Since Mary, Queen of Scotland was a child, The English have wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France, to wed its 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.
(Queen Catherine's chambers)
Clarissa: You're going to get what you deserve
Queen Catherine: Who are you ghost? Come out so we can all see you.
(Shots of Clarissa, the dungeons)
Nostradamus: Her name is Clarissa
Queen Catherine: How long has she been in the shadows listening to God knows what?
(The Throne Room)
Mary: I will stake my claim on England, and I will marry your son, but not Francis...Bash.
(The Castle underground)
King Henry: To the new King & Queen of France, Scotland & England.
(The Throne Room)
Francis (To Bash): I've envied, and look at us now you have what's mine & I have your freedom. I plan to take full advantage of it.
(The Castle Hallway)
Queen Catherine: You're holding me prisoner?
King Henry: Guarded day and night or at least until I'm back from Rome...Imprison her!
(Guards come to take Queen Catherine away)
IN CATHERINE'S CHAMBERS:
(Clarissa enters Catherine's empty chambers and looks about the room. She sits on the bed for a moment and then looks through a small wooden box that contains the names of each of Catherine's children, with a lock of their hair. Before Clarissa can finish, two young lovers sneak into the room)
- GIRL (laughing): Here we are: The Queen's private chambers. It's all ours.
(They kiss and make their way over to the bed, where they make love with most of their clothes off. Clarissa, wishing to remain out-of-sight, slinks into the corner, hiding between a wardrobe and the wall)
IN THE STABLES:
(Bash attends to one of the horses in the stable, grooming it and cleaning its fur. Bash, seeing Mary out of the corner of his eye, drops what he's doing and goes to meet with Mary)
- BASH: There you are. You missed our ride this morning.
- MARY: I'm sorry. I overslept.
- BASH: I hope you weren't up all night worrying again.
- MARY: It's just the fact that we've heard no news from the Vatican.
- BASH: Will your worrying make the Pope choose to legitimize me any sooner? The Vatican wil come around and when they do, you and I can finally be married. I promise.
- MARY: That's not all I'm worried about. Your half brothers, Charles and Henry, I see their sad faces around the castle and I realize how hard this must be for them.
- BASH: It's awful. I know.
- MARY: There's a frost fair in the village this morning. I want to take them, just us three -- just something special to take their minds off their troubles
(Bash smiles lovingly at Mary)
- BASH: You are so good. So truly good.
(He pulls her to him tightly and kisses her tenderly)
(Mary, remaining true to her word, takes the boys to the festival. They are accompanied by many castle guards, who lead them in a horse-drawn carriage)
- PRINCE CHARLES: Will there be ice-skating?
- MARY: Yes and sleigh-rides and spiced candy and puppet plays. All of the boys and girls from the village will be there!
- PRINCE CHARLES: Mother and father don't like us to play with regular children. I wish mother could be there.
- MARY: I know.
- PRINCE CHARLES: Will we see her before she dies?
- MARY: Don't worry about that now. Your mother wants you to be happy. She'll be happier knowing that you've had a lovely day!
(Offscreen, voices can be heard instructing people passing by to back off)
- GUARD: Get back! All of you!
- PASSERBY: LOOK! It's the Medici princes!
(The crowd becomes angry and starts latching on to the side of the carriage, shaking it violently, while yelling insults about the Queen)
- PASSERBY: This is for Queen Catherine and her lies!
- MARY (to the boys): Get down! Hide.
(Both boys crawl under their seat, put their hands over their heads and scream)
AT THE CASTLE:
(After the young couple finished up, the girl notices one of Catherine's possessions has been disturbed. She goes to inspect the situation and she hears a whisper)
- CLARISSA: HEY
- GIRL: Who's there?
(She then begins searching the room for the voice that just called out to her)
- GIRL: Show yourself! I won't take the blame if you've stolen something from the queen.
(She goes to the window to look behind the curtain. As she pulls it back, Clarissa pops out and attacks her, putting her into a chokehold until she snaps her neck. Dead, the girl slinks to the ground)
IN THE DUNGEON:
(Mary goes to meet with the Queen to tell her what had happened earlier that morning)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Where are my boys now?
- MARY: Bash is with them.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I warned you of the unrest that would result in changing the line of succession. Once the Vatican legitimizes Bash, Henry will take off my head. Those boys will be orphans.
- MARY: They'll still have their father.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Hahaha. How much attention do you think they'll get from him as he cavorts with his new bride, Diane? And as for Bash, as soon as he takes power, he will face unrelenting pressure to do away with them.
