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Since Mary, Queen of Scotland, was a child, the English wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France to wed the next king; to save herself and her people — a bond that should protect her, but there are forces that conspire forces of darkness, forces of the heart. Long may she reign.

Previously on Reign

(Queen Catherine’s chambers)

Mary: You killed 12 of my country men (Slaps Catherine in the face) I will never forgive you for this.

(Throne Room)

Greer: Lord Castleroy I heard what you did for Leith getting him out of jail and into the army.

Lord Castleroy: I didn’t do it for Leith, I did it for you.

(Mary’s Chambers)

Mary: My mother is a Catholic ally, she is under attack enemies screaming for her head and no one cares.

Francis: But the Duke of Guise?

Mary: Do you know anyone else with an army as large or as loyal?

Francis (To the Duke of Guise): Your men will report to me as they would to you.

Duke of Guise: But why would you need my men?

Francis: I’m going with you to Scotland.

(King Henry’s Chambers)

King Henry: French forces marched for Calais this morning.

Queen Catherine (Worried): Henry you’re not well.

Francis: We can take Calais.

Queen Catherine: Any fool knows he can’t do that.

Francis: It’s true; father’s army would fail on its own…but 2 armies.

Queen Catherine: Do you mean the Duke’s army…Mary’s army?

Francis: Mary will have to understand, I have no choice.

(Mary with her ladies on the castle balcony)

Mary: Francis is trying to save his country and I can forgive him for that as I hope he will forgive me for doing what needs to be done for Scotland.


Act 1 Edit

(The French Outpost near Calais, the scene comes up on Francis riding in and seeing men lying on the ground some appear to be either: sleeping, wounded or dead. A Noble soldier is seen riding with Francis into the main camp.)

Noble Soldier: The English attacked at dawn, took almost everything we had, but we beat them back. Between the constant attacks and desertions we won’t be able to hold the line.

Francis (Addressing a group of soldiers huddled around a small fire.): Where’s your commander?

Soldier #1: Dead…who’s asking?

Noble Soldier: The Dauphin of France, stand when you address him. (The soldiers rise to their feet.)

Francis: The English have been on our soil at Calais for two centuries I for one am tired of seeing them attack our lines, and I’m sure you are too. That’s why you’re not going to hold this outpost anymore, you’re going to advance.

Soldier #2: But we’ve lost half our company.

Francis: And the English know that; that’s why they keep attacking taking a few of us each time. Until we can’t fight anymore and are forced to retreat, we are in danger of losing this war if we don’t act. The soldiers you repelled this morning come from the castle of Monmorrency…that castle stands between us and our route to Calais. If we take it we clear the way so the Duke of Guise can stop holding the English back on the eastern front and push his men through to where the English aren’t prepare to defend themselves. He has thousands of men.

Soldier #1: But there’s 12 of us…you want us to take a castle?

Francis: Not you alone, all the men along the line will advance as well. (Suddenly another soldier rides into the camp out of breath.)

Soldier#3: My Lord, Your Grace the English have been spotted heading this way.

Noble Soldier: We need to get you to safety.

Soldier #1: So much for advancing to a bloody castle.

Francis: Send word to the Duke, and tell him to get here as soon as he can. (Francis begins to get down from his horse.)

Noble Soldier: Your Grace you can’t stay, if the English see you on horseback…if they even recognize you as a noble they’ll take you out first.

Francis (Ripping off the cloth that reveals him as a Royal): Meet your new commander…we’re advancing to a bloody castle.

(Back at French Court it’s winter time and inside Mary is taking a walk with Greer.)

Greer: We missed you at breakfast it’s not healthy to spend so much time alone.

Mary: I know I’m sorry; I’m just worried about Francis.

Greer: I know you parted on painful terms.

Mary: He took men meant for my mother’s protection to save French soldiers…I know he had to thousands of French soldiers would have died otherwise. Do all married couples have these struggles?

Greer (Chuckles): I think you’ve redefined marital discord.

