Chapters 27-28 Summary
Miles and Edward are chained in an overcrowded cell, subjected to seeing the violence criminals inflict on one another. The jailor mocks him as an imposter and brings in an old man to see him. Miles recognizes him as Blake Andrews, who used to be a servant for the Hendon family. The old man looks at Miles and says that he does not know him.
The jailor leaves, but Andrews returns and tells Miles that he does indeed recognize him. He promises that he will proclaim the truth, even if he is strangled for it. Over the next few days, Andrews comes to “abuse” Miles, all the while bringing him some delicacies. Miles gives these to Edward, who is suffering badly in jail.
Andrews tells Miles that Arthur Hendon, Miles’ brother, died six year earlier. With the death of one son and the disappearance of another, Sir Richard Hendon’s health then failed. He wished to see Hugh and Edith married before his death, but Edith wanted to wait for some news of Miles. When the letter of Miles’ death arrived, Hugh and Edith were married by Sir Richard’s death bed.
The villagers whisper about Hugh’s abuse of Edith, especially after Edith found drafts of the letter announcing Miles’ death among Hugh’s possessions.
Andrews also says that there is a rumor that the new king is mad, although he has ruled with great kindness. King Henry is to be buried in a day or two, with the new king crowned a few days later. Hugh is going to the coronation, Andrews says, since he is a friend of the Lord Protector, the Duke of Somerset. Edward does not know who this is and is surprised to find that it is none other than the Earl of Hertford.
When the prisoners are conducted to the prison yard, Edward sees two women tied to a stake to be burned. Two girls arrive, begging to die with their mother. He is unable to watch the women die, which convinces Miles that the boy is getting over his delusions of being king, since he surely would have demanded that they be released.
Miles is condemned to be put in the stock for a few hours, while Edward is released. Edward demands that they let the servant of the king go, but Miles tells them that the boy is mad and asks that he receive the lashings that they planned to give him. Edward is overcome to see his friend beaten.