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Summaries and events of various chapters in "Adam of the Road"

Summary:

In "Adam of the Road," Adam Quartermayne's adventures unfold across medieval England. Key events include Adam's separation from his father, Roger, and his dog, Nick; his encounters with various characters on the road; and his determination to reunite with his loved ones. Each chapter details his growth and the challenges he faces in his quest.

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What is the summary of Chapter 1 in Adam of the Road?

Chapter 1 begins with Adam Quartermayne wishing for his father's return. Adam is attending school in the Abbey of St. Alban.

Adam's father, Roger, left Adam at St. Alban five months ago in order to attend minstrel school. According to the text, Roger is already a famed performer, sought after by important lords and ladies. He is always richly rewarded after his performances.

Before Adam attended St. Alban, the eleven-year-old always accompanied his father to performances. As for Adam himself, he is so proud of his father' fame that he often boasts about the latter to his school peers.

At school, Adam draws comfort from his harp, Nick (his dog), and Perkin (his closest friend). These three help him endure his father's absence. Outside of school hours, Adam often plays his harp for his friends. He sings in his Northern dialect and in French, which impresses the other boys. The masters, however, disapprove of Adam singing minstrels' songs. They often stop him and tell him to talk about the saints, instead. At other times, they pretend not to hear him.

For his part, Adam is unashamed of singing the songs his father had taught him.

As for his friend, Perkin, we are told that he is a serious young man and a year older than Adam. Perkin is the son of a plowman. The parish priest intervened during Perkin's childhood, so that he would have a brighter future. It was the priest who persuaded his brother, a monk at St. Alban, to make special efforts to get Perkin into school.

Perkin's father himself had to pay a fine to the manor lord so that Perkin could be set free to attend school at St. Alban.

Nick (Adam's dog) is a welcome addition to the group. Nick has been with Adam since his puppy days; he is a loyal and faithful friend to his young master. An old woman across the river keeps Nick during the school year. Adam pays her to care for Nick, as dogs are not allowed at school. For his part, Adam eagerly visits Nick during the holidays.

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What is the summary of Chapter 1 in Adam of the Road?

In thirteenth-century England, Adam Quartermayne is attending the Abbey of St. Alban, a school for boys run by monks.  He is anxiously awaiting the return of his father, a minstrel, or traveling story-teller, who has gone to France to minstrels' school to "learn new romances to tell to the lords and ladies of England".  Adam has been his father's helper on his journeys, and loves life on the road, carrying his father's viol, singing with him, and playing the harp.  Three things comfort Adam at the Abbey while he waits for his father to come fetch him - "his harp, his friend Perkin, and his dog Nick".

Adam sometimes plays his harp and sings for the boys at the Abbey, but the masters disapprove, since the church prefers that any tales told should be about the saints.  Adam's friend Perkins, who is the son of a plowman and very intelligent, is a loyal boy who doesn't mind getting into mischief with Adam now and again.  Adam's dog Nick is "a red spaniel with long silky ears and a tail that never stop(s) wagging", who stays with a woman across the river, since no dogs are allowed at the Abbey.  Adam visit Nick "every saint's day and holiday...to play with him and take him for walks over the fields".

Adam can hardly wait for his father to come back from France.

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What is the summary of Chapters 2-4 in Adam of the Road?

In Chapter Two of the story, titled “Nick,” Adam and his best friend Perkin go to visit Adam’s spaniel, Nick, at Dame Malkin’s cottage. It is Saint Alban’s day, and the two boys are free to do as they please for most of the day. Nick is described as a “red dog, with flopping ears, big fringy feet, and a frantic tail.” Nick is very happy to see the two boys. Adam gives Nick a piece of meat, while Perkin gives the dog a piece of bread. Later, Dame Malkin invites the boys in for a meal of cake and milk. After the meal Adam sings a tune for the elderly woman, who then gives him news of his father, Roger—how it was very likely that Roger had joined Sir Edmund’s household as its new minstrel, and how the whole household was expected to spend the night at the abbey on that, or the following day. Adam has truly missed Roger and is excited to get this news. The two boys and the dog leave Dame Malkin’s cottage for the heath, where they hope to catch sight of Sir Edmund’s entourage.

