[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, and 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: After comforting his two months pregnant wife, Lady Rebecca, Sir Roderick Merton dispatches a courier to King John in London about their proposal for the King to intercede about the tangled marital predicament that Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge Merton, her current husband Sir Roderick Merton, and her first husband Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester now find themselves in. However, the courier will discover in transit that the King is not at the courier’s initially commanded destination. So the courier will have to reroute if he and the King are to converge upon the same destination.
And with Baron Guy having found his son Seth Safe with his brother Lord Archer in Nottingham, they must travel home. And with their journey home, Baron Guy and his son Seth have a frank talk.
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 40 (PG-13) Sins of the Father
Baron Guy of Gisborne had gratefully found his nearly eleven year old son Seth safe in the bosom of Seth’s uncle and Baron Guy’s brother Lord Archer of Locksley and Baron Guy’s friends in Nottingham on the night of Thursday, July 10th, 1199–after Seth had runaway. But Seth had been told about Baron Guy’s past by the villagers as his father had feared. And though Seth’s Uncle Lord Archer had given a glowing recommendation for his reformed brother Baron Guy, Seth will have more questions. That night and the early morning of Friday were spent in the company of their family–Seth never having visited Nottingham before due to his father’s strict prohibitions. Seth’s cousins nearly pounced on him in their eagerness to show him their bed chambers, their toys, and such.
And though Baron Guy vows to be honest with his son from now on, he thinks that at least some of their future discussions will be challenging. Fortuitously–or perhaps by design–Lord Archer and his family elect to return home to the Gisborne-Middleton Manor estate with Baron Guy and his son Seth Friday July 11th, 1199. So little further discussion takes place between father and son due to all the little cousins in attendance for their eight hour journey by carriage. The focus had been on entertaining the Locksley children so as not to have any meltdowns along their journey.
However after lunch at an inn, the napping and stretched out Locksley children require more carriage space. So Seth mounts his horse and trots alongside his father Baron Guy and uncle Lord Archer. Sensing that his brother Baron Guy needs a quiet moment with his son, Lord Archer gives leave to grant them their privacy.
Lord Archer: Leaning over to his brother, Lord Archer says sotto voce. “Guy, you and Seth take the forward position. It should afford you some privacy to clear the air a bit.”
Baron Guy: “I suppose revealing one’s nefarious past is best done on horseback–I can bolt if things become too tense.” He jests.
Lord Archer: “Running away? That is not your manner, Guy. You face issues and difficulties head on. Talk to Seth. Make him understand that you are no longer that feared man who the Nottingham villagers spoke of.”
Baron Guy: “Oh but I am, Archer.” Baron Guy says ruefully.
Lord Archer: Lord Archer scoffs at such a notion. “Guy! The man who has spent seven years making reparations to every single person that he ever harmed or injured in someway, is not the same man who caused the harm. Guy, you are a better man and a more noble man than what you once were.”
Baron Guy: “A better man.” Baron Guy repeats absentmindedly. She, Lady Marian, had constantly urged him to be so. But he could never do enough to win her approval nor to win her favor. He was a lost cause then–as was his love for Lady Marian.
Lord Archer: “Guy, your son needs the man you are today. You just have to help him find you again.” Lord Archer looks pointedly at his brother for a long moment. Then he steers his horse away and to the back of their caravan of carriages and wagons of clothing trunks, etc.
Baron Guy: “Come Seth. Your Uncle Lord Archer wants us to take the forward position.” Baron Guy tilts his head toward the front as he looks pointedly at his son, before he canters his horse forward [(2) right]. Baron Guy is determined to set aright his relationship with his son, Seth.
Seth nods and follows behind his father slowly. Seth is still confused about reconciling the loving and good father he knows with the evil man of Nottingham lore. And he guesses that now is as good a time as any to ask his father about it. So Seth urges his horse forward to trot I along side his father, Baron Guy. And Seth begins by bringing up an unexpected aspect of Baron Guy’s past–of their shared past.
Seth: “I had forgotten that Mama was not always my mother.” Seth states starkly, waiting for his father to respond.
Baron Guy: “Yes, My Rose has mothered you since you were younger than Louis is now.”