- MARY: I will not allow it. I will take care of them.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You?
- MARY: Bash as well. We will raise them as they are our own. Despite what you may think, I never intended to harm your family. I just wanted to save Francis.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I wish I could believe that.
- MARY: and I want to help Clarissa too.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Clarissa?
- MARY: Yes. She is your daughter. We both know that. And she saved my life.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: How do you intend on coaxing her out of the passages?
- MARY: I ordered a mask made; to cover her deformity. It's being delivered today and when the time is right, I'll arrange for her to have chambers of her own.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You seriously intend to integrate her into society after a life in the shadows; living like vermin? That girl is broken. She is more animal than human. The greatest mercy would be to have her put down.
- MARY: You don't mean that. You would never want that for your own child.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I suppose I'll have to get use to other people deciding what I want for my children. They'll be out of my care very shortly when I'm dead.
(In the passage way, Clarissa watches as the boys play together in their chamber. She excitedly opens a silk-wrapped package Mary left her, revealing the mask. She puts it on and looks at her reflection in a jagged piece of mirror. Upon seeing her face, she smashes the glass on the ground and goes back to watching the boys play together. Then, she rips a huge section of hair out of her head, blood, skin and all and wraps it around the princes' hair Catherine kept in her box of keepsakes)
- BASH: What can I do to protect my younger brothers? There must be a way to make them safe.
- LORD HUGO: I marvel that you could have been brought up at court and still understand it so poorly. For a royal, there's no such thing as safety.
- BASH: I realize the notion of my being king disappoints you, Lord Hugo.
- LORD HUGO: It did once. But not anymore.
- MARY: You've switched sides?
- LORD HUGO: I'm head of the King's Privy Council for two reasons: I know how to manage men and I know how to pick the winning side. In light of recent events; the Queen's pending execution and Francis's continuing absence from court; that side is yours.
- BASH: How lucky I am to have such steadfast support.
- LORD HUGO: If steadfast is what you require, there's only one way to achieve it. Factions need a flag to rally behind, and every young prince with a claim to the throne is another flag. But, if those flags were taken away, perhaps permanently ....
- MARY: Are you suggesting killing the boys?!
- LORD HUGO: I would never presume to make such a suggestion. Those boys are the King's own blood. You asked about safety. This morning's attack was mild.
- BASH: We are aware of that and share your concern.
- LORD HUGO: There are plots being set on both sides, no doubt and with deadlier consequences. Sooner or later, blood will be spilled. It's just a matter of whose. Yours and Mary's, or another's.
LATER: (Mary and Bash fight over with to do with Prince Henry and Prince Charles)
- BASH: Lord Hugo's right... my brothers need to be dealt with.
- MARY: "Dealt with?" What are you saying?
- BASH: Send them away from France.
- MARY: I was sent to a nunnery at six. It didn't stop the English from making attempts on my life.
- BASH: You've had far more attempts against your life here.
- MARY: You weren't there this morning. Those boys need our protection and I promised Catherine I would keep them safe. We should keep them here with us.
- BASH: And teach them to be constantly afraid? Always on the lookout for the next attack? I won't have them grow up to fear their own shadows.
- MARY: At least they'll have a chance of a normal childhood.
- BASH: "Normal?" At court? This is absurd. You feel guilty for taking away what they had, so you want to keep them around, never mind what their lives might be like...
- MARY: And you feel guilty because they remind you of Francis, so you want to get them out of sight.
- BASH: Is that really what you think?
- MARY: It doesn't matter. I forbid you from sending them away.
- BASH: You forbid it? How is this your decision?
- MARY: I am the queen who's going to give your father the legacy of conquering England. Who do you think he's going to side with?
- BASH: Very well. I'll go double the guard around the boys. Unless that means I don't love them enough.
(End of Act 1)
IN A DINGY TAVERN IN PARIS:
(Lola enters a building where many people are congregating. Many are having sex out in the open, some are gambling, others sit around drinking)
- FREDRICK: Lola?
- LOLA: Fredrick!
(She embraces him tightly and notices a few bruises on his face)
- LOLA: Are you all right? Have they mistreated you?
- FREDRICK: I'm fine, As long as you brought the...
- LOLA (interrupting him in a whisper): I brought the money.
- FREDRICK: Thank God. Sorry you had to come all the way. You wouldn't believe the string of bad luck I've had at the tables.
- LOLA: Let's just get you out of here. To whom do you owe the money?
