“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 (PG-13, D): Life and Death,
March 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #719)
[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, 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 might 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. And medical incidences represented in the story–such as the crisis child birth sequence–are pure conjecture on my part.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: After a family meeting with Prince John to tell him they know of his plot and then to tell him of the plot to assassinate him, the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family discusses what to do. Sir Guy and his brother Lord Archer share a look of resignation. Their pasts of infamy that they long thought they had to put to rest, must resurface if they are to save their families’ lives. They have each done in the past what they needed to survive–including murder. And though they had vowed to themselves and to their spouses never to seek violent solutions–in their mind, there is no other choice with their present predicament of two assassination plots brewing against them. Either Sir Jasper, the other conspirators’ and their expert bowmen must die–or Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and maybe Seth will die. And neither Sir Guy nor Lord Archer will let any danger befall their children. If their saving their families lives through murder be a sin, then so be it, thinks Sir Guy. He can live with that–he hopes.
And so the Gisborne brothers’ day of manly pursuits of hunting and such planned for tomorrow on Monday, April 1st will see more than boar and deer being hunted. And though life and death will hang in the balance scales, would be assassins will not be the only ones at risk.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 (PG-31, D): Life and Death
As the men leave for their Monday April 1st hunt at dawn–including Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and even Lord George whom his very pregnant wife insisted he go to stop fussing over her–Sir Roderick stays behind to watch over the families, including his love Lady Leicester, Lady Becca.
At first, Gordon Castle’s usual Monday morning routine seems to be in evidence–Monday morning prayers, then breaking their fast, then the garrison drilling while Lady Leicester and her family’s ladies and children who are visiting take advantage of the lovely weather in the beautiful gardens. However, this morning will be anything but usual.
With the family children playing some chasing game that their Gisborne cousins taught them on the grassy knoll–with two year old little Lady Sarah Gisborne enjoying the feel of the grass between her toes [(2) right] — the ladies chat while embroidering baby clothes for Lady Mary who can’t quite get comfortable in her seated position, despite a profusion of pillows brought to achieve it.
Lady Mary: “Hhhhh!” Lady Mary adjusts a pillow behind her back in frustration.
Lady Saline: “Come, come, Mary. Your sighing will not help your back feel better. Have you tried massage on your back?”
Lady Mary: “Massage?”
Lady Roseanna: “Most beneficial.” Lady Rose nods in agreement.
Lady Rebecca: “I have heard tell of such a thing, but never witnessed it.”
Lady Saline: “Well, I wonder if Althea the Healer Woman might attempt it?”
Lady Rebecca: Motioning to a nearby page boy, Lady Rebecca directs him. “Please find the Healer Woman Althea and bring her to us on the terrace here. We wish her to massage Lady Mary’s back to ease her discomfort.”
Page boy: “Yes My Lady.” He bows respectfully, then scampers off to do her bidding.
Lady Roseanna: “He looks like a cheerful boy.” Lady Roseanna remarks.
Lady Rebecca: He is our cook’s son. Most of the Gordon Castle staff have whole families that work within–both learning an occupation and earning a bit of extra money for their families. Gordon Castle is a community of families unto ourselves.” She smiles graciously.
Sir Roderick: Beaming with pride at his secret love’s compassion, Sir Roderick compliments her. “That is most kind of you, Lady Leicester.” Though Sir Roderick maintains his formal demeanor around Lady Rebecca when they are in public–as they are now–his voice is tinged with love and tenderness.
Lady Rebecca: “Thank you, Sir Roderick.” Lady Rebecca blushes prettily as she lowers her eyes. She and Sir Roderick cannot be together as husband and wife because she is still married–until it is proven that her husband has died in the Holy Land–but she finds a comfort in having her Roddy near her.
Lady Roseanna: “Our children look to be having much fun.” She gestures to the two, three, four, and five year olds running pell mell on the lawn–with the eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford and the ten year old Seth Gisborne ably supervising them.
Lady Saline: Leaning over to her lifelong friend Lady Rose, she observes with a knowing smile. “And Seth is certainly besotted with Lady Caroline.”
Lady Mary: “NO!” She grunts in pain. Then Lady Mary begins breathing in short shallow breaths.
