“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 37 (PG-13, D): To Be a Better Man, June 08, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #762)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Historical Fiction Fan 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 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, Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little 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 the realization that the not quite eleven year old Seth Gisborne overheard his father Baron Guy’s confession to stabbing Lady Anne/Marian and other nefarious deeds, Seth Gisborne runs away from home. And now that Baron Guy and his search party realize to where Seth has gone–with the helpful suggestion of the now twelve year old Lady Caroline Havorford, Seth’s hoped for intended–they must make haste to Nottingham, in the hope of reaching Seth and bringing him to safety. Whether or not Baron Guy can repair the damage to his relationship with his son, remains to be seen.  But he might have help in that regard.


“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 37 (PG-13, D): To Be a Better Man

Traveling the main road from home to Nottingham for six hours gives Seth time to think about what he has learned of his father Baron Guy’s past this day. If his father–Seth cannot think of him familiarly as Papa anymore–has committed sins and acts of treason, then he will find out the truth in Nottingham. Seth now deeply feels shame for the name that he bears, wondering if he will be tainted by association. At the very least, Seth vows not to be a sinner, nor a criminal–and most of all, not a liar–when he becomes a man.

Seth is uncertain what the future may hold for him–and where his future lies. He has been sheltered in a cocoon of nurturing love and encouragement for so long, that Seth cannot imagine losing it. Seth’s Mama Lady Roseanna and his brother and sisters mean everything to him–as much or more as his father had meant to him. Seth’s mind and heart are in turmoil–which somewhat distracts him from the danger he has placed himself in by traveling alone to Nottingham.

And yet, Seth is fortunate this day in him staying safe from harm while traveling the road this afternoon and early evening. And he does not know to whom he owes this debt. There are guarded checkpoints along the way which Seth rides around, so as not to attract attention and discovery. But these Nottingham guards posted every five miles making the roads more safe for traveler’s, was an initiative suggested by his father Baron Guy to his brother Lord Archer, Sheriff of Nottingham–Seth’s Uncle. There could still be troubles in between the checkpoints, but at least help would not be so far away was Baron Guy’s reasoning. Wealthy and titled individuals always travel with a large caravan which gives them protection. But individuals and families of lesser means do not. So the guards do the solely benefit the wealthy, they are to aid all of the peoples.

Seth does not know that the guards on the roads were his father’s idea. Baron Guy has neither revealed nor explained anything about Nottingham to his children–not even the good parts of recent years as he became the Chief architect of its rebuilding and refortification. Baron Guy always felt that with the good comes the bad–and he could not risk his children finding out about his past. But if the bad comes with the good, then surely some good must also come with the bad.

When Seth reaches the great Nottingham Castle’s new extended outer perimeter fortifications, he is duly impressed with what he sees as he is granted passage into the surrounding lands and then into the Nottingham Castle City proper, and he wanders around. But having spent most of the few coins that he had on his person when he fled his home at an inn midway for a small bite of food for himself and hay for his horse Wildfire, Seth now has not enough money on him for food and lodging.

So Seth decides to seek out his Uncle Lord Archer the Sheriff of Nottingham.   But his Uncle Lord Archer is not in residence at Nottingham Castle at present, he is at home in his manor at Locksley in the countryside. So the Nottingham Castle guards turn Seth away, thinking that this young boy is pretending to be their Lord Sheriff’s nephew in order to seek free food and shelter. They have not heard of him before–and that is Baron Guy’s doing, not speaking about his children, not even revealing their names in the hope of protecting them.

And there is no one to aid Seth at Nottingham. Seth is ten years old, one month shy of his eleventh birthday–impatient to be a man in the eyes of others, but still just a boy, frightened and alone.  And a boy on the streets of Nottingham–where not all criminal elements have been expunged–is still vulnerable to unseemly elements, vagabonds, and thieves. So much so that Seth’s small daggar is instantly stolen when someone bumps into him, and Seth continues on before he realizes that it is gone. His money pouch with his remaining few coins was also taken. And a boy without patronage and without a purse, will have his safety compromised.

