“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 13 (PG-13, D): Father and Son, March 06, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #714)
[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 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, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, 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), or foul language (L). 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.
Nota Bene: And though I may refer to some historical timelines, events, and personages, I reconfigure them somewhat for this storyline–and they should not be taken as literal historical fact. The citation links are provided for you to find out what really happened historically.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After Sir Roderick frantically realized that Sir Guy and his son Seth had left Gordon Castle at dawn on Saturday morning, he revealed the plot to kill them and Prince John to his horrified family, Lady Roseanna, and Lord Archer and Lord George. They decide to bide their time and wait until Sir Guy and Seth return in the afternoon to strategize about what to do about the plot. In the meantime, Sir Guy and Seth travel the five miles home to Gisborne-Middleton Manor–ostensibly to insure that the Nottingham Treasure is still hidden from Prince John’s soldiers, and such.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 13: Father and Son
The following day, Saturday March 30th, 1199, Sir Guy and Seth ride back home to Gisborne-Middleton Manor in the morning.
Sir Guy and his son Seth had left that morning at dawn–before many in the castle had arisen. And they had slipped out past a finally sleeping Sir Roderick who had lain awake for hours worrying about his love Becca and the assassination plot that he had overheard in the garden last night.
Sir Guy also takes Lady Helen’s cat home–it having almost caused her to fall to her death, and Seth in trying to save her. And they plan to return to Leicester with little two year old Lady Sarah’s blankie and dolly–and with the healer woman Althea and her children in a cart at the special request of Lord George to see to the comfort of his very pregnant wife, Lady Mary. So their alibi for returning home to the Middleton estates has a firm foundation.
But with Sir Jasper having told Seth about his legitimacy decree at last evening’s banquet, Seth has many questions to ask his father. And Sir Guy will have to find the answers for them. Riding home on horseback does not allow for conversation. But while eating a delayed and more substantial breakfast of omelettes and toasted bread with jelly in his father’s study, their privacy is assured. After their meal is done, Seth takes a final sip of his milk–with his milk moustache evident upon his upper lip making Seth Gisborne seem younger than his ten years. But he wipes his mouth with his sleeve.
Seth: “Papa?” Seth asks quietly–and in a slightly deeper vocal tone than usual. His voice is beginning to change more toward his father’s deep timbre. Seth’s face is resolute [(2) right] , his gaze steady and his jaw firmly set with the beginnings of the beautiful stubbornness inherent in him as Sir Guy of Gisborne’s son.
Sir Guy also notices the somberness in his usually cheerful son’s tone. And Sir Guy has been waiting to have this conversation with Seth–not just since Sir Jasper brought it up at the feast last night, but since Seth came to live with he and his wife Lady Roseanna. Yet Sir Guy cannot bring himself to reveal all about his past–because he feels that he would risk alienating his son from him forever.
Sir Guy: “Yes?” Sir Guy will take this conversation slowly–allowing Seth to dictate what and in how much detail he wants. With his head lowered in trepidation [(3) right], Sir Guy waits for his son to ask his questions. The great Sir Guy of Gisborne fears no man. But his son Seth holds the key to his father’s future happiness. And for that happiness–and his son’s life–Sir Guy would risk anything to preserve it.
Seth: “What is a legitimacy decree? And why would I have need of one? Am I not already legitimate?” Seth is not entirely certain within which context the word legitimate is framed, in terms of how it applies to him?
Sir Guy looks up hesitantly at his son. The hurt expression on Seth’s face nearly crushes Sir Guy’s heart. Sir Guy’s own expression changes to a mixture of sorrow and regret. Sir Guy needs to make amends to his son. But how can a ten year old understand the actions of an adult, of his father–when the man that Sir Guy had been, no longer exists?
Sir Guy: “A legitimacy is for …” Then Sir Guy decides to take a different approach. “Seth, do you remember when we came to live at our home here at Gisborne-Middleton Manor?”
Seth: “I do. At least, I think I do. Mama had my sister Helen not long after.” Seth’s sense of time as a three year old toddler then was naturally skewed.
Sir Guy: “Helen was born six months after we moved here …. and nine months after your Mama and I were married.”
Seth: Seth thinks about that revelation for a moment. Then he asks slowly. “So you and Mama had me before you were married?”
Sir Guy: “Not exactly. I had you three years before I met your Mama, my wife Lady Roseanna.”
Seth: “I do not understand. She is my Mama.” He asserts firmly, but a worry starts to take hold in his mind–and in his heart.
Sir Guy: “My Lady wife Rose is your Mama … your adopted Mama. And she loves you as if she gave birth to you.” Sir Guy assures his son.
Seth: Understanding taking hold, Seth asks. “If Mama did not give birth to me, who was my first Mama?” Then he has a long ago spark of remembrance. “Was it my Derry family’s Mama Colleen? Was she my real Mama?”
Sir Guy: “No Seth. And your real Mama is your Mama now, Lady Roseanna. But the woman who gave birth to you was someone I knew eleven years ago–when I worked at Nottingham Castle. Hhhh!” Sir Guy has never spoken of that time in his life with his children–when he did evil things at Sherriff Vasey’s bidding. And he has never taken his children to Nottingham–not even to visit their Uncle Lord Archer–for fear of what they might find out about their father’s past.
