THE WHITE COMPANY
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The White Company is a historical adventure.
At the age of twenty, the young Alleyne, son of Edric, intelligent, skilled, and well-liked, though sheltered and naive, leaves the Catholic abbey where he has been raised and goes out to see the world, in accordance with the terms of his fathers will. The same day, the abbot banishes John of Hordle, for worldly behavior: great appetite, teasing, and flirting. At the Pied Merlin inn, they make friends with veteran archer Sam Aylward. He has returned to England from France to recruit for the White Company of mercenaries, and brings an request for Sir Nigel Loring of Christchurch to take command. Aylward and John continue to Christchurch, while Alleyne detours to visit his older brother, the socman or landlord of Minstead, whose fierce reputation has grown to wickedness.
Meeting the first time since Alleyne was an infant, the socman is threatening a lovely maiden, and still furious their father gave three hides (80-120 acres) to the monastery for the boys support. Maude bids flee the dogs, and laughs when Alleyne states that his intentions to rejoin his friends will lead to Sir Loring. Indeed, Sir Loring takes Alleyne as squire and tutor to his daughter, the same Maude, and two other damsels. When the men must depart for France, the young couple admit their love, only to each other. Enroute to Gascony, our heroes destroy pirates, then report to the court of the Prince of Wales.
After adventures fearful and funny, the valiant fighters lead the White Company to join the Prince. The Spanish and French attack them in a narrow ravine, where the mighty warriors are almost all destroyed and the Company must disband. John and Alleyne, badly wounded, survive, but Sir Nigel and Aylward are missing and presumed dead. The English go on to win the Battle of Nájera, fulfilling the mission. The Prince knights Alleyne in his sick bed, and the former socman has died. Sir Edrikson, new socman, returns victorious, John his squire, to snatch Maude from the doors of the nunnery, for marriage. Enroute back to rescue their friends, all reunite for a happy ever after.
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