The Black Shield of Falworth (1954) Movie Script

Your Majesty!
A mild seizure.
It will pass.
We better return to thy castle sire.
No, Lord Alban.
I'll not spoil the day's sport.
I'll return alone.
- But sire...
- Continue the hunt Lord Alban.
His Majesty's seizures
come more often.
- Is it wise to encourage his hunting?
- It was his own wish.
Should he die,
Prince Hal would rule.
Prince Hal would rule
his wine bottles and his tailors.
The Council would still rule England.
And the Earl of Alban
rules the Council.
Myles, Diccon, be quick now.
The Earl of Alban is riding this way.
Hurry lad, into the hayloft.
Unless you've decided
you'd like to become a soldier.
I wouldn't mind soldiering
for England,
but not for the Earl of Alban.
His Lordship commands you to fetch
water for himself and his guests.
At once your Lordship.
Cool water from the well.
After a morning's hunt a flagon
of wine would sit better than water.
You'd not stomach the witch's brew
my peasants call wine.
I won't say the same
for their wenches.
Seems Sir Robert doesn't intend
to come up empty handed after all.
Run Meg. Run!
So her favors are saved for you.
Peasant clod!
She's my sister.
You insolent young swine.
Break it down!
Thanks to Sir Robert
there's added zest to the day.
A cask of my best Spanish wine to
the man who hunts down the peasant.
- Diccon. They'll kill him.
- They'll not catch him.
He'll lost them in the forest
and go to Friar Edward.
Get your belongings and Myles.
We best be away before they return.
Good evening.
We found this horse nearby.
We seek the rider.
A peasant boy, dark haired.
At mass today I saw fully
20 peasant boys with dark hair.
- Are any about now?
- Mass has been over for many hours.
But should you wish
to come in and pray
the chapel is open.
We have no time. Sooner or later
he'll return to the cottage.
We'll be waiting.
Let them wait.
We'll make our way north.
We'll find other land to farm.
Your father never intended you
to be a farmer Myles.
Nor Meg a farmer's wife.
What we'd planned for a year hence
we must do now.
In the morning Diccon will take you
to the Earl of Nlackwonh.
This letter was entrusted to me
by your father.
It will remind Nlackworth
of an old friendship,
and ask him to take
you both into his service.
Now you know why you were taught
the reading, writing and Latin.
You go to the household
of a great noble.
If the scum who rode with Alban
is a sample of your nobility,
I'd rather stay away from them.
You will find a different breed
in Nlackworth Castle.
- Was this also left by my father?
- The ring is to remain with me.
Was this my father's?
That ring has been hidden for
many years and it best remain hidden.
You always told us that you
served in the wars with my father.
This coat of arms belonged
to no common soldier.
Diccon, please tell us now.
Who was our father?
Diccon was sworn never to tell you,
as was I.
It will avail you nothing
to question us further.
Leave the ring.
Since it was my father's
it is now mine to keep.
If you're seen with that ring
it could mean your death.
I promise to hide it well
until I learn its meaning.
Meg is weary and
we've got a long ride tomorrow.
You said it was a great castle,
but oh I had no idea.
- It's bigger than our Crispy-Dale.
- It will afford you better shelter.
Help me. Stop him please.
- Let me up.
- Stay as you are.
- Walter.
- Let me up you oaf.
My Lady.
Forgive me. It seems so strange.
I'll lash that peasant skin
to ribbons.
Walter no! I asked him for help.
He thought he was saving me.
And he did.
You didn't overtake me
and you'll pay the wager.
You've won my gratitude,
Sir Gallant.
And my favor.
Have you not had
your fill of buffoonery?
Be thankful the Lady Anne
finds you amusing, bumpkin.
My chivalrous friend, that is not
the way to treat a lady's favor.
It is to be given directly
into his Lordship's hands.
What a marvelous,
pretty dress she wore.
We bear a letter for
the Earl of Nlackwonh.
Give it here.
It is to be given directly
into his Lordship's hands.
I'll take the dagger country boy.
You'll get it back when you leave.
Take them to the Household Guard.
Fresh from the farm.
It must be a very good farm
to raise anything lovely as that.
Those giggling fools
are laughing at us.
I'll knock their silly
heads together.
Stop Giles!
Perhaps you'll tell me the jest?
Sure tanglefoot.
You've but to see yourself
and laugh with the rest of us.
Stop Giles!
And who are you rescuing now,
Sir Gallant?
His manners need mending.
- As do others here.
- This ruffian needs a flogging.
- I'll do it myself.
- Walter.
Walter no!
Let me remind you
his Lordship has visitors
and also a very bad temper.
He'll not like
brawling in the castle.
I'll not incur his displeasure
over the likes of this one.
I'll ask your pardon for all
and your mercy,
lest your head breaking
leave our castle undefended.
Take along deep breath hot head.
Now another.
That's better.
They have come to enter into
service in this household.
If I can be on greater service,
just call on Francis Gascoyne.
I am Diccon Bowman of Crispy-Dale.