Lady Roseanna: “No?” Lady Roseanna turns to look at her sister-in-law quizzically.
Lady Saline: “Oh my! Mary is in her birthing trials.”
At once everyone jumps up from their seat and scurries around Lady Mary hoping to see to her comfort and aid. And when it is discovered that her walking is completely out of the question, Sir Roderick picks up Lady Mary to carry her back to her guest suite.
Lady Roseanna: Calling out to the children, Lady Roseanna urges them to make haste. “Come children! Your Mama will give you another brother or a sister this day–and cousin in the case of the rest of you.” The children cease their chasing game and look at their mother and their aunt. “Come everyone!” Lady Roseanna appeals to them again.
So the children straggle behind the adults as they make their way to the family guest chambers wing of Gordon Castle. As they go, they pass by Prince John and some of his entourage.
Prince John: “What is this?” He asks obtusely–even though he sees Lady Mary writhing in labor pains in Sir Roderick’s arms.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Johnny.” She whines. “What does it look like? Mary is going to have her baby.” Lady Roseanna rolls her eyes.
Prince John: Prince John blanches. Women’s concerns make him ill at ease. He prefers his women less troublesome and always tidy. “Well then, carry on.” He waves them away officiously and they go hurriedly to the Middleton’s guest suite in the family wing.
Meanwhile, Prince John’s thoughts turn to the morning’s boar hunt [(3)] by his kinsmen and Sir Jasper–wondering what if anything might have occurred that might alter future events regarding the assassination plots against Sir Guy and himself.
The men hunting boar this morning on the grounds of Gordon Castle are in two large groups of Sir Guy, Lord Archer, Lord George and their attendants, and Sir Jasper, Sir Roland, and Sir Mead and their attendants. They are not using dogs–since their barking sounds often spook boars to run away, such that nothing is caught–in favor of trapping and killing the boar. Of course, there is more than boar being hunted this morning, but Sir Jasper does not yet realize that his plots have been found out and that he is also being hunted. However both sets of men are wary as the dense forest growth provides cover for attacking boar or attacking men.
Lord George: “I will give you fellows another hour with this boar hunting nonsense, but then I am going back to my Mary at the castle. She needs me in her delicate condition.” Lord George whines [(4) right].
Lord Archer: “Well George, it is a wonder you came along if you feel so felicitous toward your wife.”
Lord George: “My Dearest Mary insisted that I come. She said that it would be good if we spent some time in our own pursuits.”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy Smirks. “George your attentions to your pregnant wife are commendable. But even a lady about to give birth needs some relief from constantly being fussed over.”
Lord Archer: “Quiet!” Lord Archer hisses. “I hear something.”
Not thirty yards away in a similarly densely packed adjacent forest area, Sir Jasper and his men are moving into position. Their intent is to guide the boar to the other men–rather than both groups forcing the boar toward the trap–and then let the boar do their dirty work by impaling the lot of them on its horns, surely bringing them to their deaths. Sir Jasper is under orders from Prince John only to wound Gisborne and Locksley–while keeping Middleton unharmed altogether as Prince John’s cousin. But if the boar has other ideas, Sir Jasper can not help it, he reasons.
Sir Roland: Whispering so as not to attract the boar’s attention in the wrong direction, he says. “Sir Jasper, do you see where Gisborne and his lot are?” Sir Robert Noland does not like what they are about to do, but he has his reasons for participating in it.
Sir Jasper: “Over there somewhere.” Sir Jasper gestures generally in Gisborne’s direction. But in doing so, his arm brushes against a thorny bush branch and it catches upon his embroidered tunic sleeve. He is clearly over dressed for a hunt, with everyone else wearing lightweight leather jackets and breeches.
And unbeknownst to Sir Jasper and his henchmen, Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George are also wearing chain mail over silk shirts under their leather jackets. They are taking no chances of being hit by an arrow or stabbed by man or beast.
As Sir Jasper tries to carefully dislodge himself from the bush, he unthinkingly causes the branch to jostle back and forth–arousing the boar’s attention as it lifts its head and sniffs. With the stench of feral pig being alarmingly odiferous, one would think that boars could smell nothing beyond themselves. Yet the powdered and scented Sir Jasper quite stands out amongst the usual forest smells familiar to the boar.
