27th March 1642. 11:30am.
Sir Royston had been drifting in and out of consciousness for the two days since he had been brought home. Royalist forces, alerted by the survivors of the skirmish at Balk Wood, had rushed to the scene. The surviving soldiers, assisted by some of the residents of nearby Pocklington, alerted by the gunfire from the battle, were attending the wounded and dying.
Sir Royston was found with a severe head wound, but still alive, the regiments colours draped over him. Next to him lay the dead and horribly disfigured body of Captain John Parr.
He had been carefully transported to Twiston Hall, where further work by the physician could be carried out on the head wound, deep and very bloody, but not life threatening.
Now in the care of servants, Sir Royston had to be constantly held down and calmed as he was suffering terrible nightmares of his experiences, reliving them as he lay there in a state of semi-coma.
The King's Quarters, York.
27th March 1642. 1pm.
'I intend to take back the plate stolen by the rebels and will hang their leaders from the town walls!' King Charles was beside himself with rage. 'This is an open act of war, let alone treason,' he continued. The king was pacing the room, hands clasped behind his back. The Earl of Newcastle had never seen him in such a rage before, he had always taken bad news with an air of dignity, possibly seething inside, but never showing it to others, save perhaps his wife, as befits a ruling monarch.
When the king eventually calmed enough to take a seat, he looked directly at the earl, anger still clearly showing in his eyes. 'Now you tell me that it is impossible! He almost spat out the words, 'Am I to allow this cowardly act to pass without taking any action?
The earl, not wishing to anger him further, picked his words carefully. 'Your majesty, my sources inform me that the plate has already been placed aboard ship, as has most of the contents of the armoury and even as we speak is either ready to sail or already is at sea.'
'Then I will have those responsible for this outrage instead,' hissed the king, 'our forces are large enough to lay siege to the town, are they not so?'
Once again, the earl chose his words carefully, 'Our forces are adequate to lay siege to the town, we have a goodly and growing number of artillery pieces, but the town itself is well supplied with artillery on the town walls and the citadel too.'
The king stroked his beard, his eyes never leaving the earl who felt ever more uncomfortable, he continued, 'We could surround the town, but with Parliament having control of the sea, the town can be supplied with men, powder and anything it needs by ship. We can never hope to starve the town into submission.'
'Then we shall take it by force.' hissed the king, 'and every man in it will hang from the walls as an example to all who defy my god given right to rule.'
The earl winced, 'The town walls could be breached, but the citadel is another matter, its walls would be more than a match for any ordnance we have. The citadel also overlooks the town, making it impossible to hold any gain we made.'
The king leapt to his feet, 'Impossible, once again you tell me impossible!' He almost screamed the words. 'Many brave men died and are being buried as we speak, yet you tell me it is impossible to avenge their deaths and that the perpetrators of this despicable act, can safely skulk behind the walls of their town, laughing, safe in the knowledge that I cannot touch them!'
The earl didn't answer.
The king eventually calmed down and once more took his seat. 'I am travelling to Twiston Hall tomorrow to visit the brave Sir Royston. He had to endure the loss of his captain and see his regiment torn to shreds, yet still he tried to rally his men, his regimental flag wrapped around his body, until he too was struck down. The king once more rubbed his beard, 'I'll wager he didn't whine like and old woman and say impossible.'