What is the summary of chapter 7 in Adam of the Road?

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Chapter 7 of Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Grey, titled “Jankin,” is split roughly into two parts. The first consists mainly of Adam and his friends of the household as they discuss their favorite squires and which will become knights. Two are particularly mentioned—the stable squire, who is friends with Hugh, and the carving squire Simon Tolbert, whom Adam favors. Adam prefers Simon because Simon loves songs and writes poetry, which he sometimes asks Adam to set to music for him.

Simon is also in love with Emily, the daughter of Sir Edmund. Adam likens Simon to the “squire of low degree” in one of the romances told by his father, Roger. The squire goes to war for seven years to impress his lady, but Adam’s friends are of the opinion that Sir Edmund will marry Emily off long before then, and they mention the florid Sir Gervais as a strong suitor. Adam asks what would happen should Emily prefer Simon and is somewhat disconcerted to be told that since she is a girl, what she prefers does not matter. Adam reflects on the differences between the chivalric ideal of women as depicted in the songs and stories Roger tells and the actual position of women in real life—that is, chattel to be disposed of as determined by the men in their families. However, Adam’s sympathies lie mainly with Simon and how hard his unrequited love will be on him.

There is a description of the Great Hall—with the dais at one end, hearth in the center, and long tables for the lesser household folk. The Great Hall is where Adam sleeps with his father; his dog, Nick; and others. One night, Adam asks about Emily’s potential marriage and is surprised when Roger tells him that she will for certain marry Sir Gervais—and afterward, they would take to the road again. Adam reflects that though a minstrel might sleep in a house, his home will always be the road.

The second part of the chapter is mainly concerned with a description of the wedding, the finery of the guests, the feasting, and the amusements. Simon still carves for the wedding feast, but he is pale. Other squires attend the guests. The minstrels perform between the courses—not just household minstrels but others from all over. Roger tells a story he brought from France, and Adam sings—and everyone stops to listen to him. Roger is given a gold brooch from Emily, who thought his story was the best she’d ever heard.

After the guests leave at sunset, the house steward calls the minstrels together to inform them that Sir Edmund is pleased and wishes to reward them. They all receive purses of silver pennies. Adam is extremely proud to be receiving one as well. Some of the minstrels leave, but others stay to sleep or gamble. Adam likes one in particular, Jankin, because he smiles at Adam’s dog, Nick, and scratches Nick under the chin. Adam goes to sleep hearing the others—including Roger—gamble, and he wakes to find them still at it. Adam slips out to swim and meets Roger on the way back, looking downcast. Jankin has won not only all of Roger’s money, but their horse, Bayard, as well.

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