William Fowler was a poet and a courtier with the proper blend of intellect and grandeur to gain admission to the inner circle of the king -- the small band of poets to which James VI himself belonged. The king had jokingly dubbed the group ‘the Castilians.’ To those who remembered Scotland’s mid-century politics, it seemed an odd designation, since both of the earlier groups to which that label had affixed had been rebels and did not fare well. But James Stuart was a man of many anomalies, none of them well defined. So, indeed, was Fowler.
Thus, it was more than just a heavy dose of inquisitiveness that drew Fowler to his mother’s pretty young protégé, a lass whose birth name was Marguerite Kirkcaldy, and who was known in the Canongate as the posthumous bastard of the executed knight of Grange and a laundress working in Edinburgh Castle during the siege. Although his mother’s young friend had the same name as the subject the Cecils wanted him to investigate, she was far too young to have been the fabled infant from Loch Leven. Nevertheless, the fact that the two women shared a name suggested a link between them.
“Help me carry him inside the house. We can ask our questions there, without interference from the neighbors.”
Daisy stood near the bottom of the inner staircase. Her eyes locked with Fowler’s. She had already guessed that the episode had something to do with her. They deposited the man on the floor and the varlet Mat Hamilton checked his pulse while Fowler handed her the sketch. He may have been lovesick, but he was still too level-headed to hide the truth from anyone as astute as Mistress Kirkcaldy. She did not fit the role of a damsel who needed protecting. She walked over to the unconscious man and kicked him in he ribs.
"Why would you care where Sir Andrew Ker of Fernehirst's travels take him?"
"He has gone abroad to meet up with the king's cousin Wild Frank Stewart, the crazy earl of Bothwell, and there’s a pot of English silver for the man who can tell Mister Robin Cecil when and where.”