“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 4 (PG-13): Risk, February 6, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #699)
[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) [(1)story logo, top right]
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, 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, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, 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: Friday, March 29, 1199, Sir Guy of Gisborne and his extended family–including the Middletons and the Locksley’s–converged upon Gordon Castle in Leicester as the seat of his wife Lady Roseanna’s cousin the Lord John Oxbridge, the Earl of Leicester. But since Lord John is in the Holy Land, his wife Lady Rebecca greets her kin and plays hostess for the celebrations surrounding Sir Guy’s investiture to a Barony in three days on April 2nd. With a small family gathering for tea–that included their annoying cousin, the Prince Regent Prince John, and Lady Mary’s blossoming eleven year old sister Lady Caroline Havorford–Lady Rebecca and her family reconnect. None more so than Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna’s ten year old son Seth who formerly thought to escape Lady Mary, but is now quite transfixed with her sweetly blossoming countenance and her newly shy manner. And Lady Caroline’s absent Papa, Lord Havorford, is actively seeking and considering several offers of betrothal for Lady Caroline’s hand in marriage–to the consternation of Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna who also hope to propose a betrothal of their son Seth to Lady Caroline. But betrothals and Barony’s will be the least of everyone’s concerns yet this day.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 4 (PG-13): Risk
After the family tea presided over by Lady Rebecca, ends in the late afternoon of Friday, March 29th, 1199, the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family members separate for a few hours before readying themselves to attend the post sunset feast in honor of Sir Guy’s impending elevation to a Barony. Lady Rebecca as hostess of Gordon Castle and Countess of Leicester goes to her staff to insure all is as it should be for tonight’s gala. Prince John excuses himself to attend to pressing matters of state–which will actually involve him engaging in a secret assignation with one of his Lady nobles in his entourage, whose husband knows well the blessing of the favor of the king, or Prince Regent in this case. The other gentlemen–Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George walk off together in search of a secure place to speak freely and frankly.
Torn between wanting to be with the men, and wanting to spend more time with Lady Caroline Havorford, Seth Gisborne returns to their family’s guest bed chamber suite–following behind his little sister Lady Helen who wants to show Lady Caroline her cat Cloud, named for its white coloring and its lightness on its paws–seeming to be suspended in mid air when it leaps onto the furniture or window sills.
While seeming to sharpening his daggar with a whetstone–flexing his ten year old muscles purposefully for the eleven year old and sweetly blossoming Lady Caroline’s benefit–Seth Gisborne [(2) right] surreptitiously watches the exchange between his sister and her from across the room. He sits on the edge of the cot assigned to him in their bedchamber reorganized into a children’s and servants room. Both Seth and Lady Caroline are, as of yet, unaware that his family might wish to betroth him to her. For now, it is enough that Seth’s growing interest in Lady Caroline is beginning to align itself more closely with her own interests regarding Seth.
Lady Helen: “Isn’t Cloud pretty, Lady Caroline?” Lady Helen gushes while holding her one year old off white cat in her arms.
Lady Caroline: “Cloud is very pretty indeed, Lady Helen.” Lady Helen smiles delightedly at such praise for her pet. For Lady Caroline–cats, or kittens are her favorite. “I wonder, will Cloud let me hold her?” Lady Caroline asks eagerly. Lady Caroline has a kitty at home, but was required to leave it behind when she traveled with her father to her sister Lady Mary’s home.
Lady Caroline [(3) right smiles welcomingly to the cat–making Seth Gisborne wish that he were a cat. And Lady Caroline holds out her arms for the cat Cloud to come to her.
But the slightly skittish kitty jumps out of Lady Helen’s arms, runs across the children’s cots and beds, and hops up to sit on the open window sill stone ledge while licking itself clean and disdainfully looking down at the thirty foot drop to the ground. The kitty Cloud likes the view, but is mindful to stay on the inside of the window. The myth about cats having nine lives [(4)] is over stated and is less about cats surviving catastrophe, and more about cats avoiding catastrophe.
Then feeling slightly annoyed that his much younger six year old sister Lady Helen was allowed to bring her one year old pet Cloud the cat, but he was not allowed to bring his pet the now six year old and very large English Mastiff dog Prince, Seth Gisborne pouts a bit, and intones in a big brotherly way–in part, trying to impress Lady Caroline with his guidance of his younger sibling Lady Helen.
Seth: Trying to deepen his voice to sound older, Seth intones a bit overbearingly. “Helen, you had best keep your cat in its basket carrier so that it does not go wondering about the castle. The castle is so vast that we will never find her if she goes exploring on her own. I am surprised that Mama and Papa allowed you to bring her with you.”
