“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 7 (PG-13): Intrigues at the Feast, February 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #704)
[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, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, 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: As all assembled for the celebratory feast at Gordon Castle in Leicester to honor Sir Guy of Gisborne’s upcoming elevation to a Barony this evening of Friday, March 29th, 1199, Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge–the Countess of Leicester–greets her guests with her three year old son Graham at her side since her husband the Earl and Graham’s father is away in the Holy Land. After the guests of honor, the Gisborne’s arrive–and she overhears Seth Gisborne’s parents musings about his interest in Lady Caroline Havorford–Lady Rebecca hopes that both children’s wishes for their future spouses will be considered. And yet, this night has only just begun. And as the hours unfold, the night will reveal its secrets.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 7 (PG-13): Intrigues at the Feast
Sir Roderick Merton [(2) right], as the Gisborne children’s savior in preventing them from falling over the five story high Gordon Castle keep tower–and now the Gisborne’s guest in their family guest bedchamber suite–quietly enters the Great Banquet Hall of Gordon Castle through a side entrance, his left arm in a sling to rest his injured but healing shoulder and hidden under his cape.
With the celebratory feast in honor of Sir Guy of Gisborne’s upcoming elevation to a Barony just beginning to get underway, Sir Roderick’s hope to arrive unnoticed at the banquet is quickly quashed.
Prince John: “You there! Sir Roderick, pray you to come hither and attend upon me!” Prince John preens [(3) right]. He so enjoys ordering people about.
Naturally, heads turn to see who is so singled out by their Prince Regent. Jealous courtiers, in particular, sneer at Sir Roderick’s good fortune in obtaining the notice of Prince John. Sir Jasper standing off to the side takes notice of Prince John’s attentions to the young knight. And he does not like it one bit.
Though to Sir Roderick’s viewpoint, him being noticed by Prince John is something akin to a horse being unable to deflect a pesky flea’s burrowing attentions. Yet, Sir Roderick must obey. So he adopts a decent resemblance to a smile, turns toward the voice of the Prince Regent, walks over to Prince John, and bows to him.
Sir Roderick: “Sire. May I be of assistance?” Sir Roderick asks courteously. With his arm in a sling for the coming week due to his now healing dislocated shoulder injury incurred during the Gisborne children’s rescue this afternoon, he will not be doing any heavy lifting, nor sword fighting.
Prince John: “Nay! It is I who will assist you. Do you see the comely young lady standing over there next to my cousin by marriage, Seth Gisborne, whom you rescued earlier today?”
Prince John is most discourteously pointing to Lady Caroline Havorford [(4) right], the younger sister of Lady Mary Havorford Middleton. Though Prince John was born and bred in a castle, but as the coddled son of his then doting mother Queen Eleanor–when they were in a happier relational state–his manners are often atrocious. And Sir Roderick’s and several pairs of eyes in the large two story hall, turn to the sweet Lady Caroline Havorford set amidst the splendor of Gordon Castle’s Great Banquet Hall.
Sir Roderick: “Ah! Yes, My Liege. The lady is perhaps a little young, but time will diminish that current deficit.”
Prince John: “Precisely! She is Lady Caroline Havorford, the young noble lady whom you should consider courting.” Prince John is matchmaking again, hoping to earn a dowry tax payment of ten percent–or 1,000 pounds–in Lady Caroline’s case.
Sir Roderick: Not being able to help himself, Sir Roderick startles in shock. “Nay my Prince, Lady Caroline is but a child–despite her tallness for a girl at her age. She must be given time to mature before thoughts of betrothal and courting would be entertained–by me or by anyone else, for that matter.” Sir Roderick adds for emphasis.
Prince John: “Nay, Sir Roderick! It is best to express your interest now, while the extended family is feeling grateful to you. Your betrothal to her will then be more easily accomplished than I thought.”