(Greer & Mary stop talking and stop in their tracks as they’ve come across a guard who appears to be speaking harshly to someone. The guard looks at Mary causing her to stop smiling and her face turns to anger, the guard bows to her and walks away as Greer looks on.)

Greer: Mary what is it?

Mary (Angry): That guard every time I see him I want to gouge his eyes out.

Greer: What on earth…who is he? (Before Mary can answer her a guard runs up to them.)

Guard: Your Grace pardon my intrusion but there’s an urgent message for you. (The guard gives her a note and leaves.)

(Next the doors to the throne room open and Queen Catherine walks in followed by several of her Ladies in waiting. She is wearing a beautiful red and gold gown with a matching crown in her hair, as she approaches two people who are waiting for her: her cousins Hortenza & Roman de Medici.)

Queen Catherine (Happily): Ah my cousins! (Walking up to Roman and greeting him.) Roman how lovely to see you (Dryly to Hortenza): Ah Hortenza.

Hortenza: You look well Catherine…given the circumstances.

Queen Catherine (Confused): What circumstances are those?

Hortenza: I’ve heard that your husband has left the castle again. I hear he’s with a mistress in Paris.

Queen Catherine: Usually you time your visits around Henry’s availability though it could be said he’s in a bad temper of late…so you would’ve enjoyed his company less than usual.

Hortenza: I always enjoy his company as I know he greatly enjoyed mine.

Queen Catherine: Except for the day when he left you in tears, because he decided to marry me oh life is full of surprises isn’t it?

Hortenza: Roman has trade. As for me I’ve come to reclaim the team of men I loaned you I need them for a job back in Florence. I assume you have no objection as they’ve already served their purpose. (Catherine cuts her off as Mary comes up to them.)

Queen Catherine: Ah Mary these are my cousins Hortenza and Roman de Medici (Mary gives a polite bow to each one) Mary Queen of Scotland.

Hortenza (To Mary): I remember you as a child so talkative free with words.

Mary: Catherine could I have a private word with you?

Hortenza: Oh there you go more words.

Queen Catherine: Of course. (To her Lady Beatrice): Beatrice will you please show my cousins to their chambers to ensure their comfort. (Beatrice obeys and leads Roman and Hortenza out of the room as Mary takes Catherine’s hand.) Mary what is it?

Mary (Giving the letter to Catherine so she can read it): I received a letter from my mother Marie de Guise, the protestant insurgents surrounding her castle are demanding blood. It’s no longer about fighting them, if she has any hope of survival she needs to escape...in secret, but she needs money to do so for, guards, transport, bribes if necessary.

Queen Catherine (Still reading the letter she sighs.): Well this is awful, but why are you coming to me? You know that I can’t...

Mary (Interrupting): She also wrote to me of a time when you feared for your life, you wrote to my mother asking for help and she came through with a loan of 50,000 crowns to recruit an army.

Queen Catherine: I never used that money.

Mary: Well you never gave it back either.

Queen Catherine: I’ve exchanged 10 times that amount with your mother. (She gives Mary back the letter) Is this really about an old debt?

Mary: No it’s about being a female ruler trapped and alone, and if anyone knows how terrifying that is it’s you.

Queen Catherine: And I’d help if I could, but all of the court’s money is tied up in the war with Calais.

Mary: I’m not talking about the court’s money; I’m talking about your money the funds you keep hidden in case you have to leave France in a hurry.

Queen Catherine: I don’t...

Mary (Cutting her off): Don’t try to deny it, not 6 months ago you escaped the tower and were ready to disappear, because Henry wanted you dead. How were you going to support yourself in exile? You and my mother were friends once.

Queen Catherine (Sincere): I wish her well; there is no hidden money.

Mary: (Grabbing Catherine’s arm): Catherine I beg of you...

Queen Catherine (Snatching her hand away.): You’re a Queen don’t beg! It invites sympathy, then pity, and disdain. Give the impression that your weak and you too could need a secret fund. (Catherine walks away.)

(Queen Mary enters her chambers to find two maids hard at work cleaning her room, when suddenly she hears a noise coming from her changing area.)

