Chapters 29-30 Summary
When Miles’ term in the stocks is completed, he and Edward are told to leave the village and not return. As they ride back to London, Miles ponders what his next course of action must be to regain his inheritance.
He thinks of Andrews’ comment about the kindness of the new king. He decides he will try to appeal to King Edward for his assistance, although he is not sure whether a man with such a poor appearance as he now has will be allowed into the royal presence. He remembers an old friend of his father, Sir Humphrey Marlow, who held a position in the royal palace and might be able to get him in to see King Edward.
Edward is also deep in thought, and Miles forgets his intention of treating the boy as a king. He asks him where he plans to go now. Edward replies that they will go to London, which amazes Miles since Edward has had such bad experiences in the city lately.
On February 19, the day before the king’s coronation, Miles and Edward arrive at London Bridge. As they pass over it, a severed head falls on Miles. He reflects that this is a signal of change for the better, from the bloody days of Henry to the justice of Edward. With the crowds gathered for Coronation Day, Miles and Edward are separated and lost in the masses.
In the palace, Tom Canty has grown accustomed to his new role as king. He enjoys the company of his whipping boy as well as that of Princess Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. He has acquired the ease of commanding others and actually enjoys his royal duties.
He remains kind to all, however, except in the company of Princess Mary, who will later be known as Bloody Mary. She objects to his pardoning so many prisoners, so unlike their late father. Tom sends her away and advises her to pray that God remove the stone in her breast and replace it with a human heart.
Tom at first wonders about the real king, feeling guilty that he is enjoying his new life while the real king has disappeared. At first he missed his mother and sisters, but now he fears that they might show up and expose him as an imposter.
On the night before his coronation, Tom sleeps peacefully in his bed while the real king of England is stuck in the crowd at Westminster Abbey, waiting for the coronation of England’s new king.