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22 October 2014

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In King Richard's palace at Jaffa, Ian asks to be given the opportunity to negotiate for Barbara's safe return. 'We do not trade with Saladin today,' exclaims Richard. 'Not today, not tomorrow, nor any day henceforth.'

'Understand this,' says Richard. 'This woman can rot in one of Saladin's prisons until her hair turns white before I'll trade with the man that killed my friends!'

The Doctor raises a restraining hand to Ian as Richard walks away from the discussion.

Richard fumes, angry at his recent misfortunes.

'My lord,' says the injured de Tornebu, 'although we left a little of our pride back in the wood, there is some capital to be gained from the affair...' The King is incredulous, but the Doctor says he thinks he knows what he means.

'Here Saladin, mighty ruler and commander of huge armies, believes he's captured you, hmm!' says the Doctor.
'You could turn it into a good story against Saladin,' suggests Vicki.
'A troop of men to capture one of your knights?' says de Tornebu. 'Why he'd need an army by itself and more to take your horse, or every man he has or more to take you prisoner.'

'You could spread this tale by word of mouth and all the world would know that Saladin fears you, hmm?' says the Doctor.
'Sire, if you send to him and ask if he's finished playing his game,' adds Vicki. 'And could you have your knight back...

'... it would make him look such a fool,' says Vicki.
'There is a jest here,' ponders Richard. 'Albeit a grim one with our friends dead. But Saladin must be just as much out of temper over this affair as we are.'

'Your messenger might offer to exchange a hundred prisoners for the knight he holds,' says the Doctor.
'We think we value Sir William highly. We do, but it would not be good to let Saladin know...' says Richard.

'He might think you undervalue his men: one hundred men to one of yours,' says the Doctor, laughing. 'Me thinks a fair bargain, Sire.'
'By my father's name, you have wit, old man,' says Richard, clearly amused. He is about to reconsider sending Ian as a messenger when a beautiful young woman arrives. 'Joanna!' exclaims Richard.

'Brother, are you wounded?' asks Joanna, staring at the scar on Richard's forehead.
'Even my pride has been mended, sister,' he replies. 'See these good people: courage, loyalty, and wit are gathered here.'

'This man should be in his bed,' says Joanna, seeing the injured de Tornebu. The Chamberlain and Thatcher arrive to help carry de Tornebu away.
'Shall I help?' asks Vicki.
'No, I think we can manage,' says Ian.

'This is a young man?' says Joanna, regarding the disguised Vicki. The Chamberlain also eyes Vicki with suspicion.
'His voice has not yet broken, your Highness,' says the Doctor.
Vicki tells Joanna that her name is Victor. Joanna says she will do something about 'his' clothes.

The Chamberlain and Thatcher carry de Tornebu from the room. 'Thank you young man,' the Chamberlain tells Ian. 'You may leave him to us.'

The Doctor thinks that the Chamberlain's suspicion about Vicki's clothes may mean that they were originally stolen from the palace. The travellers exit, having bowed to Richard and Joanna.
Richard, noticing an unfamiliar jewel around Joanna's neck, is disconcerted to hear it was a gift from the besotted Saphadin.

'Saladin sends me presents of fruit and snow when I am sick and now his brother decorates you with his jewels,' says Richard. 'Yet with our armies do we both lock in deadly combat, watering the land with a rain of blood...'
'Is there no kind of peace with Saladin?' asks Joanna.

'All wise men look for peace,' says Richard wearily. 'The terms of peace make wise men look fools. I would have Ascalon, but Saladin fears that if he gives me that town then I will invade Egypt, and nothing I can say can make him change his mind.' Richard pauses, a plan forming in his mind. 'So - Saphadin desires my sister...'

At Ramrah, El Akir attempts to bribe a servant called Sheyrah with a ring. 'Now take this and tell me where the woman is,' he says. When Sheyrah refuses, he insists, 'Then bring her to me!' But still she refuses.

'Then deserve my displeasure!' he says, gripping her arm.
'My lord is greater than you!' she says defiantly.
'Where is she?' snaps El Akir.

Sheyrah scurries away and a corpulent Genoese merchant called Luigi Ferrigo enters the anteroom. 'She was a fool not to take the ring,' says Luigi, examining it closely. 'But perhaps you were asking too much for it...'

'Now I have something to ask of... someone,' says Luigi. 'If only I knew their price...'
'I'm not bought by you, merchant,' sneers El Akir.

'What possessions of mine could possibly match those you already own?' asks Luigi of the Emir, before lamenting that neither Saladin nor his brother will receive him after his long journey from Tyre.
'It's nothing to me. I am leaving Ramlah!' says El Akir, explaining that he is returning to his palace at Lydda.