This is Myles and his sister Meg.
They have come to enter into
service in this household.
Then you're off to a bad start.
The vile tempered individual
who just left is Walter Blunt.
Chief of Esquires.
Since we share an opinion
of that swaggering fop
We bring a letter
to his Lordship from...
of the family.
Stone me Nlackwonh.
The goblet's empty again.
Right in the soup.
I've done it properly.
- Let's go back.
- Your Highness,
From an old friend.
Oh good. Good!
The Prince of Wales is visiting.
You might as well get comfortable.
It sometimes takes a long while to
drag Prince Hall away from his wine.
In that case we'll join you,
after a glass or two.
- Let's go back.
- Your Highness,
I have some excellent wine
in the library.
Oh good. Good!
Would your grace care to join us?
I have neither your capacity
nor appetite for wine your Highness.
In that case we'll join you,
after a glass or two.
They have gone your Highness.
Drunkard. Wastrel.
Fog. How I tire of
this sour game we play.
The fate of England
is worthy of a game.
Even to your daughter
becoming a pawn?
When last I saw Alban
he spoke to me of an alliance
between his house and yours.
I've long known of his desires
from the day Walter Blunt,
his brother, came to me.
Alban trusts me
to encourage this alliance.
So successfully
have I played his fool.
- What's our move now?
- I must keep my pretence
as you must keep yours.
Should once your mask slip,
Alban would recognize England's
future king as strong and just.
In that recognition lies your death.
Would that there were a sword
to rid us of this pestilence.
Neither yours nor mine
is skilled enough.
So I must play Al bans friend
and you his fool.
Your Highness, we should go.
I have asked Master Gascoyne
to point out his Lordship to you.
Should the letter reach other hands
it would be a serious matter.
Now Myles. The older one.
What in the name of?
Who are you?
What do you want?
We are Meg and Myles
of Crispy-Dale.
I know of no such name.
Speak up boy.
What do you want?
We have a letter here
for your Lordship.
Stand up. Get on your feet.
No need to keep kneeling forever.
Exchanged near
the Tower of Caesar
I feel such a bore,
knowing how to read.
"By the pledges we ex...
exchanged near
the Tower of Caesar
- the day we won our spurs... "
- Your Highness
it is of no importance.
Sir Charles.
Your Highness.
What a fine cut of damask.
You must send your tailor to me.
I should be delighted to do so.
Someone I knew 20 years ago seeks
to saddle me with his children.
I should have to take them
for the sake of peace and quiet.
Gascoyne, turn the lass
over to Dame Ellen
and conduct the lad
to Sir James.
Let him be entered
as a Squire At Arms.
He's too rough a cub
for a page.
It's much shorter
if we go through here.
It's his Lordship's library.
- You know what a library is?
- A place with books.
- You've seen books?
- I can read and write.
Can you?
Have you ever seen so many books?
His Lordship has 24.
My name's mentioned in that one.
That is a distant relative's name.
He must have been important
to have a book about him.
He's on one page.
This is the book of Heraldry.
It's an index of all
the noble families of England.
Coats of Arms, histories,
you know.
Never let him catch you
walking through the library.
It's forbidden.
The penalty is extra drill.
Or much worse, a fine
word or two from Sir James.
- Get out!
- Yes sir.
- You blundering idiot.
- I understand Sir James.
- Very well then, get out!
- At once.
The old bear's wounds
must really be aching.
He sunk his teeth in
my flesh and chewed.
Come in.
- Sir.
- Yes?
This is Myles of Crispy-Dale.
My Lord bids you enter him upon
the roll as Squire At Arms.
So, I'm bid
to take another of you.
And this one an oaf by his carriage.
I'll change my rules for no one.
Not for him, not for a better man.
I'll train no man
as Squire At Arms
until I test whether he be fit
to hold such place.
I'll enter his name as unclassified.
- Find him a bed. Procure him a livery.
- Yes sir.
What terrible...
Scullery manners.
Now you listen to me.
I wear it. They wear it.
And you'll wear it too.
- No. It makes me look like a fish.
- I'll teach you.
Dame Ellen.
What is the meaning of this...
this ridiculous tableau?
She refuses to wear
the proper dress My Lady.
Such impudence.
She says I look like
a shapeless sack.
Oh not you Dame Ellen.
And she said Dame Sybil
was an old hag.
Such impudence.
I'll take care of this,
Dame Ellen.
Come here girl.
It is really not polite
to call them hags.
Even if they might be.
My father surrounds me
with those relics.
Now will you put
that silly jug away?
I'll not wear that dress.
You're as full of pepper
as your brother.
Oh I am pleased.
Mayhap it'll be less dull here.
You come with me.
This one has possibilities.
Here's your home for
the next several years.
Those steps lead down
the corridor to the courtyard.
You're losing again.
Here's our water.
We all take turns filling this.
These leads to the exercise field.
You don't want to go in there,
not of your own free will.
I'll show you how to do that.
Those Sir James
is training for knighthood.
This will be yours.
I'm over here.