Sir Mead: Sir Mead notices the boar’s attention has shifted to Sir Jasper. “Watch out, Jasper! Crap!”
Sir Jasper: “What?”
Sir Jasper looks up to see his two comrades point, then they run to climb up the nearest tree–with their attendants following closely behind. The hulking three hundred pound boar turns its body more quickly than one would have guessed for so large an animal and it bears down on Sir Jasper.
Hearing the commotion thirty yards away–with boar grunts, yelps, and then one very loud scream before silence–Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George stealthily run around the perimeter of the forest to approach the scene from another direction. The devastation they find is both horrific and strangely poetic.
A clearly dead Sir Jasper–from what looks like a gaping boar tusk hole in his middle chest gushing blood–is being dragged by that boar deeper into the forest, no doubt to be eaten later. Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George see Sir Roland and Sir Mead clinging to the trees. Then Sir Guy, and Lord Archer start shooting their arrows at the boar while Lord George hands them fresh arrows–Lord George cannot use a bow and arrow because of his lame arm–eventually felling the boar after over a dozen arrow hits, but with the boar’s jaws still tenaciously clamped on Sir Jasper’s arm. With the danger past, the knights and their attendants climb down from the trees.
And this being Lord George’s first boar hunt, Sir Guy bloodies him–by using a linen cloth from inside his leather jacket, dabbing it in the boar’s blood, and then rubbing it on Lord George’s cheeks.
Sir Guy: “There, George. You will have a tale to tell your children and grandchildren.” He smiles cordially at his brother-in-law.
Lord Archer: “As will you and I, Guy.” Lord Archer smiles. Then he uses his leather booted toe to gently touch a non bloodied part of Sir Jasper–still dead.
Lord George: Feigning distress, Lord George frowns. “Poor old Jasper–bested by that what he hunted.” Of course there is a double meaning to Lord George’s words, that only Sir Guy and Lord Archer appreciate.
Staring down at the lifeless body of their lead conspirator in the plots to kill Gisborne, Locksley, and Prince John, Sir Roland asks warily and politely.
Sir Roland: “What do we do now, Lord Gisborne?”
Sir Guy: “You are asking me that question?” Sir Guy poses his question to them in astonishment. For were Sir Roland and Sir Mead not the two men sent to kill him?
Sir Mead nods his head in agreement with Sir Roland’s question.
Lord Archer: “Walk with us.” Lord Archer grips the arms of Sir Roland and Sir Mead and starts guiding them away. Then turning back to Jasper’s and their attendants, Lord Archer commands. “Clean up this mess! And see that the boar is conveyed to the castle kitchens for proper dressing for tonight’s dinner. I daresay Lady Leicester will not mind a change to the menu.” He smirks.
Attendant: “But what of Sir Jasper, My Lord?” Their faces are pale with distress.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm.” Sir Guy growls. “Return his body to the castle stables. Then ask Prince John what is to be done with it.”
Then Sir Guy turns and follows Lord Archer and Lord George with Sir Jasper’s henchmen. After walking several paces away and into a more private area of the forest, they stop. Now they have to decide what to do with Sir Mead and Sir Roland. They cannot just let them go. Then Mead speaks up.
Sir Mead: “Lord Gisborne, I am Sir Mead Stanley. This is Sir Robert Noland.”
Sir Guy: “Yes, we have heard of you.”
Sir Guy crosses his arms and glares at them menacingly. The men try to recoil, but Lord Archer and Lord George hold them fast–even with Lord George having only one good arm
Lord Archer: “Now blokes, where would you be running off to?”
Sir Roland: Seeming to resign himself to his fate, he stops struggling. “Very well. We care not what you do to us. But …”
Sir Mead: “Speak for yourself!” He squeals. Lord Archer clamps his free hand over the knight’s mouth.
Lord Archer: “Stop your squealing–we have yet to stick you, pig.”
Sir Roland: Then he continues. “But … we need to know if we are truly free of Sir Jasper’s hold, Lord Gisborne. Sir Jasper had detained each of our younger teenaged brothers in the castle dungeon and he threatened to have them tortured and killed if we did not …” His voice trails away in obvious concern.