'Then what keeps you here?' asks Luigi. 'We both have reasons for being here, El Akir. Can we not help each other?'

'And what is your reason, merchant?' asks El Akir.
'Conrad of Tyre has sent an emissary here to make a treaty with your overlord,' says Luigi. 'I come on his heels. Where there is a treaty there is a chance of profit. What lies unwanted on my ships at Tyre will find a home in Saladin...'

'And what is my part in this, merchant?' asks El Akir.
'Arrange an audience with Saladin, or his brother,' replies Luigi. 'But how will I repay such a favour?'

'There is a woman here, an English woman,' says El Akir. 'She made me look a fool. I shall take her to my palace at Lydda and then we shall see who the fool is... or the master!'
'A simple matter,' replies Luigi. 'Arrange my audience, then wait by the stables...'

In a room at Saladin's palace, Barbara holds a mirror to her face.
'Your lord will be dazzled with your beauty, my lady,' says Sheyrah.
'Thank you, Sheyrah,' says Barbara, a note of uncertainty in her voice.

'The whispers are about that you will tell a never-ending story,' says Sheyrah.
'Oh, yes,' says Barbara, sighing. 'How did I get myself involved in this?'
'I must tell you something, my lady,' says Sheyrah, drawing closer. 'You have made an enemy. El Akir is planning... I know not what...'

'Already he has tried to buy my loyalty with precious stones,' says Sheyrah. 'You must be cautious. Escape if you can.'
'Escape?' asks Barbara. 'But how?'

Sheyrah leaves to fetch Barbara's shoes. Barbara thinks out loud, worrying about her imminent performance. 'A never-ending story. Oh, what am I going to do? Stories... stories... Shakespeare! Yes! Romeo and Juliet! Hans Christian Andersen... Lilliput... '

A man parting a nearby curtain interrupts Barbara. 'I am Luigi Ferrigo,' whispers the Genoese merchant conspiratorially, 'I have got a horse for you at the stables.' Momentarily confused, Barbara decides to follow Luigi out. He drapes his cloak around her shoulders, accidentally dropping a glove in the process.

Sheyrah returns moments later, and is baffled to find Barbara gone. She sees the glove and picks it up.

Luigi leads Barbara to believe that Sir William has sent him to rescue her, but it is El Akir who waits in the stables outside.

'Where is he?' asks Barbara, expecting to see Sir William. El Akir steps from the shadows and grabs Barbara, gripping his hand over her mouth.
'Your way is open to the Sultan's brother,' El Akir tells Luigi as Barbara struggles.

'Why have I got to put this lot on?' asks Ian, feeling ridiculous.
'How should I know, dear fellow?' says the Doctor. 'If the King wants you to surely that's good enough, hmm?'
'For all you know, it might give you a better chance to find Barbara,' says Vicki.

'D'you know, my boy, I have an idea that King Richard still wants to send you to see Saladin after all, hmm?'

Nibbling a drumstick, Richard dictates a letter to a priest at his side. 'Not only this kingdom, its towns and fortresses shall be yours, but also the Frankish kingdom. Our sister, the Princess Joanna, whose beauty is already spoken of wherever men of judgement and discernment are, is a fit match for one who not only enjoys so grand... er no, not grand...

' eminent a brother as the Sultan Saladin, but who also possesses an element of his own. Prince Saphadin, we beg you to prefer this match and thus make us your brother.' The King signs and seals the letter and orders it to be delivered immediately.

The Doctor, Ian and Vicki are brought in. 'Ahh, sirrah,' Richard says to the Doctor. 'Some business with you. Come closer.'

Richard hands the belt to Ian. 'Take this gold belt to the Sultan Saladin. Beg him to release Sir William des Preaux and your companion.'

'Although we are surrounded by loyal men, yet we fear that war is uppermost in their minds,' says Richard, explaining his motives. 'Between ourselves we plan a match between Joanna and Saphadin to bring peace. This is why we choose to send you rather than those who are closer to us. Bring back Sir William and your companion. But bring us hope as well. This blood-letting must stop!'

'May I leave at once, Sir?' asks Ian.
'Is it love of peace or is it love of your companion that prompts this enthusiasm?' asks Richard. 'Well, whatever the reason, may it speed you back to us. I have one duty to perform before you leave.'

Richard takes the sword that Vicki is holding and raises it aloft. He turns to Ian: 'You are without rank or title and while we do not doubt your courage, our emissary shall speak from a proper position of authority. What is your name?'
'Ian Chesterton,' comes the bemused reply.