Lady Helen: “Oh Seth, Cloud is fine!” Lady Helen snaps at him. Really, Seth can be so bossy, him trying to order her around. “She is my pet and I will see to her! Come Cloud.” Lady Helen beckons and Cloud jumps off of the window ledge and races into Lady Helen’s arms. “See?” She smiles triumphantly.
Lady Caroline: “Lady Helen, you are fortunate that your cat abides by your commands. Our cat Mischief is aptly named because he is forever getting stuck up in trees or on outside window ledges. We have a devil of time getting him safely back inside from time to time.”
Seth: “Oh? And how do you manage that?” Seth asks with interest–in drawing Lady Caroline into a conversation with him, more so than caring about what her cat does.
Lady Caroline: “A bit of fish usually tempts him.” Lady Caroline smiles shyly at Seth. She likes him, but is waiting to see if he likes her. There is a silence between them for a few moments–that she breaks. “But I must leave you now to see how my sister Lady Mary fares–her being with child tires her out so, even more so than with her first two children. So I will see you tonight at the feast.” She smiles and leaves.
Seth nods and blushes at Lady Caroline’s use of the phrase with child. Of course, Seth’s father Sir Guy has not yet talked with about ladies. It is on Sir Guy’s mind since Seth is now ten years old and they are considering betrothing him to Lady Caroline. But he has been putting it off. Sir Guy wants to mentor his son into his developing manhood–which also means having to give Seth guidance about ladies and romance. Sir Guy’s rather randy upbringing–with willing kitchen maids, such as Seth’s mother–is not what Sir Guy wants for his son. His son will behave as a gentleman and as a noble.
Then Seth leaves to go in search of his father and uncles. Lady Helen contentedly plays with her cat Cloud some more–dangling a toy made out of scraps of fabric. Their little four year old brother Louis is napping nearby and baby Lady Diana is with their mother being nursed in their parents’ guest bed chamber across the sitting room.
Whenever two or more nobles or knights are gathered, there are certain to be intrigues aplenty. And for this coming evening of Friday, March 29th, 1199, there will be 100 ladies and gentlemen nobles and knights who will assemble for the dinner feast celebrating Sir Guy’s soon to be elevation to a Barony–including the Gisbornes, Middletons, and Locksleys, plus one Havorford. To be sure, Sir Guy of Gisborne is no stranger to intrigue. But now as a family man and as a respected noble, Sir Guy has broader concerns than that which consumed his person when he was an unattached knight and Sheriff Vasey’s henchman lieutenant so many years ago. And not assuming that the celebration of Sir Guy’s elevation to a Barony–with his whole family to view it–would stop the most determined assassin, Sir Guy’s brother Lord Archer and brother-in-law Lord George are on his side and at his side, wary and cautious.
It was a snippet of conversation over heard earlier in the afternoon by the Locksley’s young nursemaid Ellen to the three year old twin boys David and Andrew and the one year old James that caused Lord George and Lord Archer to become alarmed. Ellen was returning to the Locksley’s guest suites in Gordon Castle with a basket of baby James Locksley’s and baby Lady Diana Gisborne’s now clean and wet wrappers after having washed them in the castle’s lower level laundry area. And Ellen providentially passed by the armory that is serving as a barracks for the lesser nobles in Prince John’s entourage. Several knights were clustered about the room in conversation. And one knight standing near the door, spotted the pretty Ellen and engaged her in conversation–him thinking that he might at least gain something out of the inconvenience of traveling to Leicester for the investiture of Sir Guy, a knight whom he does not know.
As the knight was trying to interact with Ellen and solicit a promise of a secret assignation with her for later when everyone would be at the feast, she over heard two other knights–who were clearly unaware of her presence–discussing the problem of access to complete their mission successfully. They further went on to strategize that if an opening when the man they sought would be alone did not present itself over the next few days, that they and their accomplices would have to find another way to disrupt the proceedings to prevent the investiture from occurring. Ellen quickly extracted herself discreetly from the young knight flirting with her–claiming the need to hang up the clean and wet wrappers to dry by the fire for her baby charges.
And after Ellen related what she overheard to her master, Lord Archer, he went in search of Lord George to discuss the matter before broaching it with Sir Guy–while Ellen hung up the baby wrappers to dry by the fireplace. Lord George being the less hot headed of he and Lord Archer, was elected to approach Sir Guy and deftly extracted his Lady Roseanna’s side for tour of Gordon Castle’s keep [(5) right], despite the dark clouds threatening rain–the top of Gordon Castle affording them less chance of being over heard–and not telling their ladies their suspicions so as not to alarm them.