(Before he can give her a name, a stranger appears from behind her and announces himself)
- 'MAURICE': Maurice Bisset.
- LOLA: Please excuse the trouble my brother has caused. (handing him a satchal full of coins) Here's the sum he owes, plus interest.
- MAURICE: How lucky you are to have such a lovely sister willing to go to such lengths to secure your release.
- LOLA: Shall we?
(They go to leave, but another gentleman blocks their exit-way)
- MAURICE: Unfortunately, this debt is more complicated.
- LOLA: What do you mean?
- MAURICE: In addition to lying about his means, your brother attempted to cheat at my tables, a very serious breach of house rules.
- LOLA: Perhaps an additional sum would help smooth things over?
- MAURICE: Such a grave crime requires more than money to repay it, don't you think?
- LOLA: What are you suggesting?
- MAURICE: I admire the passion you have for your brother. Perhaps you would consider sharing some of that passion with me?
BACK AT COURT:
(Nostradamus arrives to chat with Queen Catherine, who is still under guard.)
- NOSTRADAMUS (to the guard): I need to see the prisoner.
- GUARD: And what is this that you're bringing?
- NOSTRADAMUS: A Bible. So she can make peace with her maker before her execution.
(The guard takes the book from him and flips through the pages from front to back)
- NOSTRADAMUS: If you're looking for a weapon, some say there's none greater than the Scriptures themselves.
(The guard shoves the book back into his hands and opens the door, allowing him to speak with the Queen who is standing on a perch looking out of the tower window)
- QUEEN CATHERINE (upon seeing Nostradamus): Oh, good. More sanctimonious talk from my self-appointed redeemer.
- NOSTRADAMUS: King Henry's actions may not have been fair, but it doesn't change the results. You must seek absolution for your sins.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You think that is gonna save me? If you really cared about my well-being, you'd have brought some poison like I asked! Then, at least, I could die with dignity, alone, at my own hand.
- NOSTRADAMUS: You mustn't say such things. Suicide is a mortal sin! You'd be condemned to the fires of Hell.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Henry intends to make a spectacle of my death, as a final insult to me, and to bring some semblance of validity to his actions. I won't grant him the satisfaction! If I have to tear my throat out with my own hands! And unless you're prepared to help me in that goal, get out and don't return!
(Without saying another word, Nostradamus sits the bible down and leaves, while Catherine notices some rope and a noose sitting nearby)
OUTSIDE THE CASTLE:
(After the events of the morning, with the Frost Fair, outside the castle, a mini-fair is being hosted; one similar to the one the Princes were unable to attend)
- MARY: What's going on? Bash, what have you done?
- PRINCE CHARLES: This is all for us?
- BASH: Yes. Now go make friends.
(The boys run off and join the festivities)
- BASH: You said they should have a normal childhood, but also be safe.
- MARY: They missed out on the Frost Fair in the village, so you brought it to them? That is the sweetest thing I've ever seen.
- BASH: Their entire lives are filled with danger and isolation. I just wanted them to have this day.
(Mary kisses Bash)
- PRINCE CHARLES: Mary, come help us with our masks.
(She obliges and rushes over to help them)
BACK IN PARIS:
(After refusing an additional payment to allow the men from the tavern to release her brother, Lola continues to press them. Meanwhile, patrons continue playing games and gambling)
- LOLA (coming up behind Maurice): I've made some arrangements. I can pay you double the debt, but it'll take a week to assemble the money.
- MAURICE: I don't think so.
(Maurice walks over to a neighboring table and speaks with a gentlemen who just won a round on a game)
- MAURICE: Well done. What incredible luck you must have.
(Maurice pulls out a hammer and smashes the man's hand with it. Several other men come and drag him away as he screams in agony)
- MAURICE: He's a cheat, just like your brother.
- LOLA: Was that really necessary?
- MAURICE: He's lucky I didn't crush both his hands. That's the penalty at most establishments, but I prefer to be merciful. Your brother begged me to spare him that fate. He said that your family was wealthy, and that he'd make it worth my while. I had no idea how worthwhile until I laid my eyes on you.
- LOLA: Why me? You can't make this offer to many. It's not good business.
- MAURICE: You're a lady of title. I've taken money from many a noble, but none ever treated me as an equal. I'd like to know what it feels like to touch what only they can touch. Do we have a deal?
(Before Lola can speak, another man comes to offer a better deal to Maurice)
- MAN: Pardon me. I couldn't help but overhear that this lady is to be played for this evening. My benefactor, the Viscount de Brilhac, would like the chance to win her for himself.