Chapter Three of the story is titled “Roger.” It talks about Roger’s arrival at the abbey. Adam and Perkin see the approaching entourage from the heath where they have been standing since leaving Dame Malkin’s cottage. Roger comes riding a war horse called Bayard. The horse is given to Roger by Sir Edmund as a gift and is described as a “beautiful dappled gray tall and strong” horse. Adam wants to know whether his father intends to take him with him in his travels. He is relieved when his father agrees to do so. However, he is saddened by thoughts of leaving his dear friend Perkin behind. Roger reminds the two friends that “nothing in the world is all good, or all bad either.”

Chapter Four of the story is titled “The Road.” It starts with an excited Adam packing his belongings at the dormitory of the school. Afterward, he attends the service at the abbey church, then leaves to look for Roger. Roger and Adam ride Bayard during this part of the journey. Nick has to run after them. Adam sees the road ahead of them and is awed by it. Roger then explains to Adam why the road is important in their trade as minstrels. He tells him this:

The road is a kind of holy thing. That’s why it is a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It’s open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it’s home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.

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What is the summary of Chapters 2-4 in Adam of the Road?

In Chapter 2, Adam and Perkin go to visit Adam's dog Nick.  It is St. Alban's day, and with all the celebrations at the Abbey no one will notice the boys leaving the grounds, but they are careful not to be noticed because Adam doesn't want anyone to know he has a dog.  Nick is happy to see the boys, and does tricks to get the treats Adam has brought.  Adam tells Perkin that a minstrel's dog must know how to entertain.  He later plays the harp for Dame Malkin, who cares for Nick.  The woman hints to Adam that his father might be coming.

On their way back to the Abbey in Chapter 3, the boys see a group of travelers on the road.  The group includes a magnificent carriage with a little girl in it.  Then, to his delight, Adam sees a Roger, his father, riding a great horse called Bayard.  Adam is reunited with Roger, and will leave the Abbey with him tomorrow.  His only sadness is that he will miss Perkin.

In Chapter 4, Adam goes back on the road with Roger, sitting up behind him on Bayard's back.  Adam meets the French girl in the carriage, and her companion, an unfriendly boy named Hugh.  The girl is Margery, and she and Adam get along well.  Adam and Roger stop by to pick up Nick, who quickly learns to follow along without a leash.  As they travel down the road, Adam's father tells him that the Romans made the road they are traveling hundreds of years ago.  He says "a road's a kind of holy thing...home to a minstrel".

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What is the summary of Chapter 5 in Adam of the Road?

In Chapter 5, Sir Edmund's family is traveling to London.

Roger and Adam are in the retinue. Roger is a trained minstrel, and Adam is his son. They ride for a time until Hugh approaches them with an order. Hugh is Sir Edmund's nephew and finds great pleasure in ignoring Adam, whom he detests.

Accordingly, Roger is to entertain Lady Richenda (Sir Edmund de Lisle's wife) and her fellow travelers. Roger rides up to the carriage on his horse (Bayard) and begins to sing about the adventures of Sir Orfeo.

After a few moments, Lady Richenda tells Roger that Adam and his dog, Nick, can ride in the carriage. So, this is how Adam and Nick find themselves in a carriage full of ladies. Lady Richenda is traveling with both her daughters, Emilie and Margery, and two other ladies. Margery is kind to Adam, and she teases him as he relaxes in the back of the carriage.

Meanwhile, Roger continues to entertain the ladies as he rides alongside the carriage. Eventually, the exhausted Adam falls asleep. He wakes up when the carriage is jolted. Upon waking, Adam decides to accompany his father by playing on his harp. However, Adam had forgotten to tune his harp. This unfortunate miscalculation, coupled with his sleepiness, leads him to play several incongruent melodies. Meanwhile, Emilie makes a joke about Adam's skill, and the ladies laugh.

This embarrasses Adam greatly.