Seth: “You were married before you married Mama?” Seth asks, almost hopefully.
Sir Guy: “Your mother and I never married.”
Seth: “I do not understand, Papa. People are married and then they have children.” While growing up, Seth has not heard of any alternative to that description of how families come to be.
Sir Guy: “Hhhhh! Not always, Seth. I was younger then and foolishly selfish in my behavior–especially with regard to the mother who gave birth to you.”
Seth looks at his father quizzically. For in addition to Seth just learning about his parentage now, Sir Guy has not had the usual father and son talk about men and women yet. But it will inevitably come out in their discussion now.
Seth: Seth looks away thinking. “What is her name? My mother’s name?”
Sir Guy: “Her name was Annie. She was a cook at the castle. She was pretty and sweet and she loved me. My conquest of her was quite easily accomplished.” Sir Guy is not bragging. Rather the reverse, revealing to his son that the relationship was not the same as a real loving marriage.
Seth: “Annie. You said was. Is she alive?”
Sir Guy: “Sadly no. She died of the plague when you were about eighteen months old.”
Seth: “My mother is dead?” Seth says in a hushed anguished whisper. The magnitude of that loss weighs heavily upon his heart.
Sir Guy: “Yes. When your mother died, that is when I sent you to live with your Derry family. I had no way to care for you and was often away. I needed to insure that you had a safe and loving home to grow up in until I could claim you again.”
Seth: Seth nods. “They were good to me. My Mama Colleen was kind and loving. At first, I was sad when I had to part from her to live with my Lady Mother Rose.”
Sir Guy: “I know, your Mama Lady Rose told me of your sadness when we were reunited when you were three. She also told me of her joy in helping you get through it and in her coming to love you as her son, too.”
Seth: “And that is why I needed a legitimacy decree, because I was born when you and my Mama Annie were not married.” Seth doesn’t not fully understand why their not being married when he was born is a bad thing, but he intuitively guesses it.
Sir Guy: “Yes, Seth. The law only recognizes children born in marriage as being able to inherit land and property and titles from their parents. But with the legitimacy decree, you are also able to inherit lands and property and titles from your Mama Lady Rose and I.”
Seth: “And Prince John signed the legitimacy decree that made me legal?” Seth has a new appreciation for his cousin Prince John.
Sir Guy: “He did, when you were five years old–just before your aunts and uncles married, five years ago.” Sir Guy nods–and he still cannot quite believe the largesse bestowed upon he and his son Seth.
Seth: “Who knows about me, Papa? About me having another mother who gave birth to me.” Seth asks worriedly.
Sir Guy: Placing his hands upon his son’s shoulders, Sir Guy answers him. “Your Mama, Lady Rose, and cousin Prince John of course. Then there is your Uncle Lord George and Aunt Lady Mary–as well as your Uncle Lord Archer and Aunt Lady Saline.”
Seth: “They all know?” Seth looks stricken, wondering if they looked at or treated him differently because he was not legitimate–and that he just did not notice because he was too young at the time.
Sir Guy: “They do. But your sisters and brother and cousins do not know.”
Seth: “Because you are ashamed of me?”
Sir Guy: “NO! NEVER! If anyone should be ashamed, it is I for taking your Mama Annie to my bed with no intention of marrying her.”
Seth: “You did not want to marry my Mama Annie?” Seth looks accusatively at his Papa.
Sir Guy: “We were from different stations in life. She was a peasant and I am a noble. Our marriage would not have been permitted by law. And your mother knew that. It was the way of things then–and now. Yet, she loved me and I grew fond of her.” Sir Guy adds for emphasis.
Seth: “I was born illegitimate. But now a paper says I am legitimate? Would any lady truly accept me for her husband?”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy smiles–relieved to be doing so. “You are thinking of little Lady Caroline Havorford, are you not? Your Mama and I are pleased that you like her.”
Seth: “Yes. But how can she want me? She could have a Lord or Duke if she wanted. I am not truly a noble and I have no title.”
Sir Guy: “You are wrong Seth. You are noble and you will be titled. You will begin your training as a knight soon, then be titled Crispin Guy Sir Seth of Gisborne once you become of age at eighteen. And with me becoming a Baron, that title will also come to you–when I die.” Sir Guy says a bit somberly.
Seth: “Will my brother Louis also become a baron?”
Sir Guy: “No. There is only one baron at a time. And you are my first born. You shall inherit my title. But you and your brother and sisters will share in the bounty that is our home here at Gisborne-Middleton Manor. The girls will have dowries and there is enough land here amongst our 1500 acres for Louis to also have a small estate and farmland to support it.”
Seth: “But will Lady Caroline want me since I was born not legitimate?”
Sir Guy: “The circumstances of your birth are not your doing–they are mine. And if you question whether a noble lady can be happy with such a man, you need look no further than your Uncle Lord Archer and his wife your Aunt Lady Saline.”
Seth: “What do you mean?” He looks at his father quizzically. Seth has been told nothing about his Uncle Lord Archer being anything but a noble. Though his Uncle is refreshingly brash at times–more so than his father or his other Uncle, Lord George.
