Summary Chapter 27
Miles and Edward are in a crowded cell with others who have committed minor offenses. The other prisoners are male and female, of all ages. Miles is upset that his homecoming was not the joyous one he had been expecting. He is angry at Edith, whom he is certain knows him and believes has denied him for her own interests.
Some of the prisoners get drunk after bribing the jailer to give them liquor. A man nearly kills a woman. Sleep is rather difficult to come by.
A week goes by. People Hendon recognizes come to insult him as an impostor.
An old man is brought in, an old servant. The jailer forces him to deny that Miles is who he says he is. However, when the jailer leaves, the servant admits that he recognizes him. He is in fear of his life. Hendon is grateful to be acknowledged but sees that ruining another person won’t help his cause. The servant comes by daily to apparently abuse Hedon but brings delicacies and news.
Arthur Hedon had died six years ago. Richard’s health had suffered. He believed Miles was dead too, and he wished to have Edith and Hugh marry. Edith kept putting it off, but finally she married Hugh on Richard’s deathbed. Edith believed that Hugh had forged the letter stating Miles’ death and even caused the death of his father. Hugh is cruel to his wife, the servants, and all who depend on him.
Andrew also claims there is a rumor that the young king is mad. Henry VIII will be buried on the 16th at Windsor, and the young king will be crowed at Westminister on the 20th.
Hugh will be going to the coronation, for he is in favor with the Duke of Somerset (the Earl of Hertford’s new title bestowed by the new king). Andrews says the new king is popular. He saved the Duke of Norfolk’s life. He is getting rid of all the cruel and oppressive laws.
Edward wonders if the beggar boy is the prince. He is surprised that the boy hasn’t betrayed himself in speech. Edward finds his captivity more unbearable.
Some female prisoners comfort Edward. They are in prison for being Baptists. Edward is appalled when he assumes they will be scourged. When they leave, they each give him a piece of ribbon to remember them. He vows to keep the reminder and to seek them out when he is freed and put them under his protection.
He is glad when they are brought outside. He sees the Baptist women tied to the post. He vows the tormentors will receive the same punishment when he is reinstated on his throne. He is horrified when wood is put around the women and set on fire. Two young girls try to throw themselves on the flames to die with their mothers. The girls are torn away, but they continue to struggle. Edward claims he will never forget this.
Miles believes the boy’s mind is getting better, for he hasn’t pretended to be the king.
Edward begins to question the prisoners about their crimes. He is angry over the injustice he hears about. He wishes to escape and go to Westminister to reclaim his throne so he can save these people. Miles is sad that he is relapsing.
Another prisoner is a lawyer who had written about the injustices of the Lord Chancellor. He was disbarred, lost his ears, fined, and imprisoned. He continued to write, and he received more fines and stricter sentences. The lawyer bears his scars, saying they are honorable.
Edward vows to right the wrongs. He believes that kings should be merciful.