“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 5 (PG-13): A Celebratory Sunday Baptismal Feast Dinner with Intrigues between the Gisborne and Talkington Families, 11/16/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #307)
[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 Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” 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 (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. 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.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Sir Guy joyously learns that his Lady Rose is with child. And Lord Archer and Lady Saline spend time together.
“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 5 (PG-13): A Celebratory Sunday Baptismal Feast Dinner with Intrigues between the Gisborne and Talkington Families
The next day, a week following, it is a lovely Sunday afternoon when Seth and the Lady Helen Rose are presented to the vicar for their baptism in the Middleton chapel on the estate grounds. It is a small affair with just the Gisborne and Talkington Families present–with Lord Archer and Lady Saline serving as god parents for both children. But small affairs must still be celebrated with pomp. So after Seth behaves admirably during his baptism, he is allowed to run and play with his new puppy before dinner. Then Seth actually joins the adults for dinner–since his baptism is the occasion being feted. But the little boy finally runs out of his boundless energy as he slumps over exhausted in his chair. So Seth is put to bed before dessert–his favorite part of the meal.
After the Talkington’s and Gisborne’s banquet dinner to celebrate the baptisms of Lady Helen Rose and Seth Gisborne, the women repair to the salon and the men walk in the Gisborne’s garden.
Lord Talkington: “It is a lovely evening, Sir Guy. And we are delighted to have shared in your family’s baptismal celebrations.“
Sir Guy: “Thank you, Lord Talkington. You are most kind. I know my Lady Roseanna was especially glad that you could join us since her parents are not alive.”
Lord Archer: “Guy, I am proud to be Seth’s god parent, Guy. Thank you and Lady Rose, both.”
Lord Talkington: “And I know our daughter Lady Saline is also quite touched to be asked to be Lady Helen’s godparent.” He smiles warmly at Sir Guy,
Sir Guy: “You are most welcome. I know that my Lady Rose thinks of Lady Saline quite as her sister.” Sir Guy smiles.
Lord Talkington: “The Middleton and Talkington families have been close for many years and we look forward to the blessed day when Lady Saline and Lord George are joined in marriage.” He smiles like the proud papa he is.
Lord Archer: Having listened intently, Archer’s brow furrows. He is quite disappointed that Lord Talkington still advances the marriage of his daughter with Lady Roseanna’s brother, Lord George Middleton. “Oh? I gathered that Lady Saline has not heard from Lord George for some time. Is their marriage still so certain?” He asks with self interest in mind.
Sir Guy: “Archer!” He admonishes his younger brother as he sees Lord Talkington’s face cloud with worry. “It would be best for you to stay out of matters that do not concern you. Lord Talkington, I am certain that the press of Lord George’s campaign with King Richard in the crusades is the only thing keeping him from writing to Lady Saline. Why, My Lady Rose has often spoken of Lord George’s and Lady Saline’s fondness for one another as children. And a bond from so young an age cannot be broken.”
Sir Guy: Archer starts to follow, but Sir Guy holds him back. “Lord Talkington, we will join you shortly. My brother and I will delay to enjoy the night sky a little while longer.” [(2) right] Sir Guy bows and Lord Talkington leaves.
Sir Guy: Clapping his hand squarely on his brother’s shoulder, he asks in no uncertain words. “What are you playing at Archer?
Lord Archer: “Me? I’m not playing at anything. I just wonder if the Lady Saline will actually marry Lord George?”
Sir Guy: “It is a foregone conclusion. The marriage has been arranged from their childhood and it is deemed a suitable match–on both sides.”
Lord Archer: “Ah, but with Lord George away and the Lady Saline maturing into her womanhood, might she have her own thoughts on the matter?”
Sir Guy: “What do you mean? Speak plainly brother?” Sir Guy grips Lord Archer’s arm firmly and queries him worriedly. “You have not compromised her, have you?” Sir Guy knows his brother all too well.
Lord Archer: “Nay nay, brother! Be at ease.” Guy releases Archer’s arm and Archer rubs his arm to soothe the residual pain from being squeezed so tightly. Then Archer says a tad haughtily. “We have shared only polite conversations–usually well chaperoned with Seth–in the past week as we have come to know each other. I merely point out the possibility of her knowing her own mind better than her parents do.”
Sir Guy: “You had best seek other possibilities. The Lady Saline is spoken for.” Sir Guy says stridently. Then he softens. “Brother, do not make the same mistake that I did and give your heart to one who can never be yours–because she loves and belongs to another.” Guy’s face saddens thinking of Lady Marian. “It will only end in your ruin—and the lady’s ruin.”