Eventually, Seth gravitates to the smell of food, lights, and the noise of people talking as he enters Nottingham’s busy tavern–The Cooked Goose.   Several years ago, Much had moved from his humble Locksley Tavern–now run by an industrious underling–and he established The Cooked Goose in Nottingham City after Nottingham Castle and fortification’s rebuilding got underway and there were many workers needing of shelter, sustenance, and a place to vent their frustrations. Currently, The Cooked Goose is also frequented by local Nottingham City families now that the rebuilding is mostly done–and there are fewer single men about raising havoc.

Seth [(2) right] has traveled far this day and wandered around for an hour once he arrived. Seth--indaytime-tunic-manip-isTommyBastow-andMedievalTunic_Jan3015GratianaLovelace-crop2-sized-bkgrndrustHis hair is unkempt, his face dirty from the dust of the road, and his daytime tunic also dusty. He does not present himself as the picture of a nobleman’s son. Frankly, Seth looks the part of an errant house servant in very great need of a wash. Seth shyly makes his way to the bar counter where he sees a kindly faced man in a cloth cap dispensing ale.

Seth: “Good Sir. Could I trouble you for some food, a basin to wash off the dirt from the road, and a bed to sleep for the night? I make my way to my Uncle’s manor on the morrow.” Seth asks politely as he has been taught. Though Seth is a Baron’s son now–and he will inherit that rank upon his father’s death–Seth has always been taught by his parents to regard those beneath him in rank with courtesy. All five of the Gisborne children mind their manners well when addressing those both of high or low estate.

Tavern Owner Much: Suspiciously eyeing the rather tall but boyish looking young man before him, Much asks. “And can you pay for your meal and bed, my boy?”

Seth: “Sadly Sir, I cannot. I lost my purse and someone stole my dagger–which I would have given to you gladly on account, until my Uncle could pay my bills and reclaim it for me.” Seth presents the empty scabbard for the Tavern owner’s inspection. “And my Uncle is the Sheriff of Nottingham, Lord Archer of Locksley, and Earl of Huntington. He will surely recompense you for my bed and board.”

A malingering construction day laborer well into his cups accosts young Seth with his sarcasm and with his ill smelling breath as he claps his arm around the young boy’s shoulders.

Drunkard: “The Sheriff’s nephew, are you? BAH! That’s a likely tale, boy! More like you run away from your master. And by the looks of yer tunic, I’d say you were a house servant–not done a lick of hard work in your life.” The man grabs Seth’s hand and holds it up for inspection. “See! Not a scratch on you!”

Seth: “Sir, I admit that I do not work for a living. But I am still growing up and learning at my lessons.” Seth tries to explain logically.

Much: Much points his thumb at Seth with a whimsical expression as he teases sarcastically. “Here that blokes? He is still growing up.”

Tavern Patrons: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The tavern patrons laugh, because common folk begin working at a younger age than Seth is now. They work all of their lives. And some of them believe that the nobility merely takes from them in rents and such. Theirs is a hard life that Seth has no knowledge of, since the people on their estate are treated well and their children do not have to do hard labor–though they sometimes help with small tasks such as tending to the animals, egg gathering, etc.

Seth: Looking uncertainly at the man–knowing that he is being teased–Seth tries to prevent the situation from escalating to something unpleasant and he offers. “Well, I do watch over my younger brother and sisters.   They can get themselves into quite a bit of trouble.” Seth sighs and rolls his eyes. Being an elder brother is such a trial sometimes, he thinks.

Ah youth–especially noble children like Seth–and their sheltered view of the world.

Much: “Oh? Such as?” Much winks at the drunkard.

Without guile or thinking that he should be more circumspect about whom he tells his private family stories to, Seth relates.

