Scott claims that the epigraph from this chapter comes from Homer's Iliad, but we find these lines in Book V of the Epigoniad, by a Scottish poet named William Wilkie (1721-1772). The lines describe an archery contest – so guess what this chapter is going to be about?
Now that Ivanhoe is back, Prince John sees trouble coming his way.
After Ivanhoe's departure to the Holy Land with King Richard, Prince John gave Ivanhoe's castle to his own favorite, Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. Will Front-de-Boeuf have to return his property now?
Prince John has also noticed Rowena's distress at Ivanhoe's unexpected return.
He thinks it only proper that a beautiful Saxon like her, with many rich lands to her name, should marry a Norman knight of his choosing.
Prince John decides that Rowena should marry his good buddy de Bracy.
De Bracy adds that he will happily marry anyone with lands that he likes.
Prince John orders that Cedric and Athelstane attend his banquet that night.
A messenger brings Prince John a letter written and sealed by Philip II of France. It says: "Take heed to yourself, for the Devil is unchained!" (13.20).
Prince John and his advisors realize that this means King Richard has been set free. He is probably on his way back to England right now!
The time has come for Prince John to make his uprising official.
But first, the Normans have to finish off the tournament so the common people won't be unhappy.
Prince John starts the archery contest.
The competitors are down to eight when Prince John spots that yeoman who insulted the Normans in Chapter 7.
The yeoman tells Prince John his name: Locksley.
Prince John challenges Locksley to participate in the archery contest. If Locksley loses, he'll be whipped. If he wins, he'll get the prize money plus an extra twenty gold pieces.
For now the winner of the archery tournament is Hubert, a ranger who works for Philip de Malvoisin.
Locksley agrees to shoot at Hubert's target if Hubert will then agree to shoot at a target of Locksley's choosing.
Locksley wins, of course.
Then Locksley cuts a willow rod and stands it at one end of the tournament field. He challenges Hubert to hit that rod.
Hubert is certain that he cannot.
Locksley splits the willow rod with his arrow, and everyone applauds his skill as an archer.
Prince John hands Locksley his prize money and offers Locksley a job.
Locksley refuses. He wants to work for King Richard.
Locksley also gives the twenty gold coins in prize money to Hubert and then disappears.
Prince John lets him go because he has other things to worry about. He sends one of his men after Isaac of York.
He demands two thousand crowns (a lot of money), or else he is going to cut Isaac's head off.