Mary: That’s all you may go. (The maids leave as Mary goes over to her desk and picks up a letter opener.) Who’s there?

John (Appearing right behind Mary): John Proveau at your service.

Mary: I wondered when you’d get here; you weren’t seen?

John: I’m never seen.

Mary: And yet your name is known in certain circles.

John: Your uncle’s for one.

Mary: He has spoken of your rise in your field; a man who gets the job done...a mercenary.

John: Your messengers said you had an urgent matter to discuss?

Mary: Queen Catherine has a secret stash of gold somewhere for emergencies, I need you to find it and bring it to me. I would’ve preferred not to use your services, but I gave Catherine the option of being a human being, saving a life and she refused.

John: Is that wise considering you’re about to steal it?

Mary: Done right she won’t even notice it’s gone; perhaps not for months. By then it will be too late.

John: Fair enough I’ll have it for you in 2 days.

Mary: Well how will you go about it?

John: You don’t want the details.

Mary: I won’t have blood spilled if that’s what you’re intending.

John: No one intends to spill blood, but plans do go awry obstacles come up, I can’t be expected to finish my job with half my tools.

Mary: No innocent blood then, promise me!

John: I promise I’ll try...but if it gets in the way of success.

Mary: You will keep me apprised before any serious action is taken.

John: Leave everything to me. (Mary turns her back for a few seconds and when she turns back John has disappeared, and Mary is left alone in her chamber.)

(The scene comes up on Queen Catherine crossing herself as she sits in the confessional to tell the priest of her sins and receive penance.)

Queen Catherine: Forgive me father; since my last confession I have: taken the Lord’s name in vain many times, and ordered the assassination of a dozen Scottish visitors, I struck my servant...a slap which I regret as it was a loss of self control which has been sulky ever since, also my cousin Hortenza is here expect worse of me I loathe her. I’m prepared for my penance (There is silence then she hears a thud) Father?

(Queen Catherine comes out from behind the screen and she is stunned to find the priest dead on the floor. She is so shocked that she fails to notice a figure sneaking up behind her as a pair of black gloves come up and grab her, covering her mouth to silence her very loud screams. The Queen is dragged off as she struggles unsuccessfully.)

(End of Act 1)

Act 2 Edit

(It’s snowing in the castle courtyard as Bash and Kenna along with Remy and Lola enter.)

Kenna: Oh come, Bash the air is bracing we’re all young and wed; you must shake this black mood, there’s nothing you can do.

Bash: That’s exactly the problem isn’t it? I’m here while thousands bleed from English swords...my brother...

Kenna (Sensing his worry): Francis will survive the war, you must believe that.

Lola: That’s right Bash there’s no point imagining anything else. (Kenna suddenly runs as she spies a ball in the snow.)

Kenna: Let’s play! (Kenna kicks the ball to Bash who catches it, then kicks it to Kenna, and soon Remy joins in and the three play happily while a very pregnant Lola watches from a log.)

Lola (Feeling some obvious pain): *Groans in pain*

Kenna (Runs over to Lola along with Remy and Bash): Lola! Lola are you alright?

Lola (In pain): It’s just a cramp; uh they’ve been happening...this one um perhaps I should lie down.

Remy (Helps his wife up): We need to take care of you. (Bash and Kenna follow Remy and Lola inside.)

(Meanwhile back in the woods Francis and the soldiers are marching through the forest.)

Francis: We’ll stop and rest here.

Soldier #1: How much further till the English line sir?

Francis: Just a few more miles.

(They continue walking when they hear the sound of branches breaking not far from them. They stop in their tracks when an arrow comes hurtling and lands in a tree that was right in front of Francis as English soldiers come running to engage the French. A battle breaks out, and soon the French gain the upper hand, at one point Francis is fighting with an English soldier and gets pinned to the ground with only his sword between him and the other. Just as Francis kills him another English soldier comes from behind ready to kill him when Leith kills him saving Francis’ life.)

Francis (Taking Leith’s hand and getting up): What is your name?

Leith: Leith Bayard sir.