Seth: “Well, my little sister Lady Helen nearly fell to her death when she followed her cat Cloud over the Keep Tower at Gordon Castle at Leicester last Spring–Gordon Castle is our cousin Lord John Oxbridge’s seat–but I lunged and caught a hold of her ankle. And with Sir Roderick’s help, we pulled her back.” And Seth always refers to his siblings and family members formally by their title when his is not amongst family.

Drunkard: “Ohhhhh!” He draws out the vowel sound in a high falsetto. “Laaady Helen. Ain’t we fancy.” The man sneers slowly.

Seth frowns, not understanding why he is being teased so. Seth has been nothing but polite, he thinks.

Much: “You say your sister, Lady Helen?” Much looks at the boy perplexed, a half memory beginning to enter his mind.   Seth nods. “And who might you be then, boy?”

Seth: “I am Seth …” And before Seth can finish his name, Much does it for him.

Much: “Gisborne! Laddie!” Much pulls Seth into a big bear hug that Seth is startled to find himself in. “You have grown since I saw you last. I saved your life when you were a baby, you know. I am Much, the owner of this fine establishment!”

Seth: Squeezed by the gregarious tavern keeper again, Seth gasps out. “Er.   Thank you Squire Much. But how did you save my life when I was a baby?” Seth has never heard this tale before.

Much: “Well! I twere with Robin Hood and his outlaws at the time that I found you as a baby lying in the woods around Nottingham, wrapped in a blanket and left to die.”   Seth’s eyes widen. “We thought yer Papa Sir Guy had done it because you were his child born of the kitchen maid Annie, but it turns out it was the Sheriff who left you to die because he thought Gisborne was too distracted by family matters.” Much blithely recounts the details of Seth’s near extinction.

Seth: “My Uncle Lord Archer would not leave me in the woods to die!” Seth proclaims with alarm.

Much: “No! No! Of course not! I meant the first Sheriff of Nottingham that your Papa Sir Guy worked for, Sheriff Vasey.”

Then all manner of Nottingham residents start gleefully recounting the not so good, the bad, and the ugly stories about Sir Guy of Gisborne as they knew him back then–embellishing a bit to have some fun with the young master Seth Gisborne, even if no embellishments were needed. There were tongues cut out, witch dunking, Locksley church burning, taxes imposed, executions, and animal mutilations attributed to other worldly forces–that was the exaggeration bit–etc. Seth is horrified to have these ill accounts of his father confirm the conversation that he had overheard this morning between his father and Lady Anne/Marian. Seth hangs his head in shame to be the offspring of such a man as Sir Guy of Gisborne–the scourge of Nottingham.

Then a big burly bear of a man barrels his way up to the bar counter–long haired, long LittleJohnandMuch_inRH3-epi12_058_Jun0715ranet-crop-sized-flip-bkgrndmanipbearded, and covered in rough leather and burlap clothes–pushing everyone out of his way. It is Little John, comrade to Robin Hood, to Much, and later, to Sir Guy. The darkness of the tavern with only lamp and firelight to cast its reddish glow upon Little John [(3) right], makes him look to be a fearsome man, indeed–especially when he stands next to the much shorter tavern owner Much.

Little John: “Now be fair!” Little John bellows. The patrons of the tavern quieten down. They have a healthy respect for Little John. “Sir Guy then was not only bad–he was simply mostly bad. Ha ha ha ha ha!” Little John jests.

Tavern Patrons: Everyone, but Seth, laughs. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Little John: Then he continues seriously, in an admonishing tone. “And you’re only telling the boy half of the story about his Papa Sir Guy–now Baron Guy of Gisborne, as granted by the late King Richard for his service to the crown!”   Little John emphasizes. “God rest his soul!”  Everyone crosses themselves. Then Little John puts his hand on Seth’s shoulder. “Seth, your Papa Sir Guy eventually turned himself around and left Sheriff Vasey’s employ and joined us in Robin Hood’s outlaw gang to fight for England, after he and Robin found out that they shared a brother in Archer. Sir Guy saved my life and I saved his life when he nearly died at the Battle for Nottingham. Him, I liked.”

