Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sweet memory #7 from The Lady and the Minstrel

My hero, Rob, is locked in the dungeon and I’m not going to have time to write him out before Christmas. I'm granting him 10 sweet memories from earlier chapters of The Lady and the Minstrel while he waits for me to get back to his story.

Here is memory #7. This memory isn’t “sweet” to Rob as much as it’s important. What happened between him and Gunthar at this moment changed his life as much as the day he met Marguerite. From Chapter 22:

Robert felt himself unnerved by Gunthar’s touch. He gripped Robert, not shrinkingly, as a noble repelled by a churl, but hard and bracing, the way William might have sought to fortify Robert, or Robert, William. The world had indeed turned upside-down.

Robert stared into Gunthar’s eyes, searching for deceit, but saw only a quiet, almost urgent plea. The barrier between blurred further. He asked one last question, simple and direct. “How?”

Gunthar’s strong mouth tightened, then went slightly awry. “I do not know. But whatever course I decide upon, it will take time. You must give me that time.”

No prevarication, no smooth guarantees. It was that—an honest answer that promised nothing while promising everything—that urged Robert across the gulf of doubt and won the slow nod of his head.

“Your word, then, that you will stay with my guards?” Gunthar said. “Give me that, and I will see to it that you are not bound.”

And that—an exchange of faith for faith—pushed Robert the rest of the way into a wild gamble on Gunthar’s integrity. He spread his hands, knowing he might be walking off a precipice he could never return from, but he heard himself consent anyway. “Very well, my lord. You have my word.”

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