Lord Archer: “But brother, I must marry. And Lady Saline is the only lady of station whom I have met that I am agreeable to.”
Sir Guy: “Then you shall have to widen your acquaintances the next time you are at court with Prince John. Are you not due back there soon?” He asks, hinting that it is time his brother left them this visit.
Lord Archer: “I was to leave on the morrow for Nottingham before I journey to London, but I had hoped to stay here a bit longer.” Lord Archer’s eyes twinkle thinking of the lovely Lady Saline.
Sir Guy: “Nay brother. You should go to Nottingham and then to London to fulfill your duty. I will see you off in the morning.” He says forcefully.
Lord Archer: “Guy, it almost seems like you’re sending me packing. Ha!” He laughs, but it is only a hollow attempt. Archer knows his brother’s mood.
Sir Guy: “For now, I think it best that you put some distance between you and the Lady Saline. She will be much engaged with My Lady Rose and our new baby, Lady Helen. So the ladies will have no time for us men.” He states flatly–and a bit forlornly.
Lord Archer: “Ah. As you wish, brother. But I will return in one month’s time for another visit. You cannot keep me from my family.” He says impishly.
Sir Guy: “And you will be welcome, Archer. Let us return now to the ladies and say our farewells to the Talkingtons.” He says commandingly. Nothing is going to injure the relationship between the Middleton-Gisborne and Talkington families—not even his family, his brother Lord Archer.
Lord Archer: A bit perturbed at his brother’s seeming high handedness with regard to his behavior, Archer makes a remark that he instantly regrets. “I wonder, brother, that you are so eager to see the marriage between Lord George and Lady Saline. For when Lord George returns, he will assume control of the estates and you will be pushed aside.”
The arrow of Lord Archer’s remark, hits its target in Sir Guy’s pride.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy looks at Lord Archer for several moments, his eyes narrowing in hurt at his brother’s slighting remark. “Quite!” He replies curtly. Of course Sir Guy knows that the Middleton estates he has so carefully managed these past nine months are not his own–save for the manor and surrounding 500 acres that Lady Roseanna brought to their marriage. But once again, Sir Guy fears that he will lose the security that he has as lord over these lands–the larger 2500 acre Middleton estates he has tended to carefully–and it gnaws at him a little. Will he never have lasting wealth, power, property, and prestige? Must his position always come from the boon of someone else? “Hhhhhh!” He sighs in resignation of his situation.
Meanwhile in the salon at the manor, the ladies–Lady Roseanna, Lady Saline, and her mother Lady Eliza–sit and chat together while Lady Roseanna cradles her sleeping baby Lady Helen in her arms.
Lady Eliza: “You are so fortunate in baby Helen, my dear Roseanna. You seem to have an ease in getting her to sleep that I did not with my Saline.” Lady Roseanna smiles.
Lady Saline: “Mama! Please!” Saline looks at her mother for revealing something slightly negative about her to her dear friend Rose. “I must have had some rest as a babe for I do not feel lacking in energy now.”
Lady Roseanna: “Nor lacking in spirit!” Lady Roseanna says quite mischievously while giving her good friend Lady Saline a sidelong glance.
Lady Eliza: Changing the subject to a topic that has been wearing on her mind, Lady Eliza comments studiedly benignly. “Rose, your brother-in-law is quite handsome.” Lady Eliza notices her daughter’s cheeks pinken and then her eyes lower demurely. “Hmmm. And I hear that Lord Archer is to become betrothed to one of Lord Haverford’s daughters.” She states plainly in the know–mostly for Lady Saline’s benefit.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh? I had not heard that from Archer. But you are at court more than we.” She shrugs. Lady Roseanna has not been to court since she left it last year before reuniting with her husband Sir Guy. Nor does Lady Rose ever intend to be at court again–happy to plead the excuse of her new pregnancy for preventing her from traveling.
Lady Saline: “But those Haverford girls are barely weaned!” She sputters.
Lady Eliza: “Now now.” She chides her daughter for her outburst. “The elder daughter is just 15 and nicely ripening into womanhood. A bethrothal of a year until her 16th birthday should allow them to get to know each other and allow time for her to acclimate to the idea marriage to Lord Archer. Do you not think so, Rose?”
Lady Roseanna: “Possibly.” Lady Roseanna nods noncommittally as she looks at the dejected expression on Lady Saline’s face.