These have to be kept
clean and polished.
I'll show you how to do that.
What is the stench
that fills this place?
Good lads!
How can you bear it?
It doesn't even
help to hold your nose.
Can it be a dead swine
or decaying goat.
It can be but one thing,
a peasant.
My head is reeling. Why even this
seems to be losing its strength.
What shall I do?
- My Lord?
- Yes?
Hold it a little closer.
Stop that!
They'll be no brawling.
Unless I take part in it.
Back to your places.
Sir James has informed me you're
being entered on the roll farm boy.
- Well you've begun badly.
- Myles did not start it.
Get to bed.
I was also informed that
you're from Crispy-Dale.
Any more trouble and
you'll wish you were back there.
My brother might find it strange
that Nlackworth
plucks a peasant off his farms
and trains him for a squire.
The Earl of Alban...
your brother?
Yes. Why?
Cover fire.
The right flank.
The left flank.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Right flank.
Left flank.
How long does this go on?
Tired? So soon?
This blade is no feather.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Right cheek.
- Left flank.
- I think my arm will fall off.
If it does, you'll be
allowed to use the other one.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Right cheek!
I can see you know little
of the subtle art of conquest.
A lady never lets a man know
she's interested.
Pretend indifference.
Hardly notice him.
Left flank.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Left flank.
Right cheek.
Right flank.
Left flank.
Right flank.
Right cheek.
You may watch them
but they may not watch you.
Left flank.
- Rig ht flank!
- Get your shield up Myles.
- Good morning lovely Lady.
- And to you Sir James.
We were just coming for you
for permission to watch.
You may watch them
but they may not watch you.
The first lad who casts
his eye in this direction,
I'll have it plucked out
and fed to the buzzards.
- Head.
- Sheathe your swords.
When Sir James gets that look
it means trouble.
Not you.
Now then.
Strike a blow at me.
Come on strike.
Take your sword out.
What's the matter?
Are you afraid?
That's for your impudence,
and to teach you the reason
for holding your shield high.
Yes Sir James,
perhaps Sir, you would act my part
that I may learn better.
What? Right.
Have at me now.
Sometimes Sir,
it is well to keep the shield low.
It is also well
never to underestimate the enemy.
continue the exercises.
To your places.
Thank you, Sir James.
Giles, call the commands.
Draw swords.
On guard.
Right cheek.
Left cheek.
Right flank.
Left flank.
Right cheek.
Left cheek.
Right cheek.
Put down your shield.
Now hold out your arm.
I'll teach you to obey orders.
- Do you find it heavy?
- No.
You will.
Now stand here and keep
your arm straight and level.
On guard.
Right cheek.
Left cheek.
Right flank.
Left flank. Head.
Try to raise it.
Blunt must have a stone
for a heart.
I'd like to pluck it out and see.
We're supposed to be in bed.
You go. I'll be in after a while.
Please go.
- Who is it?
- Myles.
What are you doing here?
What's wrong?
There's no other way I can reach
the library without being seen.
- I've a mind to look at a book.
- Have you lost your wits?
The Book of Heraldry.
I may learn something about
the coat of arms on the ring.
Myles, we promised Diccon.
Promised him not to ask,
and we won't.
Meg, why do you think I stay here?
Our secret is here.
Our father and our birth.
Once I find it,
to the devil with Nlackworth Castle.
I'll see if the way is clear.
Meg, watch here.
Lady Anne and Walter Blunt.
Is not my choice
to be considered, Walter?
Well choose then
and let it be with
a love to match my own.
My brother grows impatient Anne.
He desires the alliance
of our houses
as I desire you.
Do we speak of desire then,
or alliances?
One word from my brother and
King Henry will command our marriage.
I care not for a reluctant wife,
rather that you would
want me willingly.
Then be patient Walter.
I'm done with patience Anne.
I'll have a talk with
your father this night.
I can swear to Sir Hubert's loyalty,
but as for the Earl of Devon...
Nlackwonh, you're a sly one
keeping your best wines hidden here.
- Oh Lady Anne.
- Your Highness.
My apologies your Highness,
we thought his Lordship was alone.
There were matters I wish to discuss,
but it can wait until tomorrow.
With your permission your Highness.
My Lord.
From Blunt's expression the matter
must have been of importance.
He was going to ask
my hand in marriage.
Lady Anne seems none too happy
at the prospect.
I was just reminded that a word
from Alban to his Majesty
and it would be ordered.
Anne is not a child
your Highness.
She is aware of her obligations
and not offend the King.
Nor dare we offend Alban.
It's far wiser to please him.
I shall suggest
a great wedding at court.
Of course we should have
to wait until Blunt is knighted.
But it will be worth the delay.
What a wonderful excuse to gather
wine from all over the world.
By your leave your Highness,
I merely wish
to bid my father good night.
My dear...
Anne I pray you understand...
What manner of mischief
brings you to my library?
Knew you not
it was forbidden to you?
I knew my Lord
but my sister did not.
Henceforth keep this girl
in your quarters where she belongs.
