Barbara Bettis Interviews Sir Giles from SILVERHAWK.
BB: I’m happy to have Sir Giles of Cambrai, the SILVERHAWK, with me today. It’s not often he leaves his home, now that he’s found his grandparents—and wed Lady Emelin. He came to England looking for his father, to exact revenge for abandoning Giles’s mother. But he hadn’t planned on meeting and kidnapping the man’s new betrothed, nor being asked to track down a traitor to England. Still, as a renowned mercenary, he was up to any task. That is, until he realized the lady he’s abducted, Lady Emelin, is unlike any female he’s ever met.
SG: I couldn’t refuse your invitation, Lady Barbara. You’ve been with us throughout our long journey. However, I dislike being away from my lady, although we’ve been wed since Martinmas last.
BB: That is so sweet. I knew you and Emelin were made for each other.
SG: Of course, I miss her. But I’ll tell you true, it’s more than that. The lady is a danger to herself, betimes. She’s like to pitch ahead on any idea she takes, without thought to danger. I had to rescue her constantly in our travels.
BB: True. She can be especially determined. But I recall she saved your life a time or two, as well. Ah, that made you smile.
SG: So she did. A redoubtable lady. The true love of my life.
BB: Your meeting was so strange. How did you feel the first time you saw her?
SG: I thought she was an angel. I had been attacked by six outlaws, and her party found me unconscious. Later I learned she insisted I be removed to her betrothed’s castle for treatment. She was sitting at my side as I lay in the cart, and I thought her an angel with her soft, gentle touch. When I opened my eyes, I saw she wore a hideous wimple that covered all but her beautiful face. At first I thought she was a nun. I behaved badly, I admit. I kissed her. But she slapped me soundly.
BB: Oh, my. If she put you in your place so quickly, what made you fall in love with her?
SG: I knew at once this was a lady of spirit and courage. Unafraid, determined. And clever. She kept me on my mettle. But she was also kind and generous and caring. Best of all, she knew how to laugh. How could I not fall in love? *Sir Giles pauses with a fall away look in his eyes, then chuckles*
BB: You once thought falling in love was a curse. From what you’ve said, you now see it as a gift.
SG: It’s both. When I was a young knight, a mercenary serving with Mercadier, I lived for battles and tourneys. Glorious, exciting times. Love? Par le dieu! A chain. A noose. Purgatory with a cackling, conniving female flapping at my back, demanding attention, spending my coin.
Then I met Emelin. Having her love, knowing she is beside me as we journey through life—a blessing. No more loneliness. Soon we’ll have a babe. A home, family, love. Something I thought never to be mine.
BB: Giles, you sound like a truly enlightened knight. Most men of your rank believe women are the weaker sex. Do you agree?
SG: Hah! Any man who thinks women are weak hasn’t met my Emelin. A knight’s sword arm may be sturdy and his muscles solid, but strength is more than charging into battle at the head of troops.
Women must endure long absences while their men are away at wars. They must care for the castle, birth and raise children, direct the servants, make certain the wool is spun, cloth woven, clothing made for the household, food and cleaning organized. Those are only the obvious of her duties.
Consider Emelin’s life before we met. Confined to a convent without hope of family, betrothed to a stranger old enough to be her father, kidnapped (for which I am sincerely sorry). She persisted in attempting to escape from my power. The ingenuity she displayed! And when murderers took her as bait to draw me in, she devised a way to leave clues for me. She attacked one of her abductors then remained to care for my injuries when she might have escaped the reach of her cruel brother.
No, Lady B, you women are not the weaker sex.
BB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
SG: Once I never would have admitted to something called Perfect Happiness. Now I know—it’s the love of a woman who has my heart. It’s learning the identity of my father, discovering devoted grandparents and having a home at last. For the first time in my life, I’m confident of the future. I am content. I am happy.
Merde! Look at the sun—nearly sunk to the horizon. I must be on my way. My grandmother has planned a celebration for my saint’s day, and she doesn’t like me to be late.
BB: Of course, Sir Giles. So glad you could join us today. Give Emelin and your grandparents my best and come back to visit with us any time.
Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.
She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.