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[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/King 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, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, 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: Baron Guy confronts Brother Tuck about Lady Marian being alive in the person of Lady Anne–and Tuck not telling him. However Br. Tuck quickly assures Baron Guy that he knew nothing until he arrived in the Holy Land seven weeks ago to attend to the late King Richard’s final mission for him–to bring Lady Marian home in the hope of her remembering who she is. Then they talk about helping Lady Marian/Anne come to know who she is when she is ready to learn of it–and ready to learn of who Baron Guy of Gisborne was to her, and who she was to him. But first things first–their morning meal.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 35 (PG-13, D): Remembrances of Times Past
During their morning meal still on this Thursday, July 10th, 1199–the Gisborne and Oxbridge children keep the table discussion lively with their questions about everything for Lord Oxbridge and Lady Anne/Marian. It is so rare that the children have new people in their midst–their family and servants being their chief contacts–and they are eager to know more of the world. Having traveled to Leicester two months ago for their father’s investiture to become Baron Guy of Gisborne has only increased his children’s curiosity.
Baron Guy smiles contentedly as his children mostly behaving as they eat–chewing with their mouths closed being a triumph. Two year old Lady Sarah enjoys the animated chatter, but does not talk much yet herself–if only to repeat some words she hears. Four year old Louis Gisborne dotes on his Papa and older brother Seth–with the former sitting on his Papa’s lap as they consume a shared plate of eggs and honey slathered bread, and the latter sitting to his father’s right. Seth craves to listen to the manly talk of all things related to the knighthood that his Papa, Br. Tuck, and Lord John Oxbridge are discussing–even Lord John’s own children,three year old Lord Graham and two year old Lady Rachel sit on either side of him.
Br. Tuck heartily tucks into his food with gusto now that he and Baron Guy have cleared the air. Six year old Lady Helen has her eyes glued to the beautiful Lady Anne/Marian [(2) right], wondering if she were to wear a wimpull over her hair–she misheard Lady Anne/Marian’s head covering called a wimple–would Lady Helen grow nice long lashes, too? Lady Helen’s child mind thinking that lashes must grow longer when they are the only hair showing. Lady Anne/Marian smiles indulgently at the little girl, caressing her face and telling her that her eye lashes are the perfect length just the way they are.
Baron Guy presides over this chaotic and friendly extended family and friends scene. He is clearly besotted with these little individuals that he and his wife Lady Roseanna created and nurtured together. And Baron Guy is still in awe that Lady Marian/Anne lives and that they can sit at table with each other–without rancor, nor Robin Hood turning up. God rest his soul, thinks Baron Guy. Though Lady Anne/Marian still does not remember who she is or was–nor who Baron Guy was to her–it is enough for him to have her here and alive.
Then Lady Roseanna rejoins her family in the dining room as she carries a happily sated and gurgling baby Lady Diana with her–her having nursed her baby before joining them. All eyes are upon her. Baron Guy stands in greeting and kisses her forehead–still with Louis in his arms. Then he transfers Louis to his chair on the other side of Baron Guy.
Baron Guy: “There you are, My Love. Let me hold Diana for you, so that you may eat and enjoy your food.”
Baron guy reaches for his baby daughter and Lady Roseanna transfers the baby to him and he sits down. Lady Roseanna glides to the opposite end of the table–giving her daughter Lady Helen a hug along the way and offering a polite smile and nod of her head to Lady Anne/Marian seated next to her. Lady Anne/Marian replies with a polite smile and a nod of her head. If men think they are the masters of politics and diplomacy, they should take a lesson from the ladies. For at this table sits Baron Guy’s former love Lady Anne/Marian and his present love and wife Lady Roseanna.
Lord John sitting opposite Lady Anne/Marian and in between his little three year old son Lord Graham and his two year old daughter Lady Rachel is also quite bemused at his own children’s carefree joy in eating their meal with the Gisborne family.
Lady Anne/Marian: Looking back and forth between the two fathers, Lady Anne/Marian observes. “I am not certain how I know this, but I feel that it is unusually wonderful that you Lord John and you Baron Guy are each such tolerant and doting fathers.”