Richard taps each of Ian's shoulders with the sword. 'In the name of God, St Michael, and St George, we dub you Sir Ian, Knight of Jaffa. Arise Sir Ian and be valiant.'
'Your Majesty,' replies Ian, kissing the King's hand.

Elsewhere in the palace, the shopkeeper Ben Daheer describes the man who stole the clothes from his stall.
'...with long white hair?' says the Chamberlain, checking the facts, 'and a dark cloak which nearly brushes the ground?'

'The same,' says Ben. 'And if he has the articles you mentioned, then he stole them from me.'
'Then we shall wait here for his return and face him with his infamy,' says the Chamberlain.

'Materials from Baghdad, ivory, gold, spices - all these, Prince Saphadin, are now but a trickle because of this war,' says Luigi.
'My brother has not yet made any treaty with Conrad of Tyre,' says Saphadin. 'You are seeking a concession?'
'I am, yes Sire,' says Luigi. 'I am well-known for my proper dealings.'

'Well, help me judge another matter and I may understand your mind a little better,' says Saphadin.
'I will hear this,' says Saladin from his hiding place behind a curtain. He emerges to face Luigi.

'This is a domestic matter only, but since it concerns a person nearer your way of thinking than ours, we welcome your advice,' says Saladin.
Sir William and Sheyrah enter the room.
'A prisoner has escaped,' says Saphadin.

'A woman, one I hoped might perhaps divert this court,' continues Saladin. 'I had reason to believe she was a teller of stories.'
'I went to fetch her shoes, and when I returned she was gone,' protests Sheyrah. 'That's all I know!'

'And you, Sir William, know nothing of this affair?' asks Saladin.
'Nothing, Lord Saladin,' he replies. 'I would not encourage a lady to venture out alone.'
'I believe you,' says Saladin. ' Nor do I believe the woman would go by herself.'

'What is your opinion, merchant?' says Saphadin, turning to Luigi.

'Er, this woman, er, had an accomplice perhaps,' suggests Luigi. 'A companion who helped her, acted as her guide...'
'She was abducted, that is the only explanation,' says Sir William.
'Yes!' says Saladin.

Saphadin asks Sheyrah about the glove she found when she was looking for Barbara. Saladin examines the glove and glares at Luigi.

'This glove...' says Saladin. 'It has a companion, Sir William.'

The furious Sir William grabs Luigi, pulling the other glove from the terrified man's belt.

'Where is she?' asks Sir William. 'What have you done with her?'
'I took her... to El Akir...' splutters Luigi.

'I hope you will find Barbara safe and well, dear boy, er, Sir Ian,' says the Doctor, preparing to bid Ian farewell.

'Good luck, Ian. Be as quick as you can,' says Vicki.
'Godspeed,' adds the Doctor. 'And remember - be valiant!'
When Ian has gone, the Doctor and Vicki return to tidy his things.

The Chamberlain and Ben Daheer are waiting for them. 'Thief!' says Ben. 'Visitor of sorrows, depriver of my children, robber of my goods!'

The Chamberlain also accuses the Doctor of theft.
'If I stole from you, my Lord Chamberlain, how could I steal from him?' asks the Doctor. Amid the confusion, Ben pins the ultimate blame on the servant Thatcher, who runs from the room. The Chamberlain gives chase, and ends up thanking the Doctor.

Outside the palace, El Akir approaches two sentries. 'The woman tied to the horse - bring her!' he orders.

'Another one for El Akir's cage,' says one sentry to the other.
Barbara manages to push the sentries aside and escape.

Des Preaux tells Ian that Barbara has been kidnapped.
'Well, who's taken her?' asks Ian.
'This Genoese merchant,' says des Preaux. 'He explained it away by saying that Barbara had conceived a passion for El Akir. Saladin and his brother accept the story, but I do not.'

'Where can I find El Akir?' asks Ian.
'He has returned to Lydda since falling out with Saladin,' says des Preaux, explaining that although Lydda is not far away, it is El Akir's territory...

'I'm going after her,' says Ian.
'El Akir has an evil reputation,' warns des Preaux. 'Tis my belief he captured your companion as revenge, and in his eyes she would make a fine addition to his harem.'

Barbara runs through the streets of Lydda, pausing to take cover in a doorway when a guard passes by.

The guard pauses, thinking he has heard a noise. Barbara keeps very still, determined not to betray her presence.

Some hens flap inside their cages as the guard cautiously moves through the narrow alleyway.

Barbara continues her journey, but she stumbles and lets out a stifled cry. She heads for a darkened alcove, but it is too late - her cry has alerted the guards, who retrace their steps.

The guards scour the alleyway while Barbara cowers in the shadows. As the guards draw closer, a man places his hand firmly over Barbara's mouth...

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