Sir Guy: “If you did not kill Prince John and I. Hmmm.” Sir Guy finishes his thought for him–growling in disgust for the putrid and now dead courtier, Sir Jasper.
Lord George: “That is outrageous!” Lord George is now even more certain that he is glad the boar killed Sir Jasper.
Sir Mead: “Lord Gisborne, I only agreed to wound you.” Sir Mead claims meekly after wrenching himself free of Lord Archer’s grasp, and trying to lessen his seeming offense in their eyes. Lord Archer grabs him again and holds him more securely and more silently this time.
Sir Guy: “Your brothers, you say?” Sir Guy looks solemnly at both men–Sir Roland and Sir Mead–who each nod their heads with distressed looks on their faces. Then Sir Guy looks over at his brother Lord Archer and his brother-in-law Lord George.
Lord George: “Guy, I am loathe to believe these assassins. But let us at least check the castle’s dungeons for the truth of what they claim.”
Lord Archer: Then Archer adds poignantly. “It is no less than what you did for me, Guy.” Lord Archer recalls when his brothers Sir Guy and Robin Hood helped him escape from the York dungeons.
Sir Guy: Pondering what they should do, Sir Guy glowers at their two prisoners. “Very well. We will go to the castle dungeons. Then we will decide what to do with you.”
The five men walk soberly back to Gordon Castle. Once there, they immediately head to the dungeons and ascertain that Sir Mead and Sir Roland were being truthful. And Sir Guy has their younger teenaged brothers freed–the boys are underfed, but otherwise unharmed. The four brothers have a joyous reunion with relieved hugs and touseling of hair. But then Sir Mead and Sir Roland turn regretfully to Sir Guy, Lord Archer, and Lord George–awaiting their fate.
Sir Guy: Directing his words to a castle guard, Sir Guy commands. “Take these young boys to their brothers’ quarters in the armory to bathe and be fed and dressed in clean clothes.”
The guards start to lead the boys away as their elder brothers Sir Roland and Sir Mead watch–still not knowing what their fate will be.
Boy#1: “But Roland, are you not coming with us?” The thirteen year old asks plaintively.
Boy#2: “Mead?” The second boy asks his brother knight.
The boys sense that something is still wrong as they look at each other, their brothers, and then at Sir Guy.
Boy#1: “Lord Gisborne?” Sir Roland’s brother steps forward and for all his attempts to appear older, he is still just a boy.
In another life, Sir Guy would have had no compunction in killing the knights and their brothers to remove their threat. But Sir Guy is no longer that menacing and malicious evil man.
Sir Guy: “Hmmm. Guards! Take all four brothers to the armory guest lodging. See that the two boys are tended to and fed as I ordered. Then see the four of them escorted out of the castle and to their respective homes and then report back to me. I will inform Lady Leicester of these arrangements so that you are not missed from your posts.”
The castle guards bow formally at Sir Guy in obeisance. Sir Guy is family to their mistress Lady Leicester and to their absent Earl Lord Leicester–and Sir Guy is to be elevated to be a Baron on the morrow, with even their Prince Regent in attendance.
Guard: “As you command, My Lord Gisborne.”
Sir Mead, Sir Roland, and their brothers drop to their knees in humility before Sir Guy.
Sir Roland: “Lord Gisborne. We thank you for your gracious favor and benevolence.”
Sir Guy: Leaning toward both knights, Sir Guy intones sotto voce. “Do not make me regret it! Or I will follow my original impulse with regard to your proper punishment. Now go!”
The kneeling men and boys stand and are escorted by six guards to the armory to do as Sir Guy commands.
Lord Archer leans over to his brother as they and Lord George head to their guest apartments to freshen up before looking for their ladies and families.
Lord Archer: “Getting soft in your old age, brother?”
Sir Guy: “Soft am I? Hm!” Sir Guy snorts in response.
Lord George: “Nay Guy, you were just, and you acted with honor–as a true knight and noble Baron should. I admire you.”
For a moment, Sir Guy is touched. Then he regains his sense of self as austere elder brother to them both.