- MAURICE: She's not available. She's with me.
- MAN: The Viscount is prepared to wager double her debt on one cut of the cards.
- MAURICE: I've already been offered that.
(Suddenly, Francis makes his presence known. He is the benefactor the man is speaking of)
- FRANCIS: Four times, then.
(Lola looks somewhat unaffected. She does not hint that she knows him, or who he is)
- FRANCIS: Surely the owner of the celebrated Burgundy House is not afraid of a simple wager? One cut of the cards.
- MAURICE (relenting): One cut of the cards. Four times the debt, plus the girl if I win.
- FRANCIS: And if I win; the debt is forgiven, and the girl is mine.
(They walk over to the table and play a round. Francis pulls bad cards and loses the wager)
- MAURICE: Too bad, Monsieur Viscount.
- FRANCIS: Double it again.
- MAURICE: Eight times the debt, you mean? And the girl.
- FRANCIS: And the girl. Though I don't know why you'd risk it. It's much safer to just take the money.
- MAURICE: If your gallantry is as easy as your lovely inherited money, why not make it 16 times the debt?
- LOLA: No.
- FRANCIS: Very well. After you.
(Maurice turns over a card, revealing an ace of spades. Francis takes his turn and pulls out a King of hearts, winning the game)
- MAURICE: Well-played.
- FRANCIS: Luck of the draw (looking over to Lola) Shall we retire to my room, my lady?
(Francis and Lola go to leave)
- MAURICE: Wait. You look familiar. Haven't I seen you somewhere before?
- FRANCIS: I'm told I look like the Dauphin of France; only taller.
AT THE FROST FAIR:
- KENNA (to Greer): Well, I agree with Mary. They should stay here, at the home they've always known. Look at them, having the time of their lives.
(Greer looks over to a shady man standing besides a tree)
- GREER: Who's that?
- KENNA: I don't know. Some servant, perhaps?
- GREER: He looks ill at ease, don't you think?
(Kenna sees a little boy has fallen on the ground, thinking it to be one of the princes, she goes to help him up. Both girls start to panic)
- KENNA: Charles! Oh, Charles. Come here. Are you all right?
(Kenna pulls off the mask, revealing the little boy not to be either of the princes)
- KENNA: Charles?
- GREER: Henry?
- KENNA: CHARLES!
- GREER (pulling off the mask of another little boy): Henry?
(Mary hears the commotion and sorts out the situation)
- MARY: What is it?
- GREER: We can't find the princes.
- BASH: Everyone! Masks off at once!
(All of the children remove their masks. None of which are either of the princes)
- MARY: Bash!
- BASH: They're gone.
(End of Act 2)
(Bash, Mary, Kenna and Greer start scouring the fair looking for Henry and Charles)
- MARY (to the ladies): Search the castle and the grounds. They can't have gone far.. and check the boys' chambers.. and find Lord Hugo!
- BASH: Mary, wait.
(Bash catches up to Mary and tries to calm her nerves)
- MARY: What are you doing? You're wasting precious time! T
- BASH (whispering): The boys are fine.
- MARY: How do you know?
- BASH: Because I arranged their disappearance.
- MARY: WHAT?!
- BASH: They're being transported to the abbey at Troyes, as we speak. From there, they'll continue to the Spanish border. There are riders stationed at checkpoints along the way to keep us up to date on their progress.
- MARY: You had this plan in mind all along? That's why you wanted your brothers outside! You were planning their kidnapping!
- BASH: They weren't safe here. Something had to be done.
(Before Mary can give him a piece of her mind, Lord Hugo finds them in the corridor)
- LORD HUGO: Sebastian. There you are.
(Lord Hugo has two guards with him that are dragging the shady man from earlier behind them)
- LORD HUGO: We found this man hiding in the woods. He had a rope and two burlap sacks. I believe he intended to capture and drown the princes.
- BASH: Is this true?
- SHADY MAN: You are the next great king, Sebastian. The Medici's must die.
- LORD HUGO: We'll question him thoroughly, my Lord. If he knows anything about the princes' disappearance, we'll get it out of him.
(Lord Hugo and the men carry him off. Hugo bows and they all leave, but not before Mary gives Bash an angry look)
MEANWHILE; IN AN UNKNOWN LOCATION
(A nameless man hops of his buggy and removes a satchel and some hay, revealing both boys are under there.)
- MAN: Out you get.
(He helps one of them down)
- MAN: We'll go inside where no one can see us.