- How came you by this?
- It was with the letter I brought.
Then it should
have been given to me.
- It is mine.
- You insolent young...
Back to your quarters before
I turn you over to my guards.
I thank you
for your silence my Lady.
If you're to stay out of trouble
I think we best leave this castle.
There are riddles about us
that can only be answered here.
In the glorious reign of
our sovereign Lord King Henry,
My Lady.
I thought the coat of arms
in this ring looked familiar.
In the glorious reign of
our sovereign Lord King Henry,
Falworth was not traitor.
By the cross I swear it.
Its estates confiscated,
its coat of arms
struck from heraldry
and its every member
ordered put to death.
Falworth was not traitor.
By the cross I swear it.
The lives of his two children
are in your hands.
I have not seen this.
If Blunt thinks I'll fetch water
for him for a month he's daffy.
Could have been worse
after what you did.
I served that punishment.
Sir James worked me 10 days
on the exercise field.
This is Blunt's idea,
not his Lordship's.
I'm supposed to carry all the water.
Here. I'll lend a hand
and get you started.
That'll get you into trouble.
I'm supposed to carry all the water.
I need the exercise.
Hurry up. I have no wish
to wait the day for my wash.
By heavens,
the sluggard wastes our time.
Empty it dimwit.
You're gonna take a beating.
- Shall we help him?
- He doesn't much need it.
Get him.
Get out of the way.
Hold him.
I'll finish him.
I'll take no part in killing him.
Put it down.
What have you to say for yourself,
This filth has caused trouble
ever since he came here.
His Lordship ordered me
to discipline him.
Brawling and discipline
are not the same thing.
It's the only discipline
this peasant understands.
Calm yourselves.
Now forget your differences
and shake hands.
Did you hear me Walter Blunt?
Is this the chivalry expected of
one soon to be knighted by the king?
Nobody's knighting me.
I don't have to be chivalrous.
Go about your business Blunt.
And the rest of you.
I don't like your manners.
Change them.
Nor your truculence.
Drop it.
Nor your impudence.
Mask it.
As for your temper, curb it.
If I learn of your brawling
just once more,
I'll fling you from the walls
of Castle Nlackworth myself.
Lunge. Back.
Lunge. Back.
Lunge. Back.
Lunge. Back.
If you care at all
for Francis Gascoyne
avail upon your brother
to curb his violence.
Since that night in the library
I've only seen him from a distance.
Between Dame Ellen and Sir James.
I'm sure he worries about you.
At least write him a note
and let him know your well.
- Nlay I?
- Of course.
And should you mention that we're
in the garden each day at four,
it wouldn't surprise me if Myles
finds some way to see you.
Possibly Francis too.
Here it is.
I didn't dream
I could hit it that far.
It was behind the hedge.
- Dame Ellen, your stroke.
- Oh no Lady.
Yes. Don't you remember?
You follow Meg and then...
What was that?
Probably some clumsy guard
in the castle.
- It sounded as if...
- You're right. It is my stroke.
Thank you Meg.
Oh dear!
Let me help Dame Ellen.
- Dame Ellen!
- Oh my!
Let me help.
Will you ever forgive me?
I sought merely to help.
Oh how careless of me.
Now I've ruined the game.
You must change quickly,
before you take a chill.
Don't fret Dame Ellen,
and do hurry back.
And I think you two had better
start another game.
I believe we will.
- It's not chivalrous to spy on them.
- Not very.
- Not what a gentleman does.
- Far from it.
We ought to leave.
Shall we?
How can you be so rash?
You know this place is forbidden.
- What is it Myles?
- My ankle.
The bench.
That's better.
If I could just rest here a moment.
But four of us, we'll be seen.
Two would be hidden from the windows.
Francis, you and Meg,
could hide in the other arbor.
Is it the same ankle you sprained
falling from the windmill?
No, that was my other...
How did you know?
Meg told me many things
about her adventurous brother.
I never heard of anyone trying
to ride the blade of a windmill.
It seemed like an excellent idea
at the time.
- I can't be seated in your presence.
- No, please.
We'll both Sit.
Until you feel better.
What else did Meg tell you?
She said that your father
and my father were old friends.
So we were told.
But your father has
a strange way of showing it.
Why do you say that?
He's never made me feel
that Meg and I are welcome here.
It could be you who's at fault.
How so my Lady?
I've heard of your trouble making
in the dormitory.
I'm Walter Blunt told
only one side of the story.
And I saw what happened
in the library.
Did you also see your father's anger
when I looked in the book of heraldry?
The coat of arms you were seeking
is not in the book.
Meg described it to me.
Did you look well?
Are you sure there's nothing
resembling a ring?
But strangely, there was
a page torn from the book.
Lady Anne!
Lady Anne!
Lady Anne!
It's you Dame Ellen,
your voice sounded so hoarse
I hardly recognized it.
- Your father wishes you to come.
- I'll come at once.
But dear Dame Ellen,
do hurry away from that window.
You'll surely take a chill.
- You must go quickly.