However unbeknownst to the three men, they are being followed at a discreet distance by Seth Gisborne as they make their way to the top of the keep tower. Seth does not want to intrude upon his father and uncles. But he is curious. And curiosity in a ten year old boy is almost impossible to curtail. So Seth remains just out of sight at the top of the stairwell entrance to the open air keep tower observation deck.
Leaning over the parapet, Sir Guy cautiously peers [(6) right] at the long fifty foot drop to the ground were some unfortunate soul to lose his footing. Ever the protective parent, Sir Guy intones.
Sir Guy: “Remind me not to bring the children up here. Their impulsiveness might well spell their doom were they to lean too far over and fall.”
Sir Guy shivers and then crosses himself–as do Lord George and Lord Archer. Superstition regarding the mentioning of calamity is such that it requires seeking an intercession from the Almighty to prevent it from coming true.
Lord Archer: “Guy! We should none of us leave our families unattended for long while we are here–for fear that harm might befall them.” He frowns.
Sir Guy: “What person could be so evil to harm our children?” Sir Guy asks with urgency. “And if we are to not leave our families unprotected, what are we doing here?”
Lord George: “Guy! We needed a secure place to talk–where we cannot be overheard.” But, they are being overheard–by Seth, who scowls in concern, looking very much like his Papa Sir Guy. “Archer’s nursemaid Ellen overheard two knights planning to harm someone–and said that if he couldn’t be harmed, to find another way. Someone means to prevent your investiture to a Barony, Guy–either through assassinating you or incapacitating you through distraction by sinisterly attacking one of our children.”
Sir Guy: “I knew that this investiture had to be a ruse!” Sir Guy thunders. “How could I have been so blind as to let my pride in this honor over take my common sense?”
Lord Archer: “Nay Guy! King Richard wants you to have this honor. You deserve it for your vision in rebuilding Nottingham and such.” Lord Archer reiterates. “It is just that someone is using what should be a joyous event to their sinister advantage.”
Lord Archer had once been a wiley and sinister element, himself [(7) right]–a vagabond not caring whom he hurt with his thievery or debauched with his romantic assignations. This was before Lord Archer found his family and reunited with his older brother Sir Guy–who then guided him as a mentor to help him become the esteemed Earl and Sherriff of Nottingham that he is today. So a chastened Lord Archer knows the dangers that plotting and mercenary individuals can create.
Lord George: “I agree!”
Sir Guy: “Oh no! And what if Sir Jasper is using our absence from our estates to ransack them hunting for the Nottingham Treasure?”
Lord George [(8) right]–as Lady Roseanna’s brother and Sir Guy’s brother-in-law–had years ago been taken into Sir Guy’s and Lord Archer’s confidence about the Nottingham Treasure matter and he blanches.
Lord Archer: “The weasel!”
Sir Guy: “No! That’s Prince John!” Sir Guy smirks.
Lord Archer: “Of course! Guy? I am not concerned about Nottingham.” Sir Guy and Lord George look at Lord Archer curiously. “There is nothing for them to find.”
Sir Guy: “But I thought …” Sir Guy pauses, looking questioningly at his brother, Lord Archer.
Lord Archer: “Nothing!” Lord Archer emphasizes. “Only God knows where it is.”
Lord Archer reaffirms obliquely, in case anyone were eaves dropping. For the Nottingham portion of the treasure lies buried deep in the catacomb burial crypts of Leicester Cathedral under Father Bale’s watchful eyes. Lord Archer had only kept back a small portion for himself, and some for the rebuilding of Locksley Church with Brother Tuck, and he parceled out to some of the Robin Hood outlaw remnants for safe keeping should the citizenry have need of it. And of course, half or 50,000 pounds is buried in Sir Guy’s Gisborne-Middleton Manor stables.
Lord George: “Guy, we should really have someone checking on Middleton Manor. You should not go alone, but I cannot leave my Mary in her present delicate condition. And we can’t all leave because that would draw too much suspicion and we need some here to protect our families should someone threaten to do them harm.”
Stepping out from the shadows of the castle keep’s stairwell, 10 year old Seth boldly throws his lot in with the men.
Seth: “Papa! I will ride home with you!”
Seth’s father and uncles turn toward him in astonishment–wondering how much he overheard.
Sir Guy: “Seth! You were not meant to be here. What have you heard?” Sir Guy scowls at his son, concerned that Seth having any knowledge about what they discussed might place him in danger–were someone to try to squeeze information out of him.
Seth: “I heard enough, Papa.” Seth looks over at his father’s brother with a raised eyebrow. “Uncle Lord Archer, should I presume that you brought us more than my mastiff puppy Prince five years ago?”
Lord Archer: “Kkkhh! Something like that, Seth. Well, Guy, my nephew is rather astute for his tender age, I’ll give him that.” Lord Archer shakes his head bemusedly.