Lord John: “Well, I have much to catch up on due to my absence from my children’s lives, but I do intend to become a doting father.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “And you, Baron Guy? Have you always been good with children?”
The question is an innocuous one. But given Baron Guy’s history–of dangling little girls over cliffs, like Mary from Nottingham–he wonders if Lady Anne/Marian remembers something negative about him.
Baron Guy: “My Lady Anne …” He is still trying to accustom himself to that name for her. “I fear that as I have gotten on in years, I have … mellowed.”
Lady Roseanna: “Hah!” Lady Roseanna blurts out in mirth. “Mellowed? Seasoned, my husband.” Her eyes sparkle with some private joy as she locks eyes with her husband.
Lady Anne/Marian: “That is high praise, My Lady. And if Baron Guy will permit my impertinent observation, he is also an attentive husband and father.”
Baron Guy blushes to be discussed and in such glowing terms–from Lady Marian even. Well, from Lady Anne/Marian.
Lady Helen: Six year old Lady Helen Gisborne is nothing if not exuberant about her father. “Oh yes, Lady Anne! Our Papa is the best Papa. He plays games with us and reads us stories. And he taught me how to ride my horsie. And he brings us nice presents from his trips. And …”
Lady Roseanna: “Helen, dear.” Lady Roseanna interjects to curtail her daughter’s zeal. “Thank you for your lovely tribute to your Papa. But your eggs are getting cold. Should we freshen them for you?”
Lady Helen: Taking two more bites of egg that empties her plate, Lady Helen replies. “No Thank you, Mama.” Then Lady Helen turns to Lady Anne/Marian and innocently asks. “And do you have a nice Papa, too?”
Lady Anne/Marian: At first startled by the question, then intrigued by it, Lady Anne/Marian says in a hushed voice. “I do not know, Lady Helen. I do not remember.” Lady Anne/Marian now looks around the table at the adults and then her eyes rest on an ashen faced Baron Guy with a questioning expression on on her face.
Baron Guy: Resigned to answering Lady Anne/Marian’s questions about her father and such–which he fears will upset her–he says evenly. “Would my Lady Anne care for a stroll in the gardens to discuss … remembrances of times past?”
Lady Anne/Marian: “I would.” She nods once. She has been so long without knowing anything about herself and her past. And if this man, Baron Guy can enlighten her in any way, she will welcome it. Even if there are difficult things for her to hear, she wants to know them and thus to know more about herself.
Wary of Baron Guy who was clearly in love with his Lady Anne years ago when she was this Lady Marian person, Lord John suggests to her.
Lord John: “Should Br. Tuck and I accompany you, My Lady?” He half stands up.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Thank you, but walking might over tax your still recovering body, Lord John. And Br.Tuck, no doubt, wishes to finishes his meal.” She has noted that his disdain for shipboard food has been replaced by his seeming to savor every morsel of his morning meal this day. Lady Anne knows well enough herself that good food–such as this, with slices of ham, fruit, and sweetbreads, and such–are rarities in a cloistered life. So she does not begrudge him his zeal. In fact, she has quite enjoyed her meal as well, not remembering when she has had a finer one. “And, I wish to discuss some private matters with Baron Gisborne.”
The adults at the table become tense. Baron Guy stands up to his full height–realizing that his day of reckoning is at hand. He kisses the forehead of baby Lady Diana whom he is still holding and he walks over to his wife and places her back into her Mama Lady Roseanna’s arms. Husband and wife share a tender but resigned gaze with each other. Then Baron Guy turns back toward Lady Anne/Marian and offers her his arm.
Baron Guy: “My Lady Anne. I will be pleased to escort you to the gardens to answer any questions that you might have.” He smiles encouragingly at her–but also trying to bolster his own troubled thoughts about their discussion about the past that has yet to unfold.
Br. Tuck: “Go with God, and trust in his plan for all things.” Br. Tuck intones sincerely.
Baron Guy nods at him and leads Lady Anne/Marian out of the dining room and to the gardens.
