An espionage adventure about Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I
Having saved Mary Queen of Scots from the executioner’s ax, the accidental time traveler, John Anderson, next organizes a spy ring to thwart an effort to murder Queen Elizabeth.
Having lived through the 16th century events, John returns to his English history classroom, uniquely qualified to discuss the political perils of the time period. However, he strives to keep the history of his memory separated from that he has rewritten.
This story uses the narration of the time traveler to delve deeply into the actual life adventures of Queens Mary and Elizabeth as the book explores the religious-political-sexual motives and interactions of among the varied characters plotting to murder the Queen.
“Indeed, this is frightening.” After a sip of wine, Queen Elizabeth continued, “John, I was anticipating that you could suggest how I might respond,” Elizabeth’s tone suddenly sobered and she met his gaze. Two years after John Anderson was transported to the 16th century, Elizabeth conscripted him into her service. Through an error in judgment, John had allowed his skill as a soothsayer to become too widely known, and Elizabeth required his services.
“You must continue to win the mercenary war with the Spanish. This will keep their soldiers on their own shore. Soon a…windfall will appear…Spanish gold…”
“Hawkins?” Elizabeth interrupted with exclamation.
“No, Your Highness, unfortunately Sir Hawkins’ flotilla has met with disaster. I was speaking of,” John quickly changed the subject, “a Spanish fleet carrying gold to pay Alba’s army. It will find its way into your ports.”
King Phillip II was busy, engaged in war with the Dutch Prince of Orange in the Netherlands. The Spanish general, Duke of Alba, had not paid his soldiers for quite some time, and Phillip dispatched several ships carrying gold bullion to Antwerp. However, the French pirates chased the ships into the English harbor in Plymouth. Here, Elizabeth off loaded the gold and placed it in the Tower of London for - safe keeping, until suitable transport could be arranged, and that never happened.
“I’m sure that you can find a political means to protect the gold,” John concluded with a sly smile toward Elizabeth.
“Will not Philip then begin open warfare?”
“Not likely, his army, at the moment, is disillusioned, unpaid and unguided. King Philip will retaliate, but that will only open the door…to allowing you to seize even more Spanish wealth. For the time being, King Philip will be helpless to invade.”
John realized that he had said too much. Another unintended consequence of the Hawkins adventures was assisting England in its defense. The great expenditure Philip would make defending the Spanish Main against an expected onslaught of marauding English slave traders would suppress his funds available for the invasion. Distraction on these two fronts would keep the Spanish army away.
“Also madam,” John decided to continue, “while Sir Hawkins’ mission will be a failure, you should not give up on the New World. A change of tactics is in order. Consider…quietly…sending one very able captain with a small ship to find a means to liberate the gold from the Spanish before it reaches Spain.”