Margery tries to comfort him, but Adam is too upset to accept her kind gesture. He hops out of the carriage and begins walking. Eventually, Simon (a squire) calls to Adam and asks after the lady Emilie (whom he is in love with). Still peevish, Adam tells Simon that Emilie made fun of his skills and caused all the ladies to laugh at him. Then, Adam plays his harp in the same manner as he did in the carriage. This causes Simon to laugh, and eventually, the two travel on in good spirits.

Adam sings and plays his harp, while Simon accompanies him on his flute. The story ends with a grand meal at the de Lisle mansion in London. Adam is so tired that he does not finish eating. In the midst of the meal, he creeps away and falls asleep next to Nick on the fresh rushes.

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What is the summary of Chapter 5 in Adam of the Road?

In Chapter 5, Adam and his father Roger are on the road to London with a group of travelers, the party of Sir Edmund de Lisle.  Towards the end of the day, they are rudely summoned by Hugh to tell stories to the women in Lady Richenda's carriage.  Margery, the girl about his own age whom Adam noticed earlier, requests that Adam and Nick be allowed to ride in the carriage awhile also, because she knows they must be tired.  Adam tries to help his father by playing his harp, but he has forgotten to tune it, and everyone laughs.  Although the ladies are kind, Adam is humiliated, and jumps off the carriage to walk.  He meets a young squire named Simon, who is in love with Emilie, one of the ladies in the carriage.  Adam teaches Simon a song to sing and play on his flute, while Adam accompanies him with his harp.

The party finally arrives in London, and Adam, Roger, and Nick have a swim in the river.  They are to stay at the de Lisle's fine house, and after a generous meal, Adam curls up with his dog Nick and falls fast asleep.

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What is the summary of chapters 13-15 in Adam of the Road?

Chapters 13–15 explain the events that happen to Adam as he travels from Farnham to Winchester and the surrounding towns. Arriving in Farnham in chapter 13, most of the residents have already departed for a festival in nearby Winchester. Daun William, a merchant offers to take him along on his horse, but the two are attacked on their journey in the forest by an unnamed knight, who kidnaps Daun and steals their belongings.

In chapter 14, after reporting these events to the bailiff, they set out after the knight, who is recognized by the bailiff as de Rideware. They pursue him and managed to rescue Daun and the other captives, but could not find the knight.

When Adam finally arrives in Winchester in chapter 15, he searches for his father to no avail, eventually praying and wishing upon a shrine to see his father return safe.

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What is the summary of chapters 13-15 in Adam of the Road?

In Chapter 13, Adam arrives at Farnham, only to find that everyone is leaving town to attend the fair at Winchester.  He is befriended by a kind merchant named Daun William, who offers to take Adam to Winchester on his horse.  As they ride through the King's Forest, they are accosted by robbers led by a knight with a guilded leopard on his crest.  Adam escapes, but the robbers kidnap Daun Williams and his servants, and ride away with their goods.

Adam goes to a nearby village to find the bailiff and report the robbery in Chapter 14.  The bailiff recognizes the leopard crest Adam describes as belonging to a knight named de Rideware, and organizes a band to capture him.  Adam leads the way to the scene of the crime, and from there the group follows the trail to Rideware Hall.  There they find the kidnap victims and their wares, and the bailiff goes on in pursuit of the criminals.

In Chapter 15, Adam arrives in Winchester with Daun Williams, who immediately begins to unpack his goods to sell at the festivities.  Adam stays a night at Strangers' Hall, which is run by monks "to lodge poor pilgrims".  Adam searches the inn and the crowds at St. Gile's Fair, but cannot find his father or Nick.  He goes to the shrine of St. Swithin to put down some pennies and to pray for a miracle - that he will "see Roger come striding through the crowd with Nick under his arm".

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What events occur in chapters 16, 17, and 18 of Adam of the Road?

Chapters 16, 17, and 18 of Elizabeth Janet Gray's novel Adam of the Road depict several major events in the life of main character Adam Quartermayne, and he makes some critical decisions that help to solidify who he is as a person and what he wants to do in his life.