Lady Saline: “Why do parents feel the need to make such betrothals for their daughters?” She asks, thinking of her own betrothal with Lord George. “Cannot a girl make up her own mind as to her husband?” She looks over longingly at her dear friend, Lady Roseanna.
Lady Eliza: “But sometimes, my dear daughter, a girl does not always look in the most suitable direction.” Lady Eliza says primly–not quite casting aspersions upon Lord Archer and his attentions toward her daughter–she would not insult her hostess Lady Roseanna–but Lady Eliza is not liking Lord Archer’s attentions either.
Lady Saline: “But Mama …” Lady Saline begins to while.
The ladies tete-a-tete is interrupted–before a mother-daughter war can break out–when the men rejoin them. With Lord Archer keeping his distance from Lady Saline–somewhat at his brother Sir Guy’s request, but also due to Sir Guy purposely placing himself between Lord Archer and the ladies.
Lord Talkington: “Eliza and Saline dear, I feel the chill in the night air is not to my liking and we will have to forgo our gazing up at the stars tonight.
Eliza: “But Papa …”
Lady Eliza: “Hush Saline, your Papa is quite right to concern himself with your welfare.”
Of course Lord Talkington’s concern is more for what might happen between his daughter and Lord Archer under the romantic canopy of twinkling stars, rather than the air temperature.
Sir Guy: “Then we will bid you goodnight. I fear that rest is what I also need if I am to rise at dawn to see my brother, Lord Archer, off on his journey home to Nottingham.”
Lady Roseanna: Rising with the sleeping baby Lady Helen in her arms, Lady Roseanna looks at her husband Sir Guy quizzically. “Oh?”
Lord Archer: “Dawn!?! I haven’t seen a dawn in five years–nor am I want to.” He crosses his arms and poutingly frowns at his brother. Lord Archer knows that SirGuy’s aim is to separate him from Lady Saline as soon as and as swiftly as possible.
Lady Saline: Trying to find a reason to keep Lord Archer here a little longer–at least until midday on the morrow–she asks pleadingly. “But Lord Archer, would you leave before saying goodbye to your nephew, Seth?”
Lord Archer: “My Lady Saline is most thoughtful. I would not part from Seth without a proper leave taking–he might mistake the reason for it as being his fault.” How very adroit of Lord Archer–to emphasize his connection to his family while also hinting that his family–and not he–will suffer were he to leave unconscionably early.
Lady Roseanna shrugs her shoulders and wincingly nods at her husband Sir Guy. Sir Guy rolls his eyes, conceding the point.
Lady Roseanna: Offering a compromise, Lady Roseanna suggests. “Archer, perhaps you could delay your leave taking until after a private family breakfast with Seth an hour after dawn. That would still give you plenty of travel time while not inconveniencing our guests and letting them sleep in.”
Sir Guy: “A most congenial suggestion, my love.” Sir Guy puts his arm around her shoulders in solidarity.
Lady Saline: “Oh but I’m happy to get up early, too.” Lady Saline gazes sweetly at Lord Archer. She likes him–despite his often impertinent behavior.
Lord Archer smiles warmly at Lady Saline–which her parents notice grimacingly. Lord Talkington’s face is actually starting to redden and almost turn purple with apoplexy at the forwardness of his daughter Saline’s behavior. But his wife intercedes for him.
Lady Eliza: With great composure and hoping to not offend their hosts, Lady Eliza touches her daughter’s arm and says. “No Saline, dear. We will not intrude upon the Gisborne family’s farewell.”
Lady Saline opens her mouth to say something–she knows not what. But she doesn’t get the chance.
Lady Roseanna: “Thank you Eliza. Our Seth will want some undivided time with his Uncle Archer before he leaves. Thank you also for understanding, Saline.” Lady Roseanna winces at her knowingly. For all the hopes Lady Roseanna has of Lady Saline marrying her brother Lord George, Lady Roseanna still wants her friend to be happy.
Lady Saline closes her mouth–thwarted at every turn. Lord Archer regards his brother and sister-in-law with resignation. He realizes that it will not do to antagonize them or Lady Saline’s parents. So Lord Archer, retreats metaphorically and practically.
Lord Archer: “My Lady Saline, I fear that I must bid you adieu now.” He brings her hand up to his lips for a feather light and most decorous kiss. She blushes to have him touching her thus in front of her parents. “My Lord and Lady Talkington, I also bid you farewell.” Lord Archer bows deferentially to them, they nod their heads in return, and Lord Archer returns to standing erect.