- Nlay I visit you again?
- You know my father forbids it.
- Do you?
Even if I did, anybody
foolhardy enough to ride windmills
would pay little heed.
We'll be back tomorrow.
His ankle?
As for De Ramsey,
he shows ability with the sword
but lacks intelligence.
He takes after his father.
As for Myles of Crispy-Dale...
- What of that bear cub?
- During the weeks he's been here
I've shown him increased attention.
- His progress is as slow as that?
- On the contrary my Lord.
He's alert, fast and courageous.
And since his fight with Blunt
the esquires look to him
as their leader.
- Many a lad shows talent.
- Not like this one.
He has the makings of a champion.
Were he of noble blood...
As it is he will make a fine
Man At Arms of the Castle Guard.
As for young Hen slow...
- Sir James.
- Yes my Lord.
This Myles of Crispy-Dale,
have his roughness
smoothed and polished,
let him be instructed
in the gentler arts.
The gentler arts?
Do you wish me to discontinue
his instruction as a Man At Arms?
On the contrary Sir James.
I want him worked twice as hard
as any of the others.
And if he drops from exhaustion,
revive him and work him
again and again.
I want to know
if his spirit can be broken.
As my Lord commands.
No, no, no!
You do not pour the wine now.
A late comer.
What may I ask is the reason
for your delay?
At least 20 reasons,
Sir George.
First, fetching the water,
then, polishing the armor,
then, working with at the pels,
then cleaning out the stables,
then helping the blacksmith,
- then currying...
- Enough, enough.
It's a miracle you got here at all.
Where were we?
Oh yes.
Who can tell me why the wine
should not be served now?
The food scraps should be
cleared from the table first.
Excellent Francis. At table,
all should be kept dainty and tidy.
Do it Myles.
There. Isn't that better?
Now, the wine.
It's these little things
that distinguish the gentleman
from the swineherd.
That will be all.
Try to remember
what I taught you,
elegance, elegance...
I'm sorry. It was an accident.
Someone jostled my arm.
I don't fight like a peasant,
farm boy.
- Stop it! Stop it I say.
- No, Sir James.
- Let them fight.
- This could be to the death.
I said let them fight.
Get him to the infirmary.
You, come with me.
Go on boy.
Get someone to carry him.
Close the door.
I take it on myself that
I let the fight continue.
If Alban's brother dies neither
you nor my house will go unpunished.
Then why didn't
your Lordship try to stop us?
I'll tell you why.
Because you were
hoping to see me kill.
Why would I hope for such a thing?
If I knew that I'd have
the answer to many riddles.
My father was supposed
to have been your friend,
but from the day I arrived
at Nlackworth Castle
I've been treated more
like the son of an enemy.
I'll take your punishment
and go my Lord.
You go nowhere
without my permission.
And since you like
to fight so much,
your punishment shall be
that you get your fill of it.
You're leaving
the company of esquires
to begin training for knighthood.
- For knighthood?
- Report to Sir James and quickly
before I recall the insolent manner
in which you dared address me.
Yes my Lord.
How does it feel?
Not too heavy, it weighs 70 pounds.
Walk around.
- Light as a feather.
- I'm glad, for your sake.
Because you're to wear it
every hour of the day
except when sleeping.
But why?
Get to your feet.
Get to your feet.
The armor...
it's light as a feather.
You told me so yourself.
Get up I say.
You understand now
why you must wear it constantly.
You must grow used to it,
as if it were a second skin.
You'll have to ride in it,
run in it and fight in it.
Right now I wish
I could just stand up.
Pick him up.
At least you look like a knight.
Don't get in any fights
and no one will know the difference.
If Lady Anne could see you know...
She would see a gentleman
most fair and valiant.
Myles, it's beautiful.
- But can you climb a wall in that?
- Lady Anne!
Wonder why Nlackworth trains
a farm boy for knighthood.
I think I'll ask leave
to visit King Henry's court.
I'd like a little talk
with my brother.
- You think yourself a good horseman?
- I was the best in Crispy-Dale.
Were you now?
When one has said that of course,
one has said everything.
Do you think you could ride
in and out between those pels.
- Of course.
- Put your hands above your shoulders.
Come on. Both of them.
Keep them there.
Now in and out.
Come back here.
I said between the pels
not past them.
But how can I guide my horse
without touching the reigns?
Hasn't it occurred to you
that in combat
one hand will hold
the shield and reigns.
If you should move your shield,
you may very well drop these.
Then how will my horse
know where to go?
Unless he has more brains than I?
A possibility not so remote
as you may imagine.
He will know by
the pressure of your knees
and the sting of your spurs.
Don't you understand that
champion of Crispy-Dale?
Yes sir.
Before your done
you'll be able to guide
this horse forward, back,
right and left.
Come on. Try again.
Give him the spur man.
Give him the spur.
Forward, back,
right or left...
You didn't say anything
about up or down.
Beautifully ridden!
Fetch me another lance.
We'll see if it was skill
or luck that guided his arm.
