Chapter 28 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 572

The reader is taken back to the tournament at Ashby, as Wilfrid lies in a swoon bleeding to death. Rebecca overcomes her father's well-founded doubts and orders Ivanhoe to be taken up in her own litter and carried to the house where she and Isaac are staying. Rebecca rides a palfrey, over her father's objections, and is therefore exposed to the stares of the crowd. Sir Brian sees Rebecca and admires her beauty so much that when she later becomes De Bracy's captive, he resolves to take her for a prize of his own.

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Rebecca is a practitioner of the medieval healing arts, some of which are specialties of the Jews. She is an especially talented doctor and was mentored by a famous woman who passed on to Rebecca her own proprietary medicines. Wilfrid is in the best possible hands, and Rebecca plans to take the knight along with them when they leave for York the next day. Isaac objects, but Rebecca argues that leaving Wilfrid would mean leaving his medicine also, and it would be foolish to forfeit the valuable secret recipe to another physician. Even more important, the knight is a favorite of King Richard, who may otherwise punish Isaac, who has provided funds for John's plots against his brother.

In the evening, Wilfrid wakens and finds himself in a magnificent room with eastern furnishings. When Rebecca and her assistant come in to tend his wound, he speaks to her in Arabic. She assures him that he is in England and that she is the daughter of Isaac of York. Rebecca is attracted to Wilfrid and senses that he is also attracted to her, and part of her intention in identifying herself by her lineage is to throw cold water on the mutual interest. Wilfrid is instantly cooled, but Rebecca remains wistful. When Wilfrid suggests that he go to the home of a nearby Saxon, Rebecca tells him that she can have him back in the saddle in eight days—three weeks faster than any Saxon doctor. That is argument enough for him to stay.

Rebecca tells him all she knows of Prince John's rush to York and the rumor that he is planning to usurp the crown. Of Cedric, she knows that he and Athelstane left the banquet in anger and that Gurth has been arrested by Cedric as a fugitive. Wilfrid is distressed by all the news and believes that he has made trouble for both Rowena and Gurth with Cedric, but Rebecca calms him, reminding him that he must come to Richard's defense and to do that, he must first recuperate.

They are, of course, taken with Cedric's party in De Bracy's ambush. De Bracy discovers Wilfrid in the litter and finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. He is too chivalrous to take advantage of Ivanhoe's condition and will go so far as to protect his identity from the unscrupulous Front-de-Beouf, who would certainly kill him outright. Wilfrid, on the other hand, is Rowena's preferred suitor and therefore an obstacle to his own plans. He puts Wilfrid under the strict supervision of two of his men, ordering them to say he is an injured comrade and forbidding them to leave him alone. When the castle is under assault, Front-de-Beouf orders these attendants to the battlements and puts the wounded knight under Urfried's care. Urfried/Ulrica is easily persuaded to shift the unwanted duty onto Rebecca.

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