Sir Guy: “Thank you. But gentlemen, let is not wallow in such sentiments of brotherly affection. We have to make ourselves presentable, then see to our wives and families. Come!” Boar hunting is a messy dirty business.
Several floors above the dungeon, a different kind of trial is taking place as Lord George’s wife Lady Middleton is now in heavy labor with her third child–and without Althea the Healer Woman in attendance yet.
Lady Roseanna places her hands upon her still very young twenty year old sister-in-law Lady Mary’s [(5) right] linen shift covered pregnant belly. She is trying to feel if the baby has turned and is in position for the birth. But except for her own births, Lady Roseanna is relatively inexperienced about childbirth. Lady Saline is with her as is Lady Mary’s younger sister Lady Caroline. Then Lady Roseanna turns to Lady Caroline, whose face looks very fearful for her sister Mary.
Lady Roseanna: “Caroline, please go ask Lady Rebecca to send another page to look for Althea the Healer Woman. Your sister is in very great need of her.”
Lady Caroline: “I will. I will be back soon, Mary.” Her sister Lady Mary nods, but is too overcome with strain from her child’s labor to speak. Sweat pours down Lady Mary’s reddened face.
Of course a page had found Althea the Healer Woman earlier and escorted her to the terrace–where the ladies had been. But not finding them there, Althea returned to her tasks of making medicinal ointments in an ante room off of the kitchen. So she is in an out of the way place, not easily seen–nor found.
In the Middleton guest suite sitting room Sir Roderick [(6) right] paces back and forth with Lady Rebecca watching him fretfully, him stopping in his tracks every time Lady Mary lets out a painful wail in the next room. It is a nightmare for him, as if his own late wife’s birthing horror has returned to him in the person of Lady Mary’s birthing trials.
Lady Caroline exits Lady Mary’s room and Seth, Lady Rebecca, and Sir Roderick approach her with worried eyes.
Lady Caroline: “No baby yet.” Lady Caroline sighs and shakes her head. “Lady Rose asks for Althea the Healer Woman to be searched for again and brought here. Mary needs her.” Lady Caroline pleads.
Lady Rebecca: “I will see to it at once–asking all the pages to find her now!” Lady Rebecca turns and exits the guest suite to command her staff.
Seth: “Are you alright, Lady Caroline?” Seth steps forward and asks in great concern because it is clear that Lady Caroline is in a state of high agitation.
Lady Caroline: Beginning to weep from the strain, Lady Caroline hiccups her response. “We do not… know what … to do … for my sister Mary. I fear … I fear …” But she can not finish her awful thought. Seth takes her into his arms and embraces her consolingly.
Seth: “There, there, Lady Caroline. All will be well.”
But Sir Roderick knows differently. He closes his eyes and bows his head trying to keep his own tears from being shed in remembrance of the night eighteen months ago that his own wife and child died during childbirth.
Lady Saline: Having walked out to the sitting area, Lady Saline asks. “Where is Lady Rebecca? We need Althea!”
Seth: Still embracing Lady Caroline, Seth responds. “Lady Leicester went to command her staff to search for the Healer Woman.”
Just then, Lady Mary cries out in a long piercing crying.
Lady Mary: “Eeeeeeeeeeeghhh!”
The occupants of the sitting room startle and then they turn ashen faced to the bed chamber from whence came that woeful cry–sans the extended family’s children who are being occupied with their nurses in the adjoining children’s bedroom blissfully unawares.
Lady Roseanna: “Come help us!” Lady Roseanna cries toward the open bed chamber door.
Then all of them–Lady Saline, Sir Roderick, Seth, and Lady Caroline–bolt toward the open bed chamber door. The scene inside the bed chamber is a mass of chaos as an increasingly pale Lady Mary lies currently in a faint on the bed as Lady Roseanna stands there terrified with blood on her hands that is seeping from Lady Mary’s womb.
Lady Saline: “My god!”
Sir Roderick: “No!” He thunders. It is happening all over again. But this time, he takes charge–acting for Lady Mary as he saw what aid they had tried to give his late wife, but they were too late. He hopes that he is not too late now. “The baby must come out now or they both will die!” Sir Roderick moves around the bed.
