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Deception Cover




The Twenty-third Day of November, in the Year of Our Lord 1569

The Queen's Presence Chamber--after breakfast

I have a new daybooke and I cannot wait to begin writing in it! I am determined to keep this book neat

and tidy with my best lettering throughout--and not make it look as if a drunken spider has crawled over


I am seated on a cushion with the other Maids of Honour in the Queen's Presence Chamber awaiting Her

Majesty's arrival. She is busy with matters of state. We have a huge fire, for it has been mightily cold this

last week. Indeed, the river Thames itself has frozen! The ice is thick enough to walk on and everyone is

talking about the Frost Fair that has been set up on the frozen water near the landing steps to the Inns

of Court. It is so exciting! We hope to visit today, when Her Majesty has finally finished with boring state


Outside, the ice and frost look very inviting, but inside it is gloomy and we have much need of candles.

The other Maids are working at their embroidery and Mrs. Champernowne, Mistress of the Maids, is

scowling at me for not doing the same. She looks ready to pounce the instant I make the tiniest ink blot

upon my kirtle. But she dare not chide me too much, as Her Majesty herself gave me this daybooke and

my fine quills and ink bottle. Ha, ha, Mrs. Champernowne!

The Queen is my favourite person in the whole world. She has taken me under her wing and often shows

me great kindness, because--

* * *

Hell's teeth! I have nearly spoiled my book already. I had to duck from a flying cushion. It would seem that

the matters of state did not go well, for the Queen has just burst in and is now roaring round the

chamber like a baited bear.

I'm not sure I should compare Her Majesty to a bear--baited or otherwise. However, this daybooke is for

my eyes alone, so I don't think I shall have my head cut off! Besides, as I was about to write before the

cushion interrupted me, I am a favourite with Her Majesty the Queen (except when she throws things).

She has never forgotten that my dear mother, God rest her soul, died saving her life last year. My mother

was Her Majesty's close companion, and the Queen was almost as sad as I was when she died. So she

made me a Maid of Honour, though I was only twelve, and vowed to protect me always. And now I am

also Her Majesty's secret Lady Pursuivant. If she should cut off my head, who would then pursue all

wrongdoers who trouble the Queen's peace?

Oh, dear, Her Majesty is glaring our way. I shall put my daybooke away for a while before some accident

befalls it.

Later this Day, still in the Queen's Presence Chamber

The royal storm has now abated--but it was most exciting while it lasted.

Her Majesty paced up and down, flapping a letter she'd just received, looking as if she would breathe fire

on the poor messenger, who cowered in the doorway waiting for an answer.

"What do you think is in that letter?" Lady Sarah whispered.

"Mayhap there is another problem with the new coin Her Majesty is having minted," Mary Shelton

suggested as she laid down the bonnet she is embroidering for her new niece.

"What problems are those?" asked Lady Jane, wide-eyed.

I was surprised that Lady Jane could have missed the tantrums and countless changes of mind the Queen

had had. It had taken Her Majesty months to choose a design that pleased her. Mr. Anthony, her

engraver, was up to the palace with new designs almost every day.

We were all greatly relieved when Her Majesty finally declared that the pattern of a griffin rampant would

adorn the new, pure silver coin. Her Majesty told me once that she thinks the griffin to be the epitome of

nobility, with its head of an eagle and its body of a lion. I think it looks a bit ugly, but I wouldn't tell the


Lady Sarah sniffed and shook her coppery locks. "Your ears are stoppered unless people are talking

about you," she told Lady Jane.

There is not much love lost between Lady Sarah Bartelmy and Lady Jane Coningsby. They each consider

themselves the most beautiful of the Maids, and it leads to a good deal of bickering. They both want to

make good marriages, and they see themselves as rivals for the favours of the young gentlemen of the

Court. I myself have no time for such silliness.

"How dare you! You foolish flax-wench!" spluttered Lady Jane.

"But I thought the problems with the coin had all been settled," said Penelope Knollys.

"Silence!" bellowed the Queen from the other end of the chamber. "May I not have a second's peace to

think?" And she looked about her for another missile to throw.

We ducked our heads down and busied ourselves with our work.

As there was nothing within reach, the Queen went on with her pacing. She always looks particularly

impressive when she's angry, with her flame-red hair and her flashing eyes. Her white silk gown swished

as she marched and her pearl ropes rattled with every step. Even the gold embroidery on her gown

seemed to flash in temper.

She wrestled with the letter as if about to tear it into shreds. "I cannot believe it," she said through

clenched teeth. "Finally, all is well with the design of my new coin, and now Sir Edward Latimer dares to

write me from the Royal Mint that there is not enough silver there to mint it! By heaven, they shall find

silver quick enough when they hear of my wrath!"

There was a whimper from the doorway and I thought the messenger was going to faint.

From the Hardcover edition.Copyright © 2005 by Lady Grace Cavendish

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Juvenile Fiction : Historical - Renaissance
Cavendish, Grace
Jan Burchett
Vogler, Sara
Cavendish, Grace Lady
Sara Vogler
Lady Grace Cavendish
Burchett, Jan
Grace Cavendish
Juvenile Fiction : Royalty (kings queens princes princess
Historical - Renaissance
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Historical
Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Mysteries / Detective
Mystery and detective stories
Children s Middle Readers-General
Children s Young Adult-Series
Children s-Historical Fiction-Europe
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Children's » Concepts » Money
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Historical Fiction » Renaissance

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Product details 224 pages Random House Children's Books - English 9780307536457 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , While skating down the River Thames to avoid the bad mood of Queen Elizabeth, Lady Grace stumbles upon a dead man laying on the ice with special coins covering his eyes and so, with the help of her fellow Maids of Honor, begins to research the mystery to find out who the victim was and why the queen's special production coins were used in the murder.
"Synopsis" by , Thirteen-year-old Lady Grace Cavendish, maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth I, describes in her diary her efforts to discover who is counterfeiting the new English silver coin.
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