“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 2: Seth has a New Companion; Rose Reveals her Secret, 11/02/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #300)
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[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy, Clive Standen as Lord Archer, Emma Watson as Lady Rose, etc.]
[Story Logo 1ab]
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: It is now 13 months later from when Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna were secretly wed. And their baby Lady Helen Rose Gisborne is now four months old and has several visitors–namely her wiley uncle, Lord Archer and her honorary aunt, the Lady Saline Talkington who is engaged to Lady Roseanna’s brother Lord George Oxbridge Middleton who is away on the crusades. But Lord Archer’s visit–a week early, and with a retinue of guards draws his brother Sir Guy’s suspicions. However, four year old Seth Gisborne seeks his uncle’s attention on this particular visit because he wants to know what his present is–before their midday meal.
“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 2: Seth has a New Companion; Rose Reveals her Secret
Seth is so excited about his present from his Uncle Archer that he races down the grand central staircase of their home, Middleton Manor, he rushes to the back of the manor, and heads for the stables. His Papa Sir Guy and Uncle Lord Archer follow quickly behind him.
Sir Guy: Running hurriedly behind his young son, with the stables now in their sights, he yells to him. “Seth! Slow down. You’ll tumble and then your mother will not be happy.” Sir Guy is a bit winded at their hurrying exertions and he puts a hand to the pain in his left abdomen.
Lord Archer: Seeing his brother’s discomfort, he says “Guy, you walk and rest. You’re still healing. I’ll catch up to him.” Sir Guy nods and begins to walk as Lord Archer runs and catches up with little Seth at the stable doors.
Seth: “Where is it, Uncle Archer? Where is my present?” Seth looks around impatiently.
Lord Archer: “Now Seth, let’s wait for your Papa so he can see the surprise on your face.”
Seth: “Papa, hurry. Uncle Archer says we must wait for you.” He motions for his papa to walk faster.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy waves at his son and closes the 10 yards between them quickly with his long legs walking strides. “Alright, I’m here. Now where is this present?” He smiles at his brother and then at his son.
Seth: Bouncing up and down while holding his Uncle Archer’s hand, Seth says in a sing songy voice. “I want my new present, I want my new present.” In the last nine months since they came to live here, Seth has received many presents–in addition to that of his family. He has new clothes, shoes to wear, his own bed chamber with his own pee pot, and his horsie Wildfire that his Mama Lady Roseanna gave him. What more could a little boy want? He is soon to find out.
Lord Archer: “Well Seth, I believe the head stable groom Tanner has your gift secreted away somewhere. Tanner?” He calls out.
Tanner: Coming from one of the stables, he says “Yes Milord Archer?”
Sir Guy: “So you’re in on it, too, Tanner?” He smiles and shakes his head ruefully at the stable boy.
Tanner: “Beggin your pardon Milord Sir Guy, I thought you knew.”
Sir Guy: “Not to worry Tanner, Lord Archer is the one to blame.” Sir Guy squints at his younger brother. For all the mischief he gets into, Archer is still a welcome comfort to Sir Guy.
Just then, the gift makes himself known to them as it pads out of the stable stalls looking for more of Tanner’s treats. The beast is low to the ground, a rather large lumbering thing for one so young. Its large paw size giving them an inkling to its future adult size as a full grown English Mastiff dog [(2a) right].
Seth: Squealing with delight, Seth heads straight for the dog. “A puppyyyyyyy!” Lord Archer smiles at his nephew’s delight. Seth drops down to the dirt floor of the stables hugging the puppy who happily licks his new master’s face.
Sir Guy: “Archer! Look at its paws. That dog is going to be huge!” He thunders in mock consternation.
Lord Archer: “About 11 stone.” Lord Archer says with brotherly mirth. A stone is about 14 pounds–making the puppy’s future weight about 150 pounds. [(3)] “He eats a pound of beef a day for the first year of his life.”
Sir Guy: “And pray tell me, will you be providing the food for him to eat as well?” Sir Guy shakes his head and laughs.
