“Guy’s Rose”, Ch. 39–Archer’s Audience, Traveling, and Healing, 2/22/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #137)
Author’s Scheduling Note: My “Guy’s Rose” story is almost at its close. It will conclude on Friday, February 24–Guy Day Friday, very appropriate. Links to earlier chapters are found after the image references.
After the three adults–Lady Roseanna, Fr. Bale, and Archer–finally lay down to sleep around 4:00am at the Palace at London, the Monday morning comes swiftly enough. Around 8:00am–a few hours after the cock crowed–Lady Roseanna and Seth enjoy a light meal breaking their fast with Bessie and Tanner in the Middleton Apartments. Their plan is to leave for home in Leicester within the hour–and secretly detouring to Nottingham after reaching Leicester for Sir Guy. But their leave taking may be complicated by the additional obligation of Lord Archer Locksley pleading his inheritance and sheriff cases to Prince John. And Prince John will not be in a good mood–not only being awake before mid day, but also because of the news that Fr. Bale and Archer have for him about Nottingham. Feeling that she can lend further credibility to Archer’s suit–though she had not planned to set eyes upon her cousin Prince John ever again–Lady Roseanna [(2) right] accompanies Lord Archer and Fr. Bale to their audience with Prince John. The three of them walk into the palace dining hall with great trepidation around 9:00am.
Prince John: “What is so urgent I am summoned from my bed?” Prince John says groggily while slogging some morning ale. And he notices that his fair cousin is in his presence as well. “My lady.” He nods to her respectfully and she nods imperceptibly back at him while maintaining a stoicly grief stricken expression on her face. For all Prince John knows, Sir Guy is dead–and Lady Roseanna does not plan to disabuse him of that notion.
Prince John: “Yes, yes, be quick about, Priest. And who is this?” Prince John [(3) right] asks impatiently.
Fr. Bale: “My Prince, this is Lord Archer of Locksley, the new Earl of Huntington.” Archer bows effusively.
Archer: “Sire, I regret that we must meet under these circumstances.”
Prince John: “And what circumstances are those? Who is this man? I do not recall a Locksley heir.” For Prince John had hoped to claim the Huntington estates and lands for himself.
Lady Roseanna: “Sire, Lord Archer is my kinsman–the son of Sir Malcom of Locksley and the Lady Ghislane Gisborne. Lord Archer is the half brother of my late husband Sir Guy.” She says with a pinched expression on her face, befitting a grieving widow. Prince John looks astonished.
Fr. Bale: “Sire we know this to be true because Sir Malcom himself lead Robin Hood and Sir Guy to their half brother Archer before their deaths.” Fr. Bale [(4) right] is telling the truth, just not the whole truth.
Prince John: “But Sir Malcom died years ago.” Prince John shakes his head.
Archer: Taking command of the situation as befits his newly noble status, he weighs in. “Apparently not, Sire. After Sir Malcom placed me as a babe in the care of a foster family, he did not die in the fire that claimed Sir Guy’s parents’ lives–though he was terribly injured. We know not how my father lived these twenty years. But he resurfaced over a week ago to reveal my existence to my brothers and bring us together.” Archer [(5) right] skips the whole almost being hanged together in York bit. “Sadly, my father died before he and I could be reunited.” Archer says with sincere regret.
Prince John: Not as dim a candle as others might think him in comparison to his brother King Richard, Prince John asks. “But what is the grave news, Fr. Bale?”
Fr. Bale: “Nottingham Castle was destroyed in an explosion Saturday mid day–not long after Sheriff Vasey sent the homing pigeon to you with news of him seizing the castle. Vasey, Isabella Gisborne Thornton and several others were killed in the collapse. None survived.”
Prince John looks grievously perturbed at this turn of events–and he slogs some more ale.
Archer: “Sire, I am come to pledge my loyalty to you as the new Earl of Huntington and Lord of Locksley. I wish to rebuild our fortifications at Nottingham and return it to the stronghold of your power that it once was.” Archer says flattering his prince.
Prince John: “And how do you propose to do this if all is collapsed?”
Archer: “We will build from the rubble. And I bring with me $2000 pounds from my own estate to secure some workers and designers to help us in our task.” Fr. Bale notices the lessened amount from the $5000 pounds that Sir Guy gave Archer and raises his eye brows. “But I know that Nottingham’s Sheriff Vasey was unable or unwilling to give you your tribute monies. Perhaps we will find them in the Nottingham Castle ruins in due time. But until then, I give you this $2000 pounds from my own estate as tribute until we are in a position to raise taxes again in a few years time when Nottingham has recovered. Until then, I fear, we will be in a rebuilding phase.” Archer eyes Prince John confidently–like the smooth con man he is–as he hands Prince John the small chest of coins.
