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Here’s a snippet from the story to whet your appetite.
“How dare you take my prisoner, Lord Godwin?” demanded the earl.
“It is in my heart that thou hast condemned this man unjustly, Earl,” growled Lord Godwin. “I wish to question him myself. Tell thy men to stand off.”
“You cannot let ‘im do this, mah lord,” snarled Hugo Brun. “You ‘ave the killer of John of Colchester in your ‘ands.”
“We will speak of this later,” Lord Godwin said icily. “I will take this knight to a place where he can be tended. You have most cruelly overstepped your authority, Earl. You knew the tribunal was assembling to look into this case and yet you went ahead to examine this man without our leave or knowledge.”
“He shall not leave,” the earl exclaimed. “You cannot take so much upon yourself, Lord Godwin, to defy my orders in my own castle.”
“Father, I have helped them,” Robert said. The earl noticed him for the first time. “Have you not considered that in all that has happened we have only Sir Hugo Brun’s word of this knight’s guilt? Lady Hope is not mad or possessed, and she tells a different tale. Perhaps we are being too hasty.”
“You are my son, and you will obey my commands,” the earl growled.
“I will not permit you to return the man to the dungeon, father,” Robert said. “I do not think he is guilty. I have heard him speak – He cannot have burned Colchester.”
“Indeed?” sneered the earl. “You have learned in a moment’s time what I could not get from him in half an hour of questioning? I will deal with you in private. The knight stays here. Godwin, your men will lay down their arms and surrender the prisoner.”
Lord Godwin drew himself up to his full height. “I will have him taken to my chambers and there my wife will care for him,” he said. “My own guards will see that he does not escape. I will offer myself as surety for him. Put me in the dungeon in his place.”
“So be it, then,” the earl said with a cruel smile. “Let it be as Lord Godwin has said. He came in under your emblem, after all. Perhaps it is fitting.”
“You dare accuse me –?” Lord Godwin roared.
“My men will take you now, my lord,” the earl snapped. “Robert, come with me.”
“Oh, my lord, must it be so?” I gasped as the earl’s men took Lord Godwin by the arms.
“Take care of your knight, Lady Hope,” he said calmly. “Tell my lady what has happened. She will know what to do.” The earl stepped up and took Robert roughly away.