Chapter 125: Oxford
Chapter 125: Oxford
The cell door opened and a figure walked in. The hour was late, and so John didn’t get a very good look at the man who stood before him. He was tired. Terribly tired. He’d been here for months now. Nobody had come and visited him. He didn’t even know if his family were well or not.
“Why do you resist?” The voice asked, it sounded vaguely familiar.
“What?” John asked.
“Why do you resist?” The voice asked again.
“Resist what?” John replied.
“The pull of the White Rose.” The voice said.
“Pah.” John snorted. “I won’t betray my King.”
“Even though your King has made no attempt to try and bring you out of here?” The voice asked.
“He has his reasons.” John said.
“And what reasons would those be?” The voice asked.
John moved slightly. “I am not going to discuss my King’s inner motivations with you, traitor.”
The voice laughed then. John looked at it, the voice belonged to a man, that much was clear, but otherwise he couldn’t quite tell what was going on there. “I am no traitor.”
“Yes, you are.” John said. “You are working for York. A man who has usurped the throne.”
“Usurped the throne or taken what is rightfully his?” The voice asked.
“Enough of these riddles!” John snapped, his patience was thinning. “Tell me what you want, or get out!”
The voice changed, becoming deeper. “To make you an offer.”
“An offer?” John asked. What sort of offer would this scumbag offer him?
“Yes.” The voice said. “Recant your loyalty to Henry of Lancaster and the King shall free you, and allow you the right to your lands. You shall have a place of honour at his side and the right to deal with your enemies as you see fit.”
That sounded like a brilliant offer, which was why John asked. “What’s the catch?”
“There is no catch.” The voice replied. “It is a genuine offer.”
John took a breath and then said. “I shall need to think about it.” If it was a genuine offer, then perhaps he should take it. He would be foolish not to. But something in his mind was telling him that there was something wrong with it. Something not quite right.
The voice said nothing then, and a silence fell between them. John wanted to ask why the voice was still there, if indeed it was, and it wasn’t just an illusion, but before he could, the voice spoke again. “There was something else that you are to know.”
“And what is that?” John asked.
“Henry of Lancaster has named your son as Earl of Oxford.” The voice said.
“What?!” John exclaimed, if that was true it meant the King considered him dead.
“Yes, it seems Henry of Lancaster believes that you are a dead man.” the voice said. “So, I ask you again, do you want to be his man, or change and side with the King?”
John took a deep breath. “How do I know you are speaking the truth?”
The voice laughed and then thrust something at John. He picked up the thing and read it. “What is this?” He couldn’t read the writing; it was barely legible.
“A letter from a friend in Truro confirming what I’ve just told you.” The voice said.
John looked at it, and was able to make out a few words, but he still didn’t feel that this information was right. The King must know that he hadn’t been killed. But then what was this. He handed the thing back and said. “I will think about it.”
“Very well.” The voice said, he heard movement and then the voice said. “Be ready.”
“Sorry?” John asked.
The voice and the figure it belonged to came into greater focus then and John gasped. “There will be an attempt on you, be ready.”
“Dee?” John exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”
The man laughed. “Helping you.”