Sir Roderick: “But I am not interested in Lady Caroline, My Prince.” Sir Roderick speaks sotto voce, so as not to have his voice carry over the din of other guests conversations, and risk offending Lady Caroline. Then seeking to present a logical reason for his objection, Sir Roderick states lamely. “And I know not of her nor her family–nor she of me and mine.”
Prince John: “Then use this evening’s feast to rectify your ignorance!” Prince John whines with annoyance–his well chosen words conveying a double meaning.
Sir Roderick: “But my Prince, I ….” Sir Roderick stammers.
Snapping his fingers at Sir Roderick–a very bad habit that Prince John began with servants, that now carries over to his courtiers–Prince John requests.
Prince John: “Follow me to my family congregated near Lady Caroline. I will facilitate your introduction to her.”
And with that, Prince John strides over to the Gisborne, Middletone, and Locksley family grouping standing at the children’s table before seating themselves at the head table with Prince John and Lady Leicester, Lady Rebecca. Sir Roderick follows his Prince, with Sir Roderick [(5) right] plastering a courteous smile upon his face, but dreading what will soon transpire at Prince John’s direction.
Upon Prince John’s and Sir Roderick’s approach to them, the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley men and boys bow and the ladies and girls curtsey to each other. Lady Caroline sneaks a glance at the tall, imposing looking, and handsome knight with Prince John as he is greeted warmly by Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna. She has, as of yet, not met the cordial looking Sir Roderick Merton, though the tale of his bravery in saving Lady Helen and Seth from falling has been told to her.
Lord Archer: “To what do we owe the pleasure of your company, Prince John?” Lord Archer [(6) right] sneers. He has managed to keep Prince John at bay these past five years, regarding the Nottingham Castle rebuilding and supposed treasure. And that has given Lord Archer a false sense of bravado.
Sir Guy rolls his eyes at his younger brother’s foolish words and manner and hisses under his breath.
Sir Guy: “Archer!”
Prince John: “You underwhelm me as usual, Lord Huntington.” Prince John eschews calling Lord Archer familiarly by name, as a slight–and instead, uses Lord Archer’s earldom title. Prince John is being churlish. “I wonder if I should remove you as Lord Sherriff of Nottingham, and then you might show proper deference to the crown?”
Lord Archer: “Oh I do respect the crown.” By which Lord Archer means King Richard of England.
Lady Roseanna: “Johnny, you must pardon Archer. He is merely grumpy because he has not had his evening meal yet.” Then Lady Roseanna [(7) right] adds diffidently. “Is that also your excuse?” She smiles falsely sweetly at her cousin by marriage. “I do not need to threaten you with spiders to make you behave. Do I?”
Prince John: Prince John shivers at the thought of spiders. “Rosie, you are rather chastising tonight.” Her cousin by marriage Prince John whines poutily.
Sir Guy: “If you only knew.” Sir Guy mutters as he now rolls his eyes at Prince John. Lady Roseanna wrinkles up her nose at her husband. “And My Prince, you would rue the day you remove Lord Archer as Sheriff of Nottingham–because he skillfully and tactfully manages the Northern nobles in Nottingham’s territory.” Sir Guy states without rancor. “You would not be able to find another noble to take his place who could equal the service that he provides to you as Sherriff of Nottingham.” Lord Archer straightens up to hear such lavish praise of himself from his elder brother. Sir Guy not being known to lavish.
Prince John: “Is that so? Well, today’s hero, Sir Roderick Morton, here would make a fine candidate given his bravery this day saving your children, Lady Helen and Seth.”
Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George exchange looks of concern–them wondering if Prince John might set aside Lord Archer as Sherriff. Sir Roderick stands there uncomfortably, him not having met the Middleton’s and their extended family in the person of Lady Caroline Havorford yet.
Sir Roderick: “Kkkkh! Merton, Sire.” He corrects Prince John about the pronunciation of his name.
Prince John: Narrowing his eyes petulantly, Prince John glowers at Sir Roderick. “Merton, Morton. What of it? You should have come to court with a name that is not so easily confused, Sir Roderick.” Then Prince John smiles leeringly. “Especially if your hoped for betrothed Lady Caroline is to remember your name.”
