Chapter 3

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

When Castleroy entered his hunting lodge with the accompanying Lords at the outskirt of the grand forest, they were greeted by three hooded men wearing rough linen cloaks. They looked like weary travellers from a distant land. The wooden lodge stood on a small cliff overlooking the sea that marked the end of the English country. The trio had voyaged for many days in an old, leaky boat to cross the channel and arrived in a land they had once called home.  

Robert Catesby was a robust man, exceptionally tall with menacing features. He certainly looked the part he would be assigned to play in the grand scheme of things. His companions, on the other hand, looked like ordinary battle-hardened soldiers.

“Don’t be deceived by their looks; a gentler soul than Catesby you haven’t seen. But once he commits to something, you can’t hold him back. Percy is a mastermind at executing plans. His eye for detail and nose for smelling trouble is exceptional. And I haven’t met anyone as resourceful as Fawkes. Ask anything of him and it is done. The how and where of things will be his business from now on,” Castleroy began as a way of introduction. 

It wasn’t only money that had lured the King’s former soldiers into Castleroy’s devious plot. They were actuated by vengeance. All three had been faithful soldiers of the realm and had fought many battles for their King. But some jealous courtiers had conspired against them leading to accusations of treason and ultimately banishment from the King’s land. 

Castleroy, an old acquaintance, had helped them find safe haven in enemy land across the sea. In return, they had promised to present themselves whenever the Lord commanded. Now, at Castleroy’s bidding, they were back to redeem their honour. 

“Gentlemen,” Castleroy thundered, placing a large satin bag on the table that jingled with the sound of coins.

“Don’t worry about the money. There is plenty to go around but I want to be certain that we won’t fail this time,” Castleroy said dramatically, his eyes momentarily resting on each of his titled compatriots as if reminding them of their promise. 

The Lords knew that ‘Wrath of God’ was no military genius, but there was no lack of courage and determination in him. 

Lord Meredith, in particular, was by now wary of Castleroy’s histrionics.

“Get to the point Castleroy. Let’s see if your men think it to be worthwhile.”

Lord Meredith hoped that the three executors didn’t approve of the plan. Then he could salvage his fortune from this craziness that he was almost blackmailed into!

Castleroy laid out a creased map of the House of Lords. With a flourish of his hand, he explained the tiniest of detail to the attentive audience. 

“And you, my man Catesby, will do the honour and detonate the gunpowder,” Castleroy concluded. 

“But you, my Lords, will also be required to be present in the House that day. How do you plan to escape?” Catesby retorted. 





This superb chapter gives us back story, insight into the character's motives which is important and their character. I really like the way you take the time to describe situations and relationships. Nothing stretches the imagination in terms of how believable the three men's reasons for being in that room is.
Thanks Suraya!