Sir James intends to cross lances
with you a second time.
This is a very great compliment.
Well done.
And then for the first time
in all these months
Sir James actually
clapped me on the back.
For Sir James that's
an ecstasy of approval, isn't it?
But then he got a grip
on himself and said,
"I may take you with me
to the wars in France.
You will make the French
laugh themselves to death. "
I hadn't thought of you
as going to France.
Would you miss me?
Very much.
Sir James told me that Walter Blunt
had been knighted by the king.
I know.
He boasted before he left
that after his knighthood
he would return to marry you.
need we speak of this now?
I must.
When I first began
visiting you here,
I didn't know
I was going to fall in love.
I know you're the daughter of a peer,
while I don't even know who I am.
Perhaps I haven't
the right to love you.
You're luckier than I.
I haven't the right to love anyone.
What kind of man is your father?
To gain favor
with the Earl of Alban
he trades you in marriage.
It is not for us
to question my father.
Then I question you.
Do you intend
to marry Walter Blunt?
Don't torture me Myles.
I will go to your father.
No please...
Don't spoil what happiness
there is for us.
Am I always to come to you
then like a thief
over walls,
up the back stairs?
Is that your idea of love?
My darling,
it is all that is mine to give.
Anne, when I loved you less
it was enough
but no longer.
I have appointed Giles to replace
Blunt as senior esquire.
He is certainly better liked
and the men...
You there! Come here!
How long has this been going on?
Your Lordship, I...
Out with it. I want the truth.
Nearly every week for the past year.
This time you've gone too far.
I shall give you
good reason to regret it.
Sir Alexander,
what brings you here?
I thought you
accompanied his Majesty.
King Henry rides
a few leagues behind me.
He comes to visit
Nlackworth Castle for a few days.
- How many ride with him?
- A small party.
The Prince of Wales, Count Vermois,
the ambassador from Burgundy
I know De Vermois. In joust he has
unseated many a good English knight.
The Earl of Alban and his brother
are also with the king.
Alban coming here?
It was he who suggested this visit.
Inform his Majesty all shall be
done to make his stay a pleasant one.
Go to your quarters. Remain there
until I decide on a punishment.
I may turn this visit into something
Alban did not intend.
She's her father's daughter,
as unpredictable as the wind.
- One minute...
- Give a thought to the punishment.
- At least worry a little.
- I care not.
Then I'll do the worrying.
There's the thumb screw,
the rack.
They may hack off your ears,
or even string you up by your...
I have just left his Lordship.
He commands that you are to joust
tomorrow with Count De Vermois.
Against the champion of Burgundy?
Do I detect a note of
reluctance in your voice?
Are you afraid?
It's not a question of fear.
If his Lordship wants to punish me
that is his privilege
but I'll not
let him make a fool of me.
Then stop talking like one.
This is not a matter of punishment.
King Henry wishes to see some sport
and his Lordship has selected
- you to represent Nlackworth Castle.
- Why me?
It is not for you to question
his Lordship's reasons.
Hear me boy.
I've worked harder with you
than with any I've ever trained.
Do you think I'd let it go for not
in one joust merely to please
a whim of his Lordship?
You think I stand a chance
against Vermois?
I have assured Lord Nlackworth
that you can defeat him.
- I will do my best Sir James.
- Good.
I have one request.
Francis Gascoyne
shall serve as my squire.
Yes, yes.
Prepare yourselves quickly. The King
will receive you in the great hall.
- So this is your man?
- Yes, your Majesty.
He seems hardly more than a lad.
I assure you,
Count de Vermois
he will give good account
of himself on the morrow.
I hope so my Lord Nlackwonh.
I've had my fill of watching
English knights go down
before the Count de Vermois.
My brother tells me you're from
one of my own villages, Crispy-Dale.
Yes my Lord.
- By what name are you known?
- Myles.
Myles what?
Surely you've another name.
I use but one name, Myles.
You hear that Count de Vermois?
You face a mysterious knight
with but one name
Sir Myles and nothing more.
I like that.
It intrigues my romantic nature.
With your Majesty's indulgence,
it is not Sir Myles.
This person has not been knighted.
you can't expect a nobleman
to cross lances with one
who has not yet
earned his spurs.
Nly apologies your Majesty.
My delight in finding
so able an opponent
caused me to forget it.
You'll have to provide
another challenger.
I know more about the wines
of Burgundy than its knights
but it would be excellent sport
to see their champion tumbled.
Should it please his Majesty
I'll test my lance against the count.
Come now Alban,
the laws of chivalry
require our host to name
his champion.
Choose another Nlackwonh.
I have no other who can hope
to take the measure of the Count.
Is it not worthwhile
conferring a knighthood
to see the Count defeated?
So be it.
Have the candidate prepared.
I will confer knighthood on him
before the joust tomorrow.
I must speak with you.
I can speak to no one until morning.
I must spend the night in the chapel
standing vigil over my armor.
I ask for only a moment.
Meg and I will go ahead.
I will set your armor
before the altar.