Seth: “Oh Papa, my own doggie!” Seth rushes his father and hugs him. Then Seth rushes over and hugs his uncle. “Thank you Uncle Archer!” Then Seth races back to the doggie and proceeds to roll on the dirt floor of the stable with him.
Sir Guy: Knowing that the dog is already a member of the family given Seth’s gleeful playfulness, Sir Guy asks Lord Archer resignedly. “And does this dog have a name?”
Lord Archer: “That is up to Seth. But let’s have lunch and we can discuss it.” He smiles warmly.
Seth: “Okay. Papa, I’m hungry.” Seth stands up from rolling around in the dirt with the dog–and he is now covered in dirt himself. With Seth’s father, Sir Guy, wondering how any dirt could be left on the ground.
Sir Guy: “Seth, let’s get you cleaned up before your Mama sees you. We have to make a good impression if we are to keep this dog.” Sir Guy nods his head knowingly.
So the men return to the house to get Seth cleaned up before their mid day meal.
Meanwhile, Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline are having a leisurely stroll through Middleton Manor’s newly renamed Gisborne Gardens since Sir Guy had a hand in determining its redesign. Though it will take many years for the larger garden elements to develop–such as trees and shrubs in the formal garden areas–the flower beds and kitchen garden areas are in full bloom. Especially the more wild areas nearer the Middleton Manor house [(4) right] that Guy left unaltered.
Lady Saline: “The gardens are really lovely, Rose.”
Lady Roseanna: “Thank you Saline. Sir Guy had a hand in this as he has with revitalizing the whole estate. Our lands had not fared well after my parents died, with no one to manage them properly with George away at the crusades.” She says sadly thinking of her late parents and her absent brother. “Guy hired a land agent and Guy supervises every aspect of the estate and lands. He has even taken to meeting with our tenants.” She says proudly.
Lady Saline: “So he has become a real lord of the manor.” She raises her eyebrows. “I would not have thought you wanting a lord and master, Rose.”
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna smiles knowingly at her young friend. “My dear husband Sir Guy is my Lord, but no one is my master.” They both giggle. “Saline, when you and George are wed, you will come to understand the joys of having a husband.” Lady Roseanna’s cheeks blush at her own candor.
Lady Saline: “Rose, I fear that George will never return. And my interest in our impending marriage has long since waned–though my parents eagerly support it when I say such things to them.”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh? But Saline, we have always hoped to become sisters, you and I. If you do not marry George, you might live far away and we could not see each other.” Lady Roseanna is still young herself at only 21 years of age–with Lady Roseanna thinking only of how Lady Saline’s change in husband will affect her.
Lady Saline: “Rose, we will always be sisters in our hearts. But wealth or property do not interest me. I wish to marry for love. Can you not recommend that course to me?” She looks at her friend pointedly. “You and Sir Guy seem so happy with each other.”
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna’s blush deepens and she says delicately. “Yes, we are very happy. I could not wish for a more loving husband.”
Lady Saline: “I thought so.” She smiles impishly.
Lady Roseanna: “In fact, I have some news that I wished to share with my husband this very day that I fear I must delay in telling him since Archer is here.”
Lady Saline: “Oh? Why would Lord Archer’s being here be a problem? Do the brothers Gisborne spend so much time together that you cannot see Sir Guy alone? Or do you think Lord Archer cannot be trusted with your secret?” She wonders out loud.
Lady Roseanna: “Dear Saline, it is more the former than the latter. Archer, for all his faults and bravado, is a dear brother to both Guy and myself.”
Lady Saline: “Then what is it?
Lady Roseanna: “I had not thought it possible, at least that is what Bessie my ladies maid and the midwives told me while I was nursing my baby, Lady Helen. But, it seems that all things are possible with my husband.” Lady Roseanna blushes profusely and lowers her head in amused embarrassment. “Saline, I am with child again. The baby will be born sometime after Christmas.”
