The Shakespeare Stealer

by Gary Blackwood

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What is the summary of Chapter 3 in "The Shakespeare Stealer"?

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In Chapter 3, Widge is traveling with the stranger who has just purchased him from Dr. Bright.

As they travel, Widge tries to guess his new master's background. Judging from his clothes and gruff appearance, Widge concludes that the stranger is not a Londoner.

During the journey through the forests of Berwick, the stranger rides on his horse. As for Widge, he must try to keep up the pace on foot. Twice, Widge hopes that his new master will stop for a rest. However, they travel through the night. Widge is exhausted by the time daylight arrives.

Eventually, Widge strikes his poorly-shod foot upon a sharp rock. He sustains an injury and is unable to continue walking. Reluctantly, the stranger hoists Widge up onto his horse. Although grateful, Widge does not dare voice his thanks. The two ride on in silence until they chance upon a group of thieves. All of the thieves are armed with swords, and one even has a crossbow, which he levels at Widge and his new master.

Widge is frightened, but his new master appears unperturbed. The thieves are looking for his master's purse of gold, of course. Surprisingly, the stranger reaches into his cloak and pulls out his purse. The thieves are pleased and by now, lulled into a false sense of security.

As the man with the crossbow reaches out for the purse, the stranger swings out at him in a surprise move. The thief is taken aback and loses his crossbow. As the other thieves close in on the stranger, the latter surprises Widge even more. He more than holds his own against the ruffians and begins to beat them one by one. None of the thieves can match his fighting skills.

As for Widge, he must fend for himself when a one-armed ruffian attacks him. By hanging on to the horse's saddle, he swings his legs at the thief. However, his efforts are in vain. The thief grabs him, and both of them find themselves falling. To regain his balance, Widge grabs on to the thief's neck. Both fall, and the thief strikes his head on a rock. With the thief unconscious, Widge is soon able to disentangle himself.

He does so in time to see his new master dispatching the last of the thieves. Then, the stranger does a surprising thing. He opens up his purse of gold and flings a coin towards the man with the crossbow. The big thief is too dazed to react with much emotion.

Upon resuming their journey, Widge can't help but voice his admiration for his new master's fighting skills. However, the stranger only repeats his former command for Widge to remain silent unless spoken to.

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