Francis: I am in your debt Leith Bayard. (Francis walks over to where fellow soldier is standing by the dead body of his comrade.)

Soldier #2: I told him you were a good luck charm...who’d kill the Dauphin of France? We were safe with you.

Francis: I’m not a good luck charm. (Francis leaves as the soldiers follow suit.)

(The scene immediately comes up on Queen Catherine, who is chained by her hands to a ring soldered to the floor; she is also bound to a chair as well as blindfolded. She struggles unsuccessfully, and she is clearly terrified There is a figure in the room with her who is sitting in front of her. It soon becomes apparent that the kidnapper is John, and that he has brought the poor Queen to some sort of cabin deep in the woods. The Queen can sense his presence; however John says nothing, but eats an apple with a knife.)

Queen Catherine: I know you’re there! Oh you’re wise not to speak, though it tells me more than you think. For one thing this has nothing to do with the war...if it did our negotiations would be much more out in the open, you’d be bragging about your English superiority. And for another...it tells me that you don’t intend to kill me...at least not yet....which mean you want something...information perhaps? money?. And since you got into the castle so easily you either work there, unlikely, or you’re a mercenary, hired to kidnap me for someone else, someone close to me, in desperate need of funds, who has long had it in for me...a young Queen perhaps? The good news? You’ve chosen your victim wisely, I’ll double whatever they offered, but you must bring me the head of the person responsible for this.

(John gets up from his chair, sets the apple down and with the knife in his hand walks over to the frightened Queen.) Do we have a deal? (Queen Catherine shudders as John walks up to her left side and puts his knife to her ear as if he’s going to cut it off.)

(Meanwhile back at French Court, Lola is resting and her husband Remy is by her side, while Agnes checks on the baby.)

Agnes (Feeling Lola’s belly): There that’s a nice kick. The baby’s well. You’ll be fine too; a little blood is nothing as long as it stops, and yours did. Rest here a bit.

Lola: Thank you Agnes. (Agnes leaves Lola and Remy alone)

Remy (Sits down beside Lola and puts his hand gently on her face): Would you like more water? Another pillow?

Lola: I think what I need is rest. It’s getting harder as the weeks go by.

Remy: Well you’re sharing a bed with 2 of us...one who steals the covers, and the other who kicks and turns all night. (Lola chuckles) perhaps I should sleep in my quarters this evening.

Lola (Taking his arm): Well that’s not what I want, not at all. (Remy kisses her) you’ve been so kind to me, a better husband than I could’ve hoped for...or might deserve.

Remy: Don’t do that.

Lola: All I meant was...I’ve been happy, really and truly happy these last months; when I think of how things might have gone for me, I’d be facing moments like this alone...save for some cold nuns around me...judging me.

Remy: I’m glad I’m a step up from a nunnery.

Lola: I am a bit scared about giving birth, and I know you are as well...it’s dangerous for a woman.

Remy: Lola...

Lola (Cutting him off): Would you be with me, at my side?

Remy (Unsure): I think you’d be in better hand with your lady friends.

Lola: I want to hold your hand, you make me feel safe, I need...

Remy (Interrupting): Don’t...I always want to be there for you.

Lola: That’s not the same as saying you’ll be with me. (Remy stumbles to find words) it’s alright I understand, it’s not common for men to witness childbirth.

Remy: It’s not that, if I’m careful with my words it’s only so you’ll understand...you have a strength you have yet to realize, remember that...always.

(The scene comes up on Mary’s chambers, as Hortenza walks into her room with awful news.)

Mary (Shocked): What do you mean the Queen’s been kidnapped?

Hortenza (Holding a note): I would keep your voice down, unless you’re trying to alert the entire country to the vulnerability of Henry’s court. (She opens the note) someone slipped this under my chamber door 10 minutes ago.

Mary (Takes the note and reads it aloud): “20,000 francs to be delivered to the base of the Louis XI obelisk by sundown tomorrow.” Good Lord!

Hortenza (Surprisingly calm): As you’re the last royal in the castle, I thought it prim to let you know...in case you want to do anything about it.

