In the castle, the court and the decisions over the cases lasted the whole day. When the king was finished, he was ready for his supper. The queen had now lain in the corner of the garden for several hours. The pixies and the fairies had been guarding her since she fell.
The chef found the king. “Your highness,” he said. “I have the evening meal ready. But her highness, the queen has not come down to dine. And I cannot find her.”
“You don’t have any idea where she is?” Jehan asked. “No sir,” said the cook. “Call the servants together,” Jehan said. “I have a feeling about this.” The servants were all called together. They were given areas to search with the men and boys concentrating on the yard and stables and gardens. The women and girls were inside the castle and in the kitchens and laundry. Her personal maid, Denisha, was to look in her personal apartment as well as in the King’s.
In the meantime, Sirs Joopi, Kendrew, and Matyes had drunkenly wandered outside to the bailey gate. They collapsed in some over growth near the bailey wall. If anyone did see them do that, they thought nothing of it. Drunks were falling in there all the time. They were usually fine if they did not fall into the moat.
There they slept for a few hours. Went they awakened they wandered to the stables where their chargers were stabled. The armory where their weapons were kept was right next to it.
In the bailey there began to be a sort of commotion going on, something about the queen being missing. But they did not think anything about that. They went to the loft in the stable to find another, more comfortable place to sleep. They curled up in the straw and back to sleep.
The king went into the private garden where he and Medora had walked the day before. The scullery maids were going through the scullery. It was unlikely that the queen had come here, but it was possible. The Queen’s personal maid, Denisha, was checking the king’s apartment and the queen’s. She even asked the young prince’s nurse, “Have you seen the queen, she is late for her supper?” “No,” the nurse said, holding her own son for once. “I have not seen her since she checked on us at midday.”
A page went to the stable. The queen’s favorite horse was still in it’s stall. He alerted the groom, “The queen is missing,” he said. “Have you seen her, father?” For it did happen that the servants had children and that those children may become pages at court. “No,” the father said. He was the head groom. “I’ll help you check the loft for her. You go up and I’ll stay down here. If she pops out of anywhere, I’ll sound the alarm.” The page wondered why his father would say that. After all, the queen was very much in love with King Jehan. Why would she ever want to cheat on him? All the while, above them, the three knights were still asleep.
The page found nothing, but three drunk knights sleeping it off. This was not unusual, so he said nothing. He simply climbed down and said to his father, “She wasn’t up there.” Then he left the father. His father went back to his work, and when he was finished, he went home for supper.
Sir Matyes said. As their heads cleared a little more, they remembered a little more. As their heads cleared a little more, they remembered a little more. “No,” Sir Joopi said, “it was the queen. And what we did is a death penalty offense.” They thought more and realized that they would have to get out of town.
The king himself found the queen. As he got to the corner of the garden, he heard a bunch of fairies and pixies crying. He followed that sound because it was so unusual to hear fairies and pixies cry. She was lying near the garden wall. She was broken and bleeding, but she was not dead. Her skirt was covered in her own blood. He hated to think what would have happened if he had not followed the fairies to her. He tenderly picked her up and carried her into the castle. He literally ran across the garden bellowing as he went, “Boy, boy.” Once in the castle, he sent a fast messenger to the physician to come to her. One of the pages that had heard him and run into the castle right behind him raced for the stables. “Sir groom,” he said. “Your fastest animal. The Queen has been found and she is badly hurt.” The groom saddled the Queen’s own animal and the page went off as fast as he could go.
The physician, with his black and bloody cloak, came into the Queen’s chamber. The cloak had the blood of many of his patients on it to show what a good doctor he was. He came close to the bed the queen was laying on. He would not do a closer examination of her because she was a woman and he was a man. Instead, he called for an assistant. “Boy,” he said. “Go and bring me the woman they call Mother Hulder. She must come and attend upon the queen immediately.”
The boy knew Mother Hulder; in fact, he was a little afraid of her. She was rumored to be a witch. She was married, and in fact, a mother. But she looked to be only 20 years old. The boy did not know that good witches, who worked to help mankind, always looked young. It was the evil witches, who tried to hurt mankind, who were old before their time. Those who knew a little more about it would look at each other, put their finger under their eye and wink the eye. Then they would say, “It’s love that does it.” And they were right.
The boy stuttered and stammered a little. The King grabbed him by the shoulders. “Get her
boy,” the King ordered, “as fast as you can.” The boy raced back to the Queen’s horse, which was still saddled in the yard. With that animal, he raced to Mother Hulder’s just as darkness was falling. “Mother Hulder, Mother Hulder,” he hollered. Mr. Hulder came to the door first. “What do you want, boy?” he asked. “The queen is found,” the boy said. “She is badly hurt. The physician said I should bring Mother Hulder.”
Mr. Hulder turned back inside the house. “You’d better bring all your healing herbs,” he said to his wife. “If she is so badly hurt, she may die.” Mother Hulder did come, with a large bundle of all the things that she thought she might need. “Let me up behind you, boy,” she said. The child did as he was told and the horse took off as fast as he could. The boy guided him back toward the castle.
