In Rotherwood Hall, the home of Cedric, the Saxon, preparations are being made for the evening meal. Rowena, who does not reciprocate Athelstane's affection, recalls her parting from Ivanhoe, the disinherited son of Cedric, on his departure for the Holy Wars in Palestine. Out of doors a poor Palmer makes his way to the Hall to escape the impending storm. Gurth, the swineherd, and Wamba, the jester, also hurry forward with the herd to gain shelter in time. Taking advantage of King Richard's absence, Prince John is plotting to seize the throne, aided by some of the nobles and by the Knights Templar. Sir Brian de Bois Guilbert and Sir Reginald Front de Boeuf, Knights Templar, are traveling to Ashby-de-la-Zouche to be present, with Prince, at the tournament. They also seek shelter at Rotherwood. The banquet prepared in their honor is marred by Cedric's refusal to bow the knee to any man. The boastful Normans claim all the honors for the Crusades. The Palmer upholds the bravery of the ...
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