Then Much and Little John proceed to tell Seth about the wonderful Baron Guy and the good Sir Guy stories–fewer though they might be, and they embellish them a bit for the boy Seth’s benefit. Yes, Sir Guy over saw Vasey setting Locksley Church on fire, but then after Vasey left, Sir Guy quickly organized the villagers to help put out the fire. And then there were the many times that Sir Guy saved Lady Marian from Sheriff Vasey’s wrath–including not having her exposed as the Night Watchman who helped the people. And included among these tales is how Little John and Br. Tuck found and saved Sir Guy’s life after the Battle for Nottingham ended with its destruction in the explosion that caved in one wing of the Castle.

And even the now grown up sixteen year old Mary of Notthingham having dinner with her father proclaims Sir Guy’s goodness.

Mary:   “Oh Sir Guy was a demon man. I had nightmares for months after he held me over the cliff [(4) right] and threatened to drop me when I was a little girl.” Seth looks Guy-holding-Mary-over-cliff-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi1_030_Jan1813ranetCropShrphorrified at the girl’s unfolding story of violence by his father. Then Mary softens and continues with an air of pride in her voice. “But I healed him so that he would be a good man.   When he came back several months later to plant a tree for my childhood friend Martin who died of the measles, Sir Guy submitted to my punishment of 10 whacks on his hands and he promised not to frighten any more children and to be good. I healed Sir Guy, didn’t I, Papa?” She looks to her father for confirmation.
Mary’s Papa: “Yes Mary Dear, you did.” He nods in his prosperous tradesman way.

Mary: “Then after his punishment, Sir Guy let me ride his horse and I wasn’t afraid of him any more. And I gave him a biscuit to reward him for his good behavior–Sir Guy I mean.”

Mary’s Papa: “And Baron Guy has further showed his honourable ways and beneficence by enhancing my Mary’s dowry by 100 pounds so that she and her intended Ripley Smith–Nottingham’s best blacksmith–may marry in the Autumn.” He states with pride.

Mary: “And if I Ripley and I are blessed with a son one day, I want to name him Guy.” She states sincerely.

Seth: “Thank you for telling me about my father, Miss Mary. I am glad to know that you no longer fear him for his past evil deeds.” But Seth is still troubled by the bad accounts of his father, and his face still shows a forlorn look upon it.

Seth has never heard any of this before about his father, Baron Guy–the good or the bad that he has wrought in Nottingham. And Seth is now more conflicted than ever about what to think about his father. Seth had always thought his father to be a good and an honourable man–before today. But today has proven to Seth that what he thinks that he knew–before today and because of today–was only a small portion of the whole truth about his father. Seth realizes that knowing about who his father Baron Guy of Gisborne is, is a complex matter–for anyone, not just for his ten year old son.

Much: Nudging the boy’s shoulder with his elbow in a friendly way, Much avers. “Nay laddie, tis not necessary for you to be glum. Your Papa Baron Guy of Gisborne has proven himself a friend to England and to England’s people. And he has made amends to the people of Nottingham whom he injured.”

Kate: “Hmm!” Much’s very pregnant wife Kate snorts and flounces away. Sir Guy killed her young brother Matthew and there are some things that can not be forgiven.

Not wanting to tell the boy Seth about the murder of Matthew–for it was murder by Sir Guy’s hands–Much wincingly dissembles vaguely.

Much: “Yes, well. Baron Guy is now a good man.” Then Much spies someone who can vouch for Baron Guy. “And if you don’t believe me, here comes the current Sheriff of Nottingham.”

Seth whirls around quickly to see his Uncle Lord Archer striding purposefully toward him.

Seth: “Uncle! What are you doing here?” Seth looks upon his uncle with both relief and worry–for he knows that he will receive a talking to for his foolishness in traveling to Nottingham unattended.