Sir Guy: “Then let us all repair to our bed chambers to slumber and rest.”
Sir Guy ushers everyone up the great central staircase and everyone peels off to their appointed rooms, one by one. Then Sir Guy kisses his wife Lady Rose at their bed chamber door and he turns to go back down stairs for his nightly manor locking up routine.
As Sir Guy walks the manor before retiring for the night–making sure all is as it should be–he ponders his future. Of course, he knows that Lord George Middleton is the rightful owner of the bulk of these estates–fully 80 percent of it at 2,000 acres, with Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna apportioned only 500 acres. But he had somehow put that ownership issue in the back of his mind as he rehabilitated the management of the estates and became acquainted with its tenants as their proxy landlord. He sighs as he looks through the great hall windows and sees the gatehouse candle burning bright in the distance–to light Lord George’s way home as a gesture by his little sister, Sir Guy’s wife Lady Roseanna. It is inevitable, Sir Guy will once again be forced to give up control of what does not belong to him, but what he has nonetheless tended as carefully as if it were his own. With a weariness he hasn’t felt in some time, Sir Guy climbs the great central staircase and then walks into his shared bed chamber with Lady Roseanna.
Lady Roseanna: Sitting in her nightgown and robe while rocking baby Helen in the window seat, Lady Roseanna looks up at her husband fondly as he walks into their bed chamber. Instantly, she notices his unease. “What troubles you so, my husband?”
Sir Guy: “Hhhhh!” Sighing, Sir Guy smiles wanly at her and ponders his response as his valet helps him remove his doublet, shirt, and boots. Then he dismisses his man servant to give them privacy.
Lady Roseanna: “Come now, out with it. Are you trying to delight me with curiosity or kill me with suspense? Ha!” She laughs softly and kisses their baby’s cheek.
Sir Guy: He stands and crosses over to her clad only his trousers and sits next to her on the window seat. He looks at her for several moments. “How did I become so blessed for you to love me, My Lady Rose?” He asks lovingly while gently caressing her cheek with his index finger.
Lady Roseanna: “Nay husband, it is my fortune that is blessed.” She smiles adoringly at him.
Sir Guy: But Sir Guy’s face clouds over again at her use of the word fortune. “I fear that all I have to give you is my love, my hands to do your bidding, and a dwindling fortune of my own.” He regrets now giving away a third of his fortune to prop up Archer’s bid for Nottingham when most of the rents he collects with the estate belong to Lord George and not to he and Lady Roseanna.
Lady Roseanna: “Dwindling fortune? Have you forgot that Johnny relented and let us keep three quarters of my dowry, rather than taking half–his measure of remorse for almost having you killed and causing me distress. It is fully 75,000 pounds!”
Sir Guy: “But those are your monies, my love–monies we should save for our children. I do not wish to touch it.” He says this as if using his wife’s money for their living expenses is distasteful to him. “And when your brother returns, Lord George will take his rightful place has lord over these estates.”
Lady Roseanna: “And George will thank you for your management of these lands, depend upon it. Guy, he will recognize your intelligence and wisdom, to be sure.” But still seeing his continuing frown, she hands him baby Helen to cradle in his arms. As he smiles down at his daughter’s sleeping countenance, Lady Roseanna says. “Beloved, when we married, what was mine became yours–I do not begrudge that legal fact. You will manage it wisely for our family’s future.” She puts her arms around her husband and her daughter. She lays her head on her husband’s shoulder. “For you alone can bring me happiness and love beyond what I ever could have dreamed for as a young girl.” She kisses his lips ever so softly. “Come my love, let us share our dreams of love with each other.”
Lady Roseanna gently lifts the sleeping baby Lady Helen out of her husband’s arms and places her in her cradle next to the bed. Then Lady Roseanna guides Sir Guy to their bed to love each other sweetly and tenderly–banishing all worries and lingering hurts from their hearts. For two people as in love as Lady Roseanna and her Sir Guy, the joining of their bodies in loving union is a joy of heart and mind and body and soul beyond expression. After their lovers’ tryst, as Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna lay cradled in each others’ loving arms, they give way to sleep–with contentment returning to Sir Guy’s countenance and harmony reflected in Lady Rose’s small smile.
To be continued with Chapter 6
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) Image of 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 http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=sword&ex=1#ai:MP900432917|
2) January night sky image was found at http://www.wallpapersm.com/images/wallpapers/january%20night%20sky-655873.jpeg
Previous Story Post