“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 28 (PG): Needing a Miracle, May 8, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #742)
[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 Baron 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 Merton, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, Lady Anne/Marian is Lucy Griffiths, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge, Patrick McGoohan as Sir Gilead 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: The now recently remarried widow of Lord John Oxbridge–Lady Rebecca Merton–is beginning her life anew with her childhood sweetheart Sir Roderick Merton. They had some success in meeting with his parents–as well as can be expected, and her children are acclimating well to their stepfather, their Papa Roderick. But the situation will change when certain facts and truths come to light.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 28 (PG): Needing a Miracle
Late June 1199 in Leicester and its surrounding countryside to the West and South encompassing the Middleton and Gisborne-Middleton estates, the lands are abuzz with activity as flowers bloom, crops planted begin to grow sturdily, and everything else blossoms in early Summer. The nearly three month old daughter of Lord George and Lady Mary Middleton, Lady Juliana, is a happy bundle of joy and Lady Mary Middleton has almost fully recovered from her birthing ordeal. So much so that her younger sister Lady Caroline Havorford’s aid is not required as often.
Still, Lady Caroline had gladly accepted her parents’ suggestion that she remain a guest of her sister. The unspoken reason being that the Havorford’s and the Gisborne’s want to ascertain if she and Seth Gisborne might make a good betrothal match–unbeknownst to either of the young people involved. Though Lady Caroline and Seth each do both feel a liking for each other befitting their respective ages of 11 and a half and almost 11 years.
So most later mornings, Lady Caroline [(2) right] finds herself wandering over to the Gisborne-Middleton estate on her docile pony named Magnolia to see Lady Roseanna and the children–and to see Seth. And in doing so this Friday June 20th, 1199, Lady Caroline finds Seth Gisborne once again training with the knights who are running around a track, tossing heavy leather balls to each other for upper body strength, and practicing their archery. It is quite warm out and Seth and his fellow squires and pages–as well as the knights–are quite sweaty and some have removed their shirts.
Seth does not see Lady Caroline yet as she on her horse quietly canters up behind him. Seth’s back and shoulders are all Lady Caroline can blushingly see. In the three months since his father’s elevation to Baron Guy of Gisborne, Seth has had another two inch growth spurt bringing him to five feet eight inches tall. Seth feels a bit off balance with his new height, but he is managing. And with his training and eating more because of it, Seth’s nearly eleven year old–going on sixteen–physique is starting to show some well defined muscles–that has Lady Caroline quite mesmerized.
After five rounds of tossing the heavy ball around the circle of pages and squires–sweat glistening off of their skin–Seth asks for a break.
Seth: “Fellows! I need to drink some water–and so should you. We do not want to fall prey to the heat illness.” Seth stalks purposely forward to a nearby covered rain barrel, lifts its lid, takes the ladle from its hook, and scoops a generous amount of fresh rain water that he gulps down. Then he impulsively takes another two scoops of water and promptly douses his head and then his torso to cool himself off. Seth Gisborne is the embodiment of his father Baron Guy at this age–sleek of form, nimble and agile, and less concerned with his appearance than with his performance upon the field.
The tall and strong Sir Grant Pomeroy is the first to notice the young lady upon her horse, Lady Caroline. He has seen her visiting the Gisborne-Middleton estate many times, and he has thought her comely as a potential wife for himself. He thinks that she is young, to be sure. But allow her two or three years more of growth and maturity and she is likely to become quite delightful. As of yet, Sir Grant has kept his interest in Lady Caroline to himself.
Sir Grant: “Young Gisborne! We have a visitor.” He announces as he gestures to Lady Caroline who blushes.
Whipping his head from side to side to expel the water he had just doused himself with, Seth then smoothes his now slightly longer hair back and he looks up into Lady Caroline’s pale blue eyes.
Seth: “Oh! Forgive my disheveled state, My Lady. We have been training all morning.” Seth crosses his arms in front of his bare chest for modesty. But it also has the effect of making his shoulders seem broader, thinks Lady Caroline appreciatively.
Lady Caroline: “Of course, gentlemen. I did not mean to disturb you. I am invited to luncheon by Lady Roseanna.” Lady Caroline starts to turn her horse away, toward the Gisborne-Middleton Manor house, to hide her blushing cheeks.
