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New Surroundings, The Tower, Tuesday Early Evening {open}

Davina Wellsley

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The clock had struck midnight when Davina was awakened by a man's hand over her mouth.  The man was dressed darkly and wore a black mask.  Somehow he had sneaked into her room.  He was almost invisible in the darkness.

"Sshhh, make no noise," the man spoke in perfect English.  "Do you wish to be rescued from here, or do you wish to stay here without aid?" he whispered.

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It was so sudden and she reacted instinctively her hands going to the one across her mouth as she attempted to struggle but the words chilled her and so lay still. She could not see anything of who he was and his voice held no accent that she could hear.

What was happening!

Her eyes shifted trying to see where Poppy was sleeping but that was impossible. She had to do something   .....

if I stay silent he will then leave just as he came? Or will he do me some harm and Poppy as well? Is this another test or is this an actual 'rescue'?  what shall I do ..... what shall I do .....

if i agree and he takes me from here then to where next and it may be worse! yet if I go and things go bad can I not claim that I was taken against my will - for that IS Truth and none could deny it. Not even Buckingham could claim I was a willing partner .....

She gave a nod of her head her eyes on the mask that he wore. She mumbled something but he would have to remove his hand before it would be understood.

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"Who sent you?" She whispered as she tried to still her beating heart and not let her fear be too visible.

"You will not say it and how can I be reassured that where ere you bring me is not worse than here .... where is Poppy ...."

She made to sit up to look towards the bed that her maid slept in.

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"The mother church," he whispered, "looks out for its faithful and those who are persecuted in its service."

Poppy was sitting up in bed.  A rag in her mouth silenced her.  Obviously he had first secured the silence of her maid.  Poppy looked to Davina for a signal.  She was confused as to whether to fight or not.

"Choose now sister.  Return to the church and its embrace or stay here as an Anglican prisoner.  We haven't much time."


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She looked to Poppy and gave a slight shake of her head. She made to sit up but did not say anything back to him.

again I have guessed wrong. so now I am to be saved by the very people that I wish to find yet I have no guarantee that I will live beyond this room. and if I allow myself to be taken away then I shall lose the chance to be Buckingham's pawn and thus .... what?

She had to make her reply and play for time to make herself be believed - that she was willing to go along as she had told the old woman in the Chapel. It was about finding information and then putting it to use.

"I will stay here. For if I leave then how am I to do what will be asked to do again? Was it you that left the cross and Rosary  ... if so twas foolish for anyone could have come upon it or perhaps that was the intent? To have me caught with those items in Prayer or hidden away?"

"My stay here is not to be lengthly or so I have been told. Once it is clear that there is no suspicion and that I was here just to be questioned  I will be released. But to where that I do not know."

"Unless you do? You have found me here and your shall no doubt be able to find me again so tis best to leave me here. I hope that I will stay have my position but that probably is now lost."

"Well? Do you understand my reasonings?"  

"Or am I to be abandoned and no longer embraced if I refuse to go with you?"

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Davina was allowed to sit up.  As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she would see that the man seemed young and he was dripping wet.  A pool of water was on the floor, both by her bed and by Poppy's.  In fact, there was a trail of water from the door.  The odds were that he had entered from the river.

"It was not me that left the rosary," he replied.  "I volunteered to save you.  I fear you may be locked away for years, or even executed.  The Protestants seek to eliminate us from this kingdom, step by step, and you are but one morsel for them."  Anger burned in his light colored eyes.

"I'd keep you safe," he vowed as he heard her explanation.  "Very well.  I shall pray they let you go soon.  I shall find you again, one day."  He picked up a coil of rope that he had left by the door.  "Tell them nothing," he urged.  He paused his exit as he heard the boots of a guard in the stairwell outside.

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She took in his appearance as well as the fact that he was younger than appeared plus he was wet through.

"You .... volunteered to Save Me?"

He was more youth than man she realized and his his eyes betrayed the inner fire that so many like him burned with.