Mother Hulder was taken immediately to the chamber where the Queen lay. Now, in her delirium, she had relieved herself on the bedclothes. “Get me some fresh sheets,” Mother Hulder ordered. The young servants were reluctant to move though, to do anything to help a witch. An older servant who was there called out, “Move you lazy wenches.” They finally did move. The males, who had been in the room, now all left.
Mother Hulder set down her bundle on the floor near her. Then she removed the queen’s torn and soiled clothing. She saw all the blood and realized that the queen had been raped. “I require some fresh cool water,” she said. A bucket of cold water was brought and placed near the door. Then a knock on the door told her the water was there. She took the bucket inside. She scooped some of the water into the washbasin. Then she broke some Eupatoria into the water. The juices from the plant would go into the water and make a healing was for the queen. Also, the cooling cloth would help. “I need another bucket of cold water,” she called out again. Another knock at the door told her when it was there. She brought it in and used it to rinse her cloths in when they had become dirty.
The queen became more conscious as Mother Hulder worked. She began to moan a little. “Hush,” Mother Hulder said. “be still. You are very hurt, but I will heal you.” When she was finished with the washing, she could see that the queen was bleeding inside. So she fixed a small poultice, some damp crushed Eupatoria leaves wrapped in some thin cloth. These she inserted into the queen’s vagina and anus, where the men had been so brutal. Then she stepped outside to talk to the King.
“She was raped,” she told him. “Raped,” he bellowed very near her. “Who would do such a thing to the queen?” “I do not know, your grace,” Mother Hulder said. “In fact I do not know whether she will survive the night. What I do know is that she is very sick and I will have to stay the night with her.” “Of course,” said the King. “Her maid and ladies in waiting will stay with you.”
The physician came forward. “What are you using to heal the wounds?” he asked. “Europotria,” she said. “Good,” said the physician. “That is a good one. Continue as you have started. Is the queen awake yet?” “Not really,” Mother Hulder told him. “She moans and groans a little, but is not yet aware of where she is. I don’t know if she will live through the night.” “The queen is fevered,” the Physician said. He looked at the King and shook his head solemnly. The King knew enough to know that this was not good.
“What can we do?” the king asked. “Continue as we have begun,” the physician said. “Only time will tell.” The two men turned and paced again. They would not rest this night.
The boy who had brought the good lady here, turned and went into the scullery. He was almost crying. “What’s wrong boy?” the cook asked kindly. “The Queen is hurt real bad,” he said. “She might not live.” “Well you come right here,” the cook said. “Set down by the fireplace and have yourself a bit of mead.”
Then he called his people together. “We’ll have to send the meal to them in the passage way and in the Queens chamber,” he ordered. So he cut up the meats and dished out portions of all the other foods that he was planning on offering for supper that night. “Now don’t forget,” he said to the pages, “bring the food for the women to the door of the chamber. Then knock and give it to them. You do not go into the chamber yourself. Do you understand that, you young rapscallion.” He cuffed the boy on the ear at the same time. “I do,” said the boy, as he rubbed his ear.
In the town, the three so-called knights noticed that the sun had gone down. They found three horses in the stable and rode them bareback out of town. They would camp that night in the woods with no fire. They did not dare a fire. No one noticed them riding out of town because of the gathering gloom and because they rode their horses slowly. At this hour many people were moving their animals about, putting them in their barns for the night. Unless someone was really hurrying, they would not know that noise from the noise they or their neighbors were making. They were lucky that it was still warm enough to sleep outside without blankets or without a fire and not freeze to death.
All three knights were having a bit of a hangover now. They were rubbing their heads and their eyes looked a bit blood shot. They looked at each other and began to remember. “Were we with the queen in the gar-den?” Sir Joopi asked the others. “We were with a bar wench in the garden, I think.” Sir Kendrew said. “We were with some kind of woman in the garden?” Sir Matyes said. As their heads cleared a little more, they remembered a little more. As their heads cleared a little more, they remembered a little more. As their heads cleared a little more, they remembered a little more. “No,” Sir Joopi said, “it was the queen. And what we did is a death penalty offense.” They thought more and realized that they would have to get out of town. First, they had to get out of the Bailey. They knew that at sunrise the gates of the bailey were opened and knights were expected to ride out and patrol the town and the area. So they went down and saddled their chargers. Sir Joopi saddled his big gray whom he called, ‘Gray’. Sir Kendrew saddled his, whom he called ‘Magpie,’ it was black with white markings like those birds were. Sir Matyes saddled his big palomino. He called it ‘Golden’ because of its color. Then they snuck into the armory and got weapons, the sort of thing they would be expected to have if they were going on patrol. They all got swords of the right length for them; shields, spears, bows of the right length for them and arrows that were the same. They loaded the arrows into quivers and slung them over their backs. They hooked the spears to their saddles, sheathed their swords in the belts they always wore, Then sling their unstrung bows over their backs too. They loaded their armor on to their horses and started out.