Albin returns to Middleton, from the battle of Towton (March 1461), with a useless arm. He finds that his father has made very little progress on rebuilding their cottage. Albin tries to weave wattle sticks for the walls, but one arm is not enough for the job. The village wise woman tells him that it will get no better. He is no longer an archer. But she also tells him that he is many other things. Middleton Manor is nearly deserted and the new king may choose to give the manor and its lands to whomever he pleases. Renters, including Albin, dread a new landlord. The baron is missing in action and the baroness has gone to visit her in-laws, the Woodvilles. Albin volunteers to take a message to the baroness at Grafton, the Woodvilles' home, four or five days away. Before he gets that far, Albin finds great excitement over the approach of Edward. It takes Albin awhile to learn who this Edward is. Then he sees that friendly, young giant. Albin recognizes Edward as the very picture of a king. Jacquetta, the Duchess of Bedford, has invited the royal enemy to dinner. Was this a wise move? It does set the course for Albin's whole life.