The two little Princes in the Tower disappeared five centuries ago – so what are they doing in our time? To find out, read:
What happened to two young princes who disappeared from the Tower of London over five hundred years ago is still quite a mystery. A mystery Dane and Paige Marchand and their cousin, Jack Taisley, can’t help wondering about after taking on roles in a medieval documentary for Dane and Paige’s filmmaker father. But when an ancient medallion transports them back to the fifteenth century and brings them into contact with the very princes the boys have been playing, they have a chance to learn the truth about the mysterious disappearance of young King Edward the Fifth and his brother Richard, Duke of York.
Finding the answer could prove a bit risky, however, especially if the person responsible for the princes’ disappearance thinks it might be a good idea to have them disappear as well.
The passage came out in a small wood. Pushing aside the bushes covering it, Dane could hear birds and other small creatures calling from the trees around them, their chirps and chattering much sharper than anything he was used to. He wondered if this was due to the absence of modern traffic roaring in the distance. He also wondered if the pre-industrial revolution air was any purer than the air he had grown up breathing. He tried a couple of deep breaths and found that it was. So much so, the intake was almost painful.
He broke off the experiment to help Jack rearrange the bushes covering the passage entrance. But any thoughts they might have had of keeping the passage a secret vanished with the realization that their exit from it had been observed. Turning, they saw two boys standing under a nearby tree looking at them in astonishment.
The boys were clad in doublets and hose similar to their own and wore thick cloaks. In addition to being much fresher, the air was now much colder than it had been in their own time. A little unnerved to find they had attracted attention so soon, Dane put his flashlight behind his back while he took stock of the two strangers.
The oldest boy appeared to be about his own age. He, too, was taking stock, his eyes studying them with as much caution as interest. After a moment, he beckoned them forward.
“How came you to appear so suddenly?” he asked, somewhat imperiously. “There was not a soul in these woods a moment ago.”
The other boy hurried forward to greet them. “Oh, Ned, were you not watching? There be some sort of cave beneath those bushes—a cave we might find worthy of exploring.”
“All in good time, Dickon,” said the boy called Ned. “I would learn more of this cave first. Be it a large one?” He looked at Dane.
“It’s not a cave. It’s a tunnel. A passage going back to our great aunt’s…uh, to a house.”
“A secret passage,” Dickon said excitedly. “Only a secret passage would be covered so. Does it lead back to Rose Blanche? Aye, it must. Master Wolverton’s house is the only one nearby. But I did not know his new home had a secret passage. He did not show it to us.”
“’Twould be imprudent of him to show it to anyone if he meant to keep it secret,” said Ned. He looked keenly at Dane and Jack. “Are you of Master Wolverton’s household?”
“Yes. I mean, no.” Dane stumbled over the words. “We’re visiting here too. We’re distant relatives.” Over five hundred years distant, he thought.
“Come you from England?” Dickon inquired. “Your speech is most curious. As is your shortness of hair, and those eyeglasses,” he added, peering at Dane. “I have never seen a pair fashioned in such a way.”
“Nor I, but ’tis impolite to make such comments, Richard. And I believe your own hair was shorn some years back when you did pour o’er your head a sticky substance that could be removed no other way.” Ned gave the others an apologetic look. “Pray pardon my brother of York. He is still young and appears to have learned few manners at our royal father’s court.”
Their royal father’s court? Dane shivered. He knew Ned was the most common nickname for Edward in medieval times, and Dickon was obviously a form of the name Richard. Was it possible that he and Jack were standing before the very princes they had been impersonating in his father’s documentary?
Look for some era and subject-related posts in the days to come!