Lady Saline: “Rose!” She squeals loudly and hugs her dear friend. “That’s wonderful! Your two babies will be close enough in age to be play mates with each other.” Of course, Lady Saline doesn’t fully comprehend the implications of Lady Roseanna being with child again–in terms of how she came to be that way.
Lady Roseanna: “I know, Saline. I am well pleased to give my husband Sir Guy another child. It is just that none of the couples of our acquaintance have children so close together in age–like the peasants do. I’m afraid there will be talk.” There, she said it. Lady Roseanna doesn’t want to be thought of as a brood mare.
Lady Saline: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Giggling because she can’t help herself, she says to her dear friend. “Rose, my sister, you have a husband of your own choosing and you are well loved. Anyone with good sense will be jealous of the loving bond that you have with your husband, Sir Guy. I hope to have such a loving marriage myself someday.”
Lady Roseanna: “Saline! Ladies must not speak of such things.” She shushes her friend playfully.
Lady Saline: Tilting her head in perturbation, Lady Saline gives her opinion most unreservedly. “Rose, I never understood that. We can be contracted in marriage without our consent, be expected to lay with a man we do not love and to bear his children, yet we must not speak of such things?” Lady Saline is a bit ahead of her time in her thinking. But then, she is a noblewoman accustomed to getting her own way. Actually, Lady Saline and Lady Roseanna are quite alike in temperament and opinions–which is why they get along so well.
Lord Archer: Lord Archer has crept up upon the ladies in the garden and overheard Lady Saline’s last remark parroting what Lady Roseanna had said. “What must we not speak of my ladies?” He asks cheekily.
Lady Roseanna: “Archer! We are going to have to put a little bell on you to give us a warning that you are near, brother.” Lady Roseanna flusters–wondering how much he overheard. Lord Archer smiles at her warmly.
Lady Saline: “Lord Archer, are you always so stealthy to intrude upon ladies in private conversation?” She asks annoyed at his cheekiness.
Lord Archer: “My apologies, ladies.” He bows to them formally. “I am merely sent by my brother to collect you for the mid day meal. He is tending to Seth getting cleaned up again after enjoying my gift.” He says cryptically. “May I escort you both to the terrace?” He holds out his arms. They each take one of his arms and they walk the short distance through the garden to the terrace.
Food always puts people in good spirits. But there are several individuals at the midday meal with special concerns that need to be attended to if they are to fully enjoy their meal and their company. Each of them seems to have their own agenda as will soon be clear as Lord Archer and the ladies Roseanna and Saline ascend the terrace steps and greet Sir Guy and Seth.
Sir Guy: “My Lady Rose.” He says taking his wife’s hand and kissing it. “I missed being away from you for even one hour while we reviewed Seth’s gift from his Uncle, Lord Archer.” Sir Guy’s eyes gaze lovingly and longingly into his Lady Rose’s eyes and she blushes. With two visitors today, they have not been able to enjoy their usual leisurely morning schedule of bed rest–for her recently having given birth and him still recovering from his injuries last year–though rest is not much in evidence during their times of togetherness.
Lady Roseanna: “I missed you as well, my husband.” She blushes profusely.
Lady Saline: “Besotted!” She says with glee.
Seth: “What does sotted mean Aunt Saline?” Seth asks innocently?
Lady Saline: “It means …” But Lord Archer interrupts Lady Saline–to her consternation.
Lord Archer: “Seth, it means that your Mama and Papa love each other very much.” He smiles.
Lady Saline: “I was just about to tell him that, if you had not interrupted me.” She says imperiously. Lord Archer is not making a good impression with her.
Lord Archer: “My apologies, Lady Saline. I am eager to have intercourse with my nephew and take every chance to do so.”
Seth: “What is intercourse?”
Lord Archer: He smiles impishly and asks. “Lady Saline, would you like to explain it to him?” Lady Saline’s cheeks pinken.
Lady Roseanna: “Let us eat! You know where to sit, everyone.” She says changing the subject as they begin to eat their foods. “Oh! What was your gift from Uncle Archer, Seth Dear?”
Seth: “Oh Mama! It’s a puppy!” He sighs gleefully.
