“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 11: Lord George Returns to Recuperate and to Reclaim Lady Saline, 12/28/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #334)
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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.]
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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 was in such a tizzy getting ready for Prince John’s visit that Lady Roseanna feigned a faint to distract him. But in trying to carry her to the manor for help, it strained Sir Guy’s old wound to her regret. And with what turned out to be Prince John’s brief several hour visit–due to the closing days of Seth’s measles–Prince John manages to continue his hopeful dowery plundering matchmaking schemes for Lord Archer and the very young Lady Mary Havorford–as well as for Lord George Middleton and the not so eager Lady Saline Talkington. Lady Roseanna and others are quite charmed by the sweet 15 year old Lady Mary. But Lady Saline decides to take her under her wing to gain an ally against their respective arranged marriages by their parents. However, after Lady Mary is informed that Seth is Sir Guy’s blood son–not some child of the never existed cousin Lenore that Lady Talkington had been mislead about–Lady Mary inadvertently shares Seth’s parentage with everyone, thinking that Sir Guy had a previous wife who died. And the ever scheming Prince John ferrets out that Seth is Sir Guy’s illegitimate son–but offers to legitimize him legally for Sir Guy. This poses a quandary for Sir Guy, whose upcoming child with Lady Roseanna might be his son and legitimate heir. How can Sir Guy recognize Seth legitimately, without dispossessing his and Lady Rose’s possible boy child? And Sir Guy also ruminates about losing his position as estate agent when Lord George returns.
So, much is broiling in the background as the Middleton Estate prepares for the return of its Lord and Master, Lord George Middleton, who will recuperate from wounds received in the holy land. Lord George will be coming home to find that he is a suspiciously viewed brother-in-law, an uncle several times over, and a disdainfully resented fiancé. A happy homecoming might be too much to ask for.
“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 11 (PG-13): Lord George Returns to Recuperate and to Reclaim Lady Saline
The next few days through the weekend at Middleton Manor are a whirlwind of getting ready for the injured Lord George Middleton’s return from the Holy Land. There are several details to attend to. Sir Guy informs the estate tenants that Lord George is returning and that the lands will likely be under someone else’s stewardship other than his own. There is some grumbling about that because the tenants have gotten used to Sir Guy and come to respect him–not the least of which is because Sir Guy took a holistic view of the estates and land management, including land drainage and conservation costs being paid for by the estate and not the tenants. It is a lesson he learned in managing Locksley Manor and estates. If he wants the villagers and tenants to care about the estate’s well being then the estate needs to do its part as well for the tenants. However, there is no guarantee that Lord George will continue with Sir Guy’s management style.
Of course reclaiming his estate, is not the only agenda for Lord George. He also plans to reacquaint himself with the Lady Saline Talkington–perhaps even marrying her and securing his heir before he returns to King Richard in the Holy Land in one year’s time. He and the Lady Saline have been pledged to each other for ten years. He feels that there is a familiarity and understanding between them–that might, in time, grow into a deepening fondness. Though little does Lord George realize that his wishing it, does not make it so. But with Lady Saline’s friendship with his sister Lady Roseanna, he feels that these two will be a comfort and a helpmate for each other. However, he is presuming that his sister has not been married off yet by their cousin Prince John and that she will wish to stay at their home rather than seek a marriage elsewhere. He is only half right in that assumption. Lord George feels certain that when his son and heir is born, that he will truly feel free of his obligation to his family and to his late parents and then he can return to the exciting life abroad as a soldier. But, these goals are as yet unknown to anyone but Lord George.
After the Talkington’s–including Lady Saline–returned to their nearby estate the following day, helping to get all ready for Lord George’s return, Lord Archer and the Lady Mary take turns where they can. This throws them together in hopes of creating a restrained familiarity beyond acquaintance before they are wed in six months time–but with the buffer of being in company with Archer’s family and getting to know them. Lord Archer realizes that he cannot find fault with the young woman, except that she is so very young–her only complaint about him, in reverse.
In Middleton Manor, Lady Roseanna and Sir Guy’s home on the estate, all has been made ready to receive Lord George. The dining hall torches are lit and blazing. This silver candle sticks are polished and shining. The banners hanging from the vaulted ceiling are freshly washed and pressed. And the wall tapestries have been aired outside and pounded out of their dust and soot. Sir Guy has also seen to the cleaning and airing out of Middleton Hall to be ready when George’s convalescence has progressed to such a point that he can move from their establishment to his own.
