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Like "Ettrick Forest" in Chapter 18, this chapter's epigraph is one of Scott's own poems: "The Hermit of St. Clement's Well." The poem describes a hermit singing hymns (religious songs) of devotion. This is clearly a joke, since the only song we see the Friar singing in this chapter is a drinking song.
After three hours' walking, Wamba, Gurth, and Locksley arrive at an armed camp deep in the forest.
These are outlaws under Locksley's command.
Locksley tells his men: a band of guys disguised in our clothing (jerks!) are taking prisoners past the chapel at Copmanhurst.
Locksley, Wamba, and Gurth head off to see the Friar.
As they approach the chapel, they hear the sound of drunken singing: it's the Black Knight and the Friar.
Gurth confirms that the Friar is well-known for being drunk and disorderly; he's also a poacher.
At the knock at the door, the Friar quickly hides the wine that he and the Black Knight have been drinking.
The Friar tries to make his visitors go away by pretending that he and the Black Knight are in the middle of a prayer.
Locksley demands that the Friar let them in.
As soon as the Friar sees it's Locksley, he relaxes.
Locksley reminds the Friar that it's completely forbidden among their group of outlaws to welcome strange knights.
The Friar claims that he and the Black Knight are old friends (even though he doesn't know his name).
The Friar quickly changes into the same green clothing that Locksley and his band wear.
Locksley pulls the Black Knight aside to ask if he's the same guy who helped defeat the Normans at the tournament.
The Black Knight confirms that he is.
As a fellow lover of England, Locksley wants the Black Knight to help them rescue Rowena and Cedric from the Normans.
The Black Knight happily agrees.
The Friar is now completely dressed and armed as an outlaw. He drinks some water and washes his face to sober up.
They're now ready to raid Reginald Front-de-Boeuf's castle, Torquilstone.