(Helping the other prince down)
- MAN: There. Right. Get some food in you. We've got a long night ahead of us if we're going to make it to Troyes before daylight.
(He takes the boys inside a little house, leading them both by the hand)
- PRINCE CHARLES: I'm cold.
- MAN: Go on then. I'll fetch a blanket.
(As the boys go inside, Clarissa hops off the buggy. The man goes back to retrieve a blanket and he pulls a knife when he hears her stirring around)
- MAN: Who's there?
(Darkness ensues. Clarissa goes over to chat with the boys, who are eating what looks to be a loaf of bread)
- PRINCE CHARLES: Clarissa, what are you doing here?
- CLARISSA: I was worried about you.
- PRINCE CHARLES (to Prince Henry): Clarissa is my friend. We played together at the castle.
- PRINCE CHARLES (to Clarissa): How did you find us? Does anyone know you're here?
- CLARISSA: Your mother will know soon enough. I left her a message.
- PRINCE CHARLES: Why are you wearing the driver's cloak.. and that mask?
- CLARISSA: Mary had it made for me. Do you like it?
- PRINCE CHARLES: I don't know. Are you going to stay with us?
- CLARISSA: I'm going to take care of you. From now on, we're going to be a family. Pack up. Let's go.
- LOLA: Thank you again, so much, for what you did. To make such an enormous wager, based on nothing but chance.
- FRANCIS: Well, it's safer than fighting our way out.
- LOLA: My brother..
- FRANCIS: ...seems a little adrift.
- LOLA: I've traipsed all over Europe, pulling him out of this scrape, or that, each time worse than the last... But we're all my parents have left.
- FRANCIS: I can understand both sides, if you want the truth. I am familiar with feeling adrift, and with being let down by a brother I loved.
- LOLA: I'm sorry. Truly, I am.
- FRANCIS: I know they thought they were saving my life, or at least Mary did... Bash has his own reasons.
- LOLA: I envy you.
(Francis is drinking alcohol straight from the bottle. He chokes a bit on her words)
- FRANCIS: In what possible way?
- LOLA: Well, you've escaped that hideous court. You're not bound by duty or politics. You don't have to lie or pretend. You can do what you want. You can set your own course.
- FRANCIS: Well, it's not all it's cracked up to be, but there are things I don't miss -- like my mother's meddling, for one.
- LOLA: When I left, Henry had her locked in the tower, just until the annulment came through, but that didn't stop her from stirring up trouble. She tried to get Mary and Bash...
- FRANCIS: What?
- LOLA: You don't want to hear it.
- FRANCIS: I do. Hearing it makes it... real. It still doesn't feel that way.
- LOLA: Don't be ashamed of your pain. It does you credit. You have a true heart. It will mend.
- FRANCIS: I'd like that very much.
(They look like they are about to kiss, but instead, Francis changes the subject)
- FRANCIS: Shall we... Shall we find something to keep us occupied until we can sleep?
- LOLA: Yes, please.
(Francis shuffles a deck of cards and they play)
BACK AT THE CASTLE:
(Nostradamus rushes over to the dungeon where Queen Catherine is)
- NOSTRADAMUS: What is it?
- GUARD: I heard coughing, and now she won't tell us anything.
- NOSTRADAMUS: Did you check on her?
- GUARD: She's blocked the door with something. I heard what she said before about taking her life.
- NOSTRADAMUS: Open the door at once!
(They begin pounding on the door, but receive no answer)
- NOSTRADAMUS: Help me push it in! Quickly!
(They finally get into the room and are horrified to see Catherine hanging from a hook in her back)
- NOSTRADAMUS: Dear God!
(End of Act 3)
NOSTRADAMUS: Untie the rope!
(The guard does as he's asked. Nostradamus hugs Catherine's legs tightly while the rope is loosened from its post, and she falls over his shoulder)
- NOSTRADAMUS: I must get her to the infirmary immediately!
- GUARD: What for? Would it not be a kindness to let her pass on?
- NOSTRADAMUS: The king wants her death to be a spectacle. Will you be the one to deny him that? I'll be back with her as soon as I can. Tell no one. And pray, for both our sakes, that I'm successful in reviving her.
(Nostradamus carries her to his chambers on his back and lays her down, on a chair)
- NOSTRADAMUS (once in the comfort of his chambers): You're safe now.
(Catherine opens up her eyes and sits up)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Oh, thank God. Help me with this. It's digging into my back like a butcher's hook.