As they all sit eating dinner en famille Sunday evening–with even little Seth now well and in attendance again, they look forward to Lord George’s arrival on the morrow. Well, some of them look forward to it.
Seth: “Mama, what is my Uncle George like?” He asks of Lady Roseanna.
Lady Roseanna: “Hmmm.” She smiles amusingly with her finger quizzically on her chin trying to recall something positive to say. “Seth dear, a younger sister is perhaps not the best judge since as my older brother your Uncle George tended to tease me mercilously growing up.” She remembers ruefully.
Sir Guy: “How so?” He remembers only a kind childhood relationship with his own dear sister. But their adult relationship was another matter entirely.
Lady Mary: “Yes, please tell us. I would like to hear about a brother. I have only sisters.” She laments. She has opened up considerably in the week she had been here and now feels quite comfortable with the family and joining in on conversations. Of course, Lady Mary’s comfort is Lady Roseanna’s doing by being warm and welcoming to her as she is to everyone.
Lady Roseanna: “Well, at the risk of telling tales on George, there was the amusing incident of the stable loft and the missing ladder.”
Lord Archer: “Oh? Who got caught in the loft without a way down?”
Lady Roseanna: “Me! I was ten and quite the tomboy.” She smiles over at her husband Sir Guy, who smiles knowingly back at her.”
Seth: “Oooh! Were you scared, Mama?”
Lady Roseanna: “A little. But mostly because I knew that my Mama would be mad at me for being unladylike by being in the stables in my new dress. George had lured me up there with the promise of kittens.”
Lady Mary: She nods. “I love kittens! So how did you get down from the loft?” She asks riveted to Lady Roseanna’s story.
Lady Roseanna: “I didn’t!” She says with a flourish.
Sir Guy: “Now Rose Dear. You are sitting before us–without hay in your hair, I might add. So you got down somehow.” He smiles with a knowingly raised eyebrow.
Lady Roseanna: “Well, I spent the night up there in the loft since no one heard my calls for help–and George didn’t let on where I was until a search party was formed the next morning to find me.”
Lord Archer: “That sounds like an awful ordeal. So did George receive a commensurate punishment, I hope?” And this is the man engaged to Lady Saline? He thinks. He shivers.
Lady Roseanna: “Yes! My parents were so furious at him that this manor and surrounding lands were deeded over to me on the spot!” She smiles gleefully and claps her hands together.
Lord Havorford: “I hope he learned his lesson, my dear.”
Lady Roseanna: “Almost. The next year he tried to cut my hair and I ended up with his pony Wildfire. That taught him the lesson to not mess with me once and for all. Ha!”
Seth: “My horsie belonged to Uncle George when he was little?” He asks swinging his legs animatedly under his chair since at five years old he is still too little for his feet to touch the ground yet–despite having a very tall father in Sir Guy.
Sir Guy: “It would seem so.” He says with a raised eyebrow. The more Sir Guy hears about this Lord George, the less inclined he is to think well of him. But he will try, for Lady Roseanna’s sake.
Lady Mary: “Sibling rivalries can be a burden.” She tries to sound mature. Then she squelches that by admitting girlishly with wide eyes. “My own little sister put a frog into my bed once.”
Seth: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” He claps his hands with glee. He is learning about so many new things from everyone.
Lord Havorford: “Mary dear. You should not speak ill of your sister.” He gently admonishes her. “Let alone, give this young man …” He nods his head in Seth’s direction. “… any ideas about how to misbehave.” He smiles bemusedly at his daughter.
Lady Mary: “I’m sorry, Papa.” She winces contritely.
Lord Havorford: He pats her hand. “You’re a good girl, my dear.”
Lord Archer rolls his eyes at his seeming betrothed–Lady Mary Havorford–being so young to still be slightly reprimanded by her father in front of others. Yet, if Lord Archer were being honest, the Talkington’s also took issue with a thing or two that Lady Saline had to say.
The rest of the evening meal continues pleasantly with anticipation about Lord George’s arrival on everyone’s mind–some positive, some not so much.
After Lady Helen is nursed by her Mama and burped by her Papa once more before bedtime this night, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna lie in bed chatting about the changes to come in their lives.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy, I can’t wait to see George! I haven’t seen him for two years. He doesn’t know that I am married–unless Johnny told him–let alone that I am a mother. So much has changed!” She sighs while snuggling up to her rather tense husband. “What is it Guy?” She lifts her head to look into his eyes wonderingly.