Seth: “I do not want Louis or Helen or Sarah to know about my past. That I am not their full brother.”
Seth: “Even I do not understand–and I almost eleven.” Seth turns his head to look benignly questioningly [(3) right] at his father.
Baron Guy: “The circumstances of your birth are not your fault, Seth.”
Seth: “But they were your fault?”
Baron Guy: “Hhhh. Yes. I had come to know your mother, Annie, when we both worked at Nottingham Castle. She was a serving girl and had brought my food to my bed chamber one night after one of Sheriff Vasey’s rages at my returning to the Castle with fewer taxes from the peasants than he had hoped, had soured me for his company with the other nobles for the banquet. The people had only so much to give for their taxes–and often could not meet the portion charged to them. The man was oblivious to the common people’s circumstances.” Baron Guy sneers–for even then as Sir Guy, he had a nascent understanding of suffering and struggle–him having done so for most of his life up to that point. Then Baron Guy smiles at the memory of his first noticing Annie. “Your mother had knocked on my bed chamber door and slipped inside carrying a tray of food and ale after I bade her to enter. She was different than most Nottingham Castle servants, in that she was young and comely–and she would smile sweetly at me, when the other servants would usually cower in my presence.”
Seth: “But my mother did not fear you?”
Baron Guy: “No.” He says with some surprise. “Our first meeting was brief. She curtseyed and asked if there was anything else I required. And I shook my head no. She smiled sweetly again, and told me that she would return to collect my tray in a little while. Then after she left and I uncovered the food that she had kept warm for me with a bowl over the plate, I found that she had given me the best portions of the meat from the banquet feast that Vasey presided over elsewhere in the Castle that night. It was the best cooked meal that I had ever had–up to that point.”
Seth: “So my mother liked you, and she treated you kindly.” Seth rephrases his father’s underlying implication.
Baron Guy: “She did.” He nods in acknowledgement. “When she came back for the tray that night, it was very late. I had already gone to bed–though sleep eluded me. Vasey’s harangue at me in front of the nobles pricked my pride. Vasey enjoyed humiliating me at every turn. He knew that I had no other patron to employ me, and therefore he controlled me in that way.”
Seth: “Oh.” Seth lowers his head–not seeing how anyone could be so mean like Vasey.
Baron Guy: “Anyway, your mother was just about to collect the food tray when she saw that I was thrashing about on my bed–having a nightmare.”
Seth: “About Vasey?”
Baron Guy: “No, about my parent’s death when our house burned to the ground. You see, Sir Malcom Locksley had come to see my mother Lady Ghislaine Gisborne after my father Sir Roger of Gisborne had returned ill from the Holy Land. Sir Malcom had been a solicitous landlord during my father’s absence, and I was too young to realize what was between my mother and Locksley–that they were lovers.”
Seth: “Ohhh! How old were you?”
Baron Guy: He thinks for a few moments, then says. “My parents died when I was eleven.”
Seth blanches at his father being the age then that he is almost now–Seth is one month shy of his eleventh birthday. And he cannot fathom losing his parents at so young an age.
Seth: “I do not understand. How did they die in a fire?”
Baron Guy: “When my father realized that my mother was fond of SirMalcom, that she loved him, he became enraged and swore that he would fight Sir Malcom. My father did not know–nor did I know then–that my mother had given birth to Sir Malcom’s child, your Uncle Archer.”
Seth’s eyes grow wide in shock. His Uncle Lord Archer had told him as much about his parentage. But hearing it told from the perspective of his own father made it someone seem more real.
Seth: “And then your parents died? Along with Malcom Locksley?”
Baron Guy: “Yes. I had tried to pull the two men apart after my mother’s pleading for them to stop fighting and she had gotten knocked to the floor and hit her head and lay there very still. But Sir Malcom pushed me away and I knocked over a candle near the bed curtains and it caught on fire. I tried to stamp it out, but it only got worse. Then when the two men realized that my mother’s head wound had killed her, they started fighting each other anew. My sister Isabella came to the door screaming and crying. My father said to get Isabella out of the house, and I did that. But my father and mother were lost in the father. And we presumed Malcom Locksley died as well.” Baron Guy’s face is forlorn remembering his greatest loss–his mother, the Lady Ghislaine.