Sir Guy: “Archer and I had the same mother. But his father was Lord Locksley, the Earl of Huntington at Nottingham. That is why, even though I am older than he, Lord Archer is an Earl and above me in rank–even with my upcoming investiture to a Barony–because Archer’s father was a high noble. And Archer was also made legitimate since his parents were not married.”
Seth: “My grandmere Ghislaine, whom you always speak so lovingly about was not married Uncle Lord Archer’s father??”
Sir Guy: “That is so.” Sir Guy grimaces. It took him a while to come to terms with his mother loving the father of his arch enemy, Robin Hood. “She and Malcom Locksley’s love for each other blossomed after my father went missing and was presume dead. And they would have wed if they could have. But my father Sir Roger Gisborne returned home unexpectedly, and quite ill. So she cared for him.” Sir Guy does not go into how his parents died in the fire. That is too painful for Sir Guy to recount to his son.
Seth: “And you love Mama, Lady Rose?”
Sir Guy: “I do! She is my heart and my soul. Without her and our family, I would have died a wretched man–bereft of all joy and hope. I hope that you feel that we have created a loving family? And that you are proud to be a part of it, as we are proud to have you as our son?”
Seth: “Yes, Papa.” Seth smiles. Father and son embrace–with Sir Guy lifting Seth off the ground in a big bear hug. “Papa! I am not a child!” Seth whines childishly.
Sir Guy: “No? Well you will always be my child. Even when you are my age.” Sir Guy smiles. Seth smiles in relief. “So, let us go see how the Healer Woman Althea’s packing is progressing. And you may tell me about your fondness for Lady Caroline Havorford.”
Seth: “Oh Papa! Lady Caroline has gotten so much better now that she is not six years old anymore and annoyingly chasing me– she is nicer and prettier than she was.” Seth grins from ear to ear thinking of the very sweet Lady Caroline Havorford [(4) right] .
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Age does improve many things–especially little ladies and their suitors.” Sir Guy elbows his son teasingly.
Seth: “But Papa.” Seth frowns. “Lady Caroline ignores me since Sir Roderick saved my and Lady Helen’s life. Lady Caroline just stares at him.” He pouts.
Sir Guy: “Seth, May hap Lady Caroline has a current interest in Sir Roderick. But that will change with time. And I believe that his interests lie elsewhere.” Sir Guy remembers the fine couple that Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick looked together last night as they entered the feast. “And your Mama and I look favorably upon a match between you and Lady Caroline. So we might explore that with her father when he returns. Would you like that, Seth?”
Seth: “Thank you, Papa!” Seth responds cheerfully.
Sir Guy: That is my son back to his normally cheerful disposition, thinks Sir Guy. “And you realize, Seth, that were you and Lady Caroline to enter into a betrothal, it will be six to eight years before you are wed.”
Seth: “Why so long? Why cannot we marry now?”
Sir Guy: “KKkkhh!” Sir Guy coughs at his son’s proposition. “You are both too young. And marriage is not to be undertaken lightly, Seth. And there are certain … responsibilities incumbent upon a husband that you will need to mature into.”
Seth: “Such as?”
Sir Guy is not quite ready for this discussion.
Sir Guy: “Let us leave that conversation for a later date, Seth. I am quite exhausted from our chat at the moment.” Sir Guy rolls his eyes at his inquisitive looking son. “And we have yet to undertake the journey back to Gordon Castle in Leicester.”
Seth: “Alright.” Seth smiles shyly. Though Seth lives in the countryside, he still lives a sheltered noble child’s life. So at ten years old, Seth is quite innocent of what even peasant children know about romantic love. All Seth knows is that his loving parents make for a loving home–and many children. “When I turn eleven, at the end of Summer?”
Sir Guy: “Perhaps.” Sir Guy nods with a knowing smile.
All in all, this Saturday morning Sir Guy and his son Seth have spent back at home at their Gisborne-Middleton Manor was a productive one. They find nothing amiss at their estate home, but put their stable hands and small garrison on guard for intruders. The guards are to dispatch a courier to Gordon Castle in Leicester at the first sign of trouble. Sir Guy also tells his guards not to resist, but to allow the Prince Regent’s men to search–should they come. However, the guards are to insure that the house is not ransacked by accompanying the Prince’s representatives wherever they go. And it is probably a blessing that none of Sir Guy’s stable grooms nor guards are aware of the 50, 000 pounds of Nottingham Treasure buried deep under the Gisborne-Middleton Manor stables.
However when Sir Guy and his son Seth return to Gordon Castle in Leicester this afternoon–with Lady Sarah’s blanket and dolly, Sir Guy’s father’s sword, and the Healer Woman Althea–they will discover to their dread, that all is not so harmonious.
To be continued with Chapter 14
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 13 References, Mar. 06, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #714)
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) 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
3) Cropped image of Sir Guy of Gisborne (as portrayed by Richard Armitage in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 12 (pix 60) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_060.html
4) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found at http://images.moviefanatic.com/iu/t_full/v1364991191/fantastic-fanning.jpg
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 12 Blog Link