Summary Chapter 31
The English populace turns out for the king’s coronation. Tom Canty travels with an impressive entourage. Everything is ornately decorated.
The people shout their support. The king (Tom) gesutres his appreciation. Tom feel this is a moment worth living for. He sees some of his comrades from Offal Court and wishes they could know it was him.
He throws coins to the crowd.
An arch was erected for the occasion. It showed Elizabeth York in a white rose locking hands with her husband Henry VII, who is in a red rose. Henry VIII is on another stem in a red and white rose with Edward’s mother Jane Seymour. An effigy of Edward VI is on a third stage with red and white roses.
Suddenly, Tom sees his mother. He makes the hand gesture in surprise that she recognizes as unique to her son. She embraces his leg. Tom tells her he does not know her. A guard throws her back into the crowd. When Tom sees her broken-hearted face, he feels guilty. The grandeur of his stolen royalty is reduced to nothing. He wishese to be free of it suddenly.
He no longer hears or sees the crowd. He only hears the words he said to his mother, “I do not know you, woman!”
The populace notices the change in his demeanor. The people start to look anxious and applaud less. The lord protector notices their reaction and tells the king he needs to smile, for the people will take his gloomy reaction as a bad omen. He throws some coins to the crowd.
Tom plasters a fake smile on his face. The people can’t tell it isn’t genuine and the anxiety vanishes.
Tom once again falls into a depression. The lord protector is upset with the peasant woman who caused this. When Tom identifies her as his mother, the lord protector is upset to find the king is mad again.