It is now midmorning as Baron Guy and Lady Anne/Marian walk out into the Gisborne-Middleton Manor gardens on a brightly shining day with cool breezes to lessen the sun’s rays. The sky is a brilliant blue, with fluffy floating clouds–nary a rain drop insight., They walk in companionable silence past the terraced flower gardens, low height boxwood hedge maze–so the Gisborne little ones can easily find their way out by merely stepping over the hedges–and the hardly filled water fountain that is used to cool the children down on beastly hot days–the nearby rushing river being too dangerous. Finally, they come to the open pasture fields where cattle and sheep can be seen grazing with farm workers near by. Baron Guy motions to a tall shade tree at the edge of the pasture, and at the entrance to the forest on their land.
Baron Guy: “Shall we sit, My Lady Anne?”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes.Thank you, Baron Gisborne.” They sit, each with their back to the tree–not looking directly at each other, but sneaking peaks through the corners of their eyes.
Baron Guy: Wincingly, he asks. “Though you do not remember me, you formerly addressed me simply as Guy, My Lady. You may do so now, if you wish it.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh? Were we …” her face pinkens and she finds that she cannot ask the question on her mind. Were they lovers?
Baron Guy: But sensing her question, Baron Guy responds. “No, My Lady. As far as I know, you are still a maiden.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Ohhh!” She sighs in relief. “Then why were you so distressed to see me this morning? I had the impression that I was something to you.”
Baron Guy: “You were something to me, My Lady.” Then he admits in a rush. “There was a time, long ago, that I believed myself in love with you. Nay! I was in love with you. You were everything to me.” Baron Guy sighs despondently [(3) right], then he turns his head toward her trying to judge her reaction.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh! Then were we … pledged to one another?”
Baron Guy: “No, My Lady.” He says with finality–leaving out the part about her jilting him at the altar and her running away with Robin Hood. “I realize now that you did not love me.” This is the first time he has admitted this fact out loud.
Lady Anne/Marian: “But …”
Baron Guy: “You had loved a man closer to your own age named Robin of Locksley.” Still, he detects no glimmer of recognition in her–about himself, nor about Robin. And that Lady Anne/Marian also does not remember the outlaw Robin Hood gives Baron Guy some satisfaction.
Lady Anne/Marian: “But since I did not marry him, this Robin did not love me?” She asks in confusion for the tangled relationships that he is revealing to her.”
Baron Guy: “Not as you should be loved, My Lady. Robin was always too busy stealing from the rich to give to the poor to settle down and marry.” Baron Guy says with a sneer.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Stealing?” She looks at him in alarm. “I loved an outlaw?” She says with disgust.
Baron Guy: “Well, he was also the Earl of Huntington, a noble.” Baron Guy tosses off sarcastically. “But he disagreed with the political government of that time that favored nobles over peasants–and the people were being over taxed for tribute to the crown by Nottingham’s Sheriff at the time, an odious man named Vasey.” Economical with the facts, Baron Guy does not relate his part in all of this. And still not seeing any flicker of recognition on her part, he continues. “So Robin would have said that he was redistributing the people’s money back to them.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Would have said?” She looks at him with unease.
Baron Guy: “Yes, My Lady. Robin of Locksley died at the battle of Nottingham Castle seven years ago.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh! How sad and tragic!”
Baron Guy: “Indeed.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “I do not understand. If my life was in England, how came I to be in the Holy Land? I was surely not there on a pilgrimage. Do you know how it was that I was injured?”
Baron Guy stands and steps away from the tree and now looks at Lady Anne/Marian with sorrowful eyes–knowing that when she knows, his hope for some reconciliation with her will irrevocably be at an end.
Baron Guy: “You must understand. I was a different person back then. I was bound to Vasey’s service as a knight. I had to do his bidding.” She stares at him in fascinated dread. “You uncovered Vasey’s plot to kill King Richard. We could not let you stay in England to rally other nobles to King Richard’s cause. So we kidnapped you and took you to the Holy Land with us.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Kidnapped me?” She looks at him in confusion.
Baron Guy: “Yes. It was the only way. We planned to kill King Richard and put his brother Prince John on the Throne. I was promised a dukedom if we were successful.”
Lady Anne/Marian: Lady Anne/Marian looks upon Baron Guy in horror. “No!”
Baron Guy: “I had a warped sense of right and wrong then. I thought that if my rank were elevated to a duke, that you would love me and that you would want to be my duchess.” He pleads.