Seth: “What did you do?”
Baron Guy: “We had no one. So we went to some relatives and lived marginally for a few years. And then when Isabella was fourteen, a wealthy nobleman offered for her and said he would take good care of her. I let him have her and took the money I was given to do my knightly training and then I eventually found my way back to Nottingham. I think I was drawn there, because of my mother. But it was not the Nottingham of my youth. And Sheriff Vasey made sure that I knew that.”
Seth: “And my mother woke you from your nightmare?”
Baron Guy: “She did. At first, in my sleepy haze, I did not know whose hands were upon me as I lay on my bed.” [(4) right] Baron Guy shakes his head in consternation. “And I thought I was being attacked and I quickly turned around and grabbed her by the wrists–startling her. She lost her balance and fell on top of me. But rather than being scared, she kindly asked if I was alright.” Baron Guy smiles, then quickly schools his expression–but not soon enough.
Seth: “What? You smiled.”
Baron Guy: “Well. Your mother and I … we … She believed herself in love with me and she gave herself to me. I took comfort in her warmth and gentleness–something that I had not had for a long time. She came to me every night after that–and we went to sleep in each others’ arms. And then, what usually happens when two people are lovers, did happen. She became pregnant with my child–you.”
Seth: “Were you happy I was going to be born?” Seth asks fearfully.
Baron Guy: “Yes and no. I was still not the master of my own fates–my being Sheriff Vasey’s second in command. And I could not get away, nor did I have any place to spirit Annie away to for her confinement–to keep her and you safe from Vasey. So six months after you were born and weaned, I convinced Annie that sending you to live in a monastery–at quite a high cost to my purse–would allow you to grow up without having the stigma of your parents not being married. And the rest about your rescue by Robin Hood’s outlaws, you know.”
Seth: Seth nods. “But why did you not marry my mother?” Seth accuses.
Baron Guy: “Because then, she was a peasant and I a noble–an insurmountable gulf of differing ranks separated us. Just as now with your legitimacy decree, you are my heir and a noble. So when you marry, you will marry a noblewoman.”
Seth: “But who knows about me? Will it affect my chances in marrying whom I wish to marry–when the time comes?” Seth adds hastily. He as of yet, had not taken his father into his confidence regarding his growing admiration for the twelve year old Lady Caroline Havorford–his Aunt Lady Mary Middleton’s younger sister. Though Baron Guy and Lady Roseanna have noticed Seth’s particular attention to Lady Caroline.
Baron Guy: “Our older family members know. But it is so long ago, that I doubt that any other nobles would remember the specifics of your origins. It is enough that you are my son and heir and you will inherit my title of Baron upon my death. And through your Mama Lady Roseanna, you are related to the royal family in the person of King John. So our family connections should prove to be a boon in any bethrothal and marital negotiations for you and your brother and sisters.”
Seth: “But would my Aunt Lady Mary have told her sister about me?” Seth bites his lower lip, wondering how much one person might know about him.
Baron Guy: “You speak of Lady Caroline Havorford?” Seth nods. “She might have.” Seth winces. “Seth? Would you like your Mama and I to consult with Lady Caroline’s father Lord Havorford about a possible betrothal between the two of you?” Baron Guy’s eyebrow rises, patiently waiting for his son’s response.
Seth: “I think so. Or at least, I know that I do not want anyone else to be betrothed to her.” Seth’s not quite eleven year old childish selfishness is evident.
And Baron Guy’s face falls. And he realizes that he must make plain the nature of his relationship with Lady Marian–so that his son does not repeat his mistakes.
Baron Guy: “Seth? You should seek love where it is likely to be returned for you. Anything less leads to heartbreak–as it did for me with Lady Marian.”
Baron Guy: “She would not have me. She loved another. And then came, the … the accident, and I thought that I had killed her. I was devastated!”
Seth: “Lady Anne/Marian was devastated. Even now, though she is physically healed, she does not remember who she is.”
Baron Guy: “Yes.” Baron Guy replies solemnly with a sober face–guilt washing over him a fresh. “And as I have made amends to others, I must make it up to Lady Anne/Marian–to atone for my sins, somehow.”