Sir Roderick: “Hhhh!” Sir Roderick gasps loudly for the indelicate manner in which Prince John broaches the betrothal. Even though, it is not a betrothal that Sir Roderick wants.
Seth: “Betrothed?” Ten years old–but trying to seem older for Lady Caroline’s benefit–Seth Gisborne [(8) right] sputters as he stares at a very surprised Lady Caroline. And then he glares daggers at the good knight who saved he and his sister Lady Helen from falling to their deaths from the keep tower. Seth thinks that Sir Roderick is less of a hero to him now that he is competition for Lady Caroline Havorford’s hand in marriage.
And Seth’s whole family–parents, aunts, uncles, sister, brother, and cousins look stunned. And no one is more stunned than Lady Caroline’s sister, Lady Mary Middleton who is great with child. Perhaps it is partly due to her delicate and taxing condition and partly due to her witnessing her sister-in-law Lady Roseanna’s irreverence for her cousin Prince John, but the twenty year old Lady Mary intercedes upon her sister Lady Caroline’s behalf with poise and dignity.
Lady Mary: “Prince John! Or, may I address you as Johnny as well, since we are family? In my father’s absence, my husband Lord George Middleton and I, are guardians of my sister, Lady Caroline. We are not authorized to enter into any betrothal negotiations, nor even to contemplate such a turn of events. My sister is only eleven years old–too young to become betrothed to anyone.”
Seth nods his head up and down unbidden. Sisters-in-law Lady Roseanna Gisborne and Lady Saline Locksley share a knowing look with stifled smiles–regarding Seth’s parents hopes for betrothing their son Seth to Lady Caroline, and seemingly his own romantic leanings.
Prince John: “But Lady Mary your father and hers, Lord Havorford, is actively seeking a husband for her.” He counters.
Lady Mary: “Papa is mildly entertaining future betrothal possibilities. I was not betrothed and married until my fifteenth year–nor is my sister likely to be.” She dissembles–her being aware of the Gisborne’s interest in proposing a match between their son Seth and Lady Caroline. “And, Papa has nothing better to do at the moment.” She rolls her eyes. Then she lays a purposeful hand caressingly upon her pregnant belly. “Now My Prince,” Lady Mary is not so unwise as to risk a familiarity–even in her with child condition. “… unless you want me to be so distressed that I have this baby upon one of the banquet tables here, I suggest that we choose another topic of conversation.” She officiously cuts off the discussion.
Sir Guy’s eyebrow raises and he bows his head [(9) right] shielding his half lidded eyes as he gazes at Lady Mary’s hapless husband, his brother-in-law, Lord George Middleton standing next to him. And Sir Guy is also feeling a bit discomfitted with the royal indigo blue tunic with gold embroidery finery that he is being forced to wear this evening by his dear wife–him preferring leather more than velvet or brocade. But as the guest of honor as the soon to be Baron, he must, regrettably, dress the part.
Lord George: Leaning over to Sir Guy, Lord George mutters under his breath. “Mary always becomes … unsettled … as she awaits our baby’s births.” Agitated is more like it, Lord George thinks privately–him choosing to be discreet and considerate in this instance. Maybe my brother is maturing with his discretion thinks Lord George’s sister Lady Roseanna.
Sir Guy looks upon his brother-in-law Lord George with some sympathy, thanking god for his more even tempered wife, Lady Roseanna. But of course, Sir Guy is suffering from memory loss at the moment, because Lady Roseanna is as feisty and fiery as ladies come.
Trying to ease the awkwardness imposed by Prince John’s hasty suggestion of a betrothal between he and Lady Caroline, Sir Roderick attempts to smooth over the situation.
Sir Roderick: “My Lady Caroline, it is an honor to meet you. You are quite charming.” Sir Roderick states sincerely as he bows to Lady Caroline, and she curtsies with a sweet smile. Seth frowns. “But your sister is most correct regarding your age and betrothal musings. And were you my sister, I would also wish for you to protect this sacred time of your leaving childhood behind as you consider what you wish for your future.”