Yesterday we did leave
each other with cruel words.
I would they
had never been spoken.
What does it avail us
to regret the words?
The castle buzzes with
the great honor paid
the house of Nlackwonh.
The King himself is here
to announce your betrothal to
Walter Blunt.
Once I gave you my favor lightly
now wear it in earnest tomorrow
when you are knighted.
From this it will
be recognized as mine.
I want Walter, the King, my father
all to know it is you I love.
He shows your favor on his arm.
He honors me by wearing it.
You that desire to receive
the order of knighthood
swear now always to be loyal to
your King who bestows it upon you.
Swear also to maintain
and defend the weak
and to shun no adventure
of your person in battle.
I swear.
In nomine Patris et Fillii
et Spiritu Sancti.
Sir Myles,
Sir Myles,
since yourjoust
is to be a friendly combat
it is not amiss that you meet
your opponent before crossing lances.
My congratulations Sir Myles.
It is a pity that
your moment of glory
will be followed so soon
by your moment of disaster.
Thank you Sir knight.
Your victory is assured,
if your arm is as mighty
as your tongue.
LVly Lord Nlackworth
Sir Myles carries no shield.
Is he to fight under
your coat of arms?
No sire. Under his own.
Your Majesty!
That is the black shield and
scarlet gryphon of Falworth.
The name is not entirely strange.
Your Majesty himself
had him declared outlaw.
A traitor to the crown.
No man in England was more loyal
to you than the Earl of Falworth.
This knight is his son.
Then is he under sentence of death.
- As all who bear the name Falworth.
- Seize him.
And what of Nlackwonh,
your Majesty?
Harboring traitors
is an act of treason.
There was
no treason in my heart
only a desire for justice.
We will let the high court
of chivalry decide.
I shall order it convened at once.
Meanwhile my Lord,
you and Sir Myles,
will remain under guard
in the castle.
I was in France when the charge
of treason was brought against him.
Before he could defend himself
he was slain by his accuser.
The Earl of Alban.
His reward was
your father's property,
the castles and estates that
rightfully belong to you two.
Why was I not told this before?
Because like your father,
you have the devil's own temper.
One unguarded word
would have been our undoing.
So Alban lives
and it is you who have denied
me the chance to kill him.
I have given you the chance.
Why do you think your training
has been so ruthless?
Why I had Sir James teach you
every skill he knows?
Why we tricked the King into
conferring knighthood upon you?
For when you had to challenge
England's most powerful knight.
With the gallows facing us?
With guards at every door?
I foresaw this when
we revealed your identity.
When they take you before the court
it is your right to clear
your family name.
As the son of Falworth, you are
the one man with cause to challenge
Alban to trial by combat.
But what will happen to you
and the Lady Anne, my Lord?
When Myles vindicates the name
of Falworth, he vindicates me
And leaves Anne free to give
her heart where she will.
But you make no mention that
it may be Myles who is slain.
In all your planning
did you think of this?
Now when there is no turning back
you tell him of your intrigue.
Why was he not told while
the choice was still his?
Why was I not told?
I would have
gone away with you Myles.
We could have
found happiness somewhere.
And let the name of Falworth
stay forgotten.
I have no right to happiness
until my father's death is avenged.
Oh I wish you'd never come
to Nlackworth Castle.
That you'd remained as you were.
And never learned of your birth.
Then I would not have met you.
I am grateful to you my Lord.
You have given purpose to my life.
A great purpose Sir Myles.
Alban's death will end
the ring of evil around King Henry.
The fate of the realm
rides on your lance.
You will come with me.
I fancy you'll find the dungeon
more to your peasant taste.
LVly brother pointed out
to King Henry
that Sir Myles is already
under sentence of death.
There is no reason to try him.
As a knight of the realm
he has the right to be heard.
His rights are being observed.
We're already building the gallows.
Those are the facts.
Therefore my lords
I accuse the Earl of Nlackworth
of obstructing the King's justice
by helping the family
of an adjudged traitor.
Again I deny the Earl of Falworth
was guilty of any treason.
But you do not deny harboring
his two children
knowing they were
under sentence of death.
No, that I do not deny.
From his own lips.
Nlackworth stands convicted.
Let him pass.
He is here at the Prince's command.
Your Majesty,
my gracious lords.
Who released this man?
I did, in your name sire.
So that justice might be done.
I do here and now deny
that my father was a traitor.
And I proclaim that his accuser
Gilbert of Alban
is a foul
and an attainted liar.
And I offer to prove the truth
of what I say in combat.
I hereby cast down my gage,
Gilbert of Alban.
Once take up the gage Lord Alban
and the matter
passes from this court.
Let it lie.
Unless your content to let
heaven judge the issue
in trial by combat.
Fail to take it up my Lord and
you'll stand branded not only a liar
but a coward.
Your Majesty
the ways of heaven
are a mystery to me
but of my own prowess
I have no doubt.
So be it.
The issue between you
shall be decided in combat
and may God defend the right.
With my Men At Arms
in Nlackworth Castle sire
we need have no further fears
for your safety.
