Chapter 1: The Prologue
It’s a beautiful day! The weather is good. The birds are singing. The grass is green, and there are flowers everywhere. Now, my story can begin. My name’s Geoffrey. And today, I’m going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. I’m going to Canterbury with a group of people. We’re going there together. I met these people yesterday, at an inn, in London.
I arrived at the inn in the afternoon. I was very tired, and hungry. ‘Good afternoon!’ I said to the man who worked at the inn. He was the innkeeper. ‘I’d like a room for the night. I’m going to Canterbury tomorrow. The road to Canterbury is long. I need to sleep well before I start.’
‘Good afternoon,’ said the innkeeper. ‘Do you know that some other people are going to Canterbury tomorrow? They’re staying here tonight.’
‘I’d like to meet them,’ I said to the Innkeeper.
In the evening, I met the other people. The inn was big and there was a lot of good food and drink. Everybody had dinner together. And the innkeeper gave good food to everybody. The innkeeper was a nice person. He was a very big man and he enjoyed speaking to people. He was very good at his job. Everybody enjoyed their dinner.
After dinner, the innkeeper spoke to the group. ‘You’re a very nice group of people,’ he said. ‘I know that God will listen to your prayers. You’re all going to the same place. So, you must go to Canterbury together. What do you think?’
‘Yes, we can go together!’ I said.
‘And I want to go to Canterbury with you,’ said the innkeeper. ‘Now, we have to travel for a long time. And I think we can do something interesting. We can play a game. What do you think?’
‘Yes!’ said everybody in the group. ‘Tell us about this game.’
‘Now, listen to what I have to say,’ said the innkeeper. ‘We’ll go to Canterbury together. And every person will tell a story. I’ll listen to every story then I’ll tell you which story is the best.’ Everybody in the group wanted to play this game. ‘Very well,’ said the innkeeper. ‘And I will give something to the person who tells the best story. That person will have dinner at my inn. And I’ll pay for the dinner.’
The people in the group were very happy. And they began to think of what story to tell. In the group there was a Knight. Everybody liked him. And he was always happy to help people. He was an important man, but his clothes were cheap. His horse was fast, but it was small.
‘I’m a Knight, and my life is very exciting,’ said the Knight. And my story is also going to be exciting. It’s about two brothers who love the same woman.’
There was also a Clerk in the group. He was a nice man, but he didn’t speak very much. He liked reading and studying. That’s all he wanted to do. He was very slim and he didn’t eat very much. And he liked books more than food.
‘I read a lot of books,’ said the Clerk. ‘I don’t want nice clothes or good food. I don’t have much money. And I use the money I have to buy books. That’s why I read a lot of stories. My story is very easy to understand. But, it’s not boring. I think everybody will enjoy it. It’s about a king who has many secrets.’
Another person in the group was a Merchant. He had a lot of money. But he wasn’t a happy man. He always had a sad face. He was different from the Knight. His clothes were very expensive. Everything he had was expensive, his clothes, his hat, and his horse.
‘I have an important business,’ said the Merchant. And I have a lot of things to do. But I’m not very happy with my life. And that’s why my story will be sad. It’ll be about an old man who can’t see.’
I also have to tell you about another man. He was a Franklin. He was different from the Clerk. He was very rich and important, but he didn’t have a business. He had a big house in the country.
And he often invited people there. He liked good food.
‘I’m very old. And my house is big. And I like inviting people there,’ said the Franklin. ‘In my house, I often tell stories. I enjoy it. My story will be very interesting. It’s about a woman who doesn’t like the sea. Why doesn’t she like the sea? Well, you’ll have to listen to my story.’
There is another person I want to tell you about. He was a Pardoner. He also liked reading. And he liked to sing songs and say prayers. He had a strange face.
‘I travel a lot and I always say prayers for people,’ said the Pardoner. ‘There are a lot of bad people in the world. I’ll say a prayer for them, but they have to give me some money. My story will be about three people who do something very bad.’
Everybody was very tired, it was late in the evening, and the Knight said, ‘We can go to bed now. Then we can leave early in the morning.’ We all went to bed. We were tired, but happy.
Early next morning, we got up. And then we left for Canterbury on our horses. We were slow. And after many hours we came to a place called Saint Thomas. And we stopped there.