In chapter 16, Adam, who is in Winchester, climbs up a wall to watch the miracle play The Fall of Adam. He is fascinated by the characters (especially the demons) and the action on stage. He watches intently as the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve unfolds before him, and hardly even realizing what he is doing, he edges forward, closer and closer to the edge of the wall. Then, at the very climax of the play, caught up in the spectacle before him, Adam falls off the wall.

Chapter 17 picks up with Adam lying in bed, dizzy and with a sore head. He doesn't know where he is or who has taken care of him. Soon a man and woman enter his room. They are Dame Prudence and Master Walter, the parish vicar, who picked him up after his fall and have tended to him compassionately ever since. Adam stays with them for some time as he recovers, and in gratitude and real affection, he strives to please them, reviewing and reading Latin, wearing somber clothing rather than his minstrel attire, helping the clerk, and singing in the church choir. While he realizes that Dame Prudence and Master Walter treat him well and even come to love him, Adam is not happy with them. He misses his life as a minstrel. He misses performing his favorite songs and tales and playing his harp. He quickly tires of this life that doesn't suit him.

One day while out looking for Roger and Nick, Adam meets a family of minstrels: Jack de Vesey, his wife, Alison, and their sons Lawrence and Andrew. Adam decides, quite on the spur of the moment, to leave Dame Prudence and Master Walter and travel with the family. He believes that the life of a minstrel is better than anything else, and he is so eager to get back on the road that he fails to notice how thin, poor, and ragged this family is. He spends all his money on a meal for them, and then they leave Winchester. Adam, unaware that the family has just taken advantage of his generosity, feels “wildly excited and almost happy” to resume his life as a minstrel.

However, things do not go as Adam hopes in chapter 18. Instead of going up to London, the de Vesey family and Adam wander throughout the countryside, performing here and there but not telling beautiful stories or singing noble songs as Adam is used to. No one respects them; in fact, the locals are more likely to shoo them away than anything else. Adam is only rarely allowed to perform, and he is appalled at the rude tales and silly tricks in which the family specializes. He learns quickly that not every minstrel is the same, and not every performer is like Roger. Adam also realizes that the de Vesey family isn't particularly honest or kind. In fact, they are harsh and rough toward each other and toward Adam, and the whole group often goes hungry and cold. This is certainly not the minstrel life Adam had been seeking when he joined the de Veseys.

Then Lawrence steals some food. Adam, who is dreadfully hungry, eats his share gladly until he suddenly comprehends something. Lawrence doesn't have money to purchase all that food. He has stolen it! Adam is horrified and soon has to make a mad dash out of town with the family to avoid being caught. They arrive in Guildford after curfew and are stopped by a watchman. The chase begins again, and Adam only escapes because he hides under a bridge. He decides not to return to the de Veseys. They are not the kind of minstrels he wants to be. He will head out on his own once again and resume his honest life—the life of a true minstrel—and his search for Roger and Nick.

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What events occur in chapters 16, 17, and 18 of Adam of the Road?

Adam climbs to the top of a high abbey wall in St. Giles to watch a miracle play about Adam and Eve in Chapter 16.  He falls from his perch, providing a touch of ironic realism to the theme of the biblical Adam's fall from grace.

Adam, knocked unconscious by his fall, finds in Chapter 17 that he has been rescued by one of the actors, who happens to be a priest.  Adam's injury is serious and his recuperation long, but the priest and his sister are very kind.  Unfortunately, when he is finally well, his benefactor's desireis that he stay on and work at the vicarage as a parish clerk.  Adam wants to continue searching for his father and Nick, but the priest does not approve of the secular life of a minstrel and wants him to use his talents "in God's service".  One day Adam meets the de Vesey family, a band of minstrels, in a back alley.  They have heard of Roger, and report that he has gone to court to get Nick back from Jankin and lost.  The de Veseys think Adam might find Roger in London, and offer to take him there.

The de Veseys are kind, but Adam finds in Chapter 18 that they are irresponsible and tell stories that are rude and coarse.  They make little money, and frequently go hungry.  One day they steal some food and are accosted by a watchman, who raises a "hue and cry", summoning the villagers to help him catch the vagrants.  Adam manages to escape, but loses his harp. 