Sir Guy: “It is nothing, my Rose. All is in readiness for your brother’s return. I have informed the tenants that Lord George is returning and will likely assume control over his lands. And …”
Lady Roseanna: Interrupting him, she says. “But you don’t know that Guy. My brother George will be grateful for your careful stewardship of the estates and he’ll be sure to reward you by seeking your continuing leadership there.”
Sir Guy: He looks at her askance. “Is this the same brother who imprisoned you in a stable loft and tried to cut off your hair?” He asks shrewdly.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh, that was just kid’s play. George has seen the harshness of the world as a soldier now. He will surely have matured into a more circumspect person.” She suggests loyally.
Sir Guy: “Rose. Hhhhh! Not every life event has a constructive impact on our lives and who we become.” Then he gets very quiet. He remembers how he used to be, in Nottingham as Vasey’s evil henchman, and what he did in the Holy Land–kill Lady Marian. “But for you, I fear that I would have been a lost soul forever–beyond redemption for eternity.” He turns his head away from her–ashamed of his past, and uncertain about his future.
Lady Roseanna: But she gets her dander up. “Sir Guy of Gisborne, stop thinking of yourself so harshly. Yes I have faith in you and I can see your fine qualities. But it is you who chooses to use them. It is you who have made yourself into my brother George’s respected Estate Lands Agent. You did that. Not me. Heraclitus [(2)] said ‘character is destiny’. And I believe that it is the choices that we make that define our character. You are making good choices, my husband. You are of good character, and you have a promising destiny unfolding before you.” She stares him down with her conviction.
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha! You are quite formidable my dear. I am so glad that you are on my side and that you are my wife.” His mood has lightened and he caresses her face.
Lady Roseanna: “Ha ha ha! Always. As I am glad to have you on my side, my dear husband. Guy, you saved me from a future of loveless duty that I would have suffered with an arranged marriage of state. My happiness is tied up with you, Guy. You are my everything–my world. Don’t you know that?” She gazes into his eyes searchingly with her small hands framing his face.
Sir Guy: “I do. But with my having to take a lower priority in your life now that the children are with us, it is still nice to hear you say it now and again.” He smiles wanly.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy, you are not a lower priorityto me than our children. How can you think that? Though each of us sometimes has to set aside our own wants for our children’s sake, we do that willingly as their parents. And you are at least on par, if not above our children in my priorities. For as we make a happy home for our children, it is our love that will sustain them. So you are always my heart’s first love–and you always will be.”
Sir Guy: With tears in his eyes, he gazes upon his love Rose and brings her hand to his lips and kisses it. “My darling Rose, what did I ever do to deserve you?”
Lady Roseanna: “You love me, and you love our children.” She places his hand on her almost three months pregnant belly. “That is all you ever need do. You are a good man, Sir Guy of Gisborne–you are the best of men. I am honored to be your wife. You are my blessing that I will spend my whole life being grateful for to god.”
Sir Guy: “Rose, my love. You are my blessing.”
Then Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna kiss each other tenderly, lovingly adoringly, and passionately. As their joyful tears of love mingle together, they share their love in joyous lovemaking that is loving, desirous, heartfelt, and rapturous. Tomorrow and the changes it will bring will come soon enough. Tonight belongs to them.
After a polite breakfast alone with Lord and Lady Mary Havorford–Guy and Rose were nowhere in sight, preferring instead to eat privately in their bed chamber–Lord Archer hopes that they will at least turn up to greet Lord George when he is due to arrive by carriage at midday. Lord Archer had an early warning from a scout they had sent out ahead as a lookout. So Lord Archer sent the news of Lord George’s imminent arrival with Seth to his parents’ bed chamber–since all other manor staff had been refused admittance this morn.
As Lord Archer scans the horizon beyond the front entrance to Middleton Manor for the carriage bearing Lord George, his brother Sir Guy slowly walks up to his side with Seth who is giddy to meet his new Uncle George.
Seth: “We’re here!” Seth says gleefully, having completed the task his Uncle Archer set before him–of retrieving his father.
Lord Archer: Startled, he comments facetiously. “Brother! You materialize from the mists. I was beginning to think that I had dreamt your existence. Thank you, Seth.” He tousles Seth’s unruly black curls before Seth stands off to the side playing with his dog Prince.
Sir Guy: “Very funny, Archer. Milady Rose’s morning illness from her with child condition is upon her. And she and I were enjoying private family time before everything changes.” He narrows his brow into a frown also scanning the horizon.
Lord Archer: “You and this notion of change. It is not altogether a bad thing. Look at me! Haven’t I turned out alright?”
