Bayan, to spare the great city and its occupants from total destruction, assigns him the mission of accompanying the Sung peace envoy Chang Wu back to Kinsai in the guise of a Western scholar to convince the Chinese to surrender. Once in the Chinese capital, Chang Wu directs a search for Tris and Maryam while Walter meets with "men of substance" in the city to pursue peace. He finds that Kinsai is overwhelmingly in sympathy with the peace proposals but that the war faction has thus far been able to keep it from the Dowager Empress , the Sung regent. On the day that Walter is to speak with the Dowager Empress, Lu Chung is captured and provides information about the fate of the others.
Tris was betrayed by Lu Chung to bandits and probably killed. Almost as dire, the Bird Who Feathers His Own nest has also arranged to sell Maryam back to Anthemus through the corrupt and despotic silk merchant, Sung Yung, who is the power behind the war faction.
Walter's conscience, seeing that vows of chivalry are often futile and harmful, compels him to break his vow to Engaine and contrive to wed Maryam in the very clutches of Sung Yung, putting her beyond the power of Chinese magistrates to enforce the criminal transaction. However as soon as they are married he realizes how completely he loves Maryam. Even better for his mission, the public disgrace of Sung Yung foments a riotous rebellion among the populace who kill the silk merchant and attack the shops of other merchants suspected of wanting war.
The ability of common men to exert control on their own destinies, and to work for themselves on their own land, fills Walter with disgust for the feudal system in England. Walter keeps his audience with the Dowager Empress, but unfortunately his blond hair, and the fact that the blond Tris is not dead but also in Kinsai, fulfills an ancient proverb of "two birds of golden plumage out of the West" whose appearance will end the peril of destruction. The Dowager Empress refuses to surrender.
The three are reunited but confined in the Great Interior Palace, prisoners treated as gods, receiving daily gifts, including much jewelry, many gems, and a priceless porcelain vase. The young couple find happiness together in their luxurious Abode of Everlasting Felicity. Knowing the Bayan is near, Walter has a report smuggled out of Kinsai informing the general of the widespread desire for peace and his own confinement.
Chang Wu arranges their escape by sea, but other peace forces try but fail to have the Englishmen drowned by the vicious river tide. As a result, Maryam is unable to reach the ship before it departs. Their legal troubles appear to have became moot; King Edward is if not a revered monarch, a respected one who considers himself English first, with an obligation to better the lot of the common man.
Walter learns that his mother died a year after their departure and that Engaine married Edmond and has a son by him. The new Earl of Lessford is more avaricious and oppressive than even his mother, hanging common men in revenge for the raid and barbarically driving others into banditry until open warfare exists between noble and commoner. Walter turns his share of their wealth into gold to pay his debts and redeem the cup he pawned to finance his adventure. Walter has knowledge of many wondrous inventions from the east— papermaking , gunpowder , the telescope , and the compass —but proof of their existence and Walter's copious notes of all he'd seen have been left behind during their escape.
Walter returns to Gurnie to find his grandfather prospering in trade. Their reunion is disrupted when Engaine comes to Gurnie with her son, seeking sanctuary from her husband. In the meantime, Chang Wu sheltered Maryam following the attempt to drown the Englishmen and after three weeks arranged a ship for her to leave, just a week ahead of Bayan's invaders. Using gems sewn into the hem of her garments, Maryam then made her way with agonizing slowness to India, having given birth in Amboyna along the way to a blond, blue-eyed son she named Walter.
Knowing none of the languages of the ports they reached, she used her wealth and the single word "London" to reach Konkan. As Walter arrives at Gurnie, Maryam, her year-old son and Mahmoud are at last able to gain passage on a ship bound for Aden. Walter offers to provide Engaine support so that she may live in London while petitioning the king for return of her inheritance that Edmond seized when they married. Edmond comes to claim her but Walter with eight archers of Gurnie stands with her and he cowardly backs down.
Engaine, knowing Walter is married, calls Maryam a heathen and tries to undermine his marriage vows. Tris becomes the leader of the commoners' resistance. Walter escorts Engaine to Bulaire on the way to London where they discover that Edmond hanging with an arrow in his chest from the same tree that his mother hanged the six commoners five years before.
Engaine's infant son is now Earl of Lessford, which restores her estates and makes her more determined than ever to have Walter obtain an annulment from Maryam. Six months later Maryam has reached Venice , finding the Christian city far more hostile and contemptuous than at any of her Eastern stops. But for the first time, communicating in Greek, she is able to relate the story of her escape, reaping the good fortune of being placed on a new Venetian bireme set for its maiden voyage to Marseilles.
In Gurnie, Walter begins a paper-making enterprise with his grandfather, whose fortunes continue to prosper when King Edward restores his forfeited lands. Tris, on the other hand, has gone into hiding, a fugitive after the death of Earl Edmond. When one of the paper-makers at last discloses Tris's hiding place, Walter visits him in the wild, craggy valley Scaunder Clough.
Before Walter can bring him items for comfort, however, news reaches him that Tris died from a fall shortly after their visit. His grandfather grows frail, without hope of ever seeing his restored lands again, but names Walter his heir by endorsing his plan to give small tracts of their lands to the people living and working on the estate. A year after leaving India Maryam falls deathly ill in Marseilles but is cared for by an old French innkeeper, Pierre Marchus, who feels a responsibility to look after pilgrims traveling through the port.
She offers a small pearl, the last of her gems, in hopes it is payment enough to cross France. Months later Walter has a long audience with King Edward, telling him in detail of all he has seen. A well-appointed contemporary Suite is a haven for travelers after a stylish vibe and innovative design.
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The Black Rose is a 20th Century Fox Technicolor film starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles, loosely based on Thomas B. Costain's book. It was filmed. Tyrone Power in The Black Rose () Orson Welles in The Black Rose () The Black Rose () Tyrone Power and Cécile Aubry in The Black Rose.
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