Mary (Surprised by Hortenza’s reaction): What do you mean?

Hortenza: The Medici family has a longstanding tradition not to negotiate with kidnappers, if we bowed to their demands we would never be safe.

Mary (Concerned and still shocked): Well what of Catherine?

Hortenza: Perhaps Henry will pay the ransom.

Mary (Sits down along with Hortenza): It will take days to get word to him in Paris, long after the deadline. The letter makes it clear that if we do not give into their demands...Catherine’s body will be dumped at the castle gates.

Hortenza: My dear I’ve been in this situation before, and there are really only 2 possible outcomes: either Catherine’s kidnappers intend to return her alive in which case they’ll certainly wait a few days for the ransom, or they don’t in which case there’s really no rush to do anything. (The door opens and Roman comes in with something in his hand.)

Roman (Out of breath): A servant just dropped this off at my door; she said it was found at the castle gate. (Roman and Hortenza watch as Mary opens the package which is revealed to contain a human ear with a beautiful earring attached. The three gasp in horror.)

Hortenza: My God!

Mary: That earring...it’s Catherine’s, then there is a 3rd possible outcome: the kidnappers intend to return Catherine alive, but in pieces.

Hortenza: Our policy is clear; we simply can’t give into their demands. (Hortenza and Roman leave Mary alone with the ear.)

(Meanwhile back in the woods, Francis and the soldiers continue walking towards the castle.)

Francis: The castle of Montmorency is just up ahead, ours for the taking.

Soldier #1: What makes you so sure we’ll take it?

Francis: Did you see the men you attacked us this morning?

Soldier #1: I was too busy soiling my pants Your Grace.

Francis (Smiles): There was a man with a red beard, and another wearing a lady’s favor, I saw them before twice, don’t you see? The castle is undermanned, the same few men are being sent each time; they strike fast and withdraw to deceive us into thinking the castle is too strong to take. Soon it will be too strong; we must get there before English reinforcements arrive.

Soldier #2: Wait... (The soldiers observe the castle roof and see English soldiers preparing to light a cannon which is pointed in their direction.)

Francis: TAKE COVER! (The French scurry for the woods as the English begin to fire on them. A blast takes out 2 more soldiers.)

Soldier #1: We can’t fight back Your Grace, we can’t even turn and run...what now?

Francis: We have no choice, we stay and finish this...or we die trying. (The English continue to fire cannonballs on the French.)

(Back at the castle Greer comes into Lola’s room where she is still resting, but Remy is no longer there.)

Greer: Kenna told me that you were unwell, that it might be the baby.

Lola: We’re both fine, thank you. (Lola looks worried)

Greer: You don’t look fine, what is it?

Lola: I received word from my family’s banker; the dowry was transferred to my husband 2 days ago. The money Julian’s been waiting for has arrived and is in his grasp.

Greer: I thought you were holding it back?

Lola: Well the banker couldn’t, not anymore legally he’s owed it. Worse still the banker said Julian had been pressing for it, that he’d been relentless.

Greer: But you have no proof that Julian needed the money do you?

Lola: No, but Julian married me before he loved me, or I loved him, and I do love him. But why would he...why would any man marry a girl pregnant with another man’s child unless he was going to get something out of it?

Greer: And what if he did? What if he’s secretly broke and ashamed or in debt? And he met and married a very rich girl who only married him, because she’s pregnant with another man’s child. And what if those 2 people fell in love anyway? If the end of your story is a happy one, does how it began really matter?

Lola: I hope Lord Castleroy’s your happy ending, do you think of Leith often?

Greer: Everyday, I pray for his future, I pray for his survival; even though I’ll never set eyes on him again.

(Back in the woods Francis and the soldiers are still undercover trying to hide from the English who are continuing to fire on them.)

Francis (With a telescope): The English have placed a wagon full of gunpowder next to the cannon for easy freeloading. One flaming arrow well aimed will take it out as well as the entire English squad.

Soldier #1: You won’t make it 10 feet out of these trees before you’re blown to pieces.