Sir Guy: “Kkhbig dog.” Sir Guy coughs at the puppy description of what will be a very large dog one day while looking at Lord Archer–who smiles impishly back at him.
Lord Archer: “Ha ha ha! I’m glad you like him, Seth.”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh no! A male dog.” She sighs. “It will want to make messes everywhere. So we can’t allow it into the manor.”
Seth: “Oh but Mama!” Seth whines. “I want him to sleep with me at night.
Sir Guy: “Seth, like your Mama said, unless the dog can be trusted not to pee indoors, he will have to stay in the stables.”
Seth: “But I pee indoors and I get to sleep in my room.”
Adults: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The adults howl with laughter at Seth’s four year old logic.
Lady Saline: “Seth, dogs like men need to be trained before we let them into our homes.” Then Lady Saline looks at Lord Archer with a raised eyebrow.
Of course, Lady Saline’s meaning was focusing on training, whereas Lord Archer took her use of homes to be a metaphor. The chase is on. There is nothing that Lord Archer likes better than the pursuit of a lady fair. But in the dark and brooding Lady Saline, he might just have met his match.
Lady Roseanna: Again changing the subject, she asks “And what is the dog’s name?”
Seth: “I don’t know. Uncle Archer, what does he look like?”
Sir Guy: “Or what part of the country did he come from? That might give us some ideas.”
Lord Archer: “The dog is from the palace kennels. I fear Prince John had to part with him as part of a bet he lost with me.”
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ah!” Sir Guy slaps his thigh. “I thought so! Mastiffs are well known in royal kennels.”
Lady Roseanna: “A mastiff?” She looks at Sir Guy and their son Seth in shock for the large size that the dog will attain.
Seth: “Yes Mama. He is gray with a black nose and mouth. And he has big paws.” Seth brings his own hands up and spreads his fingers wide. “Since he came from cousin Prince John, that is what I’ll call him, Prince.” Then he says to Lady Saline. “Prince John has pretty shoes.”
Adults: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The adults howl with laughter again at Seth’s choice of dog names.
Sir Guy: “Prince is a fine name. I wonder, Archer. Will you tell Prince John that he has a namesake?” He chuckles.
Lord Archer: Lord Archer becomes suddenly quiet and says “Um. I fear we need not trouble our Prince with that at this time, Brother.” Lord Archer squints his eyes and raises an eyebrow at Sir Guy, as if to communicate something to him.
Sir Guy: Picking up on the change in Lord Archer’s demeanor, Sir Guy asks “And what of Nottingham? How does it fare?”
Lord Archer: “We will speak of it later, Brother. We need not bore Seth nor the ladies–nor myself–with it now.”
Sir Guy nods, he also wants to ask Archer later about what the wagon contains and why its contents need guarding.
Lady Saline looks suspiciously at Lord Archer, wondering what is afoot. Lady Roseanna also worries–she does not want Sir Guy to get trapped by her cousin Prince John again, even if Archer has gotten himself into some scrape or other.
But their lunch continues in a convivial way as more discussion–and pleadings from Seth–about the dog ensue. Lady Roseanna only acquiesces enough to say that she will meet this dog, Prince, in due time after it has had some training.
To be continued with Chapter 3
1) “Guy’s Dilemma” logo is a composite of three images:
a) Sir Guy (portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3, episode 13 (pix 64).and is found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_064.html;
b) Lord Archer (portrayed by Clive Standen) http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.html;
c) a sword hilt from MS Ofc Clip Art was found at MS Office Clip Art at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=sword&ex=1#ai:MP900432917|
2) An English Bull Mastif image representing Seth’s new puppy was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Mastiff;
3) A stone as a weight of measurement is found at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/567177/stone
4) Middleton Manor is represented by the image (cropped) of Ireland’s Birr Castle courtesy of Teresa Armitage, who has a great eye for castles; the image is also found with more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birr_Castle.
5) An image of a willow tree image was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bloedel_Reserve_Willow_Tree.jpg