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The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale

by Geoffrey Chaucer

John and Aleyn Timeline and Summary

John's Timeline

  • With Aleyn, John begs the headmaster of the school to be allowed to go to the mill to prevent Symkyn from stealing the school's flour.
  • When he arrives at the mill, John tells Symkyn he will stand at the top of the "hopper" to watch how the corn goes in.
  • After the corn has been ground, John goes outside and notices that the horse they brought has gotten loose.
  • He calls for Aleyn to come help him catch it.
  • John spends the whole day chasing after the horse with Aleyn, and finally manages to corner it in a ditch.
  • John asks Symkyn to lodge him and Aleyn for the night and offers to pay him for their supper.
  • After everyone has gone to bed, John listens to Aleyn's plan to sleep with Symkyn's daughter as recompense for the rough time of it they'd had.
  • John is reluctant to join in at first because he's worried the miller will hurt them if he finds out.
  • After some consideration of the matter, John decides that he, too, will sleep with one of Symkyn's women.
  • He moves the cradle from the foot of Symkyn and his wife's bed to the foot of his.
  • John has sex with Symkyn's wife when she mistakes his bed for her own because of the misplaced cradle.
  • John helps Aleyn beat up the miller after he wakes up.
  • John and Aleyn high-tail it out of Symkyn's property, picking up their stolen flour on the way.

Aleyn's Timeline

  • With John, Aleyn begs the headmaster of the school to be allowed to go to the mill to prevent
  • Symkyn from stealing the school's flour.
  • When he arrives at the mill, Aleyn tells Symkyn he will stand at the bottom of the mill to watch how the flour falls down into the trough.
  • When John discovers their horse missing, Aleyn spends the rest of the day with him trying to catch it.
  • After everyone at the miller's house has gone to bed, Aleyn tells John about his plan to sleep with Symkyn's daughter as recompense for their stolen corn and the awful day they've had.
  • Aleyn climbs into Malyne's bed and has sex with her all night.
  • At dawn, Aleyn bids farewell to Malyne, who tells him the location of the flour her father has stolen.
  • On his way back to his own bed, Aleyn crawls into Symkyn's bed by mistake, misled because John has moved the cradle.
  • Thinking he is John, Aleyn brags to Symkyn that he has had sex with his daughter all night.
  • Aleyn sustains a punch to the nose when Symkyn arises in a rage at his boast.
  • Aleyn helps John to beat up Symkyn.
  • With John, Aleyn high-tails it off Symkyn's property, recovering the stolen corn because of his knowledge of its whereabouts, which he learned from Malyne.

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