Lord Archer: “I would ask the same question of you, Seth.” Lord Archer says sternly as he LordArcher-inFineClothesOval-isCliveStanden-inRH3_Feb2012manip-grati-sized-clr-square-3tunic-green-bkgrnd-rustfirmly but not painfully grips his nephew’s shoulder. “Are you alone?”   Lord Archer looks around in alarm, then his gaze settles back upon his nephew, Seth. “You do not have permission from your parents to be here. Do you?” Lord Archer’s eyes narrow in his best stern fatherly face [(5) right].

Seth: Sheepishly shrugging his shoulders, Seth admits. “No. How did you know that I was here?”

Lord Archer:   “One of my Nottingham guards with a bit more sense came to me at Locksley Manor and told me of a young boy tried to see me, claiming to be my nephew and seeking shelter.”

Seth: “Thank goodness!” Seth sighs in relief. “They did not believe me when I sought you out and I told them who I was.” Seth looks at his uncle with earnest pleading.
Lord Archer: “Seth! You have put yourself in very great danger by coming here to Nottingham alone. Though your father and I have stationed guards along the main road every five miles to aid in protecting travelers, you could have still been attacked in between.”

Seth: “Oh yes. I saw the guard posts–and I rode around them to prevent my being noticed.”

Lord Archer: “Hmmm.” He growls. Then he turns to the tavern owner. “Thank you, Much. Might I trouble you for some ale for me and a meal for the boy here with his ale?”

Much: “Of course! And the boy’s meal will be my treat–for is Papa Baron Guy.” Much pats Seth on the head, then he goes to get the boy his meal.

Lord Archer guides Seth to a corner table near but not to close to the fire, where they may speak privately. Lord Archer sits with his back to the wall–so that he can survey the room and keep a watch out for trouble. They are in a tavern, after all.

Lord Archer:   “Seth, if you were my son, I would take you over my knee and spank you properly. Do you not realize the worry and fear that you must be causing your parents? Explain yourself!” Lord Archer sits back with folded arms and a stern expression on his face to listen to what excuse his nephew might provide.

Seth: Looking searchingly into his Uncle Lord Archer’s eyes at first, Seth then lowers his eyes. “I know that my father stabbed Lady Marian and nearly killed her–and every other bad thing he did that the villagers have just now told me.” Tears are streaming down Seth’s cheeks. “I thought my father was a good man, an honourable man. But these witnesses–and his own words–tell me that he is not.” Seth sniffles and wipes his nose with his sleeve. He may be a noble child, but he is also just a boy.

Lord Archer: “So! Your eyes have been opened and you find your father wanting.” Lord Archer says cagily. “Well, I guess that you will also think ill of me now.”

Much: “Here’s your food, laddie. Eat hearty.” He sets the plate down before Seth.

Seth: ““Thank you, Squire Much.” Then Seth turns to his Uncle again as he begins to each his food. “Why would I think ill of you, Uncle Lord Archer?” And Seth listens with his mouth agape several times as his uncle tells Seth his life story.

Lord Archer: “Well, let me see. My father Lord Malcom Locksley was never married to my mother, the Lady Ghislaine Gisborne. I was their love child, conceived and born when it was thought that Sir Roger of Gisborne had died in the Holy Land. Then after Malcom had placed me into a foster family’s care, my mother Lady Ghislaine died from a fall after Sir Roger returned and then Gisborne Manor caught on fire with my brother Guy and sister Isabella barely escaping with their lives. Guy had to care for Isabella as best as he could for several years. And then he married her off to a wealthy knight when she was of age. As of yet, they did not know about me. And by then, when I was about your age of ten years, my foster family kicked me out. With Malcom Locksley presumed dead, no one was paying them to take care of me, and they had their own children’s mouths to feed. I lived by my wits on the streets, begging, and then stealing. I also enjoyed the pleasures of many women. As an adult, and I had moved up to fraud and larceny–hoodwinking the unsuspecting rich out of their money using the science of alchemy. That is when I met my brothers–Guy and Robin who came to save me from the hangman’s noose, only to end up with me.”

Seth: “No!” Seth startles. “But you and my father lived. How?”