Lady Anne/Marian: “How could you be so twisted to think that your killing King Richard would ever be accepted by me?” She states forcefully–like the Lady Marian of old. “I would never let you harm King Richard.” She feels that she knows this without remembering it. And though she is horrified to hear what comes next, she cannot turn away from knowing all.
Baron Guy: “And that is how you came to be injured. I was advancing on King Richard–felled from his horse by my arrow. My sword was drawn to kill him where he lay.” Baron Guy recounts the events methodically–not flinching at relaying the details that incriminate him. She knows all now.
Lady Anne/Marian: “No!”
Baron Guy: “Somehow you had escaped Vasey’s locking you in your bed chamber and you ran outside and came between King Richard and I–with your arms raised to protect him.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “I would never have let you kill King Richard!” She states vehemently.
Baron Guy: “So you said then. But at the time, I pleaded with you to see that once I had wealth and power and a higher rank, that you and I could be together as husband and wife.” As Baron Guy relates fully all that happened and what he felt, his voice and person have become agitated and beseeching–as he was then. “And more than simply refusing my proposal of marriage, you taunted me–excitedly rocking forward and back on your feet [(4) right]. Telling me that you loved Robin Hood. That you were going to marry him. I forgot all about King Richard then. All I wanted was you, to make you see how much I loved you–how happy we could be together.” Baron Guy is anguished as he relives this moment–tears are streaming down his face. Baron Guy grabs Lady Anne/Marian’s upper arms. “I rushed forward to let you see in my eyes that my love for you was sincere. But I did not remember that I had a sword in my hand.” Baron Guy looks at his right hand as if it is an alien thing–the thing that nearly killed Lady Marian. “And then you pivoted forward and my sword pierced your side.” Baron Guy’s right hand–held rigid as if a blade–slices the air as he stabs his arm toward her and almost touches her wounded side.
Lady Anne/Marian: Lady Anne/Marian recoils from him before his hand can touch her–her healed injury still tender. “It was you who nearly killed me? Let me go!”
Baron Guy: Baron Guy instantly drops his hands from her arms as he sobs mournfully. “The surprise on your face mirrored my own. I did not realize what had happened until you started falling backward–and in my reaching to catch you, I felt the sword in my hand. You were still conscious, but I knew it was not for long. I knew your wound was mortal–that I had killed the thing I loved most in the world. That I had killed you. I am sorry. I am so sorry. I did not mean to do it! Truly! I could never harm you.”
The clouds over head have seemed to darken and the winds begun to howl a wailing cry with Baron Guy’s dire revelation. It is as if all of God’s creatures of the forest sit in judgement upon him and turn away from him. Their scurrying feet and hooves matched in sound as bushes are pushed through in an effort to get away from him. And there is also another whose presence and then flight is masked by the howling winds and such.
Lady Anne/Marian: “And yet, you did harm me! I have lost all memory of who I was. And I cannot even have children were some man willing to take me for his wife. And why did the sisters never mention you to me? Did you not bring me to them for their medical care?”
Baron Guy: “No. That is my other great regret. Robin Hood came instantly upon the scene of your injury and he drove me away from you. He spent what I thought were your last moments with you. But I was told later back in England tht when they were burying you, his grief was too great and they left the grave diggers to cover you over.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “But by God’s providence, it must have been that the grave diggers discovered that I was alive and took me to the sisters to be cared for. But for them, I would truly be dead.”
Baron Guy: “Yes.” Baron Guy nods solemnly.
Lady Anne/Marian: “So both you and Robin abandoned me–when I needed you most.” She accuses.
Baron Guy: “Not intentionally!” He claims stridently. But her withering look of pure disdain for him causes him to defeatedly admit. “Yes.”
Then her vulnerability shows through her false bravado.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Is there anyone still alive who cares for me? My parents? Brothers or sisters?” Lady Marian asks hopefully.
Baron Guy: “Sadly, no family remain, My Lady. Your mother died when you were a child. And your father Sir Edward died … several years later. And you were an only child.” For now, Baron Guy omits any details about Sir Edward’s death.
Lady Anne/Marian: “I have no family, no one at all?” She forlornly looks at Baron Guy.
Instantly wanting to comfort her–but not knowing if she will accept it from him–Baron Guy offers.