We sat down. And then we had something to eat. After eating, the innkeeper said, ‘Listen, do you remember what we said last night?’
‘Of course,’ said the Knight.
‘Well,’ said the innkeeper, ‘who wants to begin? Who wants to tell the first story?’
‘I’m happy to tell you my story,’ said the Knight. ‘I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s very exciting.’
And then the Knight began to tell his story.
Chapter 2: The Knight’s Tale
“My story is about two brothers,” said the Knight. “Their names were Palamon and Arcite, and they were knights. The brothers were from a city called Thebes. They did everything together. They weren’t only brothers, they were also friends. But they were very sad.”
“They were sad because they didn’t live in Thebes any more. They lived in Athens. And they didn’t live in a house; they lived in a prison. They couldn’t leave the prison and they couldn’t speak to anybody. Every morning, they looked out of the prison window. From their window, they could see a beautiful garden.”
One morning, Palamon woke up and then he looked out of the window. But something was different. There was a woman in the garden. Her name was Emily. She was the daughter of the King of Athens.
‘Look!’ said Palamon. ‘That woman is beautiful. Oh! I’m in love! Arcite! Come here! Look!’
Arcite went to the window and he saw the woman. ‘Yes, you’re right. She is beautiful,’ he said. ‘One day, I’ll marry her.’
‘I saw her first!’ said Palamon. ‘You can’t love her. You must help me!’
‘No!’ said Arcite. ‘My love is perfect. You must help me!’
Arcite and Palamon both loved Emily. And they had the same conversation every day. ‘I love her!’ No! You can’t love her!’ was all you could hear; from the small room, their prison.
And then, one day, a friend of Arcite’s visited the King of Athens. He wanted to speak to the king about Arcite. ‘Can he go home?’ asked Arcite’s friend. ‘He’s a good man. And I want to see him again.’
‘I’ll do what you ask,’ said the king. ‘Arcite can go home. But he must never come to Athens again. And Palamon must stay in prison.’
Arcite went back to Thebes. But he wasn’t happy. ‘I’m going home,’ thought Arcite. ‘But, I can’t see Emily. Palamon can see her in the garden. It’s better in prison.’
But Palamon was sad as well. ‘Arcite, you can come back to Athens,’ he thought. ‘You can fight the King of Athens, and you can marry Emily. I have to stay in this prison.’
In Thebes, Arcite was very sad; he didn’t sleep, or eat very much. ‘I’ll wait for two years,’ thought Arcite. And then I’ll go to Athens again. Nobody will know me then. I’ll wear different clothes. I’ll change my name. And I’ll find a job. I’ll be a servant in the king’s house. And then I’ll see Emily.’
And that’s why, after two years, Arcite went back to Athens. And soon he was the king’s servant. The king liked Arcite because he was good at his job. One day, Arcite went to the forest near Athens. And he sat near a tree. ‘What can I do?’ said Arcite. ‘I’m the king’s servant. I’m near Emily. But she doesn’t know who I am. I want to die!’
Then a man spoke to Arcite. It was Palamon! ‘Hello brother! It’s me!’ said Palamon. ‘Stop thinking about Emily! Only I can love her.’
‘Palamon, it’s you!’ said Arcite. ‘Why aren’t you in prison?’
‘The king sent me home yesterday. But I’m not going home. I want to find Emily.’
‘Well, I’ll fight you for Emily,’ said Arcite. ‘But not today. We’re knights remember? We must do things in the right way. Tonight, I’ll bring some food. And then tomorrow we’ll fight.’
‘Alright,’ said Palamon. And so the brothers said goodbye. On the next day, they met in the forest. And then they started fighting.
On the same day, the king was also in the forest. He was with Emily. And he saw Palamon and Arcite. ‘Stop!’ said the king. ‘What are you doing? Stop now!’
‘Kill us!’ said Arcite. ‘Now, I’m your servant. But before that I was in your prison. My name is Arcite. And this is my brother Palamon. We’re fighting because we both love Emily.’
‘Then, you must die!’ said the king.
But Emily stopped the king. ‘Please don’t kill them!’ she said. ‘They’re fighting for love.’
‘Well,’ said the king. ‘You’re right Emily. But only one of them can marry you. Palamon, Arcite, come back to the forest next summer. Bring a hundred knights. And then you’ll fight for Emily. Now, go!’