"There is a chance I could be kept here but as for being killed - I do not think so. I have done nothing but be caught up in the middle of Plots - as I have just told you."

She was bristling a bit as her temper began to rise.

"Then I must thank you for the effort. And you have come from The River clearly   ......"

She smiled into the darkness at his claim of protecting her.

"I shall be grateful for those prayers. And if we are to meet then we shall."

He told her to say nothing and was gone.

Rising she went to Poppy and removed her gag and then just as quickly went to close the cell door. Thankful for the darkness the water would go undetected and by morning no one would be the wiser.

"Are you alright .... he did not harm you?" 

Poppy shook her head her fear now switched over to anger.

"You see! Did I not warn that 'they' could and would do something? We are lucky this time."

She went to poke at the embers in the hearth until they flared back up and she added one of the prized pieces of wood.

"No sense to return to bed now. He said it was not the one to put those things there - so who did?"

Davina went to sit on one of the two chairs drawing her legs up off the damp stones on the floor.

"That is a good question and one we may never answer. But I still think that it was someone here testing to us."

"Lord Langdon has said he will help but not in the open. He will search for that blue carriage but it I am sure it has long been removed from here or hidden away."

Poppy took the other chair her eyes on her Lady's.

"So that was what was discussed - you told him everything then? I am sure he told you to leave it to him and that he would see you made safe somewhere - he is too easy to read."

"He wants you still. You know that."

Her outspokeness was not reprimanded as the two of them had been together a long time. Yet there was still that unwritten line that would always separate them by Class.

Davina sighed.

"He sees me as 'his' I suppose and yes he would take me if I allowed it. But I am not nor will I. I will take his help and nothing more."

"He said he would secure me a place to stay if Baintree tossed me out but that too I shall not accept."

"And now another day begins. I can hear the watchman calling the hour ...... "

Poppy fixed her with a long look knowing that she was not entirely unmoved by that Gentleman as she was saying.

"Well fine. Now we need to think of what to do next. I think I will look for some weapon to have handy for the next time we have visitors  ......" 

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An hour or so after sunrise, there was a knock at Davina's outer door.  In time, the Captain of the Guard entered.  "Begging yer pardon Miss, but we found a rope tied to a cast iron sconce on the outer wall.  Would you know anything about it by chance?"

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Davina was still in her dressing gown seated before the fire with Poppy warming up a clean chemise that hung over the back of the other chair. There was no visual evidence of the midnight visitor. That they both were surprised by this interruption would be seen clearly.

"Good Morrow Captain. Forgive me for not rising to greet you - I am not dressed as you can see."

She softened her words with a smile but then frowned at his quarry.

"A rope  ... Why would you think I might know anything? We are hardly near the River and I have no familiarity with anything so I am afraid I can not help."

She looked to Poppy but her maid just shook her own head.

"Has something happened ..."

That she clearly did not know anything was a truth that even the Captain should be able to deduce  - if he chose to that is.

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Under ordinary circumstances the Captain would have accepted the answer from Davina.  "Miss, I never said that that the outer wall that had the rope was the river wall.  I think you better start talking about what you know."  His look became a bit more menacing.

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"But I have already said I know nothing." She answered back.

She did not like his tone but kept her temper the better to appear meek and mild.

"I made an assumption since I can hear the traffic on the River from here and so it would make sense, at least to me, that would be a way in."

"To try to get in from the outside and where that best spot is ......" She shook her head. "How could I know? I assume that your men guard the walls that face other directions do they not and so the Riverside would give the advantage."

"Are you suspecting me of something? How could I, a mere woman, and a captive here arrange it? And who has come to see me other than my older brother?"

"You are stirring up the water in the wrong place Captain."

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The Captain rubbed his chin as he observed her answer.  Suspicion was hard to disguise in his eyes.  This man was no Catholic and he had a healthy suspicion of her even without her slip.

"If you say so," he replied.  He did not respond to her further other than to say "I shall take my leave then."  He determined the girl needed to be watched more carefully in the future.

With that, the rest of the day passed uneventfully.



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