Lord Archer: “Robin Hood’s Outlaws saved us. Well, with the help of my then current amour–the Sheriff of York’s lady wife.” Then Lord Archer looks wistfully at the timber ceiling for effect. “She was a comely lady, ten years older than I, but with a voracious appetite for …” Lord Archer stops, him thinking rightly that perhaps his brother Baron Guy has not yet had the chance to have a manly talk with his young nephew, Guy’s son Seth. “Kkkhh! Well, that was in the past. And then I inherited my father’s title Lord Locksley, Earl of Huntington, and Prince John made me Sheriff of Nottingham, in charge of its rebuilding–none of which I could have done without your father, my brother Guy’s great guidance and leadership.”

Seth: “Yes, you have said that my father was helpful, but not how he helped you.”

Lord Archer: “Wait a moment!” Lord Archer’s mind zeroes in on something Seth had said earlier, but that he did not pick up on at first. “You said that your father had nearly killed Lady Marian. What do you mean by that? Is she alive?” Lord Archer’s mind is feverishly trying to grasp that concept.

Seth: “Yes. She was nursed back to help by some nuns in the Holy Land and she is now a postulant nun herself–the Lady Anne as she is called, because she cannot remember who she is.”

Lord Archer: “Good Lord!” Lord Archer is astonished.

Seth: “When she and Lord John Oxbridge came to visit us a few days ago with Br. Tuck, it was eventually revealed who she was–though she still does not remember.” Then Seth’s lip trembles. “And I heard my father telling her today about her life and her injury–that he stabbed her and nearly killed her!”

Lord Archer: “But much like Lazerus–and your Papa–Lady Marian has risen from the dead also.”

Lord Archer stares in stunned silence for several minutes. Seth returns to finishing his meal. Then Seth puts his fork down and asks his uncle the question that has been weighing heavily upon his heart.

Seth: “How can my father seem like such a good and honourable man to our family and close friends–and be elevated to a Baron by the late King Richard–when my father has done such evil, sinful acts in the past?”

Lord Archer: “Hhhhh!   Seth, I do not wish to minimize your father’s past sins–nor my own. We will be called to task for them at the day of judgement. But these sins are in the past. And they were done when circumstances for your father and I were very different– yet we were in quite the same predicament. Neither he nor I had anyone to help us grow up, we had to scramble just to survive. And in doing so, yes, we made some very bad choices. But in many respects, we had no choice. And in Guy’s case, he became associated with a very bad man, the former Sheriff of Nottingham, a fiend of a man named Vasey. It was Vasey, and not your father who was the architect of much of the evil attributed to your father.”

Seth: “Yes, but my father still did those bad things–had people’s tongues cut out, witch dunkings, dangling a little girl over a cliff, and stabbing Lady Marian when he loved her–even if he did not mean to stab her.”   This last admission troubles Seth most of all–that his father loved another.

Lord Archer: “Seth, we are all sinners–your Papa Guy, me, your Mama, and even you. None of us is perfect. But the most important thing of all to remember is that your Papa Guy is not that bad man any more. He hasn’t been bad since he met and married your Mama, Lady Roseanna, seven years ago.”

Seth: Then a thought worries Seth. “But does my Mama know of my father’s past?” Seth worries that his father has lied to her, too–and that she does not truly know the man whom she is married to.

Lord Archer: “Yes, she does. We all know–your Uncle Lord George and his wife your Aunt Lady Mary , my wife your Aunt Lady Saline, Br. Tuck, and Fr. Bale–all of us.”

Seth: However, Seth is relentless in his questions. “But if my father has done what he has done, how can my Mama love my father so much as she does? Should not sin be judged and punishment meted out?”

Lord Archer: “Your Mama loves your Papa Guy because seven long years ago, your Mama believed that your Papa had it in him to be a better man when he became her pretend fiancé to save her from being married off against her will by her cousin, the then Prince John.” Seth’s eyes become wide with alarm. “And then, your parents fell in love with each other.   And Guy believed that with the Lady Roseanna as his wife and love, that he could start life anew, to forge a new life for himself, to be a better man. And their wishes for a better life together came to be.” Lord Archer finishes simply, and he smiles caringly at his young nephew.