Prince John: “Well! Sir Roderick! If you take this reticent approach with every maiden whom I suggest to you as a potential bride, then you will never marry again.” Prince John throws up his hands in dismay–no dowry tax portion to look forward to today.
The Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley family adult members exchange curious glances with each other before gazing quizzically at Sir Roderick. They did not realize that Sir Roderick had been married. For divorce [(10)] is not generally accomplished in their time–the church in Rome is quite adamant about that–and if divorce is finalized, it is not done so easily.
Sir Roderick’s face saddens as he gives the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley’s extended family adults a minimal explanation, him speaking solemnly, in a hushed tone of voice.
Sir Roderick: “My Lords and Ladies, I was widowed eighteen months ago after a brief but fond marriage. I beg your forebearance that you will understand this private matter is most painful for me to talk about.” Sir Roderick lowers his eyes, him not wanting to go into further elaborations.
Lady Roseanna: “Of course. We will respect your wishes. You have our condolences, Sir Roderick.” Though she wonders if it was injury or illness that caused Lady Merton’s death. Or, if something more sinister was at work.
Sir Roderick: Sir Roderick looks up and smiles wanly at Lady Roseanna. “Thank you.”
Then there is the additional social embarrassment about there not being enough room at the head table for Sir Roderick to join the adults–what with Lord George and Lady Mary being added to the mix at the head table along with the other adult family members, Prince John, Lady Rebecca, and their clergy, Fr. Bale. But Sir Roderick good naturedly states that it will be his pleasure to sit at the side table with the children–him not wanting to be on display. And Sir Roderick has one other reason for not wanting to be seated at the head table–though he will not confess it.
While they await the arrival of their hostess, Rebecca Lady Leicester, Sir Roderick sits down at the side dining table with the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley children. This company includes the slightly older ten year old Seth Gisborne and the eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford. Seth facilitates introductions of the children for Sir Roderick. Seth being a bit more disposed to liking Sir Roderick again–since Sir Roderick stated that he is not actively seeking Lady Caroline’s hand in marriage. But Seth should take note of Lady Caroline’s shining eyes of admiration for the handsome knight, Sir Roderick Merton.
And being a most affable fellow–Sir Roderick would have to be, to not mind being seated with the children–before Seth can make the introduction, Sir Roderick engages in conversation with the well behaved little boy in a fine red velvet tunic and lace edged collar seated next to him.
Sir Roderick: “And who are you, little man?”
Lord Graham: At first shyly and then with more confidence, the little boy replies. “I am Graham, … Lord Oxbridge–and Earl of Leicester until my Papa returns home from the Holy Land to be the Earl. I am three years old.” Little Lord Graham [(11) right] says proudly with a smile as he holds up three fingers–one of which is his thumb.
Sir Roderick: Mesmirized, Sir Roderick’s voice catches in his throat as he gently asks the little boy. “Oh! So you are Lady Leicester’s son?”
Seth: Seth interjects pridefully. “Yes, Sir Roderick, he is. Lady Leicester placed Lord Graham into my care this evening.”
Lord Graham: “Yes.” Lord Graham nods. “My Mama is busy greeting people. But I do not see her now.” Lord Graham looks around the room for his Mama. There are many people here in the castle this night and little Lord Graham is not with one of his usual servant minders. So Lord Graham is a bit worried.
Lady Caroline: Sensing little Lord Graham’s unease, Lady Caroline says soothingly as she rubs his back. “Lord Graham, I am certain that your Mama will join us soon. The feast will begin when she arrives–that is, after Fr. Bale gives the blessing.” She gestures to the simply dressed but kindly looking cleric standing talking with the adult family members.
Sir Roderick: In a kindly tone, Sir Roderick tells the little boy. “Yes, little one. Your Mama will be here soon. You are a fine little boy.” Sir Roderick is transfixed looking at little Lord Graham–and dreaming of what he does not yet have, a family.
