“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 21 (PG-13, D): Forgiveness is an Illusory Dream, Part 1, April 6, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #728)
[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace] (All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as Lady Marian in flashback, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: With King Richard being felled by an arrow in France–and dying of the infection that follows–Sir Guy cannot help but recall his attempt to kill King Richard in the holy land six years ago with an arrow, and then finish him off with his sword. Now a good man with a conscience, what transpired after still haunts Sir Guy–that he killed Lady Marian. Sir Guy’s now perfect life will be turned upside down when an old spectre from his past misdeeds returns to haunt him–and has the potential to put his and his family’s future happiness in jeopardy.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 21 (PG-13, D): Forgiveness is an Illusory Dream, Part 1
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne had grudgingly traveled briefly to Court in London to give an oath of fealty to their new king, King John [(2)] –as all nobles were required to do in April and May of 1199. Baron Guy–as he wishes to be known informally amongst his family and close acquaintances–went to London in late April, because he wanted to get it done and put behind him. And yet, there are some aspects of his life that he can never put behind him.
And upon Baron Guy’s return home from London, he detours to Nottingham first–to pay a necessary visit to the Locksley village church, now named St. Matthew’s Church, after Hood outlaw Kate’s brother Matthew–whom he killed. It is a penance that Baron Guy feels that he must do, and it was not an easy one.
For now that Nottingham Castle and fortifications are almost rebuilt, so too is the old Locksley church–secretly financed by Baron Guy. The final adornment for the church of the statue of the Madonna Mary, carved out of marble–and bearing the countenance of Lady Marian as requested by Baron Guy–now resides in a prayer niche in the church.
After first greeting St. Matthew’s resident cleric, Brother Tuck, Baron Guy slowly enters the rebuilt St. Matthew’s Church in Locksley entirely alone. It is early evening in late April, He has ridden hard the last leg of his journey homeward because he knows that his stop in Locksley will detain him a day further from rejoining his wife and children. He clings to the hope that tomorrow he will be home, but tonight, he will be here, with her.
The deafening stillness of the modest St. Matthew’s Church surprises Baron Guy [(3) right] as he walks down the side aisle along the rows of benches waiting for the congregants to fill them upon the morrow. He had expected a bustle of activity this early Saturday evening as both Brother Tuck and his flock prepares for services the next day. But all has been prepared already. The space is adorned here and there with fresh greens and flowers and fresh rushes upon the ground emitting a soft lilting scent of the forest–both to be pleasing to the nose, as well as, to help mask any odiferous bench partners during the Sunday worship service.
The lighted candle sticks on pedestal holders stand on either side of the simple wooden altar serve as sentinels protecting it–casting a soft glow. However, there is not much of worth to a thief. There is no bible upon the altar since the written word is too precious and rare to leave sitting out for thieves intent upon desecrating this holy place–Brother Tuck will bring it with him upon the morrow. There is no gold plate–it, too, will be brought in during the services. But there is a fire mottled iron cross salvaged from the old burned church that is fixed to the wall above the altar for all to pray to. And as a church, the simple cross is all that is required.
Coming to stand before the step at the base level of the outer altar area side aisle where baptisms often occur, Baron Guy lifts his right foot to step onto it and draw nearer to the altar–with benches for the wealthier congregants to sit upon near the front. But his leg hovers in the air a moment, hesitating about his worthiness to disturb this holy place. And he slowly places his right foot down upon the rush covered ground again. No, the holiness of the altar inner area is not for him. His former sins are many, and his misdeeds put him out of favor with God–perhaps for eternity.
Baron Guy walks to the center, standing in front of the altar and he drops his head in an attitude of prayer, clasping and unclasping his hands in nervousness to be standing in supplication before God. The clammy sweat of his hands made cool by the early evening breeze through an open window under the eaves. And then he finds that he cannot be so disrespectful as to remain standing when he is a supplicant, petitioning god for forgiveness and in thanks.
So Baron Guy lowers himself to his knees [(4) right] and looks up at the iron cross as he prays. It is a prayer that might not be fitting for one such as him–a sinner. But it is a prayer from his childhood, one that his mother the Lady Ghislaine taught him. And he prays it now aloud in his deeply rich baritone voice, trembling with fear, for his fervent wish to believe the words and the promise of the 23rd Psalm.
Baron Guy [(5)spoken in Latin]:
“Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus; Et nihil mihi deerit.
Quia ipse super maria fundavit accubabit fundavit eum et super flumina.
Et animam meam refecit duxit me per semitas iustitiae propter nomen suum.
Nam, et si ambulavero in medio umbrae mortis, non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es, virga tua et baculus tuus ipsa consolabuntur me.
Parasti in conspectu meo mensam coram inimicis Impinguasti in oleo caput meum; Deo salutari suo.
Sed et benignitas et misericordia subsequetur me omnibus diebus vitae meae et habitabo in domo Domini in longitudinem dierum.”
Baron Guy (English translation):
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” [(5)]
Silence. None but the gentle breezes outside the eaves windows respond to his entreaties to God. Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne is happy in his life now with his wife Lady Rose and their children. But will this happiness last, he wonders? Why should he, of all people, be given happiness, when others, innocents, have died at his hand?
He hears another whoosh of the wind and his head turns to where he thinks he hears the sound coming from. His eyes rest upon a carved marble statue off to the other side aisle and partially obscured by a wooden screen. He knows what the figure is, even before he rises and begins walking toward it. Coming to stand before the figure of the Madonna and child, Baron Guy is struck with awe at the face gazing back at him.
For Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne is startled [(6) right] to see how much the Madonna statue actually resembles his memory of his unrequited love Lady Marian–the likeness helped considerably by the descriptions of her from Hood’s outlaw gang to the sculptor during its creation. And the babe in the Madonna’s arms reminds him of his son Seth–whom she held briefly when Seth was saved by Hood’s outlaws from the now dead Nottingham Sherriff Vasey’s soldiers leaving him in the woods to die.
The Madonna figure was specifically and secretly commissioned by him to honor Lady Marian. Her countenance is in a serene repose–not the usual vexed look that Lady Marian often gave to him when he was Sherrif Vasey’s henchman, and she being the secret Night Watchman who vexed him before Robin Hood returned to Nottingham and assumed that mantle. To him, Lady Marian as the Madonna looks content and at peace [(7) right]. He hopes that Lady Marian has found a measure of both in heaven. For heaven is surely where she is now, he thinks. Her goodness will have brokered her entrance into heaven. He has no such assurances. For though he is good now, he was not always thus.
Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne closes his eyes, trying to remember even the slimmest of hopeful memories that Lady Marian had felt fond of him. But it does not come. She had interacted with him as if she were a spy for England, trying to undermine his purpose and actions then as Sherriff Vasey’s lieutenant. When she had moved into the castle–for her own safety she was told–he saw her every day. And he cannot hope to remember even the faintest glimmer of a peaceful time between them–save one, when he comforted her [(8) right] just after her father was killed.
But he ruined that moment by then trying to seduce her. He cannot believe his blatant insensitivity then when he tried to seduce a grieving woman. Baron Guy hits his forehead in frustration at his stupidity and callousness. As he shakes his head in disbelief, he thinks that no wonder Lady Marian rejected him. He has made so many wrong and desperate choices during his life–except for the last six years wedded to his Lady Rose, who is his life. With her he makes the right choices.
And yet, Baron Guy’s heart in some small way still remembers Lady Marian’s sweet smile–even if it was false when given to him. He remembers how she loved riding the horse he gave her–even if she did so because it could take her away from him. And he remembers how soft her voice could be–almost a caress–or how strong and stubborn she was. Lord! That woman was a tigress of contradictions and willful ways! He smiles at that. And Lady Marian was the first lady to whom he opened his heart–even though she did not want him. And though Baron Guy loves and is loved by his beautiful and gracious Lady Rose, Lady Marian resides in a small sheltered corner of his heart also.
Looking up at the Madonna statue with the peacefully serene countenance of Lady Marian, Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne gives her his farewell with muted regrets, in a deep soft hushed voice.
Baron Guy: “I would have loved you with my whole heart and with all my being–had you let me. But I know now that I was not the one for you. Yet, my loving you made me understand and appreciate the treasure who is my wife and mother of my children, My Lady Rose. So I thank you for the gift of my having loved you–even if you never loved me.” Baron Guy chokes back his tears to continue with his remorseful apologia. “And if I could take it all back, I would–every fight, every misunderstanding, every time we were on opposite sides.” Then he implores her pleadingly. “It was not my intention to kill you that day. I could never harm you! I am so sorry, so very sorry. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” Tears stream down Baron Guy’s cheeks as he drops his head into his hands and he weeps.
With none but the statue to see and to hear him, Baron Guy lets his woeful tears pour forth for several long minutes–before he finally composes himself some time later and dries his tear stained face. Then he mournfully gazes upon her one last time, his head tilted, straining to hear her response, wishing for her to respond. But there is only a cold marble silence from the serenely peaceful Madonna that bears the countenance of his Lady Marian. And he drops his head in resignation [(9) right]. She will forgive him not, withholding the forgiveness he craves. And Sir Guy turns away and swiftly departs St. Matthew’s Church–vowing never to look upon her face ever again.
This night, Baron Guy shares a meal with his brother Lord Archer and his family at Locksley Manor near Nottingham–charming his niece and nephews with fantastical stories of bears and elephants and fairies in the woods, as he often does with his own children–never once betraying the turmoil in his breast. And then Baron Guy will return home upon the morrow after touring Nottingham’s rebuilding progress and parting from his brother. Nothing has changed, nothing is improved, Sir Guy Baron of Gisborne is not forgiven. But at least he is going home to her, his greatest blessing, his loving wife, his Lady Rose, and to their children. And it will be Lady Rose to whom Baron Guy turns for solace when the nightmares of remorse haunt his dreams once again–in the hope of finally laying his tormenting guilt to rest.
To be continued with Chapter 22
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 21 References, April 06, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #728)
1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite image 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) For information about the life, reign and death of King John of England http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England
3) Baron Guy is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi6, pix 139 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com
4) Baron Guy kneeling in St. Matthew’s Church manip is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood, series 3, episode 6, pix 138 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com
6) Baron Guy is Richard Armitage (flipped image) in Robin Hood series 3 savedOct0614 from nightshadowtumblr via RichardArmitage France
7) The image of Lady Marian’s countenance as the Madonna figure of St. Matthew’s Church in Locksley manip is a composite image of:
a) Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm;
b) and of a modified wimple that was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, vist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
8) Sir Guy comforting Lady Marian after the death of her father is Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood, series 2, episode 7, pix 81 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com
9) Cropped image of Baron Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 12 (pix 60) was found at .richardarmitagenet.com
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 20 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post#725)