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The three important characters in chapter 15 of Adam of the Road, entitled "St. Giles's Fair," actually remain unnamed, yet the characters are important because they influence Adam's actions.
The first important character he meets is a pilgrim in Stranger's Hall, a lodge that the St. Swithin's monks built to give the pilgrims a place to spend the night who travel to St. Swithin's shrine. The pilgrim is very friendly, quickly notices that Adam was looking for someone, and even offers Adam advice. When the pilgrim learns that Adam is looking for his father named Roger who is a minstrel, the pilgrim tells Adam that looking in Stranger's Hall would be the wrong spot, since all who are in Stranger's Hall are poor pilgrims. Minstrels earn their income entertaining individuals with their singing; therefore, the pilgrim advises Adam to look for his father in the inns. The second important character Adam meets is the "red-bearded man with a wide gap in his front teeth" whom he also meets that night in Stranger's Hall (p. 197). The red-bearded man appeared to be a sailor. He further advises Adam to look for his father at Giles's Hill in the morning, pointing out that "minstrels and jugglers and tumblers and all such" go to Giles's Hill to entertain (p. 197). The red-bearded man further advises Adam to sleep in Stranger's Hall near him for the night as "it won't be so lonely," and even offers Adam his cloak to sleep on (p. 197). These two characters together are important because they both incited Adam to look for his father at Giles's Hill. Adam starts looking at every minstrel, juggler, and tumbler he saw, which improves his chances of finding his father.
The third important character he meets in chapter 15 is a palmer, or pilgrim, he enters into conversation with while eating dinner at a cook shop. The pilgrim becomes important because he informs Adam of the miracle he received at the shrine of St. James. Once Adam learns that miracles can happen at shrines, Adam gets the idea to go to the St. Swithin shrine to ask for the miracle of finding his father. The pilgrim encourages Adam to try, and while Adam does not receive the miracle he asks for, he still has the courage to press on. More importantly, the characters he meets in chapter 15 help develop the theme of connecting with individuals. As Adam's father phrases it, "A road's a holy thing ... It brings people together."
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