Sir Guy: “Archer, you are a work in progress.” He says wryly while tilting his head at his brother with a slight smirk.
Lord Archer: In mock hurt, he whines. “Guy, you wound me deeply. One would think that I was a criminal.” Archer smiles mischievously. “Scratch that, I am a reformed criminal.”
Sir Guy: “Archer, you are merely a higher class criminal now as you fleece Prince John.” He smiles.
Lord Archer: “All for a good cause, brother, all for a good cause. Oh and by the way, I have instructed that a small chest of coins I brought with me be returned to you. It is repayment for the 5,000 pound loan you fronted me with when I began my term as Nottingham’s Sherriff.”
Sir Guy: “That is all well and good, but I cannot take the people’s money.” He says nobly.
Lord Archer: “Oh no, this was some of Robin’s money that I found hidden in the manor basement. Given all that he vexed you with, it is only right that you be repaid in full.” He smiles.
Sir Guy: “Very well then.” He smiles broadly at his personal wealth being returned to him. “I accept.”
Seth: “Papa look!” Seth points to the hill where a carriage is coming slowly toward them down the hill.
Lord Archer: “Seth, please go to your Mama and tell her that her brother has arrived.”
Manor Butler: Walking up to Sir Guy and Lord Archer, he bows with deep respect. “Milord Gisborne, all is in readiness. Is there anything else you wish me to attend to?”
Sir Guy: “No Barrows. Please stand here with us. We are as yet unknown to Lord George. You may provide the introductions if Lady Gisborne is too unwell to come down at present to greet her brother.”
Manor Butler: Bowing again. “Milord.”
The manor staff–though under Lady Roseanna’s purview–still possess a healthy respect for Sir Guy as do the estate tenants.
Seth: Running back to his Papa Sir Guy’s side from the manor, he says breathlessly. “Papa, Mama is nursing baby Lady Helen … again.” He rolls his eyes at how often the baby is fed. “She asks if you would escort Lord George to the guest bed chamber prepared for him in the guest wing and she will greet him there with baby Lady Helen.”
Sir Guy: Placing his arm about his son’s shoulders, he squeezes them and says. “Thank you, Seth. Please go back to tell your Mama that I will fetch her as soon as Lord George is settled. You will meet him then, too. Run along now.” He smiles down at his son’s smiling face.
Seth: Then Seth dashes back into the manor. “Come on, Prince.” And his doggie Prince lopes after him.
Sir Guy: Disdainfully seeing the dog enter the manor. “Archer? If that dog makes a mess in the manor, you will be the one to clean it up.”
Lord Archer: “I promise Guy. Prince hasn’t made a mess for a week.” Sir Guy stares him down. “Okay, for two days. But that’s progress.” He smiles impishly.
Then the carriage rolls to a stop in front of them.
Sir Guy: “Later.” He rolls his eyes at Lord Archer.
Sir Guy and Lord Archer are dressed in their daytime tunics finery to greet the returning Lord George Middleton. However first out of the carriage is an old friend, Father Bale.
Fr. Bale: Glad to see the brothers both in attendance, he warmly greets them and shakes their hands. “Milord Sir Guy, My Lord Archer. It is good to see you both.”
Sir Guy: “And you Fr. Bale. Milady Rose will be delighted to share some personal news with you, I believe.” He mentions, obliquely referring to her with child condition.
Lord Archer: “Fr. Bale, you are a sight for sore eyes.” He pumps his hand vigorously. “How goes our project?” He speaks euphemistically about part of the Nottingham treasure being hidden at Leicester Cathedral.
Fr. Bale: “I’m afraid that I am too buried under work to do much about it.” Fr. Bale smiles knowingly, conveying that the treasure is still safely hidden.
Sir Guy: “I gather that Lord George Middleton is on his way here, is he with you?” Fr. Bale raises his finger at Sir Guy, then he dashes back to the carriage.
Fr. Bale: “Lord Middleton, might you come out and meet your brother-in-law whom I have been telling you about?” He pleads into the carriage.
Lord George: “God’s teeth, old man! You’ve known me since I was a baby. Lord M was my Papa. I’m just George.” He slurs his words slightly and weaves a bit as he exits the carriage with his tunic askew from napping and his left sword arm in a sling. [(3) right]
Lord Archer: He leans over to Sir Guy and whispers a question. “Is he drunk?”
Sir Guy: Shaking his head at his brother’s sotto voce comment, Sir Guy bows courteously to his brother-in-law, Lord George. “My Lord.”
