Ivanhoe Chapter 27
Urfried takes Cedric to another chamber, and tells him she knows he is Saxon, for she recognizes her native tongue. She then tells Cedric her story. She was born in quite another state: beautiful, young, free, and loved. She cannot help her hate, being that she, daughter of the noble Torquil, is now a slave. Cedric recognizes the name, for her father and his were friends. Urfried recognizes him too, as Cedric the Saxon. Her guilt is tremendous, for she was the lover, though not of her own will, of her family's killer. Cedric, at this dishonor, wonders at why she did not kill herself, rather than live so. The vengeful creature has seen much, even the killing of the elder Front-de-Boeuf by his own son! With the death of her "lover," she was left to age and rot high in the castle, with no one to listen to or obey her.
As Cedric tries to leave the vile and hateful woman, she threatens to tell Front-de-Boeuf. But brave Cedric calls her bluff. She speaks of a grand revenge she is planning, but Cedric tells her to seek repentance. But no, she cries:
"To act as I have acted, to think as I have thought, requires the maddening love of pleasure, mingled with the keen appetite of revenge, the proud consciousness of power--draughts too intoxicating for the human heart to bear, and yet retain the power to prevent...Well thou has said, all is possible for those who dare to die!" Chapter 27, pg. 232
Urfried tells Cedric that when his men see a red flag at this turret, then they may storm the castle, for Front-de-Boeuf's men will be unprepared, their hands already full. Shortly after this speech, they hear Front-de-Boeuf, and Urfried makes a quick exit. Front-de-Boeuf approaches the priest. He asks him to carry a message to Philip de Malvoisin, and have him send men to the castle. Cedric tries to stay in his role, but tosses back the coin Front-de-Boeuf gives him for payment. Front-de-Boeuf almost orders him killed, but realizes the priest is the only messenger he has. He then calls for Cedric and Athelstane to be brought before him.
Front-de-Boeuf does not recognize that this Cedric is false, but once Wamba opens his mouth, he is discovered a fool. De Bracy recognizes him, and guesses what has happened. Instead of a death sentence, De Bracy offers the fool freedom and a job, but Wamba says he cannot disobey his master. Athelstane negotiates a ransom, but it is denied to Wamba or the Lady Rowena. De Bracy laughs to hear that the lumbering Athelstane is engaged to Lady Rowena. All is interrupted by a real monk at the gate, Brother Ambrose, of the Prior's order. As they remove the prisoners, Athelstane challenges Front-de-Boeuf to a duel, to be held when his captivity is over. The monk's news is that the Prior is held prisoner by the woodsmen outlaws, and requires aid himself! Front-de-Boeuf pleads poverty, and then the monk warns of the outlaws' attempt to scale the castle walls. At this news, Front-de-Boeuf orders all to their posts, and readies for battle. Front-de-Boeuf's inadequate army prepares to defend the castle from the surprisingly well-organized outlaws.