Lord Graham: “Thank you, Sir Roderick.” Lord Graham replies courteously, as he has been taught. Then feeling overwhelmed with all of the new people here tonight, little Lord Graham says forlornly, but quietly. “I want my Mama.”
Sir Roderick: Standing up eagerly, Sir Roderick suggests. “I will find her for you, Lord Graham–and I will bring her to you now.”
Graham: “Oh will you?” Lord Graham’s cherub face perks up.
Little Lord Graham has been ever so patient with all the goings on at his castle home today–and the preparations leading up to their guests arrivals. And though much fuss was made about Prince John’s coming, little Lord Graham met him earlier and does not think him that special. Then thinks little Lord Graham, when my Papa Lord John Oxbridge comes home, he will be special.
Sir Roderick: “I will.” Sir Roderick nods at little Lord Graham, Lady Caroline, and Seth before setting out upon his mission.
But unbeknownst to the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley extended family, Sir Roderick Merton has more than a passing interest and motive in finding Rebecca, Lady Leicester for her three year old son Lord Graham. With Sir Roderick being a part of Prince John’s retinue in attendance at Gordon Castle, it was inevitable that Sir Roderick and his hostess Rebecca, Lady Leicester would meet … again.
To be continued with Chapter 8
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 7 References, Feb. 16 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #704)
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 thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11
2) Sir Roderick Merton is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World(manip with left arm sling hidden under capte) that was found at http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth6.jpg; for more information, visit http://collider.com/thor-2-dark-world-images/
3) Prince John smirking image (crop) is Toby Stephens in the BBC’s Robinhood (2009) season 3, epi 6, pix 94 that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0094.JPG
4) Lady Caroline in ivory gown for the feast is a composite of two images:
a) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image (head) 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;
b) Medieval ivory gown was found at https://31.media.tumblr.com/13bbc0c5701127b237e9082174961213/tumblr_inline_mmkaj8QYwC1qz4rgp.jpg ;
c) Masked upon Medieval Italian Banquet Hall themed image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/9e/68/e09e68168d3c8bf840a19556ea1552ef.jpg
5) Sir Roderick Merton is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://a.abcnews.com/images/Entertainment/REX_chris_hemsworth_thor_kab_140107_16x9_992.jpg
6) Image of Lord Archer of Locksley (portrayed by Clive Standen) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3, is a composite image of Mr. Standen’s head (cropped) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.jpg ; and a Medieval type man’s formal attire found at http://www.medievalcollectables.com/images/Category/medium/158.png
7) Lady Roseanna image manip is that of British actress Emma Watson (head only) and was found at http://images.werdyo.com/2011/01/10/watson/emma-watson-pink-dress-0.jpg composited with Drew Barrymore’s pink gowned body from the film “Ever After” (1998) was found at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EOk2VCc5f0Q/Tj-Uz–J9OI/AAAAAAAAAn4/-l5axymiDtw/s400/breathe12.jpeg; Masked upon Medieval Italian Banquet Hall themed image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/9e/68/e09e68168d3c8bf840a19556ea1552ef.jpg
8) Seth at 10 years image is a manip composite 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 (manipped blue to be a dressy tunic) found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html and made navy blue;
c) Masked upon Medieval Italian Banquet Hall themed image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/9e/68/e09e68168d3c8bf840a19556ea1552ef.jpg
9) Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) entranced, image from the BBC’s Robin Hood, series 3, episode 5 (pix 111) (2009) and was fofund athttp://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_111.jpg; and Masked upon Medieval Italian Banquet Hall themed image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/9e/68/e09e68168d3c8bf840a19556ea1552ef.jpg
10) Historical views and policies regarding divorce or separation was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce
11) Little Lord Graham Oxbridge at 3 years old is represented by a painting titled Young Boy Writing by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun that was found at http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/186363/1/Young-Boy-Writing.jpg
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 6 Blog Link (Post #702)