Baron Guy: “That is not true, My Lady. We are all of us hopeful for your recovery and future happiness. And I sense that Lord Oxbridge is more so.”
Lady Anne/Marian: Stiffening at his implication, she replies in a dismissive tone as is expected of a lady. “There is nothing between Lord John and I but friendship. He is a married man.”
Baron Guy: “Who was declared to be dead and his wife remarried and is with child with her new husband.” Baron Guy states rather cheekily. The tears drying on his cheeks.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Those poor children of Lord John’s, little Lord Graham and sweet little Lady Rachel. What is to become of them?” Lady Anne/Marian asks woefully.
Baron Guy: “Your compassion for Lord John’s children–even in the face of your own tragedy–humbles me, My Lady. You are as you ever were, loving and kind.” Baron Guy looks soulfully at Lady Anne/Marian for several moments.
Lady Anne/Marian: “My tragedy.”
Lady Marian repeats his words woodenly as her eyes glaze over and the strain of hearing the truth about her injury and his role in it causes her to faint. Baron Guy catches her before she falls and injures herself further, and he cradles her in his arms, gently rocking her as he speaks in soothing tones and he tenderly kisses her forehead.
Baron Guy: “Marian, my Marian. You will be loved–by someone better than I. You will have a good man for your husband–who loves you as you are meant to be loved. And you will have children to love and to be loved by. If God rewards the righteous, then you above all deserve his beneficence.” Then Baron Guy looks heavenward, to negotiate with God. “Oh God, heal this woman–body and soul. Give her a future with love and a family as she has always wanted. And I will give myself to your judgement–but not before my own children no longer have need of me. Do what you will with me after my children are grown and have given Rose and I grandchildren so that she will not be lonely when I am gone. I know that I have no right to place conditions upon my punishment. But they are not to benefit me, I think only of my family–and that they do not deserve to suffer for my misdeeds. Do all that I ask and I will be your faithful servant in this life, and submit to your judgement in the next life.”
Then Baron Guy stands up with Lady Anne/Marian cradled in his arms and he begins to walk the half mile back to the manor house. His own wounds pain him greatly, but he keeps going. Then with Lord John having gone to the garden to await their return, he snatches Lady Marian from Baron Guy’s arms and cradles her in his arms as he sits on a garden bench. Lady Anne/Marian slowly awakens, and she clutches to Lord John as her body is wracked with sobs as she buries her face into his shoulder. Lord John kisses Lady Anne/Marian’s cheek and her forehead and whispers to her that everything will be alright as he consoles her.
Baron Guy holds his pained left side and he turns away from the tender scene. He was not then, nor is he now, Lady Marian’s love.
As Baron Guy walks into the manor, he is greeted by a distraught Lady Roseanna. But she is distraught for a reason other than that of Lady Anne/Marian being his past love–and that he nearly murdered her.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy! You have returned! Is Seth with you?” She asks fretfully.
Baron Guy: His brow knit with confusion, Baron Guy responds suspiciously. “Seth? No. Is he not with you and our other children?”
Lady Roseanna: “No! A footman said that he saw Seth heading toward the forest some time ago. Did you see him?”
Then Baron Guy remembers the howling of the winds sounding as if a wailing cry, and footfalls running away as he revealed to Lady Anne/Marian that it was he who stabbed her–and why. Baron Guy’s blood drains from his face in worry that Seth might have heard his admission of guilt and run away to find solace. But run away to where?
The sins of the father are visited upon the son, reverberates through Baron Guy’s mind. He raises his hands in utter frustration and shuddering remorse.
Baron Guy: “Oh God! No!”
To be continued with Chapter 36
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 35 References, June 01, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #757)
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) The image of Lady Anne/Marian is a composite image: 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; and of the modified wimple was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
and a Photoshop Elements gold wood background
3) Cropped and brightened image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) is wounded psychologically by his sister Isabella’s betrayal with Robin Hood in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood Series 3 episode 7 (pix 60) http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_060.html
4)Lady Marian (portrayed by Lucy Griffiths) standing in front of Sir Guy’s sword point to protect King Richard from Sir Guy killing him was found at richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=58577&
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 34 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #756)