(Nostradamus holds up a hook-type device made of steel)
- NOSTRADAMUS: You're lucky it held your weight, or you'd have hung yourself for real.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You're lucky they didn't find it hidden in the spine of that Bible you brought. Lying isn't exactly your strong suit. Now, where am I meeting the wagon?
- NOSTRADAMUS: At the east end of the grounds... Past the stables. It won't be comfortable, but....
- QUEEN CATHERINE: It's my only chance of making it to Italy undetected.
(Catherine notices that Nostradamus looks concerned)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: What is it?
- NOSTRADAMUS: Something you need to know. Charles and Young Henry went missing today at the Frost Fair.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Missing? Do you mean kidnapped?
- NOSTRADAMUS: It's too early to say. Bash has sent guards to search for them.
- Queen Catherine: Bash? So the fox has offered to help find the missing chickens?
- NOSTRADAMUS: We don't know that he was responsible for their disappearance.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Of course it's Bash or one of his backers. Who else would profit from my sons' removal? My sweet boys.. Oh, they'll be terrified if they're even...
(Horrified at the thought, Catherine puts her hand over her mouth)
- NOSTRADAMUS: You must go to your rendezvous. The guards will be searching for you.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: And abandon my children?!
- NOSTRADAMUS: You can't help them from here. You're a condemned woman. Go to Italy, gather your strength. Others will see to the safety of your children here.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Others? I'm their mother! I will not leave this place until I know that my boys are safe, or until I am actually dead.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CASTLE:
- MARY: What do you mean the boys didn't make it to the checkpoint?
- BASH: They're probably fine. The carriage could've lost a wheel or a horse come up lame. I've ordered guards to ride out and look.
- MARY: And what if they don't find them? Are you still so pleased with your choice to defy me and act so rashly?
- BASH: There's no guarantee they'd have been any safer here. A servant of Catherine's was just found dead in a passage behind her chambers -- along with this box. The Queen's enemies are growing bolder, even in this castle, which you deem so safe.
(Mary looks through the box's contents)
- MARY: They're keepsakes; Mementos of her children. So few people know of the passageways. Who would hide a body there?
- BASH: I'm going to talk to the guards who found her. I'll tell you if I learn anything.
(As Bash leaves, Catherine enters Mary's chambers, startling her)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Please don't scream. I mean you no harm.
- MARY: How did you...
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I escaped, my dear. I hid waiting. It's all very thrilling, but let's save that tale for later. My sons are missing, and you promised to protect them.
- MARY: Bash has sent men after them, and he knows where to look, since he's the one who spirited them away for their safety.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: "For their safety?" Is that what he told you?
- MARY: I know this might be hard for you to understand, but Bash cares for his brothers more than any crown. Besides, I think it might be another sibling who's interested. You keep locks of your children's hair, but I don't believe you added this one to the collection.
(Mary shows her the gruesome keepsake Clarissa left behind)
- QUEEN CATHERINE (audibly disgusted): Is that skin?
- MARY: I think it's Clarissa's.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: She killed the servant that Bash was talking about.
- MARY: Who else uses the passages? Who else would rather kill than risk exposure in the light? Look at how it's knotted around your sons', Charles and Little Henry's. Who else do you know who might feel like this, all knotted up inside over a family she just learned she had?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: She threatened me once. She said that I would get what I deserve, but what does that mean?
- MARY: I think she wants you to know she has your sons. To torment you in your final days before your execution.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You said Bash knows the direction they went in. Can he track them? Francis always went on and on about his brother's hunting skills.
- MARY: He can, and I'll be with him.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I'm coming with you. I know. I'll probably be caught, returned to my chains, but these are my children. And if it's me that Clarissa wants to punish, I need to be there to let her have her say.
(End of Act 4)
THE TAVERN IN PARIS:
(Daylight has come. The sounds of bells ringing and horses stirring around outside wake Lola up, for her to realize that she fell asleep beside of Francis, who has his arm draped around her. As she starts to get up, Francis wakes up as well)
- LOLA: I'm so sorry. I... I must have nodded off.
- FRANCIS: Me, too. We were talking very late.
- LOLA: And the wine.
- FRANCIS: Yes, and the wine.
- LOLA: I should go. Thank you for what you did yesterday for me and my brother. It was brave and incredibly gallant. And I'm so sorry to have imposed on you.
- FRANCIS: It was no imposition. Truly, it was nice to spend time with someone who.. I.. didn't have to hide from. I'm sorry; You don't want to hear this.
- LOLA: Yes, I do. Please, finish.