Lord George: “Gentlemen! We are sure to be missed and should not tarry here any longer. So we should continue this discussion after the feast tonight. Guy, you and Seth can make some excuse to go home briefly in the morning to assess the security of Middleton Manor. Perhaps your excuse could be to fetch one of the children’s toys or a special blanket that they left behind and are inconsolable about.”
Sir Guy: “I am not taking Seth with me! If someone tries to harm me, I do not want Seth to get hurt as well–or worse, him being injured instead of me.” Sir Guy has rightly assessed the danger that he and his family are in.
Lord Archer: “Guy, taking Seth with you is the only way not to arouse suspicion. Take Brother Tuck with you as well. He travelled with us and he should be at the feast tonight. The three of you together will afford you and Seth greater protection. ”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy turns is body and face solemnly [(9) right] and forebodingly to his son, his arms crossed tensely. “Very well.” Sir Guy agrees with great reluctance. Then Sir Guy places his hand on Seth’s shoulder. “Seth, we play a dangerous game of intrigues. Do not tell anyone what we are about–least of all your Mama. We must not have the ladies and children worried.”
And by his phrasing, Sir Guy has let his son Seth know that he views him no longer as a child. Seth straightens his shoulders and stands up taller–to his full five foot six inch height, tall for a boy of ten–with this subtle praise and acknowledgement from his father.
Lord George: “And with my Mary so distressed with her pregnancy already, we must be calm around her.”
Seth: “I can be calm, Uncle Lord George. My Aunt Lady Mary will receive only solicitude and caring from me. ” Seth consoles his uncle.
Sir Guy: Slapping his son Seth on his back, Sir Guy smiles broadly. “Well then, let us make merry, gentleman–as if we had not a care in the world, to confuse and misdirect those who would plot against us. And at tonight’s feast we will keep our eyes observant and our ears alert for those around us. We trust no one but family.” Then Sir Guy turns to Seth again. “Seth, we also do not trust our cousin by marriage Prince John. He must not be told of what we know and what we plan to do.”
Seth: “Why not?” He asks his father. “Prince John is our cousin.”
Sir Guy: “Only by marriage, not by blood.” Seth continues to look at his father and uncles uncomprehendingly.
Lord Archer: Lord Archer speaks plainly so that his young nephew Seth understands the seriousness of the situation. “Seth, Prince John or his toady Sir Jasper might be the ones behind trying to have your father killed before his investiture can take place.”
Seth looks at his father and uncles in horror, his face paling at the implications of what they are saying. Seth worships and loves his wonderful Papa Sir Guy. To Seth, his father Sir Guy of Gisborne is the epitome of nobility and all knightly virtues–as well as being a devoted father and husband to his family. And Seth will not let anyone take his father away from their family–and especially, not away from him.
Lord George: “Prince John yearns to become King–and he will stop at nothing, nor stop at anyone–to get it. Your father …. is an impediment with him being sworn to King Richard’s service.” Lord Geoge stops from relating Sir Guy’s prior role as Prince John’s mercenary who attempted to kill King Richard for him. That is not a discussion for him to have with his nephew–nor is it a discussion that Sir Guy ever wants to have with his son. Sir Guy hopes to keep his past buried. “So Seth, that is why Prince John cannot be trusted.” The three men each nod soberly at Seth.
Seth slowly nods back at them. Seth Gisborne has crossed a threshhold this day–from little boy to young man, with a young man’s responsibilities. And Seth vows not to let anyone down–least of all, his father Sir Guy of Gisborne.
To be continued with Chapter 5
“Guy’s Atonement”(Book 3), Ch. 4 References, Feb. 6, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #699)
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 http://cdn.thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11.jpg
2)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 was found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html
3) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found via Google search, but the fansite seemed to have a virus, So I am not providing that link as a precaution.
4) For more information about the myth of cats having nine lives, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat#History_and_mythology
5) Gordon Castle image as the Earl of Leicester’s home is Arundel Castle in England as found at http://www.anglotopia.net/anglophilia/top-16-best-castles-in-england/
6) Sir Guy is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood, series 2, epi 6, pix 15 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode6/slides/rh206_015.jpg
7) Image of Lord Archer of Locksley (portrayed by Clive Standen) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3 http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.html
8) Image (cropped) of Lord George Middleton is that of James McAvoy portraying Tom LeFroy in “Becoming Jane” and was found at http://mi9.com/wallpaper/james-mcavoy-is-tom-lefroy-in-becoming-jane_20810
9) Sir Guy image (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) entranced, image from the BBC’s Robin Hood, series 3 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_064.html
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 3 Blog Link (Post #697)