Soon it was summer. Palamon and Arcite came back to Athens. They both had a hundred knights. And they were ready to fight the next day.
That night, Palamon had a dream. In his dream a woman said, ‘I can see you. You are marrying Emily.’ On the same night, Arcite also had a dream. In his dream a man said, ‘I can hear you. You are saying, Hooray! Emily will be my wife.’
Which dream was right? Well, now I’ll tell you. In the morning, everybody came to the forest. The knights were ready and they began to fight!
After three hours, Emily was worried. ‘They’re fighting for me! Who’s going to be my husband? When will they stop?’
And then, after many hours, they did stop. Palamon was very tired. ‘Stop!’ he said. ‘I can’t fight any more!’
‘Stop fighting!’ said the king. ‘Arcite will be Emily’s husband.’
‘Hooray!’ said Arcite. ‘I’m very happy. Emily will be my wife. I must go to her and… but then, Arcite stopped speaking. He didn’t feel well.
People came to help Arcite. ‘I’m not well,’ said Arcite. ‘I can’t… I can’t feel anything. I’m dying. This is the end. Goodbye Emily, my love. Goodbye Palamon, my brother.’
And then, Arcite died.
Soon, it was winter. And the king called for Palamon and Emily.
As you know, Arcite died last summer, and it was very sad,’ said the king. ‘Emily, I want you to be happy. Palamon, you must marry Emily. It’s the right thing to do.’
‘Thank you!’ said Palamon. Arcite was a good knight. He was my dear brother. But, we had to fight for love. Emily, I know we’ll be happy together. But we’ll never forget my brother. He died for love.’
Chapter 3: The Clerk’s Tale
The Clerk was the next person to tell his story. “I have an interesting story,” he said. “It’s about a king called Walter. He was the king of Saluce, in Italy. Walter wanted to marry a woman. But only he knew the name of this woman. It was a secret. The woman’s name was Griselda. She was young and beautiful and she was very nice. She was very poor and she lived in a small house with her father. She cooked and cleaned for him every day. And now I’ll tell you their story,” said the Clerk.
One day, Griselda was at home with her father. ‘Today is the day,’ said Griselda. ‘Today we’ll know the name of the king’s wife. Who will it be? It’s very exciting.’
‘I think his wife will be a rich woman,’ said Griselda’s father. But Griselda’s father was wrong. And soon he heard somebody at the door. Griselda’s father opened the door. And he saw Walter, the King of Saluce.
‘I want to speak to you. I want to marry Griselda,’ said Walter.
‘Griselda? M-m-m-my Griselda?’ said the father. ‘But this is strange. We’re poor. And you’re the king. Why do you want a poor wife?’
‘That’s not important,’ said Walter. ‘She’s the woman I love. Can I speak to her?’
‘Well, of course,’ said the father.
And then Walter went inside the house. And he spoke to Griselda. ‘Griselda,’ said Walter. ‘Will you be my wife? You must do everything I say.’
‘I’m too poor for you,’ said Griselda. ‘I cook and clean. I work hard. I have a different kind of life. But, I want you to be happy. I’ll be your wife. And I promise to do everything you say.’
‘That’s good!’ said Walter. And then Griselda went home with Walter. Servants arrived. They gave Griselda a beautiful dress. And on that day, Walter married Griselda.
Walter and Griselda were very happy. The people of the city liked her. Soon, Griselda had a beautiful baby girl. Walter was also happy. But he was worried about something, ‘Griselda is very nice,’ he thought. ‘But, does she love me? Is she only nice because I’m the king? I have to know that she loves me.’ Then, Walter did something very bad.
One night, Griselda was in her room. She was with her daughter. Walter’s servant came into her room. ‘I’m sorry, it’s late,’ said the servant. ‘But I must do what the king says. I must take your daughter.’
The servant took the child from Griselda. Griselda was very worried. ‘What’s he going to do with my daughter? Is he going to kill her?’ thought Griselda. But Griselda said nothing. ‘Now go!’ said Griselda to the servant. ‘And do what the king says.’
Then the servant took the child to Walter. ‘Don’t tell anybody about this,’ said Walter to his servant. ‘Go with my daughter to Milan. She’ll live with my sister. But remember! It’s a secret. Nobody must know that this girl is my daughter.’ And then the king’s servant took the child to Milan.
