Just at dawn the next morning, Richard crept into Anne’s room. Marguerite was up and in the outer chamber, gathering items for Anne to dress. She did not give Richard her usual friendly look. He knew she was still angry with him because he arranged a profitable marriage for Andrew. Marshal was not the only one rewarded with marriage. Andrew and Baldwin were married to an heiress and a wealthy widow. John had been allowed to marry his cousin, thus giving him power over many of the western lands near the Welsh border. Richard did not see what difference Andrew’s marriage should make to Marguerite. The two of them still carried on their affair, the same as before.
Giving Marguerite a mischievous grin, he stepped into Anne’s bedchamber. She was still asleep. He intended to wake her, but decided against it and just watched her.
As he studied her, he thought of how they were in the last days of summer, the same time of year they had met. She lay on her side, curled up into a ball, clutching the bedclothes in front of her. Because the nights still held much of the day’s heat, she was nude underneath the covers. Richard knew she only did this when she was uncomfortable from the heat. Her bare shoulders rose and fell just slightly as she breathed. Her freshly washed, unbound hair lay heaped on her pillow. The light from the morning sun poured in from the window, and filled the room, as it danced off the auburn in her hair, giving a radiant glow to her skin.
She stirred, and he knelt beside the bed resting his chin on it. He noticed her face, especially around her eyes, was puffy from crying. Also he observed some bruises and scratches on her hands, face, and arms. She must have sensed someone there, because she jumped up, grabbing the bedclothes to shield her. “Anne.” He reached out for her but she was already on the other side of the bed. He gave her a reassuring smile.
She pushed her hair back from her face and gathered the bedclothes more closely around her. “Richard.” She relaxed a little.
“Good morning.” He moved around the bed closer towards her.
Wrapping the sheet more tightly around her body, she scooted back. There was not enough bed, and she fell backward onto the floor. Richard walked around the side of the bed and helped her up while she managed to keep the sheets taut.
“I did not mean to startle you,” he apologized.
“I am… I… Richard, what are you doing here? Are you the only one here?”
Richard laughed. “I am king, and this is my castle. I can go anywhere I please.” He ran a finger softly back and forth over her left shoulder. “I am king, Anne.”
She gave him a sour look and walked to the bedchamber door. She opened it and Marguerite entered, carrying a dressing gown. “Your Majesty, please turn the other way so that I may dress.”
Richard gave her a tart look right back but turned around as requested. “I actually came because I heard about your rough time last night.” He fought the temptation to turn around and look.
“Oh? Who told you?” Anne tied the belt round her waist. “I am finished.”
Richard turned around in time to see Marguerite give him a scowl and leave the room. “I spoke with Baldwin and Andrew.”
“You look as though you have not yet been to bed.” Anne observed.
“From what Baldwin tells me, you have not slept much yourself.”
“So, how much do you know?” Anne’s hazel eyes were laced with red.
Richard lay down on the bed, his hands behind his head. “They told me about what happened at the gate.”
“What else happened? Surely you must know what happened after Andrew forced me inside.” Anne sat next to him.
He rolled over to his side and put his hand on her knee. Instead of answering her question, he stroked her knee. Leaning down to see his eyes more clearly, she gave him a questioning stare. He looked up into her eyes. As he did, he again saw the physical effects of the previous night. “Anne,” he whispered.
“Tell me all. Richard, I must know.” Her voice sounded soft but impassioned.
He took her hand and played with her little fingers. “Several of the men were beaten to death. The mob turned on the Jewish community and houses were burnt, women and children…”
Anne’s eyes welled with tears. Richard sat up but did not let go of her hand. “There is a group that fled to The Tower and locked themselves in. They will be safe there.”
Anne looked away from him, but he could still see the tears roll down her face. “Jacob of Orleans, and Rabbi Isaac?” She asked.
“They may have been among those killed by the mob at the gate.” He reached out to take her in his arms but she remained rigid. He offered, “I sent out soldiers to stop the violence and decreed the Jews are to be left in peace.”
Anne got up and walked away, turning her back on him to face the window. “They only wanted to bring their new king a gift,” she spoke in a whisper.
He shrugged. “These were my subjects, Anne. I feel for them, too. The leaders of the riot will be found and executed.”
She did not respond, but stood with her arms folded, silently crying. He put his arms around her and she pressed back against him, wiping the tears from her face with her hands.
In just a matter of seconds, Andrew swept into the room. He bowed to Richard. “Forgive the interruption, My Lord, but I have an urgent message from your brother John.”
“John is not someone I can put off. I really need to…” Richard started.
Anne nodded her head. Richard gave her a kiss on the head and began to lead Andrew out of the room. He turned back and said, “I will be back later. I promise.”
Anne looked at him sideways. “You have a duty, Richard.” She looked away from him again.
He took one last look at her as he left the room. She stood still in the same spot with her arms folded.
“That winter was a long winter for Anne, I am sure,” Father Broase remarked. “Richard kept very busy seeking benefactors for the crusade and putting his government in order before he left. By the time spring came, Richard had already sold just about everything he could get his hands on. He sold castles, estates, titles, and even offices and appointments to the clergy. If a person wished to remain in his present office, he bought the privilege, or it was sold to the highest bidder. Eleanor’s jailor, Ranulf de Glanville, went bankrupt to pay for his office.” Broase chuckled. “Oh, the stories that went around! Some said Richard would have sold London itself if he could find a buyer. I guess in a way he did. That is when the crown started selling town charters. London had its first Lord Mayor at that time.” Broase looked down at Charles who shook his head.
“Richard faced many political issues. He appointed, or more accurately, sold the office of Justiciar to two different bishops, William Longchamp, the Bishop of Ely, in charge of the South, and Hugh de Puiset, in charge of the North. These two men never saw eye to eye. Otto of Brunswick, Richard’s loyal nephew, was left to govern Aquitaine. Then there was John, the most dangerous because he had a claim to the throne. I believe Richard gave him so many lands in the West Country to keep him busy and hopefully out of trouble,” Broase explained further.
“‘Lot of good that did ‘em!” One of the knights grunted.
Broase raised his eyebrows. “Well, now, there is more to it than just that.”
At Easter of the year 1190, Richard’s fleet sailed from Dartmouth to rendezvous with him in Marseilles. At the same time, Richard, Eleanor, Anne, and the rest of his entourage crossed the channel so Richard could complete his business in his southern lands. After staying only a little while with Richard, Eleanor left him to go on a diplomatic mission of her own. Anne was not told the mission’s purpose; she just knew Eleanor had gone south toward the Pyrenees and the little kingdom of Navarre, she supposed to strike some kind of alliance to shore up Richard’s southern border.
In July, Richard and Philip mustered their troops at Vezelay. This was the first time Richard and Philip met each other as kings. They agreed on many of the finer points of rule for the crusade, including that the spoils of war would be split in half, equal shares. Long ago, Henry and Philip agreed that no women would be allowed on crusade. Philip cited the fiasco that women, especially Eleanor and her band of “Amazons,” caused on the previous crusade. Now Philip held steadfast to this accord and demanded Richard comply. Richard knew it was a ploy to separate him from Anne, but he agreed to it. However, he informed Philip that Anne would be coming along due to the fact that they would be meeting Richard’s recently widowed sister, Joanna, in Sicily, and Joanna, being a queen, would need to have a lady to wait upon her. To avoid complication, the women would travel in separate ships and not with the main army; therefore, they technically would not be traveling with him on Crusade. On this point, Philip finally conceded. He had a plan as well, for he knew why Eleanor traveled to Navarre.