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What events take place in Chapters 19, 20, and 21 of "Adam of the Road"?

In chapter 19, Adam starts to make his way to de Lisle House in London. He meets a peddler who he performs for in exchange for some chicken wings. They walk together until Adam leaves the peddler to go to an inn on Westhumble Lane where he says he stayed the night with Roger four months ago. Recognizing him, the innkeeper tells Adam that Roger has gone to London and Adam is pleased that he "had not disappeared from the face of the earth."

In chapter 20, Adam arrives in London on a cold foggy day, just before Christmas. The porter at de Lisle house tells him his father has left for Wales, but left a message for Adam to stay at de Lisle until he could find a way to get to Ludlow. His father would pick him up from there in May. Adam spends Christmas avoiding a girl called Agnes and hanging out with a boy called Matthew. Adam and Matthew spend their time going to Christmas plays and sightseeing. One day Adam is arriving back at the house when he bumps into Jankin. After tussling with him in the yard, Adams asks Jankin where his dog Nick is. Jankin tells him that he hadn't seen since near Gorhambury. Adam assumes that Nick has gone back to Dame Malkin's to look for him.

In chapter 21, Adam goes to St. Albans to look for Nick. Dame Malkin tells him that Nick was there, but that Perkin took him back to Oxford to look after him until Adam could come to pick him up. The chapter ends with Adam arriving in Oxford.

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What events take place in Chapters 19, 20, and 21 of "Adam of the Road"?

Adam decides in Chapter 19 that the best chance he has of finding Roger is to go back to London, where Roger had planned to spend Christmas with the de Lisles.  though he has no harp, he makes up songs of his own as he travels, and meets a kind peddler with whom he shares stories and food.  When Adam arrives back at Westhumble Lane, the place where Nick had been stolen, he gets news that Roger has been there and has indeed gone on to London.

In Chapter 20 Adam arrives at de Lisle House in London only to find that Roger has gone with Sir Edmund to Wales and will not be back until May.  Disappointed, Adam spends the holidays at the House, which is habited only by a few servants, as the de Lisles have gone to Ludlow.  He wanders the streets of London with Matthew, the bailiff's son, seeking amusment during the long winter, and one day runs into Jankin, who reports that Nick has run away from him, about two weeks ago, at Gornambury, near St. Alban's.

Adam returns to St. Alban's in Chapter 21, and finds that although Nick had been there, it was too difficult to find food for him, so Perkin has taken him along on to Oxford.  Although his shoes are worn, Adam sets off for Oxford, sharing songs and stories along the way.  He meets a steward, who, impressed with Adam's minstrelsy, advises him to see a friend at Oxford who might help him study there.  Barefoot now, Adam approaches Ewelme, near Oxford.

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What is the summary of Chapters 22 and 23 in "Adam of the Road"?

Adam stops at the Church at Ewelme in Chapter 22, meets Perkin, and is finally reunited with Nick.  Perkin wants to go on to Oxford, but his father, who is a plowman in Ewelme, needs his help on the farm.  Adam, who needs new clothes and shoes, agrees to work in Perkin's place, and Perkin's mother will help him get new attire.  The toil is hard, but in the evenings Adam shares stories and songs with the family.  It is not long before the neighbors hear of his skill in minstrelsy, and come to listen too.  The cobbler makes Adam a pair of shoes, Perkin's mother makes him a coat, and the miller gives him some bagpipes.

Adam leaves for Oxford in Chapter 23, and finds Perkin at Merton College.  The campus is abuzz with news of the historical beginnings of representation of the common people in Parliament, and amidst all this Adam shares his minstrelsy with the students and spends the night with Perkin.  As he prepares to continue his search for his father in the morning, he is summoned to the Warden's office, and finds Roger waiting there for him.  The Warden offers Adam a place at Merton College, but Adam gracefully declines.  He tells Roger, "I am a minstrel.  I want to be on the road with you", and Roger responds proudly, "You have done well, son".

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