What did Griselda do? Did she hate her husband? The answer to this question is no. Griselda didn’t change.
‘Does Griselda love me or not,’ thought the king. ‘Oh, I don’t know!’
After five years, Griselda had another baby. It was a boy. Griselda was happy again. But Walter wasn’t happy. ‘Griselda,’ said Walter. ‘Do you promise that you’ll always love me?’
‘Yes I do,’ said Griselda. ‘I’m your wife. And I left my old life. I left my house, and my father. I’ll die for you. Is that what you want?’
But Walter wasn’t happy. ‘I have to know that she loves me,’ he thought.
Soon, Griselda’s son was two years old. One night, Griselda was in her room. She was with her son. Then, the servant came into her room again.
‘I must take your son,’ he said. ‘It’s what the king wants.’
‘First my daughter, and now my son,’ thought Griselda. ‘Oh, my children! What will Walter do to my son?’ Griselda said goodbye to her son. And then the servant took the child to Walter.
Take my son to Bologna,’ said Walter. And remember, this must be a secret.’ And then the servant left. He took the boy to a family in Bologna. ‘Now I’ll know,’ thought the King. ‘Will Griselda love me now?’
But Griselda didn’t change. She didn’t hate Walter. She was good to him. ‘I don’t know what Walter is thinking,’ thought Griselda. I promised to love him. And I will love him. But why does he do these bad things?’
For some years, Walter was happy. His daughter was in Milan. And she was now 18 years old. And Walter began to worry again. ‘Does Griselda love me?’ he thought again. And then he did another bad thing. The king called for Griselda, and he said to her, ‘I don’t need you anymore. I want a new wife.’ Griselda said nothing. And then she left Walter’s room.
Walter then spoke to his servant. ‘Bring me my son and daughter,’ he said. ‘But it must be a secret. Don’t tell anybody who these children are. I’ll say to everybody that I’m going to marry the girl.
Of course, I’m not going to marry her. She’s my daughter. But nobody will know this.’
That afternoon, Walter spoke to Griselda again. ‘Griselda, a poor woman can’t be my wife. I was wrong,’ he said. ‘My new wife is arriving. You must go back to your father’s home. Leave your clothes here! I’ll give them to my new wife.’
‘Thank you for everything,’ said Griselda. ‘I’ll go home to my father. He’s old. I want you to be happy with your new wife.’ And then she left the room.
The king was very sad. ‘I hate doing this,’ he thought. ‘I love her so much but I must know that she loves me.’
The next day, Walter went to Griselda’s house. He wanted to ask Griselda something. ‘Griselda, as you know, my new wife is arriving,’ said Walter. ‘I need somebody to clean her room. Will you help me?’
‘I’ll be happy to help,’ said Griselda. And then she went to Walter’s house. She cleaned the rooms. She made the beds. And she washed the plates.
That morning, Griselda’s son and daughter arrived. When Griselda saw the girl she thought,
‘She’s beautiful,’ and she thought of her daughter. ‘My daughter is the same age,’ she thought. And when Griselda saw the boy, she thought of her son, ‘The boy is so clever. My son is the same age.’
‘Of course, she didn’t know, that they were her children.’
When Griselda saw the king she said, ‘That girl is very nice. She’s beautiful. Be nice to her. I hope you’ll be happy.’
‘Stop this!’ said the king. ‘I don’t want to do this anymore! My dear wife Griselda. I love you very much! Griselda. You are my wife. And you’re perfect.’ And then Walter called for his son and daughter.
‘Griselda, this is our daughter, and not my new wife. And this is our son. I’m very sorry. I only wanted you to love me. And now I know that you do. These are our children!’
Griselda was happy to see her children again. ‘Thank you, thank you!’ said Griselda. ‘My children are safe.’
That night they had a big party. Griselda and Walter were both very happy. And Walter never worried about Griselda’s love again.
Chapter 4: The Merchant’s Tale
The Merchant told the next story. “I travel a lot,” he said. ‘And everywhere I go, I see that people are sad. I have a wife. But do you think I’m happy? Well, I’m not happy. My wife isn’t a nice person. And I hate my life. I want to tell you a story about a husband and wife. It’s a story about a rich, old man. His name is January. January wanted to find a wife. And he asked his friends to help him.”
