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by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe Chapter 20 Summary

  • 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.

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