Sir Grant: “Twas no disturbance, Lady Caroline.” He says softly as he stays the horse’s movements. “You are a welcome respite to our dreary but necessary drilling.”
Seth thinks, why couldn’t I have thought to say that? So he chimes in.
Seth: “Yes, you are, most welcome, Lady Caroline.” The two young people smile sweetly at each other. Then Seth remembers his dirty state and he says embarrassedly. “I should go wash for the midday meal.”
Some of the younger pages and other squires elbow each other and whisper teasing remarks to each other about Seth having a visitor–because by now, Lady Caroline’s visits have become quite common place.
After Seth washes thoroughly and puts on a fresh tunic [(3) right] , he walks to the dining room for lunch. There his finds his parents, and his siblings–Lady Helen, Louis, and Lady Sarah already seated. Seth goes to his usual chair and sits down next to Lady Caroline. Everyone enjoys their meal and small talk ensues. And though she knows that she should let Seth take the lead, she can’t help herself.
Lady Caroline: “Your training looks quite strenuous.”
Seth: “It is.” Seth nods and plucks an apple from the center bowl and bites into it. If he is chewing, then he has more time to formulate his responses. That is his thinking anyway.
Lady Caroline nods, but she is at a loss for how to make conversation with Seth without seeming pushy. With Seth replying tersely due to him enjoying his food, Lady Caroline does not feel that she is doing a very good job of it.
Lady Roseanna: Holding Baby Lady Diana cradled in her arms, Lady Roseanna asks. “Lady Caroline? How fares Lady Mary and little Lady Juliana today?”
Lady Caroline: “Very well, thank you, Lady Roseanna. My sister Lady Mary is almost fully recovered and she is eager to resume her duties and responsibilities as Mistress of Middleton Hall.” Lady Caroline smiles brightly for her sister to have so large and beautiful a home of her own.
Baron Guy: “And I would imagine that George is eager, too.” Baron Guy smiles [(4) right] quite cheekily at his jest. He is a handsome devil with his long hair, tanned skin, and two day’s growth of stubble.
Lady Roseanna swats her husband gently for his mischievous behavior.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh you! Mind your manners at table.”
Baron Guy: “My manners are impeccable, at table–and in bed.” He kisses her forehead, and his lips linger there.
His wife blushes crimson, and she replies sotto voce.
Baron Guy: “Hmmm.” Baron Guy utters a deep growl in anticipation of their nap.
Mid bite, Seth has a thought to engage Lady Caroline in conversation more and he places his fork back down on his plate.
Seth: “Lady Caroline? What of you? How do you fare today? Has anything new happened to you?”
Lady Caroline: “I am well, thank you. But I have no interesting news to report.” She states primly, a small smile curling on her lips for Seth seeming to take an interest in her.
Seth: “Really? Not even how you came to call your horse Magnolia?”
Lady Caroline: “Well….”
Seth nods encouragingly and Lady Caroline tells him about Magnolia being of the same bloodline as Seth’s black horse Ebony that he won from her father on a croquet bet when Seth was five. Seth and Lady Caroline are getting to know each other better–albeit under carefully attentive yes.
Then two weeks later in early July 1199, traveling from Gordon Castle at Leicester to the Gisborne-Middleton estate, the growing Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca Merton and her Oxbridge children family arrive around tea time on Friday Afternoon. They privately share their joyous news with Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna about the impending birth of their first child together sometime after the new year of 1200. But Lady Rebecca does not want her with child condition made known to others until she is a little further along–so none of the children are made aware of it. However the adults of Lady Rebecca’s extended family by marriage in the Gisbornes and Middleton’s congratulate them.
And Sir Roderick is a most attentive husband and father to be to his wife Lady Rebecca–almost wanting to carry her everywhere, such that Lady Rebecca has to admonish not to fuss so. Baron Guy simply smiles, remembering how caring and concerned he was for Lady Roseanna and her delicate condition with their first child together, Lady Helen.