‘Don’t find me an old wife,’ said January. ‘I want a young wife.’
January’s friends found a wife for him. Her name was May. She was young, but she didn’t have any money.
January was very happy with his wife. ‘I’m old,’ he thought, but now I’ve got a young wife. I won’t have any more problems. And May is very beautiful.’
May was beautiful. It was January’s servant. His name was Damien. Damien thought of May all the time. He didn’t sleep very much. He didn’t want to eat. He loved May. And now, he had to see her every day, with January! Soon Damien wasn’t well. He didn’t want to go to work anymore. And he stayed in bed. In bed, he wrote a letter to May. Then he put the letter in a small bag.
That evening, January went to dinner. ‘Where’s my servant Damien?’ he asked.
‘Damien isn’t well,’ said another servant. ‘He’s in bed now.’
‘I’m sorry about that,’ said January. ‘He’s a good servant. He works hard. I want to speak to him.’ After dinner, May and January visited Damien. May went to see Damien first. She sat next to him.
‘How are you?’ asked May
Damien didn’t say anything. He took the letter out of his bag. And then he gave the letter to May. ‘Don’t speak to anybody about this letter,’ he said.
When May was at home, she read Damien’s letter. It was a love letter. May didn’t know what to do. ‘Damien doesn’t know my secret,’ she thought. ‘I love Damien. But he is poor. And my husband is rich. How can I help Damien? I want him to be well again,’ thought May.
May wrote a letter to Damien. And then she visited him again. She gave Damien the letter. ‘Get well soon Damien,’ she said. And then she left.
Damien read the letter. The letter changed him. Soon he was well again. The next morning, Damien got up. Now he was happy. Now he wanted to go to work.
January had a big house and he had a beautiful garden. He often went there. It was his favourite place. Only January and May could go to the garden. January had a key. And he used the key to go into the garden.
One day, January was in his garden. He looked at the trees and the flowers. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. But January didn’t feel very well. ‘Help! Help!’ said January. ‘I can’t see. I can’t see anything! I’m blind!’ It was very sad. January couldn’t see any more. May went to the garden and she took January back to the house. January stayed in his room for two months. He didn’t want to go out and he often thought about May. ‘What about May?’ he thought. ‘Now I can’t see my beautiful wife. What is she doing? I can’t see what she’s doing. Does she love me? I know what I’ll do. I’ll tell her that she must always stay in the house. We’ll stay here together.’
The next day, January said to May, ‘You must always sit next to me. Then I’ll know what you’re doing. Sometimes we can go to the garden but we must go there together.’
Now it was May who was sad. Her house was her prison. And she thought more and more about Damien.
Damien was also sad. ‘I can’t speak to May,’ he thought. ‘January is always there. I must do something. I need to speak to May.’ May and Damien often wrote letters to each other. They wrote about their love. But Damien wanted more, he wanted to speak to May. He wrote a letter to her. In the letter he wrote:
May, take a key to the garden. And then give the key to me. January has a lot of keys. Then tell January that you want to go the garden. Do it now!
Damien gave the letter to May, and May did what Damien asked. She gave him the key.
Then Damien went to the garden. And he waited there for January and May.
Soon January and May were in the garden. January was happy again. ‘I’m old, and I can’t see,’ he said to May. ‘But I have you, my love. I love you so much. And I want to show you how much I love you. Tomorrow, I’m going to give you all my money. And this house. And this garden.’
‘January, what are you saying?’ said May. You’re the only man in my life.’ But of course, there was another man in May’s life. And that man was Damien. And now she saw Damien in the garden.
‘I’m hungry!’ said May. ‘I want to go to the apple tree. Then I can eat an apple. Wait here!’ But May didn’t want any apples. She didn’t go to the tree. She ran to meet Damien.
January waited for May. He didn’t know where she was. Now, she was with Damien. But then everything changed.
‘I can see again, I can see!’ said January to himself. ‘How is this possible?’ he thought. January didn’t understand. ‘I must tell May; she’ll be so happy.’ And so, January looked at the apple tree, but May wasn’t there. ‘Where’s May?’ thought January. And then he saw her, but he didn’t only see May. He also saw a man. ‘Who are you? What are you doing? Leave this garden now!’ said January. Damien and May looked at January.
