“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 2: A Boon and a Betrothal, Part 1 January 30, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #696)
[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]
(All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian , James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” 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 (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). 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 and his wife Lady Rose have a houseful of five children whom they love and nurture. Their happiness and that of their extended family is a very great blessing. And like his brother and brother-in-law, Sir Guy wants to give his wife Lady Rose more sons–as he thinks to the future toward his legacy. But Sir Guy is getting ahead of himself, as he will soon find out. For events will precipitously unfold that he could not have anticipated.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 2: A Boon and a Betrothal, Part 1
A few days later on Saturday, March 23, 1199, Sir Guy and his eldest son, the 10 year old Seth Gisborne are cantering back home on their horses from Middleton Hall where Sir Guy had an estate management meeting with Lord George Middleton–Lady Roseanna’s brother and Sir Guy’s brother-in-law. These past four years, Lord George and Sir Guy have developed an enviable friendship as co-estate managers of the larger Middleton Estates and merely large Gisborne-Oxbridge-Middleton Estates. Lord George values Sir Guy’s wise counsel. And in turn, Sir Guy values Lord George’s ability to act as a buffer between Prince John and Sir Guy. Lord George and Lady Mary attend court far more often than do Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna, so the Middletons’ presence appeases for the absence of Sir Guy and Lady Rose.
Sir Guy limits his attendance upon the Prince Regent Prince John to only the most necessary occasions. Sir Guy has seen Prince John enact too many political machinations to view him with anything but a heightened level of suspicious caution–never more so than with the whole Nottingham Treasure being hidden from Prince John, who has an inkling about that. Lord Archer claims it does not exist–and it does not exist, above ground. For though a small portion of the 100,000 pound treasure remains buried at Locksley manor–and about 25,000 pounds buried in a crypt at Leicester Cathedral–the largest treasure portion of 50,000 pounds is buried in Sir Guy’s stables. The monies consisted mostly of what the long deceased Sheriff Vasey had siphoned off from the nobles. And yet, for all of Prince John’s curiosity, he bears his cousin Lady Rose’s husband Sir Guy no ill will. And Prince John will carry out the latest charge from his brother King Richard now in France with their mother Queen Eleanor as he tries to reclaim more French territories from France [(2)].
After joining the main tree lined covered road from Middleton Hall to their home Gisborne-Middleton Manor, Sir Guy and his son Seth are trailed by a small retinue of soldiers on horseback and in wagon for their safety. Sir Guy looks at his son quizzically. Then it dawns on him.
Sir Guy: “Seth! What happened to your hair! Its length was on your collar when we arrived this morning. Now that I collect you after your Uncle Lord George and I are done with our conference, your hair is all … chopped off. Your Mama will not be pleased at all.”
Indeed, Seth’s hair [(3) right] is shorter and … choppier. Seth rolls his eyes and shakes his head.
Seth: “Hhhh! I know, Papa! Aunt Lady Mary wanted to cut my cousins’ hair, but the boys would not sit still–fearful of the blade. So Aunt Lady Mary bade me sit before them as she snipped my hair–to show them that getting their hair cut didn’t hurt.”
Sir Guy: “Me thinks that my nephews took quite a bit of convincing–given the amount of hair that she snipped off your head. Ha ha ha!”
Seth: “Indeed, Papa. Though, my neck does feel cooler, I find myself reaching to brush my hair out of my eyes–only to find it not there.” Seth looks quite startled. Being shorn of his long locks–that so resembled his Papa’s hair–will require some time for him to accustom himself to the change.
Sir Guy: “Well, it will grow back. We will provide that argument for your Mama when she asks about it.” Sir Guy blanches.
Changing the topic from his hair, Seth inquires about the nature of his Papa’s and his Uncle’s discussion.
Seth: “Papa? What did Uncle Lord George say to you in his study that he did not want me to hear?” Curiosity is ever present in Seth as the soon to be squire for his knight Papa.
Sir Guy: Smirking with a bemusedly raised eyebrow, Sir Guy admonishes his son. “Now Seth, were I to tell you, that would defeat the purpose of your uncle’s taking me aside to speak to me in private. Wouldn’t it?”
Seth: “I suppose, Papa.” The handsome Seth pouts, petulantly pursing his lips so like his father, Sir Guy–both are beautiful and stubborn. “But I do not like secrets that I do not know.”
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Seth, a secret by definition, must be kept hidden. And discretion is ever an attribute that a nobleman and gentleman should aspire to.”
