but it is true. The sheriff sent us a message yesterday morn by a homing pigeon after taking control of Nottingham Castle. It is certain my Lady Rose. So, we shall have to find you a new fiancé afterall.” He makes a joke–that no one laughs at.
Lady Roseanna looks bereft as she gazes at her cousin Prince John and she leans on the dining table for support. It is as if her world is crashing down around her. She searches his eyes for the truth of what he says–and realizes that he is telling her the truth. Lady Roseanna then gathers her courage and reveals her secret–her and Sir Guy’s secret–to her cousin and all assembled.
Lady Roseanna: “Nay Johnny. I am already married–to Sir Guy. I am Lady Gisborne–and you have made me his widow.”
Prince John: Looking startled he asks “What!?!”
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna drops any pretense she had and lays out the facts for all to hear–her voice ringing with despair for her lost love, Sir Guy. “Sir Guy and I married in secret nearly three months ago because we were a true love match …” Lady Roseanna remembers her love’s tenderness [(4) right] toward her. “… and we feared you might try to part us for your sport as you later did in sending him back to Nottingham on your errant mission before our formal wedding was to have taken place a month ago.” Now ‘she’ pauses for effect and gently places her hands on her soon to be growing belly. “I am bearing our first child, now to be our only child together.” Rose’s grief and despair pours forth as she sits back down and weeps uncontrollably. Bessie rushes to her mistress’ side to comfort her.
The gathering is stunned as they look back and forth between the grieving widow and their conniving Prince. They know of Prince John’s treachery, but they did not think it extended to his own family, the Royal family. Everyone slowly retreats from the room, leaving Prince John alone with his inconsolable cousin Rose in the banquet hall.
Prince John: Sitting down next to her again, Prince John asks stridently. “Is this true, Rose? You and Gisborne were married?”
Lady Roseanna: Looking up at him with tears streaming down her face, she says. “It is.” She would leave the palace on her own accord if she did not think he would have her brought back again. So, she must request her own absence from him as her last act as a member of the Royal family. “I want only to go into seclusion now at my estate at Leicester to await my child’s birth. Will you grant me that?” She lowers her head and weeps into her hands.
Prince John: In a conciliatory tone, he grants her request. “Of course, you need time to grieve. Go to your estate in Leicester until you feel well enough to return to court.”
Lady Roseanna: Looking up at him again and fixing him with the gaze of a woman who has lost almost everything she holds dear in this world–but for the child within her and Sir Guy’s son Seth–she says with all the strength and courage she can muster. “You have killed my loving husband–the father of my child. I will never forgive you. And I never want to be in your presence again. You are dead to me, now. I have no cousin named John. I am no longer a member of the Royal Family.”
Prince John looks at her in shock–less for her treasonous words that she has just spoken to her sovereign, than for the stinging rebuke just given to him by his cousin. He nods his head slowly in agreement, in a rare moment of sympathy for her despair. That is, if it can be said that sympathy is a feeling that Prince John is acquainted with.
Bessie helps Lady Roseanna stand and they walk toward the Middleton Apartments to pack for their journey. Lady Roseanna resolves not to spend one more night under her cousin’s roof. But the complexities of the palace staff packing her household for a long journey–one that she plans not to return from–thrusts itself upon her and she relents to leave the next day. So on the morrow, Monday, Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne will be away to her home in Leicester to grieve for her husband Sir Guy [(5)right] and to await their child’s birth. But tonight, Lady Rose weeps for their lost love Sir Guy. And she weeps for their children–Seth and their unborn child–who will never know their Papa. But she vows to keep Sir Guy’s memory alive for her children–and therefore keeping Sir Guy’s memory alive for her, for all of her days. Because Lady Roseanna knows that she as his wife and their children are Sir Guy’s legacy in the world.
To be continued with Chapter 36
(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) Cropped 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-P ainting.jpg
(3) Cropped image of Prince John (as portrayed by Toby Stephens) in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 3, episode 7 (pix 10) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_010.html
(4) Cropped image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) and image of Lady Marian (as portrayed by Lucy Griffiths) representing Lady Roseanna sleeping in each others’ arms is a photo manipulation created by the talented artist Maltysa and was found at http://maltysa.livejournal.com/355.html
(5) Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) portrait from the BBC’s Robin Hood series 3, episode 5 (pix 84) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_084.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 story link references.