Seth: “Of harming her?”
Baron Guy: “Yes. And I was also guilty of the sin of pride–thinking that I could ever be worthy of her.” Baron Guy states humbly.
Seth: Knowing that his father is now a Baron–a much higher rank than of a knight–Seth asks with concern etched upon his face. “What about Mama?” Baron Guy looks quizzically at his son. “Will you leave her, leave us to be with Lady Anne/Marian?”
Baron Guy: “No!” Baron Guy says with great finality. “Lady Marian/Anne was my past. Your Mama Lady Roseanne and our family is my present and my future. I was blessed when she came into my life.”
Seth: “But what will Lady Anne do now?” Seth asks caringly.
Baron Guy: “I do not rightly know. But if I can aid her in finding a measure of happiness and peace, I will have only just begun to recompense her for what I did to her.”
Baron Guy’s head turns toward his son riding beside him. Seth has ibkt addressed as Papa once before he ran away yesterday. The use of that familiar address again gives Baron Guy hope that he and his son may soon resume and rebuild their relationship.
Baron Guy: “Yes, my son.”
Seth: “I hope that Lady Anne and Lord John might marry. They seem very considerate of one another.” He adds, explaining his suggestion.
Baron Guy: “Indeed!” Baron Guy realizes that with each mention of Lady Anne/Marian and Lord John, his former jealousy lessens. “But let us continue home more swiftly. Your Mama anxiously awaits for news of your return. We must not tarry.”
They are perhaps only a half hour away from home at Gisborne-Middleton Manor. So they trot a little ways ahead of the caravan and then come around the bend of a hill to see a carriage stuck in a rut.
And Baron Guy’s eyes narrow [(5) right] in seeing the familiar ornate carriage bearing the royal standard.
Baron Guy: “BLAST! What is he doing here?”
King John: Poking his head out of his tilted carriage, King John pouts. “I am underwhelmed at your greeting, Baron Guy. I have come a long way at considerable bother and discomfort. The least you can do is to help free my carriage.”
Seth: “Sire.” Seth bows while staying seated in his saddle.
King John: “Oh hello, Seth.” He acknowledges his young cousin in law by marriage.
Baron Guy: “Sire, your carriage will be righted much sooner if you exit it. Find a horse and join us–or stay here to await our sending men back to you to with a new carriage in another hour. It is up to you.”
Baron Guy trots ahead–and Seth follows, with Seth sheepishly, looking back now and again at their hapless King being left behind them. Then as they pass by King John’s tilted carriage, the now awake Locksley children poke their head out of their carriage’s windows to ogle their king and cousin in his predicament. Lord Archer riding his horse at the back of the caravan nods at King John.
Lord Archer: “Coming, Sire?” And Lord Archer keeps trotting blasely forward.
Then an annoyed King John tumbles out of his carriage and tells the Captain of his Guards to give him his horse. After much maneuvering to help King John mount the said horse–since there is no block for him to leisurely mount from–King John bumpily trots after the Gisborne and Locksley caravan headed to the Gisborne-Middleton Manor estate but five miles West of Leicester.
And so there is to be rather a convergence that will occur at Gisborne-Middleton Manor on Friday, July 11th, 1199: with Baron Guy of Gisborne and his son Seth returning home to continue to mend their relationship brought about with Seth becoming aware of his father’s past; the standoff that will inevitably occur with the lovingly protective Lord John Oxbridge for his love Lady Anne/Marian, with regard to her prior association with their host Baron Guy; and, Lord John’s absent wife Lady Rebecca and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton making a reappearance to reclaim her children by Lord John. The only wild card is King John. What will he do about the marriages? It is anyone’s guess.
To be continued with Chapter 41
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 40 References, June 19, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #769)
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) Baron Guy onHorseSquinting is Richard Armitage in RH3 and was found Aug2214 via Isabelle-grnbkgrd
3) Seth at 10 years image is 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 sleeping is Richard Armitage in RH3 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode1213/slides/rh212_213_058.html
5) Guy seeing what lies in the road ahead is Richard Armitage-inRH3GuyandRobinonhorsesOct1312TerezaT-maskbkgrndGrati
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 39 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #767)