Fr. Bale: “Lord … George, this is Sir Guy of Gisborne, Lady Roseanna’s husband.”
Lord George: “You’re rather tall to be Rose’s husband. Are you sure?”
Sir Guy: He raises his eye brows in amused surprise at the question. “Kkkhh.” He coughs. “I’m sure.”
Lord George: “Well then, I’m damned pleased to meet you.” He says shaking Sir Guy’s hand vigorously as Fr. Bale winces at his swearing. Then Lord George realizes his gaffe and turns to Fr. Bale. “Sorry padre. It’s this arm, devilishly painful.” Then he turns to Sir Guy. “The only thing for it is drink to try to lessen the pain. But I’m afraid that then loosens my tongue.”
Sir Guy: “Ah!” That explains Lord George’s drunkenness. “Well, perhaps a healer woman we have at the estate might be able to help you with your wound.” He adds helpfully.
Lord George: Then Lord George looks at the much younger Lord Archer–who is twelve years Sir Guy’s junior. “Who are you?”
Lord Archer: Eschewing someone formally introducing him, he does the deed himself. “I am Archer, Lord of Locksley, Earl of Huntington, and Sheriff of Nottingham–Sir Guy’s brother.”
Lord George: “Well, it is good to meet you, too.” And he pumps Lord Archer’s hand.
Lord Archer and Sir Guy exchange bemused glances–as if to say, this is the Lord George we have turned Middleton Manor and the Middleton Estates upside down getting ready for?
Fr. Bale: “Sir Guy, might we show Lord George to his bed chamber? The journey was long and the roads rather bumpy. He needs to rest.”
Sir Guy: “Of course, this way. My Lady Rose is eager to see you My Lord.”
Lord George: “Guy, we’re brothers-in-law now, I’m just George.” He swishes his hand around to convey dispensing with formality.
Sir Guy: “As you wish, George.” It is not usually within Sir Guy’s makeup to completely eschew protocol by adopting using the first name for someone in the first five minutes that he meets them–even if it is his brother-in-law.
Lord George: “Fair enough. Could I get a bath before I see Rose? I’m all dusty from our travels.”
Sir Guy: “Certainly.” He signals for the butler, who instantly comes to Sir Guy’s side.
Butler: “Milord Gisborne?” He bows.
Sir Guy: “Barrows, please have a bath prepared for Lord George in his room. And also have some light foods and wine brought to him.”
Lord George: “Thanks old man.” Well, Sir Guy is forty years old to Lord George’s twenty five years.
Sir Guy: “Oh and, please arrange for Fr. Bale’s usual room to be made available to him as well.” Fr. Bale smiles his thanks to Sir Guy.
Butler: “Of course, Milord.” He bows again before he leaves.
Lord George: “I say Guy, you must be something–like Fr. Bale has been telling me–to have old barking mad Barrows do your bidding with respect and deference and without complaint.”
Sir Guy: “Barrows is a trusted servant. And as such, he has my respect in return.” Sir Guy intones to the younger man. Then Sir Guy looks questioningly at Fr. Bale–wondering what he has told Lord George.
Fr. Bale: Fr. Bale winces and shrugs his shoulders at Sir Guy. “Sir Guy, I explained how your careful oversight and management of the Middleton Estates have begun to bring them back to their former glory and to greater solvency.
Sir Guy: “Ah.” He nods his thanks.
Lord George: “Thanks for that, Guy. But I’m back now. So you won’t have to burden yourself anymore.” He says flippantly to Sir Guy.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy’s breathing freezes. It is as he feared, he will be shunted aside. But he musters his dignity in carrying out his final duties as estate agent. “Naturally, you will want to assume control of your estates. I have informed the tenants as much. In a day or two when you have rested, I will go over the accounts with you before relinquishing them to you.” He nods respectfully
Fr. Bale: “Surely not, George. Sir Guy is a wonderful …”
Sir Guy: But Sir Guy cuts off Fr. Bale’s pleading on his behalf. “There is no need, Fr. Bale. I will accede to Lord George’s wishes.”
Lord Archer: Silent up until now, but seething at his brother Sir Guy’s being summarily dismissed as Estate Agent. “Now see here …”
Sir Guy: Raising his hand to silence his brother as well, he says. “Archer, we are family, and we should support Lord George’s wish to reclaim his estates under his control.”
Lord George: “Thank you Guy. Decent of you.” He nods to him.