Francis: If I acted alone, yes, but not if we work together. That cannon can only shoot in one direction at a time, if you were to draw down the right flank drawing its fire, I could sneak down the left and get close enough to take the shot. Calais...

Leith (Interrupting): They don’t care about Calais, they know how lords and generals talk of battle; the men are chest pieces, but we don’t see ourselves that way, no one risks their lives for some law and strategy. We do for those we love, for our brothers in arms so we don’t look like cowards.

Soldier #1: And for money (The men chuckle)

Francis: I don’t see you as chess pieces.

Leith: Then prove it...get us out of here alive.

Francis: I can’t promise that, but this is not a law and strategy it’s about survival. That cannon is the fist of God, if we stay here and do nothing it’ll pound us to pieces, but if we advance dispersed and on the move...the English won’t know who to target, it is the best chance for most of us to survive. (The men look at each other and Francis.)

(In Bash and Kenna’s chambers the couple sits on their bed talking about Lola and Lord Julian.)

Kenna: Greer told Lola not to worry about Julian, but I worry...all I’m asking is that you get close to him, to feel him out about his finances.

Bash: No.

Kenna: His background?

Bash: No.

Kenna (Exasperated): Why not?

Bash: You don’t want to pick this marriage apart, it came together very quickly, let them find their way.

Kenna (Sensing her husband knows something): You know...

Bash: That Lola got pregnant by someone else, that’s why she rushed to the altar.

Kenna: Do you know by whom?

Bash: No, but I suspect you do. Some cad who can’t take responsibility, but she found Julian maybe she’s lucky. (Kenna shakes her head) the child will have a name, respectability.

Kenna (Interrupting): She’s in love with him, and if he’s not in love with her...

Bash: She can never be free of him, they’re wed.

Kenna: She can protect her heart, and as her friend I want to help her do that (putting her hand on Bash’s face) as my husband I want you to help me...please. (Bash smiles)

(It’s now night time at the castle; Mary is in an underground chamber waiting impatiently, when John comes into view. The two talk about the kidnapping of the Queen of France.)

Mary: You said you would keep me apprised before any serious action was taken.

John: I’ve spilt no blood.

Mary: You kidnapped the Queen of France! And cut off her ear!

John: You really are new at this aren’t you? The Queen is fine. I purchased the ear off a gravedigger and put Catherine’s earring on it to better tell the tale; besides your orders were to get the money as quickly as possible.

Mary: By stealing it, not by ransoming her, the Medici’s are refusing to pay; I could’ve warned you about that.

John: The ransom is a distraction. What anyone would expect in a kidnapping.

Mary: And is it your intention to kill the Queen since she surely suspects I’m responsible?

John: Oh she suspects alright...she’s offered me double my fee to bring her your head. (Mary’s eyes grow wide with fear and shock as John laughs) relax Mary I wouldn’t succeed in my line of work if it were known that I could be turned so easily. I’m not going to kill Catherine, and you won’t be blamed for this.

Mary (Doubtful): And how do you intend to pull that off?

John: The Queen has no way of proving you’re responsible, so all we need is a credible alternative...someone we can frame for the crime, I’ll deliver the Queen the head, she’ll pay me, and I’ll give you the money minus my cut. The Queen goes free and everybody’s happy.

Mary: Except for the innocent soul who dies in my stead.

John: If you’re worried about innocence, choose someone who isn’t. Given all the treachery and backstabbing at court it shouldn’t be too hard. Pick a name, someone this world would be better off without, and don’t waste time about it. (John turns to leave Mary alone to think about whose head will be sent to Catherine)

                              (End of Act 2)


Act 3 Edit

(It’s nighttime outside the castle. Mary and Bash are talking about how Mary planned Catherine’s kidnapping.)

Bash (A bit shocked): You hired a mercenary to kidnap Catherine?

Mary: I didn’t mean for it to go that far, but yes and now to get out of it I have to pin the crime on someone else.

Bash: You’d do that and send an innocent to their death?

