Chapter 10 Summary
Retiring for the night, the Disinherited Knight is swarmed by squires and pages eager to discover what Prince John could not—his identity. The knight, however, declines their offers of service and relies only on his own attendant, a "clownish" character half smothered in furs that obscure his identity as well.
He has won not only the tournament but also the horses and armor of the knights he defeated. These arrive with the squires of the defeated knights, who wish to know whether he intends to keep the prizes or exercise the option of allowing the knights to random them back.
To four of the squires, the Disinherited Knight declares that the prizes belong with their "valiant masters," and that being truly disinherited, he would much prefer the ransom money. He generously returns half the payment to each of the squires and entrusts them to divide the money among themselves and their fellow attendants.
To the squire of Sir Brian, he replies that he cannot accept the prize or the ransom until they are able to settle their quarrel in mortal combat. The squire objects that Sir Brian would never accept the return of the horse or armor, which would be unchivalrous. The knight therefore declares that if Sir Brian refuses them, the squire may keep them.
When the squires are gone, the knight addresses his attendant, who turns out to be Gurth the swineherd. Gurth is enjoying masquerading as a Norman squire-at-arms and is amused to have been close to Cedric without being recognized, but he fears being discovered. The knight tips him ten gold pieces, and the swineherd suddenly finds himself rich by his own standard. The knight then orders Gurth to take the ransom money to Isaac in the village of Ashby and allow Isaac to reimburse himself for the borrowed horse and armor.
Gurth objects that Isaac will take advantage and that it wouldn't be right to allow a Jew to enrich himself at the expense of a Christian. The knight, however, insists, and Gurth goes on his errand, plotting to outfox his master's creditor.
In Ashby, Rebecca watches her father pace and fret over the humiliation of the day. He is galled at the cruelty of being unable to retaliate. Rebecca advises him not to think about it, and she reminds him that the English are dependent on the Jews, pointing out the irony of the festival having been financed by Jews. Isaac laments that in providing the Disinherited Knight with his horse and armor, he has suffered a large financial loss. He...
(The entire section is 658 words.)