But Lord Archer worries about what else Lord George wants to reclaim–as in Lord George’s betrothed, Lady Saline.
The four men –Sir Guy, Lord Archer, Lord George, and Fr. Bale–walk Lord George into the manor and up the great central staircase toward his bed chamber.
Lord George: He looks around as they walk through the manor. “Hmm. The old place looks nice, homey. I like what you and Rose have done with it, Guy.”
Sir Guy nods his acknowledgement.
After seeing Lord George safely ensconced in his bed chamber and his bath is imminent, Lord Archer heads to his bed chamber and Sir Guy heads to his own bed chamber to inform his wife. He finds her sitting chatting with Lady Mary while cradling baby Lady Helen in her arms. Seth is on the floor with his dog Prince. And Sir Guy wonders, what is wrong with this picture?
Seth: “Papa!” He jumps and runs over to his father. His English mastiff puppy dog Prince lumbers along after him. Lady Rose looks over at him.
Sir Guy: “Seth. Rose my love, your brother arrived.
Lady Roseanna: “Well? Where is he?”
Sir Guy: “Bathing. He wanted to get the dust of the road off of him.”
Lady Roseanna: Shaking her head. “Typical. I don’t see him for over two years, and he makes me wait even longer when he does return.” Standing up with baby Lady Helen in her arms, she says. “Come Seth, I will introduce you to your Uncle.”
Sir Guy: “Don’t you want to wait until he is dressed again?”
Lady Roseanna: “What for? He’s my brother. I have seen him in various states of undress.” Then seeing Lady Mary pinken up, she says. “Why don’t you go walk in the garden, Lady Mary. You will meet George at dinner?”
Lady Mary: “Alright. I think I will.” She smiles, stands and leaves.
Lady Roseanna: “Okay, lead me to him, Guy.”
Seth and Prince walk behind them down the bedroom hall way to the guest wing.
Sir Guy: “Shouldn’t we have Prince taken outside?”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh no! George loves dogs!” She reaches Lord George’s bed chamber door and waits patiently for Sir Guy to open it up for her.
Sir Guy: “Here we are!” He says with a flourish as he knocks, then he opens Lord George’s bed chamber, and then he enters it with his wife, son and daughter following behind them.
Lord George has finished bath and his standing in his robe at the window gazing out his estates.
Lady Roseanna: “George!” He wheels around and rushes toward her. And they embrace.
Lord George: “Rose! You look wonderful! And who is this?” He impishly asks her of the baby in her arms. Sir Guy smiles amusedly upon the family scene from the bed chamber door to the hallway.
Lady Roseanna: “This is Lady Helen Rose Gisborne, our daughter. You are an uncle.” She hands him the baby and he holds her for a few minutes before returning her to her mother’s loving arms.
Seth: “Don’t forget about me.” He whines.
Lady Roseanna: “Of course not darling.” She strokes Seth’s back. “And this is our son, Seth. Guy’s son from before our marriage– and my son now as well.
Lord George: “Well, well, well. It would seem that your cup runneth over, dear sister.”
Lady Roseanna: “It does indeed. And I am with child again.” She says a bit triumphantly.
Lord George: “Oh ho! I just hope that Lady Saline and I will be so fortunate in our first year of marriage.” He is thinking about his legacy.
Lady Roseanna: “So you are still planning to wed her?” She asks obtusely.
Lord George: “Yes, of course. We have the marriage contract to fulfill.” He nods hopefully.
Lady Roseanna: “Then I wish you much joy!” And they embrace again.
Lord George: Walking over to the window, he gazes upon the garden. Then seeing a vision of loveliness that transcends mere mortal beauty, his heart catches in his throat. “Rose, come here.” He whispers furtively.
Lord George: “The enchanting lady down below. Do you see her? Or am I seeing things again?”
Lady Roseanna: Looking out the window, she says. “That is Lady Mary Havorford, Lord Archer’s betrothed. You will meet her at dinner.” [(4) right]
Lord George: “Charming.” He smiles as he gazes upon the Lady Mary Havorford.
To be continued with Chapter 12
(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 Office Clip Art was found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=sword&ex=1#ai:MP900432917|
3) Lord George image (cropped) is that of James McAvoy portraying Tom Lefroy in “Becoming Jane” and was found at http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/1800000/James-in-Becoming-Jane-james-mcavoy-1803967-1024-576.jpg
4) Lady Mary image is that of Arthur Hughes’ “Ophelia” circa mid 1800’s found at http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hughes-again.jpg
Previous chapter installments, Ch 10: