LIC Blog

Two Little Boys: Part 2, George's Tale

George's Tale

George's eyes widened in disbelief at the sight which greeted them.

His mother was crying. No, not crying, wailing like one of those banshees that lie in the bogs of Ireland. He had never seen her like this. Throughout his short life he had seen her overcome every fear and foe like the ancient Queen of the Britons, Boadicea.

But this.

This frightened 10 year old George.

His uncle Warwick stood by her offering a glass of wine. The face of his other uncle John Neville was red with fury, as he gripped and ungripped the hilt of his sword.

Father was dead. So was Edmund.

Well, it served them right, thought George.

He was remembering being dragged from his bed on a chill autumn morning before sunrise a year ago. He and Richard had been snuggled together in Ludlow Castle, when the maids had bustled in and poked and prodded them into dressing.

They wouldn't answer any questions, only insisted that the Duchess of York required their attendance. Hand in hand the boys had been led to the Great Hall, still rubbing sleep out of their eyes.

There stood their Mother, tall and erect.

Unbreakable. Unbendable.

Gathering her two lambs to her she informed them that their father had been betrayed in the night. Faced with a larger army of King Henry, the garrison of Calais had abandoned the House of York to defeat. In the hours of darkness the Duke and his eldest sons, Edward and Edmund had climbed down the steep path from the postern to escape into Wales.

George remembered hte shock. They had left him. Him! They'd run away to safety leaving him to protect his Mother and Richard. Well, he'd show them.

Mother had led the boys out of the castle and down to the market-place where all was turmoil as the people of Ludlow begged for the Duchess to intervene on their behalf.

George had seen the pain in his Mother's eyes, but no fear as the King's army swept into Ludlow. She'd taken refuge by the Market Cross with George and Richard, whilst a tide of feral soldiers rampaged and ravaged the town. Richard had been sick, fouling his doublet and hose. George had wet himself, when he saw them carry a young girl, no older than his sister, off screaming into the churchyard.

As he sobbed in terror, burying his face in his Mother's skirts, George knew that this was his father's fault. His and Edmund's and Edward's.

And that he'd never, ever forgive them.

Nor could he forget.

He still woke up screaming from the dreams.

Well, now Edmund and his father were dead.

Good, thought George.

He supposed that Ned was still on the loose. But he'd get even with Ned too. No matter how long it took.