‘I think he can see us,’ said Damien. And then Damien ran. He was very fast and soon he was outside the garden. Then May ran to speak to January.
‘What is it my love?’ she asked.
‘I can see now. I was so happy. I wanted to tell you. And then I saw you with a man. I think I saw you with somebody.’
‘You can see again!’ said May. ‘I’m so happy. But, what are you talking about? A man! You can look everywhere in this garden. But you won’t see a man, because there is no man.’
‘I was excited, that I could see again,’ said January. ‘I think I saw something that wasn’t there. But I thought there was somebody with you.’
‘There was no man,’ said May. ‘Nobody can come into the garden. I want to go back home, my love. Then you can sleep. You’re tired.’
‘Yes, you’re right,’ said January. ‘Of course, there wasn’t a man. Nobody can come into the garden. I want to go home now. We have to tell everybody. We’ll have a party. Isn’t it great? I’m not blind. I can see again!’
“And here my story ends,” said the Merchant. “January was happy. He could see again. But there was something that January couldn’t see: he couldn’t see that May didn’t love him. And that May loved Damien. January wasn’t blind any more. But love, is always blind.”
Chapter 5: The Franklin’s Tale
Everybody in the group was tired. It was the end of a long day. They were ready to listen to the Franklin’s story.
“My story is also about a husband and wife. But, this story is different from the Merchant’s story. In my story, love is not blind. The husband and wife in my story are in love. The wife’s name was Dorigen. She loved her husband very much. The husband’s name was Arviragus. He was a knight. They lived in France. But, when I start my story, Arviragus was in England. Dorigen was very sad. She thought about her husband every day. And she stayed at home.”
Arviragus wrote a letter to Dorigen,
‘Don’t worry! I’ll come home soon,’ he wrote.
Dorigen read the letter. ‘I don’t want him to come back soon. I want him to come back now,’ she thought. ‘But I must go out. I must try to be happy.’
And so, Dorigen started going out. Her house was near the sea. She often went for a walk there with her friends. And she always wanted to look at the sea. ‘Where is the boat,’ thought Dorigen, ‘that will bring me my husband.’ And she sometimes looked at the big black rocks in the sea. ‘I don’t like the sea,’ said Dorigen to her friends. ‘Look at those black rocks. They’re dangerous.’
Dorigen’s friends were very worried. ‘You must stop thinking about those dangerous black rocks,’ they said. And so Dorigen’s friends took her to a dance. But, she didn’t want to dance. At the dance, there was a man called Aurelius. He loved Dorigen. And he wanted to speak to her. ‘Dorigen, you don’t know me very well. My name is Aurelius. You’re so beautiful. Is there a place in your heart for me?’
Dorigen looked at Aurelius and said, ‘No there isn’t. I’ll always love my husband.’
‘But what will I do? I need you!’ said Aurelius. ‘I’m sorry!’ said Dorigen.
‘But,’ said Aurelius, ‘is there anything I can do?’
‘Hmm, well, I want the black rocks in the sea to disappear. Do this, and then there will be a place in my heart for you.’
‘But that’s not possible,’ said Aurelius. ‘Nobody can do this!’
‘I know,’ said Dorigen.
Aurelius went home. At home he said a prayer. ‘Help me!’ he said. And then he went to bed. And he stayed at home. He never went out: he didn’t want to see anybody.
Soon Dorigen’s husband came home. Dorigen and Arviragus were together again. Aurelius was at home; he was always at home.
One day, Aurelius read an interesting book. It was a book about magic. ‘I can use magic. With magic, the black rocks will disappear,’ thought Aurelius. ‘I know a man in Orleans. His name is Simon. He’s famous for his magic. I can ask him to help me.’ The next day, Aurelius went to Simon’s house.
‘Hello,’ said Simon. ‘Have dinner with me, and you can tell me everything.’ At dinner there was every kind of food. There was meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. They ate, and Aurelius told Simon his story
Simon listened to the story And then he said, ‘It’s true that I sometimes do magic. And now I’ll do some magic for you!’ And then, the food on the table disappeared.
Aurelius was very happy. ‘Can you help me?’ asked Aurelius. ‘With the black rocks?’
‘Yes I can,’ said Simon. ‘But, it’ll be expensive. You have to pay me a thousand pounds.’