Seth: “But …” Seth’s questions are endless, thinks Lord Archer.

Lord Archer: “Seth, it is very late. Perhaps we should head home to Locksley Manor to retire for the night and continue our discussion in the morning–as I escort you home.” Lord Archer says pointedly about Seth going home.

Seth: “One more question, please.” Seth begs.

Lord Archer: “Hhhhh!” Lord Archer sighs resignedly. “Very well. Ask what you will.”

Seth: “Uncle Lord Archer, if you grew up as a foster child–and then you lived on the streets, begging and stealing to survive–how did you learn how to become the noble and honourable man that you are today as Earl of Huntington and Sheriff of Nottingham?”

Lord Archer gazes at his nephew Seth ready to answer and then he looks up past Seth’s Guy-distressed-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_062SirGuyupsetDec3011ranetcrop-sized-mask2-rustbkgrndface, and he sees a newcomer to the tavern, his brother Baron Guy of Gisborne [(6) right] looking very disheveled from his hard five hour ride to Nottingham and quite wild in concern for his son Seth.  Baron Guy found Seth’s horse Wildfire outside of Much’s tavern and hopes that Seth is still with it–and not that the horse was taken from Seth in an attack. Then Lord Archer says with deep brotherly love and reverence as he stands and he respectfully holds out his arm to Baron Guy.

Lord Archer: “My good and kind and honourable noble brother Sir Guy–now Baron Guy of Gisborne–taught me how to be a better man–as he will teach you to be, Seth.”

Baron Guy: “Brother!” Baron Guy says upon seeing his brother Lord Archer standing with his arm outstretched to him. And then he sees the back of his son Seth’s head–and Baron Guy exclaims joyously. “Seth! You are safe!”

Baron Guy rushes forward with tears in his eyes, even as his now dry eyed son Seth stands Guy-embracing-sonSeth-isRichardArmitage-inTheGoldenHour-epi4-26_Jun0715ranet-sized-drnand turns to see his father Baron Guy of Gisborne. Baron Guy pulls Seth into his arms and crushes him into his embrace [(7) right], rocking Seth back and forth–as he did his little son Louis earlier today.

Seth: “Papa?”

Baron Guy: “Seth, my Seth, my dear dear son.” Baron Guy’s tears of joy flow down his cheeks.

Lord Archer: “Guy.” Lord Archer smiles at the tender reunion of a father and son.

Baron Guy: “Thank you, Archer!” Baron Guy clasps his brother Lord Archer’s arm in his, even as he retains a tight hold upon his son Seth.

Lord Archer: “My pleasure, Guy.” He smiles cordially. Then Lord Archer looks down at Seth still standing in his father’s arms, allowing himself to be hugged–having addressed his father as Papa, and looking much less distressed than he was earlier. And quietly, Lord Archer slips away to request that one of his guards immediately travel to Gisborne-Middleton Manor near Leicester to related to Lady Roseanna Baroness Gisborne that both her son and husband arrived safely and will return to her upon the morrow.

Much: “And I helped.” Much puts his hands on his hips proudly.

Then Little John saunters forward and speaks to Seth and Baron Gisborne.

Little John: “See Seth? Your Papa Baron Guy is here to take you home. Him I liked.”

Then Baron Guy and Much, and then Baron Guy and Little John, and then finally Baron Guy and Lord Archer when he quickly returns each share manly hugs with much clapping of shoulders and backs. Seth watches these exchanges, seeing the respect for his father in these men’s eyes and in their behavior–men who had witnessed his father’s bad deeds–but they have also witnessed his father’s good deeds, too. And in the balance scales of life, these men have deemed Crispin Roger Baron Guy of Gisborne to be a good and honourable man. And Seth thinks that could he as Baron Guy’s son esteem his Papa any less than they?