Lady Roseanna: “The baby’s head is showing, but Mary does not have more labor. I do not know what to do.” She wails.
Lady Saline: “Nor I.” Lady Saline looks helplessly at Sir Roderick–helpless not being a state she is familiar with.
The two ladies have only had relatively easy births.
Lady Caroline: “Help my sister, please.” Lady Caroline wails to the room in general.
Sir Roderick places his hands on Lady Mary’s pregnant belly. He has assisted at the births of several cows and horses, he thinks that he feels that the baby is in the right position.
Sir Roderick: “We must assist Lady Mary in giving birth. It is a blessing that she has fainted, for this will not be without some pain.” Then he begins to bark orders. “Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline, help me to move Lady Mary to sitting up at the edge of the bed. Lady Caroline, you will sit behind your sister, letting her lean against you to hold her up.” They do so. And Sir Roderick walks around to stand in front of the now sitting and still fainted Lady Mary. “Now comes the painful part, I must push down on Lady Mary’s belly in the hope of guiding the baby further out of her womb.”
Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline exchange worried glances. But neither of them has a better idea.
Lady Roseanna: “Do it.”
Seth: “What about me?” All heads turn to Seth.
Sir Roderick: “Sit at my feet with a towel, to catch the baby.”
Seth: “Catch the baby?” Seth’s eyes go wide. But there is no time to argue. Every precious moment counts as Seth grabs a clean towel from the table and plops down between Lady Mary’s legs.
When everyone is in position, Sir Roderick begins gently massaging Lady Mary’s pregnant belly in a downward fashion. Lady Mary wakens with the pain and with a new contraction.
Lady Mary: “Aaaaah! What are you doing?” She asks after seeing herself sitting up at the edge of the bed and surrounded by family and Sir Roderick.
Sir Roderick: “You need to push hard, my Lady. Your baby needs to be born now!”
Seth: “The baby’s head is out.” Seth relates in some awe. He has seen animals give birth, but this is his first human birth. And prevented from seeing his Aunt Lady Mary’s face by the voluminous fabric of her gown above him, the delicacy of such familiarity on his part is not causing him to be squeamish, yet. “Push! We need the shoulders, then I can pull the rest of the baby out!” That is how it works with cows and horses, anyway, thinks Seth.
Sir Roderick: “Aye! Push!”
Lady Mary: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggh!” Lady Mary exerts herself one last time and screams in pain as her baby is born.
Seth: Catching the baby as requested, Seth shares some important news. “It’s a girl!” He grins up into the adult faces as he gingerly holds the big baby–her large size no doubt contributing to the difficulty of her being born by the petite Lady Mary Middleton.
Girl baby: “Waaa! Waaa!” Little baby Lady yet to be named Middleton gives her birthing cries with strong and powerful lungs.
Lady Mary: “I have a baby girl?” Lady Mary asks wanly but delightedly as Lady Roseanna and Lady Saline help settle her back to lying prone on the bed to make her more comfortable. “Thank you, everyone.” She sighs gratefully.
Sir Roderick: “Aye. And the baby seems strong by its loud wailing.” Strong being something that his own infant son who died was not. Now with the crisis passed, Sir Roderick staggers back away from the bed and sits in a nearby chair. He drops his face into his hands and he weeps. If only he had thought to do this for his late wife, maybe she and the baby would have lived. If only.
Seth Gisborne stands up from the floor and he proudly hands his new baby girl cousin to her mama, his Aunt Lady Mary.
Seth: “She is beautiful, My Lady Aunt. Does she have a name?”
Lady Mary: “George and I will have to make our final choice now that she is born.” Lady Mary smiles. Names are very important and should not be rushed.
Just then, the Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley husbands, Lady Rebecca, and Althea the Healer Woman burst into the Middleton Sitting room and race to the Master bed chamber where they see a happy scene before them of a beaming mother and child. Seeing Sir Roderick’s distress–and knowing about the loss of his wife and child in childbirth- Lady Rebecca goes to stand beside him, rubbing his shoulders soothingly in compassion for his loss.
Lord George: “Mary! My Love! You have had our baby!”