But Baron Guy cannot stay to enjoy and to entertain their Merton guests for he is expected back at Nottingham Castle Saturday for the rededication of it now that the rebuilding is complete. He will be gone at most a week–or perhaps only a few days. And, if truth be told, Baron Guy plans to repatriate back half of the Nottingham Gold that had been buried all these years in the Gisborne-Middleton stables–some 25,000 pounds–to his brother Lord Archer of Locksley for safe keeping. Baron Guy is nervous about the transfer–and that they might be waylaid by highway men. So he takes a small retinue of guards with him. And to disguise it, the wagon that travels with them carrying the gold, it is laden with what looks like market goods covered with a tarp.
And though Baron Guy has always expressly forbidden his family from visiting Nottingham–for fear of them learning from the villagers about the villain that he had been–Seth has sneaked aboard the covered wagon taking Gisborne-Middleton goods to market, in order to join his father there due to his insatiable curiosity. But not too long into their half day journey–perhaps only a half hour has passed–the wagon hits a bump in the road causing its contents to shift. And Seth gets a basket of apples toppled over onto his head. All of the boxes with the gold are on the bottom layer of boxes in the wagon.
Baron Guy turns his head sharply back toward the tarp covered wagon as he reins back his horse Pegasus to a stop.
Baron Guy: “Stop!” Baron Guy yells to his guards. Hopping off his horse, Baron Guy strides over to the wagon, unties one side of the tarp and peels it back to reveal their interloper. “Seth! What are you doing in the wagon? You should be at home with your Mama.” Baron Guy does not mean to admonish his son like he was a little child, but he is irritated.
Seth: “But Papa. I want to go to Nottingham with you. I have never been.”
Baron Guy: “Nor are you ever to go there.”
Seth: “But why not? Our Uncle Lord Archer and his family live there. They visit us. Can we not also visit them?
Baron Guy: “No!” Sir Guy says more forcefully.
Seth: “But …”
Baron Guy: “Seth! I said no! That is final” Baron Guy replies more firmly as he annoyance level increases. Then his fear takes hold. What if Seth had not been discovered and had made it all the way to Nottingham? Baron Guy has never allowed his family to visit there because of the lingering resentment toward Baron Guy by some of the Nottingham villagers and some of the nobles. For every one little girl Mary who is no longer afraid of him, there are two more who are–and/or their parents seeking vengeance. Baron Guy will not expose his family to his shameful past. He shakes his head. “Seth you and Sir Grant here will ride back to Gisborne-Middleton Manor together. Then he will mount a fresh horse and catch up with us as we continue on to Nottingham.” Being down one guard is, perhaps not too grievous. But Baron Guy will take no chances.
Seth Gisborne pouts, but there is nothing for it when his Papa’s mind is set.
Seth: “Yes Papa.” A dejected Seth Gisborne takes Sir Grant’s arm and is lifted up into the saddle behind him and they head back to Gisborne-Middleton Manor, while Baron Guy and his retinue of guards continue to travel on to Nottingham.
Then on Monday while Baron Guy is still away at Nottingham–the rebuilt Nottingham Castle rededication on Sunday having gone off without a hitch, or arrow pointed Baron Guy’s way–Lord George Middleton returns from court with startling news for Lady Roseanna about their cousin Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Oxbridge.
It seems that a missive had been sent about an English Earl and a cleric–whose feistiness as described can only be Brother Tuck–landing at Dover, with their intention to go straight to Leicester–from knights there who remembered Lord John Oxbridge. After stopping briefly at home to kiss his wife and children, Lord George races his horse to Gisborne-Middleton Manor to tell this unexpected news to their cousin by marriage, Lady Rebecca Merton. He simply does not know how he will tell her and her new husband.
Lord George first elicits the aid of his sister, Lady Roseanna, to have a private discussion among the adults–not including Seth and Lady Caroline. Lady Roseanna acquiesces and the adults walk into the absent Baron Guy’s imposing study. Everyone’s eyes are curiously upon Lord George. He steps forward toward Lady Rebecca who looks at him curiously [(6) right] and he takes her hand in his.
Lord George: “My Lady Cousin.” He winces.
Sir Roderick: Having a sense of foreboding, Sir Roderick asks. “What is it man? Just come out with it.”
Lady Roseanna: “Yes George. Do not keep us in suspense.”
Lady Rebecca: “Please, I am interested to hear what you have to say.” She states sweetly, not knowing what he is to tell them, her.
Lord George: “Let us sit down.” Lord George does not want Lady Rebecca to faint and fall to the ground possibly injuring herself–especially in her delicate condition. So everyone sits.