Then Baron Guy puts his arm around his son Seth’s shoulders again as he looks down at him with such pride swelling in his heart–even as Seth looks up at his Papa Baron Guy with a growing understanding.

Baron Guy:   “Much, John, this is my son, Seth.” Baron Guy says with love and pride. “Seth, these two gentleman are my … are my friends.” Baron Guy smiles cordially at the two men and they return his smiles.

Then Seth, mindful of his manners now that a proper introduction has been made of him by his father, Seth bows and extends his hand in greeting to each of the two men, Tavern owner Much and Little John.

Seth: “Gentleman, I am honored to meet two so loyal friends and comrades of my father–and my saviors when I was a babe, as Squire Much has informed me. I am Crispin Guy, Seth of Gisborne, at your service.” Seth executes a perfectly cordial bow to each of them. And Much and Little John exchange amused looks at what a fine and noble son Baron Guy has.

Beaming with fatherly pride for his son, Baron Guy chats amiably with his friends Much and Little John–with his arm still snaked around his son’s shoulders. And Seth tentatively puts an arm around his Papa’s waist–like he usually does–as they stand together. Then Baron Guy greets Mary and her father who step forward to greet him. And Baron Guy kindly asks about the progression of Mary and Ripley’s wedding plans–to which her father grimaces and Baron Guy chuckles knowingly. Soon there is a gathering of tavern patrons surrounding Baron Guy–and Seth sees that they also give his father respect.

Even the very pregnant Kate returns to the dining room floor of the tavern to see why her husband Much has not come back to help her in the kitchen these past twenty minutes. Baron Guy bows deferentially to Kate and she curtly nods her head at him–an armed truce is the most that Baron Guy will ever hope for with his acquaintanceship with Mistress Kate, her sorrow for her brother’s death by Sir Guy’s hands is too deep. Then Baron Guy gives both Kate and her husband Much his felicitations for the impending birth of their third child.

There will be much discussions and fatherly talks between Baron Guy of Gisborne and his son Seth in the days and weeks ahead after they return home tomorrow. But for now, father and son are growing in understanding for one another as they enjoy the gracious hospitality of Lord Archer and Lady Saline for the night at Locksley Manor–a first for Seth, being in his cousin’s home. For Baron Guy, he realizes that his son becoming a young man of eleven next month means that Seth should be told the truth in all matters–and not just be told the good parts. And Seth realizes that he has as much to learn from his father Baron Guy’s past sins and mistakes, as well as from his father’s good and honorable life now, in order for him to become a man–that is, for Seth to become the better man that his father Baron Guy of Gisborne envisions and hopes for him.

To be continued with Chapter 38


Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 37 References, June 08, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #762)

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) Seth at 10 years 11 months image is a manip of: the background to rust and:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html

3) Crop to Little John (portrayed by Gordon Kennedy) and Much (portrayed by Sam Troughton) (with background manipped) in 2009’s Robin Hood series 3, epi12_058 found at RANet (downloaded Jun0715)

4) Sir Guy (portrayed by Richard Armitage) holding Mary of Nottingham over the cliff in Robin Hood series 3, epi 1,pix 30 was found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com

5) Lord Archer of Locksley (bkgrnd manip to rust) (portrayed by Clive Standen) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3, is a composite image of Mr. Standen’s head (cropped) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.jpg ; and a Medieval type man’s formal attire found at  http://www.medievalcollectables.com/images/Category/medium/158.png (manip color to sage green).

6) Guy distressed about finding Seth is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3 epi5_062 Dec3011ranetcrop-sized-mask2-rustbkgrnd, found at RANet at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_062.html

7) Guy embracing son Seth is Richard Armitage in The Golden Hour epi4-26_Jun0715ranet-sized-drkn found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/TGH/album/TGH4/slides/TGH4-26.html


“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 36 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #760)



About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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4 Responses to “Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 37 (PG-13, D): To Be a Better Man, June 08, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #762)

  1. aj daisy says:

    Wonderful Grati. I loved it

    Liked by 1 person

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