As ever, two servants are speaking about the rumors they hear about court, while sweeping the Great Hall, after hours.
Servant 1: You saw Archdeacon Gardiner's eye, didn't you?
Servant 2: yea! what happened to him?
Servant 1: Supposedly John Dudley, Catherine Dudley's husband punched him!
Servant 2: *gasp* no! why would he do that?
Servant 1: Well, I take it you heard of the Lady Dudley's slight to him, at a dinner party, at which she said she'd sit next to the person she loved least, because she could not sit next to the man she loved best?
Servant 2: *nods*
Servant 1: Well apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. They have been bitter enemies for years, and Gardiner finally went to talk to her husband, telling him that he should shut his wife up, or something!
Servant 2: Why would he punch him for that? that is such a grave offense! why would he risk his name at court, just because a man of the church gave him some advice? surely, ti is not his place, but Gardiner is a man loved of the King! Dudley could see himself banished from court for this!
Servant 1: well yes, that's exactly what Gardiner attempted to have done, after the incident. He spoke to several people about it, who could see the Earl banished from court for the offense, but no one would back him!
Servant 2: why not? Gardiner has friends at court, does he not?
Servant 1: yes, he does, but they can't very well do anything, without any witnesses, can they? the black eye he got isn't enough, since the Earl could easily claim that he knew nothing of this injury, and that Gardiner must have fallen, or something.
Servant 2: So the Dudleys are safe?
Servant 1: *nods* for now, at least. I'm not certain they'll ever be truly safe from Gardiner's wrath.. I have heard that once his mind is set to punish someone, they will eventually be punished.