LVly son is not the first heir to
a throne to plot against his father.
I pray my suspicions
are unfounded sire.
He revealed that the fool
and the drunkard were a masquerade.
As you said all that has happened
here is part of a conspiracy.
Who knows where it will end?
I leave my safety in your hands.
With my life sire.
LVly Lord,
by your Highness' leave
I have just completed a tour
of the sentry posts.
Our guards have been disarmed
by order of the King.
Alban's men have
taken over every gate.
Tell me again what speech
you had with Walter Blunt.
Speak girl!
Walter came to me with an offer.
He said if I married him,
your life would be spared.
He said after tomorrow only
his brother could grant you a pardon.
Alban is brash
as well as confident.
It is the King's prerogative
to grant pardons.
But he spoke as if there
were no king, only Alban.
You must leave the castle at once,
your Highness.
Alban is ambitious enough
to aspire to the throne itself.
Tomorrow, you, the King,
the High Court, everyone
who stands in his way
will be assembled in one group
at the mercy of his Men At Arms.
We underrated him.
This we did not foresee.
Sir James,
have they also disarmed the squires?
Of what avail are untried boys
against seasoned Men At Arms?
But they have been trained
by Sir James.
They also will be outnumbered
by three to one.
We must get word
to Sir Hubert and the others.
Your Highness is the only man
who can get through that gate.
Even Alban will not
dare to stop you.
More important with the heir
to the throne away from here
it might forestall his treachery.
The saints willing my Lord
tomorrow I shall
put an end to it forever.
To assist the saints
I shall return with loyal
Men At Arms before you face him.
Whatever happens here
I would like to know my Anne
is safe, and Meg.
- Take them with you.
- I'll not go.
- Nor I.
- Francis.
Tell Dame Ellen
to bring their traveling cloaks.
And make haste!
I envy his Highness
the pleasure of your company.
Open the gate.
LVly orders are that your Highness
is not to leave.
Does the Earl of Alban dare issue
orders against a prince of the realm?
The order is from his Majesty.
You'd best return to your apartments.
Your Highness,
what of Sir Hubert?
Alban's trap is tightly closed.
I shall be with your father.
Dame Ellen, find Sir Walter Blunt.
Tell him to come to me in the garden.
If you have the love for me
you claim, prove it.
Why this sudden
change of heart my Lady?
When last I saw you, I offered
to intercede for your father
and you sent me away.
I was sick with worry,
beyond thinking.
Or is it that you expect me
to ask mercy for Myles Falworth?
I ask only for my father's freedom.
Your ardor for the farm boy
seems suddenly diminished.
I didn't know he was a traitor
and would bring harm to my father.
If it rested with me, the gallows
would face him tomorrow.
Instead of
an honorable end in combat.
Either way,
you'll forget him in time.
It would be easier if I did not
have to witness his death.
Help me leave here Walter.
Await me at Alban Castle.
Meanwhile I'll do all I can
for your father.
You will find me grateful.
I want more than
your gratitude Anne.
- Nlay I take Dame Ellen to attend me?
- As you wish.
- How soon can you be ready?
- I am ready now.
- Dame Ellen,
- Yes, my Lady.
Fetch my cape please.
- Thank you.
- I'll pass you through the gates
and arrange for two guards
to accompany you for your protection.
We should be nearing Alban Castle.
What place is this?
It is called Crispy-Dale.
The ride has made me thirsty.
I see a farmhouse ahead.
We shall stop there for water.
I'll fetch you some water.
Help me down.
Guard, you may as well
water the horses.
LVly Lady.
Water for the Lady but
cool wine for Lord Alban's men.
Quickly! And I pray we reach
Sir Hubert in time.
If Alban intends treachery,
his men are place to advantage.
- So are the Squires Sir James.
- Young fools.
Without armor they'll be slaughtered.
Had they worn armor they'd be
in the dungeon with the Men At Arms.
Alban has chosen lance and axe.
I shall use lance and sword.
We shall soon see whether your time
with me has been wasted Sir James.
Nlay God ride with you.
What is your name?
Why are you here?
I am Myles Falworth
and I am here to defend my challenge
upon the body of Gilbert of Alban.
Proclaiming him
an unknightly knight
and a false
and perjured liar!
Gilbert of Alban
you be enterprised this day
to discharge sureties before the King
and to encounter in your defense
Myles Falworth, knight.
Do your endeavor in God's name.
- What treachery!
- Not mine sire.
Alban seeks your throne.
I have long awaited this day
Sir Hubert.
Lord Falworth is avenged and
the honor of his house vindicated.
It shall be proclaimed
throughout the realm this day
a grateful king
has reinstated the name,
title and estates of Falworth,
together with all rights,
honors and prerogatives
attached to said quality.
Henceforth, my Lord Falworth
wear your father's
coat of arms
as proudly
and honorably as did he.
With your permission sire.
LVly Lord.
With your permission, my Lord.
Sir Francis,
since you may be
too faint hearted to ask...