- FRANCIS: To anyone else, I'm a young man who has everything: money, freedom, a world to explore at my leisure. But when I think of all that, I only feel... emptiness. Pathetic, isn't it?
- LOLA: Well, I hope not. Because I feel exactly the same. We're a pathetic pair, aren't we?
(Francis kisses her, but she pulls away)
- LOLA: We can't.. Mary..
- FRANCIS: Is no longer a part of my life. Like it or not, she's made her decision. And I'll never see her again.
- LOLA: Or me, after today.
(They kiss again)
- FRANCIS: I can't ask you to...
- LOLA: Give up my virtue? Don't worry, I've known a man before. Just one, but Francis, I want to.
(They kiss once more and begin to undress each other, before moving over to the bed)
ELSEWHERE IN THE KINGDOM:
(Catherine has accompanied Bash and Mary to search for Prince Henry and Prince Charles. They come across a dead body)
- BASH: It's the driver I hired to take the boys to Troyes.
(The driver has had his throat slit from one ear to the other. Dried blood has also pooled at the corner of his mouth)
- BASH: There's no blood other than his. No reason to fear the worst just yet.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Yes, except my boys are still missing and perhaps in the hands of a monster. I swear, if she harms a hair on their heads, I...
- MARY: Charles and Clarissa have played together many times. She's been friendly towards him.
- BASH: We should split up to cover more ground. Even with several hours head start, a girl and two small boys couldn't have made it far.
(Bash's men begin to search the area on horseback)
- BASH: (To Catherine) We're going to find them. You have my word. And believe me, if they're anything but the picture of health, I'm the one you'll have to restrain.
- MARY (spotting something on the ground): Bash, look!
(She leads them across the field, where they find a glove lying on the ground)
- BASH: It's little Henry's. This way!
(They all run off, following a trail left behind by Clarissa)
- CLARISSA (overlooking a lake, she talks to herself): She's no mother. She deserves this.
- PRINCE CHARLES: Clarissa, what's happening? Why have we stopped?
- CLARISSA: We're going to play a game. Gather all the rocks you can and fill your pockets. The heavier the better.
- PRINCE CHARLES: Then what?
- CLARISSA: Then we're going to go swimming.
- PRINCE CHARLES: But it's too cold. And I don't know how to swim.
- CLARISSA: Just do it!
(The boys reluctantly do as she asked, with their fear written across their face)
- PRINCE CHARLES: What did we do? Are...are you angry with us?
(Mary, Bash and Catherine have finally caught up with them)
- MARY (yelling): Clarissa!
(The boys see them and start running toward them)
- PRINCE HENRY: Bash!
(Prince Henry makes it into Bash's arms, but Clarissa grabs Charles and holds a knife to his throat)
- CLARISSA: Stay back! Don't come any closer!
- MARY: Clarissa, please, you don't want to hurt Charles. He's your friend.
- CLARISSA: He's my brother, but I never knew. 'Cause she never told me. She didn't want me. She hated me!
- MARY: No. She didn't. She just didn't know you.
- CLARISSA: She hated my face and they tried to fix it. That's why I look like this. That's why I-I had to hide my whole life.
- MARY: It was a misunderstanding. A terrible misunderstanding. But it can end now.
- CLARISSA: She tried to end it by getting rid of me. She took my family away. Well, now I'm going to do the same thing. Give me back little Henry, or, or I'll cut Charles!
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Clarissa, dear, listen to me. I'm your mother.
- CLARISSA: Stay back! You're not my mother! You told me you wished I was dead!
- QUEEN CATHERINE: No, my dear. I am your mother. And do you know how I know? I see you now. Holding that knife. Willing to pay any price for your convictions. It's the same thing I've done more than once; to fight for my children. For what I knew was mine. But look at your mother now condemned to die. If you want the pain to stop, learn from your mother's mistakes. Choose a better way.. Let yourself be loved!
- CLARISSA (crying): No. no, no ..
(Catherine eyes her son, and continues to walk ever closer to Clarissa)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Put down the knife, child. We can all be together, all of us. Finally; your true family...
- PRINCE CHARLES (screaming): Mother!
(Clarissa grabs ahold of him tighter and starts jerking him around)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You monster! Let him go!
- CLARISSA: You liar! You don't care about me! You never will. You-you-you want us to be together? We'll be together when we're all dead.
(Clarissa goes to kill him, but before she can, Mary comes from behind and hits her over the head with a jagged rock. She slinks to the ground and Charles runs into his mother's arms. Mary looks at the bloody rock in her hand and throws it down to the ground)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Come! Oh!