Lord George: “I am so sorry. But there is no easy way to say this.” Lord George apologizes [(7) right] . “But a man fitting the description of my cousin Lord John Oxbridge of Leicester was said to have arrived at Dover with a cleric and his nurse companion. They had traveled from the Holy Land.”
Lady Rebecca: Her mind going blank all of a sudden–like the air rushing out of her lungs, she asks. “What did you say?”
Lord George: “Your husband …kkkh.” Lord George glances briefly at the shell shocked Sir Roderick. “Your first husband, Lord John Oxbridge, might be alive.”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh George! That would be wonderful if it were true!” Lady Roseanna reacts initially as a loving cousin would react. Then the deafening silence of the room causes her to turn her attentions to Lady Rebecca. “Oh Rebecca!”
Sir Roderick: “This cannot be! Lord John was declared dead by King John himself! We were married by Father Bale!”
Lady Rebecca: Lady Rebecca looks forlornly at her husband and love, Sir Roderick. “But if my first husband is alive, then you and I are not married legally.” She rests her hands upon her belly. “This baby, our baby, will be a bastard child and Lord John can by law do anything he wants with me–even putting me to death.” Her face pales and she is on the verge of fainting.
Sir Roderick: “No! I will not let him harm you!” Sir Roderick fumes [(8) right] and he pulls his wife to him and she rests her head upon his head and weeps. “He will never touch a hair on your head.”
Lady Roseanna: Taking her cousin and friend’s hand in hers, Lady Roseanna tries to console her with a soft soothing voice. “Rebecca, no! Lord John would not harm you–he is an honourable man. You married Sir Roderick in good faith. He will see that there were circumstances beyond your control with King John’s marriage edict to you.” Then she turns back to her brother. “George, there must be a way to resolve this.”
Lord George: “But how, Rose? I have wracked my brain and all I can come with is an annulment. Little Lord Graham and Lady Rachel would still be considered legitimate in the eyes of the law. But an annulment after the fact would still mean Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick are not legally married–the annulment would have to have occurred before their marriage for that.”
Lady Rebecca: “I am lost! And my children will forever be shamed by my transgressions.”
Sir Roderick: “No Becca, you have not transgressed, My Love. If anything, you are the injured party with a husband who abandoned you. We are married, and we will stay married.”
Lady Rebecca: “Oh Roddy, if it could only be so.” Then she bursts into overflowing tears as she sobs into his chest, before the emotion of it all takes its toll and she faints.
Sir Roderick: Lifting his inert wife into his arms, he pleads. “I must get my wife to our guest bed chambers so she may rest.” And he worries about the state of her emotions and their child that she carries in her womb.
Lady Roseanna: “Yes Sir Roderick. I will ask Althea the Healer Woman to come to you to see if she can help.”
Sir Roderick: “I thank you, but no. We do not need medicine to cure my beloved’s distress. We need a miracle.”
Lady Roseanna nods and watches them quit the room to go to their guest bed chamber. Then she ushers her brother out as he heads home to Middleton Hall.
Everything is a mess! Though Lady Roseanna is happy that her cousin Lord John might be alive, his being so complicates things. And Lady Roseanna so wishes that her husband Baron Guy were with here, guiding them all what to do. She feels certain that he could resolve this matter with his usual wisdom. And until then, she will pray for that miracle.
To be continued with Chapter 29
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 28 References, May 08, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #742)
1) My story cover 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 from 2006-2009 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 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
3) 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
4) 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
5) Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne is that of actress Emma Watson and was found at http://www.hollybollyhub.com/emma-watson-hot-image.jpg
a) Image representing Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Lady Leicester that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in Camelot and was found at http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/5b/8d/1f/5b8d1f0485d08cc142914d5296d3c728.jpg
b) 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/
8) Sir Roderick Merton image is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World (with Anthony Hopkins cropped out) that was found at http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/Thor-2-The-Dark-World-Official-Photo-Anthony-Hopkins-Chris-Hemsworth.jpg ; for more information, visit http://screenrant.com/thor-2-costumes-photos-gallery/thor-2-the-dark-world-official-photo-anthony-hopkins-chris-hemsworth/
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 27 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #740)