Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Remember, the book is in public domain. Download or read the ebook online legally and for free at Project Gutenberg, Google Books or the Internet Archive among other sites, or check out the audiobook from LibriVox. You can also use a print copy. In either case my copy may not match up with yours chapter-wise. Follow along with the very-long subtitle. For this chapter:
Recounting How Allan A Dale Was Brought to Robin Hood, Who Promised to Help Him in Trouble. Also How Robin Sought the Curtal Friar of Fountain Abbey With That Aim in View. Likewise, How Robin Hood Brought Two True Lovers Together Who Would Else Have Been Made Unhappy All Their Lives
A new trio of tales await us. I’m guessing these stories are not exactly in chronological order given that in the previous part they already knew Allan A Dale and here it sounds like it’s their first meeting. I’m also thinking it’s A Dale who is one of the lovers. The big question here is whether or not the “curtal friar” is Friar Tuck? In other works Allan is a minstrel and doesn’t do much (if he shows up at all) besides play music and sing about Robin’s legend. What will he be like here I wonder? As this book came out in the 1800s, closer to the time of the actual legends I’m betting it’s closer to them than Hollywood has been.
Chapter One: Robin Hood And Allan A Dale
It seems like King Arthur’s legend was popular with this group, as the story starts with the tale of Sir Cardoc Of The Shrunken Arm. I guess Arthur would also bring in knights who suffered from disabilities. I don’t know, I haven’t heard it but apparently Pyle thought it was easy enough to look up back in 1883. It’s been two days since part two so unless this turns into a flashback it’s possible this will be linear. I’m still not convinced the Sheriff’s stories were though.
You just keep trying to prove each paragraph wrong, don’t you Pyle? There’s a reference to Will Stutley’s capture back in part first, so at this point I don’t know. What I do know is that Stutley is tasked to find a person to bring to dinner because they need money. I don’t know if it will show up in this book or not, and Sean might back me up on this if we had the same class, but there was a Robin Hood story in one of our textbooks where Robin and crew basically tricked a guy by inviting him to a great feast…and then charging him for that feast after not telling him there was a fee. You know, like the good guys (don’t) do. This day there are no suckers around so Stutley heads home, joined by basically everyone we just met last part. They go to check a call for help, but Stutley is a bit cautious compare to fellow Will, Scarlet. Despite being a series of shorter stories there is some connection made between tales. It’s continuity but not one that bogs things down. I can get behind that.
I was right about one thing anyway. Allan is one of the lovers. His true love is being married off to an older knight (such things happened back then), but Robin has agreed to help him marry the girl first. (Yes, she’d rather marry Allan with or without Sir Stephan being involved. It’s not a case of Allan not realizing she not that into him.) I went to LibriVox to see if they actually played the song Allan sings in this section a ballad about a woman in a similar fix to his betrothed, but alas it was just a dramatic reading. The reader doesn’t even attempt to sing it. Also they have a few chapters I don’t so I don’t know if something is in the wrong order in my printing or if it’s outright missing. I may have to look this up when I’m done with the copy I have to see if indeed stories are missing. My apologizes if I’ve lost anyone reading along with the links in the intro. Allan A Dale is twenty years old, which is younger than any Allan I’m currently aware of. His betrothed is Ellen O’ The Dale. I hope that’s just a coincidence or last names work differently back then because I’m already dealing with cousins in the Robotech comic reviews. I don’t need more incest going on over here too.
It’s a fair start to our tale but it seems in place of three stories tied together by villain or day we have a full tale split in three parts. We have our set-up, now let’s see if Robin Hood and Will Scarlet can convince a friar to perform a wedding behind the back of the bride’s father.
Next Time: Robin Seeks The Curtal Friar