Summary Chapter 12
Miles Hendon keeps a firm grip on the prince as they ride away from the mob that had planned to kill him. Edward hears the announcement that the king is dead. He is saddened by the loss of his father, who had always been gentle to him. He is proud that he is king.
They go to London Bridge, which is a town in itself, that connects London and Southwark. Everyone knows one another. The people were rather pompous, though many have never set foot on soil other than the bridge. The few that leave find the outside world boring. The heads of renowned men are put on spikes above its gateway.
Hendon lives at an inn on the bridge.
John Canty spots Edward and tries to grab him. Hendon asks Edward if he wishes to go with Canty, and Edward refuses. Hendon offers to let him travel with him, and the prince accepts.
Canty goes off. Hendon is amused that the mad little beggar has moved right into his rooms. He admires the lad’s boldness and vows to be his friend. He plans to nurse him back to health.
The boy wakes up and is annoyed when Miles Hendon doesn’t wash him. Hendon is amused and complies. He finds it interesting that the boy’s madness has fit into reality, and now he believes he is King of England. Hendon doesn’t believe him but humors him.
Edward asks to hear Miles’ history. Miles explains that his father was a knight who became a baronet. He was a generous man. His wife died when Miles was just a boy. His brother Arthur was very much like their father, but his brother Hugh was a villain. They had a cousin named Edith, who their father was guardian of. She and Miles were in love, but she was engaged to Arthur. Arthur loved someone else and told them to be patient, and then they could marry. Hugh wanted Edith’s fortune.
Richard (Miles’ father) was deceived by Hugh and loved him best. Arthur was sickly. Hugh told his father that Miles planned to abduct Edith and marry her. The father banished Miles. He became a soldier. In the last battle, he was taken captive. After seven years, he won his freedom. He has returned home, not knowing what has happened to his family.
Edward vows to help him. He tells Miles how he came into his own predicament. Miles still believes he is an imaginative but mad boy.
Edward asks what reward he wishes for his service. Miles asks to be allowed to sit before his majesty. Edward agrees, and Miles is relieved. His legs were getting tired.