Mary: I don’t know what I’m capable of anymore to be frank; but there is one possibility. For months I’ve been trying to figure out which of Catherine’s men participated in the slaughter of my countrymen at the brothel, sometime ago I paid a servant to track down one of the prostitutes who escaped to find some descriptions of the men involved. According to the prostitute one of the men had a scar on his cheek from brow to chin.

Bash: Lot’s of men have scars.

Mary: He also badly burned his hands after the massacre.

Bash (Cutting her off): This isn’t justice; it’s solving your problems with the blood of another. I know how this goes as do you; that’s why you came to me.

Mary: You killed someone in the woods, when the Pagans forced you to choose a sacrifice.

Bash: I did it for you; and for myself, I murdered a man who was about to kill another and to this day I wonder did he have a family? Did he die for his own beliefs or was he simply acting on the orders of those above him? Was he really as guilty as I thought at the time?

Mary: What’s the answer?

Bash: The answer is you have to be sure, because if there is any doubt in your mind; your conscience won’t ever let you rest again. (In the castle halls Mary is reading a book, when she spies the guard she has been looking for; however as she gets up and begins to approach him, Hortenza comes out of nowhere and begins talking to the guard. Mary watches the conversation looking a bit confused, and she approaches Hortenza as the guard walks away.)

Hortenza: Mary, what a talent you have for sneaking up on people.

Mary: I couldn’t help but notice you talking with Catherine’s guard.

Hortenza: You mean my guard? I lent Catherine my men sometime ago. Why do you ask?

Mary (Stumbling a bit): Ah well, I wanted to employ him to help me find Catherine.

Hortenza (Laughs and gets into Mary’s face): My dear, you need to be a much better liar if you want anyone to take you seriously.

Mary: I wanted to question him, he did some work for Catherine, and I’m curious as to the specifics.

Hortenza: The whorehouse massacre? (Mary's face turns to surprise) don’t act so surprised; my guards may have served Catherine, but they are loyal to me. Did she put you up to this?

Mary (Confused): Who, Catherine?

Hortenza (Spiteful): She’s been trying to banish me from Court for years, afraid I’ll steal her husband; she’s already assigned that little harlot of hers; Beatrice to spy on me, now she’s got you doing it too. You’re trying to gage my involvement in the slaughter of your countrymen when I had nothing to do with it. I loaned Catherine those men long before she planned the incident and if you intend to say otherwise I’ll deal with you in the same way as Beatrice Queen or not.

Mary (Shocked): Are you threatening me?

Hortenza: Let’s just say I can’t have either of you bearing false witness to Henry when he returns; if it means stepping on an insect, a servant, a nothing to make my point clear, I don’t mind getting the heal of my shoe bloody. If I’ve read you wrong I apologize, but Catherine must be taught to stay out of my affairs; assuming she makes it back to the castle. (Hortenza gives Mary a snide look as she walks away, leaving Mary looking quite worried.)

(Bash and Kenna’s chambers, it’s nighttime and Kenna is lying in bed; she looks up when Bash enters the room.)

Kenna (Worried): I was about to send the servants looking for you, where have you been?

Bash: Looking into Julian’s background, among other things.

Kenna: Is he destitute? He was married before did he kill his wives?

Bash: I have no idea, but I did learn of his activities closer to home; he’s planning a hunting trip.

Kenna: Lola mentioned it.

Bash: With one horse, and a carriage to carry some belongings, but no hounds, no falcons, he didn’t request hunting gear of any kind. You said her dowry came through.

Kenna: Yes, it’s in his possession, do you think he’s going to leave her?

Bash: I don’t know, but he’s leaving the castle tonight and I don’t for a minute think he’s going hunting.

(Back in the woods, at the cabin where Queen Catherine is still being held hostage, she is still blindfolded and bound to her chair. Then she hears the door open as John comes back, he has a bag in his hand.)

Queen Catherine: Did you do as I asked? (John doesn’t answer her, but drops the bag which is bloody in her lap as she shrieks in shock; John then stands right in front of her face. Catherine feels the bag in her lap in disbelief) I don’t believe it; did you cut off the head of Mary Queen of Scots?

