Chapters 46-47 Summary
Afraid that John Aycliffe may arrest Bear and John Ball, Crispin quickly returns to the cobbler’s garden. He throws open the back door and shouts a warning. John Ball calls out that someone has betrayed him, and that everyone must run. All the men in the room rush toward Crispin.
In the garden, Bear grabs men one by one and lifts them to the top of the wall so they can jump down and run away. Before fleeing, John Ball says that his meeting will continue tonight at a tavern called the White Stag. Then he leaves, and Bear lifts Crispin to the top of the wall too. As soon as Crispin is safely out of sight, he hears the soldiers capture Bear. Crispin hesitates, unsure whether he should save himself or go back and fight. Eventually he decides to try rescue. He climbs back over the wall—but the soldiers have already taken Bear away.
Tiptoeing into the cobbler’s shop, Crispin sees upturned chairs and scattered shoes. Bear is gone, but a soldier is standing guard by the front door. Crispin runs out into the street. Unwilling to give up yet, he begins approaching people at random and asking if they have seen any soldiers pass by leading an enormous captive. Two say yes, and they point Crispin in the right direction. Crisping goes where they direct him and eventually arrives at the town square—just in time to see Aycliffe drag Bear into the second largest building in town. A group of soldiers stands guard at the entrance, so Crispin does not dare follow.
For a while, Crispin lingers in the square, staring at the enormous building. He asks a passerby what it is, and the man says that it is Furnival’s palace. As Crispin watches, he sees John Aycliffe appear on a balcony and look at the crowd, as if searching for someone. After a while, Crispin realizes that he is the object of this search. Aycliffe is holding Bear captive to lure Crispin close.
Unsure what else to do, Crispin returns to the Green Man and climbs the stairs to his room. He lies on the pile of straw and wonders what to do next. After a while, he hears shouting and banging from the dining room below. The Widow Daventry screams. Frightened, Crispin retreats into the hiding place in his wall and waits, hardly daring to breathe. He hears soldiers search his room. After they leave, everything falls silent. Crispin emerges and finds his room in disarray, the table smashed. He can hear the Widow Daventry weeping downstairs.