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Authors: Elizabeth Chadwick

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To Defy a King

BOOK: To Defy a King
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1 - The Marshal manor of Caversham, Berkshire, January 1204

Chapter 2 - Settrington, Yorkshire, February 1204

Chapter 3 - York, February 1204

Chapter 4 - Caversham, March 1204

Chapter 5 - Montfiquet, Normandy, May 1204

Chapter 6 - Caversham, Spring 1205

Chapter 7 - Hamstead Marshal, Berkshire, July 1205

Chapter 8 - Castle of Striguil, Welsh Borders, June 1206

Chapter 9 - Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, December 1206

Chapter 10 - Framlingham, January 1207

Chapter 11 - Framlingham, February 1207

Chapter 12 - Framlingham, May 1207

Chapter 13 - Framlingham, September 1207

Chapter 14 - Thetford, Norfolk, October 1207

Chapter 15 - Thetford Forest, October 1207

Chapter 16 - Framlingham, January 1208

Chapter 17 - Framlingham, March 1208

Chapter 18 - Framlingham, late April 1208

Chapter 19 - Framlingham, June 1209

Chapter 20 - Framlingham, August 1209

Chapter 21 - Framlingham, December 1209

Chapter 22 - Crooke, Southern Ireland, Summer 1210

Chapter 23 - Framlingham, September 1210

Chapter 24 - Framlingham, June 1212

Chapter 25 - Nottingham Castle, August 1212

Chapter 26 - Framlingham, November 1212

Chapter 27 - Salisbury, Wiltshire, December 1212

Chapter 28 - Framlingham, February 1213

Chapter 29 - Canterbury, Kent, June 1213

Chapter 30 - Winchester Cathedral, July 1213

Chapter 31 - South Coast, Summer 1213

Chapter 32 - Framlingham, Spring 1214

Chapter 33 - Nantes, Poitou, Summer 1214

Chapter 34 - Port of La Rochelle, July 1214

Chapter 35 - Marlborough, Wiltshire, February 1215

Chapter 36 - Framlingham, April 1215

Chapter 37 - Winchester, May 1215

Chapter 38 - Framlingham, November 1215

Chapter 39 - Yorkshire, January 1216

Chapter 40 - Framlingham, March 1216

Chapter 41 - London, March 1216

Chapter 42 - Bradenstoke Priory, Wiltshire, April 1216

Chapter 43 - London, July 1216

Chapter 44 - Friday Street, London, September 1216

Chapter 45 - Thetford, October 1216

Chapter 46 - London, October 1216

Chapter 47 - London, September 1217

Chapter 48 - Framlingham, Midsummer 1218

Author's Note

Acknowledgements

Author Interview

Also by Elizabeth Chadwick

THE WILD HUNT

THE CONQUEST

THE CHAMPION

THE LOVE KNOT

THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER

LORDS OF THE WHITE CASTLE

THE WINTER MANTLE

THE FALCONS OF MONTABARD

SHADOWS AND STRONGHOLDS

SHIELDS OF PRIDE

THE GREATEST KNIGHT

DAUGHTERS OF THE GRAIL

THE SCARLET LION

sequel to THE GREATEST KNIGHT

A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE

THE TIME OF SINGING

THE RUNNING VIXEN

To Defy a King

ELIZABETH CHADWICK

Hachette Digital

www.littlebrown.co.uk

Published by Hachette Digital 2010.

Copyright (c) Elizabeth Chadwick 2010

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the
public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or
dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this book

is available from the British Library.

eISBN : 978 0 7481 1516 7

This ebook produced by JOUVE, FRANCE

Hachette Digital

An imprint of

Little, Brown Book Group

100 Victoria Embankment

London EC4Y 0DY

An Hachette Livre UK Company

MARSHAL FAMILY TREE

Select Bigod family tree showing tie-in to Salisbury and The Royal
Family

TO DEFY A KING

1

The Marshal manor of Caversham, Berkshire, January 1204

'It's not fair!' Ten-year-old Mahelt Marshal scowled at her older brothers who were immersed in a boys' game involving a pretend raid on an enemy castle. 'Why can't I be a knight?'

'Girls don't go raiding,' Will answered with the superiority that came from being male, almost fourteen and heir to the Earldom of Pembroke.

