The sixth chapter of Elizabeth Janet Gray's novel Adam of the Road is entitled “A Blush of Boys,” and it describes Adam's time at Lisle House, where Adam's father, Roger, is a minstrel for Sir Edmund. At first, Adam is lonely at Lisle House. The boys there, led by Hugh, do not include him in their games, and Adam has never been excluded like that before. He decides to take his father's horse, Bayard, out for some exercise, but in the meantime he meets the squire Simon Talbot.
Simon has become a friend to Adam and teaches him many things, particularly about words. Adam now knows how important it is to call everything by its right name: a gaggle of geese, for instance, or a flight of swallows. Simon points out that there is a “blush of boys” in the yard (again making sure that Adam knows the proper word), and he suggests that Adam take Bayard down to them since Hugh's horse has gone lame and the boys are tilting (practicing striking a shield with a lance) on foot (72).
Adam hesitates. He doesn't want to offer to lend his horse to such an unfriendly fellow as Hugh, but when he sees the six boys in the yard, he decides to take Simon's advice. He doesn't care much for Hugh, but he figures that if he wants to be part of the group, he must make the first move. One of the boys mentions to Adam that Hugh had hoped to have Bayard for his own, and Adam now understands Hugh's resentment.
Hugh rides Bayard first, and when he returns to Adam, he's a different boy. Adam notices that “all the ill humor seemed to have been shaken out of him” (75). Hugh chats amiably with Adam as the other boys take their turns on Bayard. Adam finishes the process of proving himself to others when he takes his own run and smartly knocks the shield to the ground. Adam is now part of Hugh's “blush of boys.”
The seven children enjoy one another's company for many days to come. Each has his work to do during the day, training to be knights or falconers or a bailiff or, in Adam's case, a minstrel, but during their free time, they enjoy sports and games, songs and jokes. Adam, however, is still pensive at times, especially as he looks across the river at London Bridge and reflects that a “bridge is kind of a sacred thing,” just as a road is, and that their childhood game of London Bridge actually teaches an important lesson about priorities and responsibilities (80).