John: No, I brought the head of the one behind your kidnapping as you asked.

Queen Catherine: Well if not Mary then who? Answer carefully, if you lie I won’t tell you where to find the money.

John: Someone who’s hated you for a long time, who needed money desperately; you’ll find proof of what I’m saying when you return to the castle. Now where’s the gold? (John kneels down and gets right in Catherine’s face) if you lie, I’ll find you again and next time I’ll take your children as well.

Queen Catherine (Shudders at the thought): There’s a chest of gold in an empty sarcophagus, beneath the arch at the church of St. Isabelle. (John puts the key in her hand, and hurries to leave as the Queen begins to free herself from her shackles, rips off her blindfold, opens the bag in her lap, and is shocked to find the severed head of her cousin) Ah, Hortenza.

(Meanwhile at the battle for Calais, Francis is wrapping flammable cloth around an arrow.)

Francis (To Leith): Be fast!

Leith: Don’t miss! (The men yell and head for the castle as Francis heads for the other side; the men avoid the fire from the English, Francis lights a fire, then the arrow.)

Francis (Taking aim): God save us all! (He lets the arrow fly, it hits it’s ark in the gunpowder and there is an immediate explosion killing the English soldiers. The French cheer happily as Francis rejoins his men.)

Francis: Well don men all of you! (He notices that Leith is missing) Where’s Leith?

Soldier #2: He was right behind me!

Francis (Calling): LEITH!

(Back at the castle, Kenna is in Lola’s chambers. Lola is resting in bed.)

Lola: A carriage but no hounds for a hunting trip? Isn’t that odd?

Kenna: Bash found his lack of interest in hunting supplies quite odd yes.

Lola (Worried): He’s going to leave me.

Kenna: If you love Julian you should talk to him, see if he’ll share his troubles and pray that they’re just financial. (Remy enters the room, and Kenna gets up to leave.) I was just checking in on your beautiful bride.

Lola: Thank you, Kenna. (Kenna leaves and Lola begins to get out of bed.)

Remy (Concerned): No, darling don’t…

Lola (Interrupting): Please, I want to talk.

Remy: What you need is rest, and I’m going to sleep in my quarters this evening so you get it.

Lola: And the hunting trip? Are you still going on it?

Remy: I may, yes if you’re well.

Lola: Don’t, please don’t; stay with me.

Remy: Alright, but I may stop in court for a hand of cards. I’ll have your dinner sent to you.

Lola: Julian, please hear me! (Remy stops and listens) I don’t need elaborate things, anything you can’t provide. I admit I went into this marriage as a means of survival, but I never would have done that if I hadn’t thought I’d found someone I could care for. (Remy turns around to look at her) and I do, I want you and you can keep me for much less than you imagined. I wish you could believe that.

Remy: Who could believe that with a girl like you? You’re everything I ever dreamed of. (Lola has tears in her eyes as Remy leaves.)

(In the castle hall, Queen Catherine is back at the castle and she is anything but calm, in fact she is furious. She is followed by her guards and Ladies in Waiting who are trying to tend to the highly agitated Queen and she is brushing them off her.)

Queen Catherine: Get Back! I want every entrance of the castle locked down until further notice! (Some guards move to obey her orders, while Roman and some other guards pop up right in front of her.)

Roman (Relieved): Catherine, thank God.

Queen Catherine (Cutting him off): You, you expect me to believe you know nothing of this? (She motions her head and guards begin to scramble, and soon one appears by the window with Hortenza’s head. A lady tries to give the Queen a water goblet, but she motions the lady to stay put.)

Roman: No, I swear!

Queen Catherine (To the other guards, highly irritated): Organize a search of Hortenza’s rooms, and those of Mary, Queen of Scots; I want to know everything about her: her movements, her letters, anyone she’s been meeting with. Until I’m satisfied with the details of what happened I will seek the identity of my true abductor and destroy them (tosses her hand towel on the floor with a loud slap) GO!

(A lady picks up the towel, while the rest of the guards and servants hurry off to obey her command. The Queen then leaves followed by her ladies.)

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