Lady Saline: “Astute as always, George.” Lady Saline sneers.
Lady Roseanna: Standing up for her brother from his harshest critic, her dear friend Lady Saline, Lady Rose admonishes her as she cleans her hands of the blood. “Not today Saline. Leave George alone.” Lady Saline rolls her eyes, but nods in agreement.
Lady Mary: “Husband, come close to see our …” Lady Mary smiles as her husband Lord George waits to hear whether they had a third boy or a girl. “… our daughter.” Lady Mary gushes happily. She is tired, drenched in sweat, and sore, but radiant happy at having given birth to their first daughter.
Lord George: “Oh Mary! My Love! We have a little girl!” Lord George kisses his wife and baby daughter gleefully and gratefully.
Althea: Taking charge, the Healer Woman gives her orders. “Everyone out! I may have missed the birth, but there are things that still need tending to.” She tilts her head at the umbilical cord still attached between baby and mother.
While Althea tends to Lady Mary and the baby–giving them both baths and fresh linens and wrappers and swaddling blankets, or nightgowns, as needed, with Lord George’s help in holding the baby after it is cleaned–the family waits with happy anticipation in the sitting room.
The ten year old Seth Gisborne has washed his hands and stands proudly [(7) right] with his parents as they talk with the new baby girl’s other Aunt the eleven year old Lady Caroline Havorford.
Lady Roseanna: Leaning into her strong husband, Lady Rose feels comforted in his caring embrace. “I am glad that, in the end, everything went well. But for Sir Roderick’s assistance, it might not have.”
Lady Caroline: “Oh yes! He was wonderful!” Lady Caroline gushes as she looks over at him standing with Lady Rebecca on his arm. Then Lady Caroline pouts a bit, recognizing that she is too young for him.
Sir Roderick: Having composed himself, Sir Roderick says stoically. “I thank you, but thanks are due to everyone who helped–including you, Lady Caroline, and Seth who guided the baby’s shoulders out and then he caught the baby.”
Sir Guy: His smile wide and his eyes mirthful, Sir Guy [(8) right] slaps his son Seth on his back. “Well done, Seth!” In Sir Guy’s mind, his new niece’s birth is a much better end to the day than to focus on Sir Jasper’s timely demise. And of that matter, Sir Guy will speak to his wife Lady Rose later before dinner, when they are alone.
Lady Caroline: “Yes, well done, Seth. Thank you.” She smiles sweetly at Seth.
Seth: “I was very happy to be of service. And your role in supporting your sister’s back during the birth, Lady Caroline, was very great indeed.” The smitten ten year old Seth Gisborne remarks graciously to her.
Lady Caroline: “Thank you, Seth.” Lady Caroline [(9) right] smiles sweetly again. She thinks that Seth seems more mature now that he has helped in her new niece’s birth.
Seth: Extending his arm to Lady Caroline, Seth says formally. “My Lady?”
Lady Caroline takes Seth’s arm gratefully. Now all the men and women–and boys and girls–in the room are paired up. Then a happy discussion of possible baby girl names ensues.
And Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca slowly retreat to a nearby corner of the sitting room and chat quietly in hushed tones. Their fate as loving soul mates is yet to be determined. And it is anyone’s guess what Prince John will say or do when he discovers that his right hand man, Sir Jasper, has been killed by a boar. But for now, the happy focus of the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge family is on the new little life born this day–a new little Lady for the Middletons.
To be continued with Chapter 17
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 16 References, March 16, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #719)
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) Lady Sarah Gisborne at 2 years old image was a charming painting by Zolan (sized, clr more green) found at http://webneel.com/daily/sites/default/files/images/daily/10-2013/1-kids-oil-painting.jpg; and http://webneel.com/daily/1-kids-oil-painting?size=_original
3) For general information about boar hunting, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boar_hunting
4) 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/
5) Lady Mary image (cropped) is that of Arthur Hughes’ “Ophelia” circa mid 1800’s found at http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hughes-again.jpg
6) 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/
7) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s 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
8) Sir Guy (crop) is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi7 pix 177 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_177.jpg
9) 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. 15 Blog Link (Post #718)