Worcester and Vernon, subdued, stood in the King’s tent as prisoners. The victors, including the two princes and Westmoreland, regarded them. The King addressed them directly.
‘This is how rebellion always ends. Ungrateful Worcester! Didn’t we offer kindness, forgiveness and friendship to all of you? And did you say that I had done the opposite? Abuse your family’s trust? Three of our knights who were killed today, a noble earl, and many other men, might have been alive right now if, like a Christian, you had truthfully reported the talks between our two armies.’
‘I did what I did for in my own interests. I accept my fate patiently, since there’s no way I can avoid it,’ said Worcester.
‘Take Worcester to his death, and Vernon too: I’ll think about what to do with other offenders.’
Worcester and Vernon, heads bowed, were led away by guards.
The King beamed at his closest advisers. ‘What’s happening on the battlefield?’ he said.
‘When that brave Scot, Lord Douglas, saw that fortune was turning against him, that noble Percy had been killed, and that his men were fleeing in terror, he joined them,’ said Hal. ‘He fell down a hill and was so badly injured that our men captured him. The Douglas is at my tent. I ask your Majesty to let me decide his fate.’
‘With all my heart,’ his father said.
‘Then Brother John of Lancaster, this generous act will be yours. Go to Douglas and set him free to do whatever he likes, with no ransom. His brave fighting against us today has taught us to cherish such valour, even though he was so close to our enemies.’
‘Thank you, your Highness, for giving me this honour,’ Lancaster said. ‘I’ll do it at once.’
‘Then all that’s left for us to do is divide our army,’ the King said. ‘You, my son John, and you, Westmoreland, head towards York as fast as you can to meet Northumberland and the prelate, Scroop, who I believe are raising armies against us. You and I, my son Harry, will make for Wales to fight Glendower and the Earl of March. The rebellion in this land will dissolve once it encounters battles like the one we fought today. And since we have done our business so well, let’s not stop until we have finished it.’