Seth: “I know, I know.” Seth whines. “But if no one knows a secret, then it does not need to hide. And if a secret does not need to hide, then I may know of it.” Seth smiles hopefully.
Sir Guy: “Your reasoning is faulty, my son. But do not fret. This secret will not be kept long. And you shall be among the first to hear of its telling.” Sir Guy hopes to appease his son’s inquisitive nature by tempting him with this promise.
Seth: “Very well, Papa. I will wait. Hhhhh.” Seth rolls his eyes.
Sir Guy: “What now?” He smiles at his son who is not faring well today–especially with regard to his hair.
Seth: “Why can not Aunt Lady Mary keep her sister Lady Caroline a secret and hidden for my lifetime?”
Lady Caroline is one year Seth’s senior at the age of eleven. And her parents are discreetly inquiring about potential nobles with whom they might betroth their daughter for marriage when she reaches her sixteenth year. With this knowledge, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna are currently considering betrothing their son Seth to Lady Caroline.
Sir Guy: “Now Seth. Lady Caroline is visiting her sister and becoming acquainted with the local gentry. As their family and guest, they can hardly keep her locked away in the tower.”
Seth: “And then Lady Caroline would not be able to ask me to marry her again.” Seth thinks of the little six year old girl Lady Caroline Havorford whom he remembers upon their first meeting, who smiled so hard at him [(4) right].
Feigning ignorance about the suggested union between his son Seth and the Lady Caroline Havorford, Sir Guy tries to draw his son out about the match.
Sir Guy: “Oh? Has she expressed an interest in you, Seth? I did not see her this morning when we were at Middleton Hall.”
Seth: “No Papa. I did not see her either. Thank goodness! But Aunt Lady Mary said that Lady Caroline was about. Papa, Lady Caroline asks to marry me every time she sees me! I thought men were to do the asking.” Seth grumbles.
Sir Guy: Now Sir Guy laughs out loud. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I believe that Lady Caroline is a young lady who knows her own mind.”
Seth: “Well, it is not proper for her to ask me. She should wait to be asked. Did not you ask Mama to marry you?”
Sir Guy thinks back to their early courtship and intrigue at court as pretend fiancés–at Lady Roseanna’s suggestion–and then as secret husband and wife.
Sir Guy: “To be truthful, Seth, your Mama asked me to be her fiancé.” Sir Guy smiles sheepishly, remembering his lovely spitfire of a bride–and her passionate temperament to this day.
Seth: “Oh Papa! I am so sorry! Did Mama pester you as Lady Caroline pesters me?” For Seth knows that his Mama has her own opinions–and she does not shrink from expressing them within the family. However, his parents are very loving with each other–which creates a contented happiness in their family that extends to the whole estate–and Seth likes that. Theirs is a happy large manor home and lands.
Sir Guy: “Not quite. Your Mama simply asked me, presented her reasons, and then I agreed. Seth, you may yet find that, in time, Lady Caroline has your heart. You have not seen her for two years, and Lady Caroline was a charming young girl and she has no doubt improved with maturity. And Lady Caroline is a fine match. Her family connections to us via your Aunt Lady Mary and Lady Caroline’s dowry are most suitable.”
Seth: “But Papa! That is the problem!” Seth pouts dramatically. “I have known Lady Caroline nearly all my life. Well, for four years. And my opinion of her has not improved over time.” Seth is at that awkward age, when girls are not quite interesting–not quite yet.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm.” Sir Guy ponders. Sir Guy thinks that he might have his wife Lady Roseanna suggest to their sister-in-law Lady Mary to advise her sister Lady Caroline to stop chasing Seth–in the hope that he will begin to chase her. “Still Seth, were you to find yourself in company with Lady Caroline either at your Uncle Lord George’s and Aunt Lady Mary’s home–or elsewhere–I trust that you will behave as a noble gentleman should and treat her with courtesy and respect.”
Seth: “Yes, Papa.” Seth hangs his head defeatedly.
Sir Guy and his son Seth trot the rest of the way home to Gisborne-Middleton Manor in silence–pondering the secrets, known and unknown. While their entourage escorting them on their their short journey is unaware of any intrigues–be they follicle or marital in nature.
After leaving Seth to help the stable grooms to remove their saddles and wipe down their horses, Sir Guy goes in search of his wife, Lady Roseanna. He finds her in their dressing room wearing only her under dress and surrounded by various fabrics and two seamstresses. Sir Guy crosses his arms [(5) right] and smiles admiringly in the direction of his wife, Lady Roseanna.