‘That’s a lot of money,’ said Aurelius. ‘But, alright. You must be quick. I want to go home tomorrow.’
In the morning, they went back to Aurelius’s house. Simon started work and, after two days, he was ready. ‘Aurelius,’ he said. ‘We can go and see the black rocks.’ They went to the sea. But when they arrived the black rocks weren’t there anymore.
‘Oh thank you! Thank you so much!’ said Aurelius. ‘I must show this to Dorigen.’
The next day, Aurelius met Dorigen. ‘Hello Dorigen,’ he said. ‘Do you remember our conversation about the dangerous black rocks? Do you remember what you promised? Please tell me that you remember.’
‘Yes, I remember,’ said Dorigen.
‘Well,’ said Aurelius. ‘The black rocks aren’t there anymore. Come and see!’
When they arrived, Dorigen looked at the sea. And then she said, ‘But, how can black rocks disappear? What can I do? I have to speak to my husband.’ And then she ran back home.
When Dorigen arrived home, she started to think. ‘I made a promise. And promises are important. But I’ll never do anything bad to my husband. What can I do?’ For two days, Dorigen thought about her problem. ‘What can I say to my husband?’ she thought. Then Dorigen spoke to her husband. She told him everything.
‘Don’t worry,’ said Arviragus. ‘You did nothing wrong. But, you promised this to Aurelius. And that’s why you must leave me.’
‘But, I love you Arviragus!’ said Dorigen. ‘Oh, what can I do?’ Dorigen went to a garden. She needed to think. When she was in the garden, a man spoke to her,
‘Hello, where are you going?’ It was Aurelius.
‘I don’t know,’ said Dorigen. ‘My husband says I must leave him. The black rocks aren’t there anymore. And I promised to be with you.’ Dorigen was very sad.
Dorigen stopped speaking. And then something changed inside Aurelius’ heart. ‘I hate to see you this sad,’ he said. ‘Your husband is a good man. You and Arviragus have a perfect love. I must stop this. Go home to your husband. We’ll forget about your promise.’
‘Thank you Aurelius! Thank you! Oh, I’m so happy!’ said Dorigen. And then she went home to tell her husband.
Then, Aurelius remembered something. ‘I have to pay Simon a thousand pounds. And I only have five hundred pounds. What am I going to do? I’ll bring him five hundred pounds. I think he’ll understand.’
Aurelius went back to Simon’s house. Aurelius was very worried. ‘Simon won’t be very happy,’ he thought.
‘Hello!’ said Simon. ‘Do you have my money?’
‘I can give you five hundred pounds,’ said Aurelius.
‘Why don’t you pay me everything? I did everything you asked of me, didn’t I? The black rocks disappeared.’
‘Yes, they did,’ said Aurelius. ‘And I’m very sorry about the money.’ And then Aurelius told Simon everything. He told him about Dorigen and Arviragus. He told him about their perfect love.
‘You’re all very good people,’ said the man. ‘You did a very good thing. You have a good heart. And I want to be good as well. You forgot about Dorigen’s promise. And so I’ll forget about the thousand pounds. I won’t take any money from you.’
‘Thank you Simon,’ said Aurelius. And then Aurelius went home. ‘I’ll never be with Dorigen,’ he thought. ‘But I’m happy. Because I did a good thing.’
“And that is the end of my story,” said the Franklin. “As you can see, it’s different from the Merchant’s story Because this story tells us that there are also many good people in the world.”
Chapter 6: The Pardoner’s Tale
“And now I have a story for you,” said the Pardoner to the other people in the group. “It’s a story about three men. They were called Ames, Lucien and Morise. Ames talked a lot. The other two men didn’t talk very much. These men were very bad. They only thought about money. They were always together, but they weren’t friends. Friends help you. Friends listen to your problems. They were greedy, and they had no love in their hearts. I will begin my story in an inn. The three men were together at a table near the window.”
‘I’m hungry!’ said Ames.
‘So am I,’ said Lucien. ‘I want something to eat.’ But then Ames saw something strange.
‘Look!’ he said. ‘Look out of the window! What are those two men doing?’
‘Oh, yes!’ said Lucien. ‘They’re carrying a man.’
