Walter Scott


This story starts in times of the end of the reign of king Richard I who was imprisoned by the Norman noblemen. Poor Saxon people lived very badly and hoped to see their king and peace in the country.

The Sun was setting upon a large oak and birch forest that covered the hills and valleys between the towns of Sheffield and York. Two men were standing under the branches of the forest.

The elder man looked wild. His only cloth was an old leather jacket from the throat to the knees and a leather belt with a horn and a knife on one side of it. Around his neck, he had a metal collar, like a dog's collar, on which was written, "Gurth, the son of Beowulph, is born a slave of Cedric of Rotherwood".

The other man was ten years younger and wore a bright purple jacket and a short yellow cloak. There was a cap with bells on his head. In his belt, he had a wooden sword. He also had a collar around his neck, on which was said, "Wamba, son of Witless, is the slave of Cedric of Rotherwood".

Suddenly, the two men heard the sound of horses from among the trees behind them. A group of churchmen came riding up to the Saxons. The first was the rich Prior Aymer, who loved to have fun. Behind him was riding Brian de Bois- Guilbert, a Norman knight and a Templar who looked very severe.

"Can you tell us the way to Cedric the Saxon?" the Prior asked Gurth and Wamba.

Wamba told him how to get to Cedric's house and took the coin from the churchman.

When the riders disappeared, Gurth turned to Wamba and said, "If they follow your directions, they will certainly not get to our master's house!"

Wamba laughed, "No, but they may reach Sheffield instead, which is a better place for them."

While Prior and the Templar were riding through the forest, it soon became too dark for them to see the road clearly. They stopped to ask a man sitting by the side of the road for directions to Cedric's house. The man proposed them to show the way, and after a while, they arrived at Rotherwood, the house of Cedric the Saxon.

"Who are you?" Prior Aymer asked the man, whose face was hidden by the hood of his robe. "I think you know this part of the forest well."