(Little Henry also embraces her. Clarissa holds her arm up and Mary bends down and holds her hand until she dies)
- PRINCE CHARLES: Clarissa's dead?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Yes. And you were both so very brave. And I'm so very proud of you.
(A guard comes up and puts his hand on Catherine's back)
- GUARD: You'll have to let go of them, Majesty. It's time for you to get back to the castle and your cell.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Don't worry, my darlings. Mary will take good care of you.
(She embraces them both and they run to Bash)
- QUEEN CATHERINE (to Bash): Make sure they have a hot bath when they get home. They're both blue with cold. Do you hear me?
- MARY: You were out of the tower before you knew about them, weren't you? You were free and clear and yet, you stayed for them.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I may never see them again. Once the Vatican sends word that Bash is legitimized, you two will be married and I'll be dead. Probably that very day.
- MARY: I'm sorry. I wish I could've found some other way to save Francis' life.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I believe you mean that. I owe all my sons' lives to you. If you hadn't finished Clarissa... You sent her to a better place. This world never suited her. And besides, she'll have her mother with her soon enough.
(Catherine is escorted back to the castle)
LATER ON BACK AT THE CASTLE IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:
(Mary stands in front of the fireplace in her chambers. Bash comes to chat with her)
- MARY: How are the boys?
- BASH: Fast asleep. Little Henry was snoring before the Lord's Prayer was done and Charles wasn't far behind.
- MARY: We're going to have to give them a bit of extra attention for a while, especially...
- BASH: When their mother is gone. I know. And extra security too.
- MARY: Oh, you mean...
- BASH: Yes. My brothers are staying. You were right. Out there, we have to rely on others to look out for them but here, we can both keep an eye on them.
- MARY: But I shouldn't have spoken to you the way I did. Giving you edicts, questioning your actions. You did what had to.. Without hesitation.
- BASH: So you're not angry with me for acting impulsively?
- MARY: Safe choices don't always make us safe. I see that now, which is why I want you to marry me. Now. Today.
- BASH: I don't understand.
- MARY: We've been patiently waiting for Rome to give us permission to do what we want. We've been playing it safe. And what has that gotten us? Factions and plots and uncertainty. Everything BUT safety. And what do we get if we do get married now? We get what we want. We force their hand. If the Pope wants a Catholic Queen, one with the strength of France behind her claim to England, he'll have to legitimize you. He'll have no choice.
- BASH: The Pope always has a choice. You could be stuck with a landless bastard for a husband.
- MARY: I'm willing to take that risk. Bash; Marry me.
- BASH: No.
- MARY: Bash...
- BASH: That's not how it's done.
(Bash gets down on one knee and takes Mary by the hand)
- BASH: This is how it's done. Marry me, Mary ,Queen of Scots. And make me the luckiest bastard on Earth.
- MARY: Yes.
(He gets up and they kiss passionately)
THE TAVERN IN PARIS:
- LOLA: Well, I suppose this is good-bye then.
(Francis and Lola embrace)
- LOLA: Good luck on your travels.
- FRANCIS: And you, back at court.
- LOLA: Don't remind me.
(Before they can leave, the owner of the tavern interrupts them)
- MAURICE: Headed back to French court then?
(Both turn around and look at him, expecting more trouble)
- MAURICE: I mean you no trouble. Just wanted to ask the lady a small favor.
(Maurice pulls a coin out of his pocket and hands it to Lola)
- MAURICE: When the Queen is led out to the executioner's block, throw that at her for me. Tell her to try to buy her way out of this one.
- FRANCIS: What are you talking about?
- MAURICE: Oh, haven't you heard? There was a trial. She was found guilty of adultery. It's treason. The King plans to behead her within the week. And I, for one, will welcome the end of her Medici money rotting France. Oh bring that coin back with her blood on it, and I'll give you a fortune in house credit.
(Maurice laughs at walks away, leaving them alone once more)
- FRANCIS: Did you know of this?
- LOLA: I had no idea. It can't be true.
- FRANCIS: I had no intention of ever returning to my father's court again, but if I don't, I'll be letting him murder my mother.
IN THE WOODS:
(Two of the king's men scout out a location to bury Clarissa in)
- MAN 1: It's freezing. And it'll take us hours to dig her a grave.
- MAN 2: So don't. There's no one around to check us. Grab her feet.
(They pick up Clarissa's corpse and throw it down a sloping hill. Her mask falls off and they hammer a wooden cross to the ground)
- MAN 2: That's more than this wretch deserves. Let's go.