Prince John: Slightly mollified, he says “Well, at least you have your priorities straight, Lord Archer.”
Yes! Thinks Lady Roseanna, Archer, and Fr. Bale. Prince John has taken the bait. Greed always wins out with that weasel Johnny, thinks Lady Roseanna with a veiled smirk that would rival one of Sir Guy’s wry smirks.
Archer: “And to accomplish my task, Sire, I ask to be named the new Sheriff of Nottingham–little pleasure that affords me.” Archer says with a practiced disdain–as nobles who want something dearly dissemble.
Prince John: “Very well! We should have a feast this night to celebrate your new status as Sheriff.”
Archer: “You are most gracious, Sire. But I fear in addition to my duty to you and to Nottingham, I also have a duty to my sister-in-law, Lady Roseanna. I offered her my protection as she journeys to her home in Leicester this day. And as a gentleman, I cannot go back on my word to her.”
Prince John looks perturbed that his largesse of hosting a feast could so cavalierly be dismissed.
Fr. Bale: Wanting to intercede to lessen Prince John’s displeasure, he says “Tis true, My Prince. It is a tedious journey for My Lady and we need Lord Archer to accompany us. But perhaps a midday meal announcement might be celebration enough if My Lady Roseanna would delay her journey by a few hours?” Prince John looks at his cousin Lady Roseanna.
Delaying her travel to her beloved for even a few minutes is torture to Lady Roseanna. But she knows that they must make Nottingham and its people safe–while also maintaining the ruse of Sir Guy being dead.
Lady Roseanna: “I will delay the start of our journey until just after the mid day meal–but no longer. Of course, since I am in mourning, I will not be attending. But I wish you well as you meet the other noble’s, Lord Archer.”
Archer: Kissing her hand, he says while winking at her “I will vouchsafe you to your hearth and home in Leicester soon enough My Lady Roseanna. We hope to reach our destination in two days time.”
Prince John: “Very well. I will set my banquet staff to prepare a feast before your departure.”
Once again, Prince John sends his servants scurrying to prepare an impromptu feast with barely two hours notice. But, they simply use the foods they would have served at dinner that evening. Lord Archer and Fr. Bale attend the gathering and Archer is introduced around. Of course there is some grumbling by the obstreperous Jasper who would have liked the commission to rebuild Nottingham for his family. But it seems Lord Archer is eschewing the ‘regular’ channels by using local folk and paying them to rebuild their own community–how novel. Meanwhile, Lady Roseanna and her household–Seth, Bessie, and Tanner–eat a light meal in the Middleton Apartments before leaving to travel to Sir Guy.
The midday Monday feast to celebrate Lord Archer becoming Sheriff of Nottingham was a scaled back affair and did not take long. Lady Roseanna was grateful for this. But it still delayed their leave taking until 1pm–three hours past when she had wanted to leave. But there was nothing for it. As they settle into their journey–a covered carriage for Lady Roseanna, Bessie, Seth and Fr. Bale with Tanner riding Wildfire and Archer riding another horse–they ride several hours West and North of London toward Leicester at first. Lady Roseanna passes the time with the three year old Seth [(6) right] by entertaining him with stories of knights and quests. And she repeats Seth’s new name over and over again to his delight, until he can say it all by himself–Crispin Guy, Sir Seth of Gisborne. However, Lady Roseanna and her traveling companions real purpose and destination of traveling to Nottingham to Sir Guy–past her estate in Leicester–must not be revealed if they are to keep him and themselves safe from Prince John’s spies. So, not even Seth, Bessie, nor Tanner are told of their destination. Though gratefully, Prince John gave them a small retinue of guards to accompany them to prevent highwaymen from trying to overtake them. Their plan is to send the guards back to London once they reach Leicester late Tuesday evening.
Sir Guy has spent the better part of his Monday morning being carefully moved by slow wagon to Locksley Manor where he takes up residence to heal more until his family arrives. Then they will consult upon the best course of action about whether to stay in England in hiding or remove themselves to Sir Guy’s estates in France altogether. Sir Guy is grateful for his brother Lord Archer’s hospitality at Locksley Manor as well as his help in bringing his Lady Rose to him. Br. Tuck still forbids Sir Guy to walk any distance, so he is carried on a stretcher up the stairs to his old bed chamber at Locksley Manor. The last time Sir Guy had been at Locksley Manor, he had been made Sheriff by Prince John, only to have his sister Isabella betray him. Blood relations to Sir Guy have only been a disappointment up until now–with the exception of his dear mother, the Lady Ghislane. Sir Guy hopes that he can make a home with his new family with Lady Roseanna that will honor his mother’s memory–and her hope for her children. Sir Guy does not know when his Lady Rose might come to him in the next few days or even the next week, but it can be none too soon for Sir Guy. His heart aches for her comfort–and to give her comfort. And Sir Guy pledges himself to making a loving home for his son Seth whom he has not seen in a year and a half.