Sir Guy: “Kkkhh!” He coughs to gain her notice.
Lady Roseanna: Looking up from her fabric swatches, Lady Rose smiles. “My Lord Husband, you are back early from speaking with Lord Middleton about the estates.” As a matter of etiquette, Lady Roseanna refers to her brother Lord George Middleton formally when there are servants around, as they are now.
Lady Roseanna had so hoped to be done with dress designing before Sir Guy came back. It seems that there is more than one person with a secret in the Gisborne household.
Sir Guy: “I do not mean to disturb you from your dress making.” He smiles and turns to go.
Lady Roseanna: “No no! We are done for now. Ladies? Please tidy up the fabrics and we will reconvene after luncheon.”
Thus dismissing the seamstresses, Lady Roseanna goes to her husband’s side, then takes his arm as they walk into their bedchamber.
Sir Guy: Teasingly, he leans in and whispers in Lady Roseanna’s ear. “I thought we had agreed for you to wait until next month to commission a new gown?”
Lady Roseanna: “Guy! You agreed, but I did not. My needs for gowns can not simply follow your plan of only allowing me one new gown every other month.” She pouts at the economy of spending that her husband has imposed upon her.
Lady Roseanna: “No! It was made for Winter–and we are now in Spring. You would not begrudge me a gown that is better suited to our warmer weather?” She reasons and waits patiently for his response [(6) right].
Sir Guy: “Nay, Rose. But at this pace, you will have run through your allotment of six gowns per year before the first leaf of Autumn is shed. Ha ha ha!”
Lady Roseanna: “But I need it.” She pleads whiningly.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm. And what, pray tell, would you need this gown for, My Love?” He asks suspiciously.
Lady Roseanna stops walking, faces her husband, and clasps her arms about his neck, Lady Roseanna bats her eyes at him coquettishly.
Lady Roseanna: “Well, when I was with child with our daughter Lady Diana this past year, I had to wear such voluminous gowns.” She pouts and worries at a braided edging on his leather jacket. Then she perks up. “And since I am still wet nursing Baby lady Diana, my bodice’s are not of a sufficient fullness to modestly cover myself.” Lady Roseanna pinkens as her husband looks upon her with smouldering desire not four feet from their bed. “And can you not think of a good reason for me to appear in a new gown at your side.” She looks up at him gleefully–for she knows his secret.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy frowns bemusedly. “I see.” He cocks his head to one side [(7) right] and narrows his eyes to penetratingly gaze at his wife. “Who told you?”
Lady Roseanna: “Told me? Told me what?”
Lady Roseanna feigns innocence. But not since she was an innocent has she been able to escape her husband discerning her thoughts.
Sir Guy: Lifting his head up in disdain, Sir Guy stares imperiously down at his wife. “You know very well of that which I refer.”
Lady Roseanna: “Then if that is so, why must you ask?” Lady Roseanna petulantly purses her lips. Two can play this game.
Sir Guy: “But how could you know? I only found out this morning?” He narrows his eyes.
Lady Roseanna: “I cannot help if your information gathering is inferior to my own.” Lady Roseanna smiles triumphantly.
Sir Guy: “But how …?”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh you are relentless! Mary told me yesterday when she visited. George talks in his sleep. He has since we were children.”
Sir Guy’s jaw drops. That a soldier for the king–even a former soldier as Lord George is–could have such a lapse in discretion is unthinkable to Sir Guy. Still uncertain what news that his wife thinks she has, Sir Guy dissembles.
Sir Guy: “And that news is?”
Lady Roseanna: “You are to be a Baron and I your Baroness!” She squeals with delight and fairly jumps into his arms.
Sir Guy smiles, but says nothing–as he twirls his wife around. Roseanna takes the twirling as confirmation of it. Since she wonders who twirls their wife around for no reason?
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Sir Guy bursts with laughter. “You are too clever for me, My Rose!”
Lady Roseanna: “Does that mean that I may have my new gown as an extra allotment to my portion–due to the special circumstances of us traveling to Leicester for your investiture? And my need for modesty?” She adds for good measure.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm. I will think upon it.” His eye brow rises again, but with a bemused smile upon his lips.