She made a grab for his horse's reins and he snatched them out of her reach.

'Girls stay at home and embroider and bear children. Only men go to war.'

'Women have to defend the castle when their lords are away,' she pointed out. 'Mama does - and you have to obey her.' Tossing her head, she looked at Richard, who was twelve and could sometimes be persuaded to take her part; but, although a broad grin sprawled across his freckled face, he didn't leap to her defence.

'She has to do our lord father's bidding when he returns,' Will retorted.

'Papa doesn't send her out with a lance in her hand while he stays at home, does he?'

'I can pretend; it's all pretend anyway.' Mahelt was determined not to be bettered. 'You're not a man.'

Richard's grin widened as Will flushed. 'Let her defend the castle,' he said.

'She might have to do it one day when she's married.'

William rolled his eyes, but gave in. 'All right, but she's not a knight, and she's not riding Equus.'

'Of course not.'

'And she can be the French. We're the English.'

'That's not fair!' Mahelt protested again.

'Don't play then,' Will said indifferently.

She shot her brothers a fulminating look. She wanted to ride Will's new mount because it was a proper, big, glossy horse, not a pony. She wanted to jump him over hedges as Will did and see how fast she could make him gallop. She wanted to feel the wind in her hair. Will had called him Equus, which he said was the Latin name the scribes wrote meaning 'warhorse'.

Richard's docile grey wasn't the same challenge, and she had almost outgrown her own dumpy little chestnut, which was stabled up with a leg strain. She knew she could ride as well as either of her brothers.

Heaving a sigh, she stumped off with bad grace to defend the 'castle', which for the purposes of the game was the kennel-keeper's hut. Here were stored the collars and leashes for the hounds, old blankets, hunting horns, various tools, baskets and bowls. A shelf at Mahelt's eye level held chubby earthenware pots of salve for treating canine injuries. Mahelt took one down, removed the lid of plaited straw and immediately recoiled from the vile stench of rancid goose grease.

'Ready?' she heard Richard shout.

Her left arm crooked around the pot, Mahelt emerged from the shed and, with a resolute jaw, faced the youths, who were fretting their mounts. Both boys bore makeshift lances fashioned from ash staves, and gripped their practice shields at the ready. Uttering simultaneous yells, the brothers charged. Knowing they expected her to lose her courage and dash back inside the shed, Mahelt stood her ground. She scooped up a handful of grease, feeling it cold and squidgy-soft between her fingers, and lobbed it at the oncoming horses. Will ducked behind his shield, which took the first impact, but Mahelt's next dollop struck him over the rawhide rim, splattering his cloak and the side of his neck. Another scoop burst on the shoulder of Richard's grey. His efforts to control his shying mount left him exposed and her fourth handful landed a direct hit to his face.

'Hah! You're both dead!' She leaped gleefully up and down. 'I win, I win!'

Triumph burned in her solar plexus. That was showing them.

Will was off his horse like lightning. Mahelt shrieked and tried to run inside the shed, but he was too fast and caught her arm. She spun round in his grip and struck his chest with her salve-covered hand, smearing his cloak with rancid grease.

'It's dishonourable to strike a lady!' she cried as he raised a threatening fist.

Will looked at his bunched knuckles and, lowering his arm, gave her a disgusted shove instead. 'Look what you've done to my cloak! I pity whoever gets you to wife. You're a hoyden.'

Mahelt raised her chin, determined not to show remorse or be browbeaten.

'But I still won,' she said. 'Against both of you.'

'Will, leave her,' Richard said with exasperation, wiping his face. 'Let's go.

There are better places to practise. We'd get more hurled at us in a real battle than handfuls of old grease.'

With a final glare, Will flung round and remounted Equus. 'It looks as if you've lost after all,' he said as he gathered his reins Through a blur of angry tears she watched her brothers ride away. Raising her hand to wipe her eyes, she found the stink of the salve on her fingers suddenly unbearable. She was cold, hungry and empty. Her victory was a hollow one and she was going to be in trouble for wasting the hound-keeper's salve and dirtying her brothers' clothes. She returned the pot to its shelf and closed the shed door. When she turned round, she jumped, because Godfrey, her father's under-chamberlain, was standing behind her.

BOOK: To Defy a King
2.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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