After his mid day meal, Sir Guy [(7) right] rests and sleeps for several hours, dreaming of his family. But his slumber is not completely peaceful–as he eventually awakens this afternoon to the sound of giggling children standing by his bedside.
Martin: Surveying the sleeping form of Sir Guy upon his great four poster bed, four year old Martin asks his older sister. “Sally, do you think he be dead?”
Sally: With golden curls falling about her shoulders and a pixieish laugh, the five year old Sally [(8) right] says “Ha ha ha! Mama will make him a poltice so he will feel well.” Sir Guy’s sleepy eyes begin to flutter open with the children’s voices disturbing his rest. “See, he is awake.” Touching his arm gently she smiles hard while leaning toward him hopefully. “How do you feel?”
Sir Guy regards the small girl with a quizzically bemused expression on his face. Children not being something he is accustomed to being around.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm. Passable.” He says benignly.
Martin: “Mama’s medicines work wonders! Everyone says so. My brother Tommy got better.” He points to his brother sitting on the opposite side of the bed, next to Sir Guy. Tommy nods his head up and down and smiles hard at Sir Guy.
Tommy: “I am taller than you now.” Tommy [(9) right] says self importantly. They had all seen the great and fierce Sir Guy–on horseback when they peeked through their homes windows when he would ride through the village. He seemed to be a giant to them then. But now, the prone Sir Guy with only his bandaged torso–and no black leather to be seen anywhere–lessens him appearing fearful to the young children. Besides, children always have far more curiosity than they do fear.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy turns his head to see that he is surrounded by children–outnumbered by little ones, an ambush. “Thornton?” He calls out clearly while smiling sheepishly at the young children.
Thornton: Rushing into Sir Guy’s bed chamber from the upstairs hallway, Thornton says apologetically. “My apologies, My Lord. these children belong to the local woman who bandaged your wounds.”
Sir Guy: “So they said.” He says with an impishly raised eyebrow.
Thornton: “Children, shoo. Sir Guy needs his rest. Go outside and play with the other children, but be quiet so our master can rest.” The children giggle as they wave good bye to Sir Guy–and he smiles at them.
Sir Guy: “Are there more children like these in the village? I don’t recall seeing little ones before.” Sir Guy asks questioningly.
Thornton: Now comes some diplomacy on Thornton’s part. “You’ll forgive me, Milord, but most villagers felt it … wise to keep their children out of sight. They didn’t want you to be bothered.” Thornton winces recalling the girl child that the distraught Sir Guy dangled over the cliff before chucking Robin over the cliff.
Sir Guy: “I see.” He says ruefully. “But then why are these children allowed out now?” Thornton shrugs his shoulders. “I guess in my present state, I am no longer to be feared. Ha!”
Thornton: Yes, that, and …” Thornton shrugs his shoulders.
Sir Guy: “What? That and what?” Sir Guy asks plaintively.
Thornton: “Milord, it’s just that … now don’t be mad at Br. Tuck and John Little, … but they couldn’t keep the secret of where the money to the villagers came from.”
Sir Guy: Still groggy, he says “Ah. I guess I’m a curiosity now–injured, bedridden, and foolishly giving them money from my own pocket.” Sir Guy smiles
Thornton: “Yes sir, the people see you as their champion ever since you joined forces with Robin Hood–may he rest in peace.” Thornton bows his head remembering Robin.
Sir Guy: “Yes. Robin was a good man.” Sir Guy acknowledges his former foe–and he welcomes being thought of in the same breath as Robin Hood.
After a light dinner, Sir Guy sleeps some more–this time without interruption from little ones.
To be continued with Chapter 40
(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 was found at http://www.paintingall.com/william-mcgregor-paxton-girl-combing-her-hair.html
(3) Cropped image of Prince John (portrayed by Toby Stephens) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 7 (Pix 10) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_010.html
(4) Cropped and color corrected image representing Fr. Bale is that of Cadfael (a character portrayed by Derek Jacobi) and was found at http://andreys.chez.com/Cadfael/images/cadfael/gallery/cad4a.png
(5) Cropped image of Archer (as portrayed by Clive Standen), photo manipped with a tunic, in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 12 (pix 93) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.html
(6) 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
(7) Image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) having a dream was in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 9
(8) Image of Shirley Temple representing a young Village child was found at http://www.childstarlets.com/lobby/bios/portraits/shirley_temple12.jpg
(9) Image representing Tommy was found at http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=881932
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.