Lady Roseanna: Then Lady Roseanna excitedly details what her arrangements for this occasion will be. “We can stay with my cousin the Countess of Leicester, Lord John Oxbridge’s wife Lady Rebecca, and their children. We have not seen each other since Christmas and it will be good for our children to play together again.”
And Lady Roseanna will be glad to visit the large city of Leicester. She loves the idyll of her country home. But even idylls become mundane when there are no experiences or locations to the contrary.
Sir Guy: “Perhaps we should seek other lodging while we are in Leicester. Will not Prince John and his entourage likely set up camp with Lady Rebecca?” Sir Guy does not want to be quartered with the Prince Regent Prince John–let alone, his toady, Sir Jasper.
Lady Roseanna: “Johnny might. But Lord John’s and Lady Rebecca’s home is a frightfully large castle. I got lost in it once. We might not even see Johnny the whole time we are there!” Lady Roseanna does not employ her nickname, Johnny, for her cousin Prince John with affection–but rather, as a diminution. “When are we to travel there?” She asks blithely because her brother George’s sleep ramblings were not long on specific detail.
Sir Guy: “We will travel there in six days hence, then have the investiture upon our third day there, before returning home upon the fifth day.”
Lady Roseanna: Her eyes widen. “That does not give us much time to get ready! If, indeed, my new gown can be finished within a few days. And the children must each have a new garment as well! I must away.”
She starts to move out of her husband’s embrace, but he stops her.
Sir Guy: “Rose, wait! I almost forgot. Lady Caroline.” He states vaguely.
Lady Roseanne: “She is a fine match for our Seth! And her dowry of 10,000 pounds is most agreeable.”
Sir Guy: “Yes, but our son is not agreeable.” Lady Roseanna tilts her head quizzically. “Seth says that in the past, Lady Caroline pressed her suit of Seth–when Seth wants to be the pursuer. Though at the moment, he does not seem to want to pursue anything–unless it is a rabbit.”
Lady Roseanna: “Well if Seth wants to pursue her, at least that means he likes her.”
Sir Guy: “Not quite.”
Lady Roseanna: “Not quite? Guy, now you sound like Saline’s father Lord Talkington.” She expels with exasperation.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy puts his hands out as if in protest. “Though we did not see her when we were at Middleton Hall this morning, we are bound to for the investiture. So Little Lady Caroline should be advised to stop pestering Seth. If she is right for him as his future bride, he will eventually come to know it.”
Lady Roseanna: “Patience is your suggestion, Guy? What if Lord Havorford wishes to formalize his daughter’s betrothal more quickly and finds another suitor? We will have to look elsewhere for Seth’s match.” Lady Roseanna says this as if finding a future wife for a ten year old gives one preciously little time to accomplish that feat before he becomes of marrigeable age upon his eighteenth birthday.
Sir Guy: “Rose, Lord Havorford impresses me as a man who dotes upon his daughters. Afterall, he amended Lady Mary’s betrothal agreement to switch to her marrying Lord George as she wished, rather than marrying my brother Lord Archer.”
Sir Guy says this rather non-plussed, even though it is four years after the new marital arrangements were finalized, solemnized, and consummated.
Lady Roseanna: “We shall see!” Lady Roseanna smiles impishly.
And sensing that his wife is in a good mood, Sir Guy pulls her into his arms and leans down to kiss her.
Sir Guy: “Oh and Rose, regarding Seth? Do not trouble yourself about his hair.”
Then before Lady Roseanna can ask about Seth’s hair, Sir Guy passionately kisses his beloved wife for quite some time, and then some–and all thoughts of hair and gowns and betrothals and even Baron investitures are forgot.
To be continued with Chapter 3
“Guy’s Atonement”(Book 3), Ch. 2 References, 1/30/15 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #696)
1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite of:
a)Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at
2) King Richard is in France in Spring 1199 , trying to reclaim more territories for England:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_I_of_England
3) Seth at 10 years image is a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html
4) Lady Caroline Haverford age 6 image is that of the adorable Dakota Fanning and was found at http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/bigpicture/images/dakotafanning.jpg
5) Sir Guy smiling is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi 5 pix 88 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_088.jpg
6) Lady Rose Gisborne is Emma Watson (crop)at the 2013 Gravity Premiere from her IMDB site (getty image) found at http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMjE2MTQ4NDYyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTQ5MzYzMDE@._V1__SX640_SY720_.jpg
7) Sir Guy curious is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi6 pix 192 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0192.JPG
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (book 3), Previous Ch. 0-1 Blog Link (Post #693)