As a prisoner, the hermit asked Edward to pray the dying man’s prayer because he was going to kill him. Edward also tried to scream in order to signal Miles, who was at some point talking with the hermit at the door. This was all he could do because he was tied up and muffled.
In the story, Edward unknowingly became a prisoner to the hermit. The man accepted Edward’s claims to the throne, but because he was mad, he sought vengeance on Edward for actions of his father, the former King. Edward ended up with the Hermit after he got separated from Miles, his protector. John Canty managed to lure Edward away from Miles and forced the boy to join a group of thieves. During his escape from the group, he first sought safety at an elderly woman’s house, and then wandered off to the hermit’s home. John and his colleague pursued Edward and discovered his footsteps leading to the hermit’s house. Miles obtained the information about Edward’s whereabouts from John, and went on to save the boy. He reached the house just before the hermit killed the boy, but on questioning him, the hermit lied that he had sent Edward on an errand. Miles employing his wits asked the hermit to join him on his way to fetch Edward. This created an opportunity for John and Hugo to rescue the boy.