Part IV: Them’s Fightin’ Words!
Some time later, on 8 November, Wautier came upon Robin riding through town. Remembering him, and who knows, maybe feeling ashamed over not confronting him before, Wautier came up and grabbed the bridle of Robin’s horse.
No, the real Wautier did not stand on a pig. I’m not sure whether or not he was riding a horse or not, but context seems to indicate not.
As for the pig in town.. First, I made the mistake of drawing the horse too big. Not wanting to redraw it, I needed to give Wautier a boost so he could reach the bridle.
Second, pigs absolutely wandered through town, unfettered, unfenced. It was a whole thing in the Middle Ages. Sometimes, they even ate babies. Maybe I’ll do a post about one of those murderous pigs sometime.
Wautier led Robin to the nearby fishpond of Glatigny.
Why did Robin go with him? Probably status.
We don’t know Robin’s actual status, but it’s a fair bet that he was lower on the social ladder than Wautier, for a couple reasons.
First and foremost, Wautier serves one of the top commanders of the English army and wears the household badge for that same Count of Suffolk.
Second, Wautier is himself an Englishman and, in an occupied territory, that had a rank all its own. The fact that the register doesn’t tell us Robin’s own status is enough to let us know he wasn’t important. We can safely assume he was some kind of labourer, though how he had a horse is anyone’s guess.
Whatever the reason, once the two were at the fishpond, Wautier asked if Robin stood by what he’d said.
Robin, of course, says he does, because otherwise there’d be no story, as I’m sure Robin was thinking at the time.
In the record of this case, Robin is reported to persevere “in his evil and damnable will.” In other words, the Duke of Bedford (using the voice of the king, fwiw), is none too happy with what Robin allegedly said and even less impressed that Robin insists on maintaining those horrible slurs against himself and the Count of Suffolk.
Willing to prove it with his body, Robin got off his horse and threw to the ground his long coat (known as a tabar), hood, and hat.
Yeah, I wasn’t going to try to draw a hedgehog wearing those. Sorry.
In any case, that done, he drew his sword (or, here, quill).
He did all this while Wautier had his back turned.
Why did Wautier have his back turned?!
Caught unawares, what will Wautier do? Has he come prepared to fight? Is his master’s honour worth his life?
Can just any hedgehog quill become a sword?
The mystery deepens!
Next time… the stunning conclusion!