What crime is Crispin falsely accused of committing?

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In the novel, Crispin has been falsely accused of breaking into John Aycliffe's manor home and stealing money from his treasure chest. Unbeknown to Crispin, the Lord Furnival is dying, and the family must make sure that no one with even a possible claim to the Furnival fortune and name...

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In the novel, Crispin has been falsely accused of breaking into John Aycliffe's manor home and stealing money from his treasure chest. Unbeknown to Crispin, the Lord Furnival is dying, and the family must make sure that no one with even a possible claim to the Furnival fortune and name can come forth to plead his case. Unfortunately for Crispin, the young boy is the illegitimate son of Lord Furnival and is therefore viewed as a threat to the Furnival empire.

The accusation by the steward is merely a pretense to cover up any culpability for Crispin's death. Meanwhile Crispin must run for his life, as John Aycliffe has declared him a wolf's head, a criminal who can be hunted down and killed by anyone. Moved by pity for Crispin's difficult situation, Father Quinel advises Crispin to find a city with 'its own liberties' where he can be free from the likes of John Aycliffe. All Crispin will have to do is to stay in a city like Great Wexly or London for a year and a day. If the time passes without incident, Crispin will have earned his freedom.

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