‘Yes, you’re right,’ said Ames. ‘Who is he? I think we know him. Yes it’s Adranus. Innkeeper!’ said Ames. ‘Is that Adranus?’
‘Yes it is. Adranus died last night. Somebody killed him,’ said the innkeeper.
‘Who did this to Adranus?’ asked Ames. ‘Death did it!’ said the innkeeper.
‘Death! That’s a strange name,’ said Ames. ‘Why is he called Death?’
‘Because of the things he does,’ said the innkeeper. ‘Last week he met five people. And he killed them all. Nobody can find him. Everybody is worried about Death.’
‘We’ll look for him!’ said Ames. ‘It’ll be good fun. We’ll find him, and we’ll fight this strange man called Death.’
‘Don’t do it!’ said the innkeeper. ‘He’s very dangerous.’
‘Don’t worry! We know what to do,’ said Ames. ‘People say that Death lives near the mountain,’ said the innkeeper. ‘Don’t go near the mountain! Or you’ll be the next people to die.’
‘Well we’re going to the mountain. Nothing will stop us.’ And so the three men left the inn. And then they started walking to the mountain.
The three men walked for a long time. They often had to stop. After some hours, the three men met an old man.
‘Hey, old man!’ said Ames.
‘What do you want?’ said the old man.
‘Do you know a man called Death?’
‘Yes, I know about him,’ said the old man. ‘But why are you asking me this? Don’t go near that man! He’s dangerous.’
‘Tell us where we can find him,’ said Ames ‘Nobody knows where he is,’ said the old man. ‘But people say he often goes to a place. They say that he puts his money there.’
‘Money!’ said Ames. ‘Where is this place?’
‘Before you walk up the mountain; there’s a very old tree. It’s near the road that goes to the mountain. Sometimes he goes there. They say he’s got a lot of money.’
‘I think I know where this tree is,’ said Ames. ‘We can go there now!’
‘No! Stop!’ said the old man. But it was too late. The friends wanted to find the tree.
After two hours, they arrived at the place. And they saw the tree. ‘I want to look for the money now,’ said Ames. ‘Do you remember? The old man said that Death put it here.’ They looked for the money, and soon they found it. It was under a small rock. There was a lot of money in a big bag. The bag was very difficult to carry.
‘Here it is! Look how much there is! We’re rich,’ said Ames.
‘Hooray!’ they said. ‘We’ve got a lot of money!’ They were very excited.
‘I want to get something to eat and drink,’ said Ames.
‘OK,’ said Lucien. ‘We can go to the town and buy something.’
‘But, wait,’ said Ames. ‘Two of us must wait here with the money. Morise, you go to the town. We’ll wait for you here.’
‘OK,’ said Morise. And he went to the town. The other two men waited under the tree. After an hour, Ames thought of something. ‘Listen!’ said Ames. ‘There’s a lot of money in that bag.’
‘Yes, you’re right,’ said Lucien. ‘There’s about six hundred pounds. That’s two hundred pounds each.’
‘Yes, but I think we can have three hundred pounds each.’
‘How?’ asked Lucien.
‘Well, we can kill Morise when he comes back. Then we’ll have more money.’
‘Yes! I want to do that!’ said Lucien. And then the two men waited for Morise.
Morise was near the town. And he started thinking. ‘Well, there’s about six hundred pounds in that bag. That’s about two hundred pounds for me. Two hundred pounds is a lot of money. But six hundred pounds is much more. Six hundred pounds will change my life. I know what I’ll do. I’ll kill Ames and Lucien. Then I’ll have all the money.’
Ten minutes later, Morise arrived at the town. He bought some food and drink. But he also bought some poison. He put the poison in the drink. And then he went back to the tree. It was getting late when Morise arrived. Ames, Lucien, five got the food and…’ And they were the last words that Morise spoke. Because then Ames and Lucien killed him.
‘And now we have more money,’ said Ames. They didn’t worry about Morise.
The two men were happy. They drank together. Soon the poison was in their bodies. And after one minute, the poison killed them.
“That’s the end of my story,” said the Pardoner. “The three men wanted to fight Death. They were greedy. And that’s why they died. I want you to remember this story, when we arrive at Canterbury. And when we say our prayers.”
The others thought it was a very good story. And then the people in the group thought about all the stories. There were a lot of things to think about. And, after four days, Canterbury was very, very near.