2. The Kings Company
There’s a key inside the bag. What’s it for? Carefully lifting it out, Tiffany takes a closer look, ‘Just a key, on a ribbon. Perfectly safe’. But Barnaby, the key’s owner, wants it back. Reaching from the other side of the portal, he grabs her wrist and pulls her into the past! ‘Wot a beauty! Still got all ’er teeth. She’ll fetch us a good price from the wivers!’ he tells his friend, Josh. A swift knee to his groin and Tiffany breaks free. She runs along cobbled streets into the heart of 1666 London. She still has the key, but Barnaby and Josh have her travel bag.
Actress Nell Gwynn dresses as a boy during the day and disguised as ‘William’, she pulls the fleeing Tiffany into a doorway and misdirects her pursuers. Nell then sends Tiffany to Nancy Scunner, the pawnbroker, because eventually all stolen merchandise ends up there.
At the pawnbrokers, Tiffany swaps her silk scarf for a few days lodgings and Nancy promises to send the word around to other pawnbrokers to look for Tiffany’s bag.
With no other leads, Tiffany searches for ‘William’ at the King’s Company Theatre only to discover that ‘William’ is Nell. Nell employs Tiffany to help her learn her part as she is illiterate and learns her lines by having them read to her. As they leave the theatre, Josh ambushes them and threatens to slit their throats if they don’t return the key. Tiffany offers it to him, then kicks him in the groin. While he is writhing, she and Nell run off, back to Nancy’s house.
King Charles II has regained the throne of England after the Civil War that saw his father beheaded. But England is still a hotbed of religious unrest and plots are rife. Charles has just signed the warrant to execute the heretic, Pastor John Langley, a Dutch Reformist.
Charles’s secretary, Quinn, together with the king’s cousin, Lord Trounson, Stewart Cameron, Laird of Edinburgh, (aka: the man in black) and Barnaby, are plotting the king’s death. The execution of Langley will spark tensions and if the king’s murder is seen as an act of revenge, then in the ensuing civil unrest, Trounson can be crowned King of England as the only Anglican with a claim to the throne and Cameron will be made King of Scotland.
It all hinges on whether or not Barnaby can successfully blow up the sewers beneath the King’s Company theatre privy, just as the king enters during the interval. But there’s a problem – Tiffany has the key to the house in Pudding Lane, where the dynamite is stored.
That’s the real reason that the Great Fire of London started!