The “Falling Action” feels like just that. There is still plenty of action but each piece of action clears the way for a conclusion.
The use of the Hero’s journey markers is somewhat symbolic. However there is no doubt that John’s sexual instruction is certainly a Magical experience for him.
Refusal of the Return
- In the aftermath of Ximene’s escape, the Prince declares his betrothal to Ximene. The opportunity arises for both Ximene and John to abandon their brief innocent affair.
- They both refuse.
- Encouraged by Lady Eleanor they declare their own commitment, putting John in even greater danger of being condemned as a traitor.
Finally news arrives from Don Fernandino. He has been critically injured but is recovering. The messenger is however mistrusted by everyone.
The Magic Flight
- Because practical sexual experience is an integral part of Cathar Education, Ximene percieves John as clumsy and unimaginative in his approach to lovemaking.
Taking advantage of the Prince’s visit to Foix , she arranges for Lady Eleanor to give John some knowledge of sexual techniques.
Once inside the Château de Foix, John is given a condensed version of the Cathar “Transition”. This is instruction on how to give, recieve and partake in sexual pleasure. It is very much “hands on” in every sense of the words.Alyse and Pippa to give the practical experience. Or is it Alyse?
- One of Du Guesclin’s agents manages to penetrate Château Foix with instructions to murder Ximene but the attempt is thwarted.
- Ximene finally escapes from the Château
- John’s personal rescue comes from Joan of Kent who convinces both Salisbury and the Prince that John’s devotion to Ximene is only what should be expected from a person of honour.
Ximene now believes that Gaston never intends to release her. To escape from the Château she requires assistance from John, the Prince and the Prince’s army
Plans are made for Ximene’s escape, and the Earl suspects that John has totally shifted his allegience to Ximene. Ximene makes plans of her own but so does Du Guesclin
Joan of Kent makes an unexpected appearnance and normalises John’s relationship with Ximene to the satisfaction of both the Earl and The Prince. She has of course an ulterior motive.