Mary Stuart, or Mary Queen of Scots, was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, for nineteen years in a little tower. Dreading each day, being identical to the last, Mary awaits freedom and jumps at the chance of it. However, when friends advise her the plan of escape is best not attempted, Mary considers what is important and decides whether she should go through with it or not.
Thursday Morning: Another dull day passes. Looking out the window, a gray sky stretches before me, matching this colorless room. The rain only adds to the dreariness of it all. Lately, everything has been frustrating me. Being locked in a tower certainly has negative effects and I’m sick of it all. I just want to run through fields on a bright summer day. I want to feel the warmth of it on my face and just stretch out my arms and soak it in. I know it is highly improper, but with every day being identical to the last, I want something to change. But no. Nothing will ever change. And all because of Queen Elizabeth – my cousin. How can she do this to me? Did she really consider me a threat to the throne? Well, now I am. Now I am her enemy.
Friday Afternoon:You will never guess! I have just received a letter. I know it does not sound like a very grand thing, but it is. Just listen. So I received this letter not five minutes ago. It is from a young man who has, apparently, always admired me. Here’s what he writes. “My dear lady, I was quite distressed when informed that Queen Elizabeth had imprisoned you due to the fact that you were seen as a threat to her. I confess, I rejected such news very forcefully indeed and did not believe her capable of this. But now I find it is all very true.” He really sounds quite charming. Now, here’s the important part. “I would very much like to help you escape. I understand that such a notion is treason, but I cannot bear to know this information and do nothing about it. I can provide you with a small country cottage. It is very comfortable and I never use it. It would ease my heart to know it was in such splendid hands. Please, write back soon and inform me if you are interested in hearing my plan. I should so very much like to help you.” There! What do you think! Of course, he goes on to say some other things, but that does not matter. I believe I shall write to him this very day. I am perfectly interested in the plan. However, there is one thing I am hesitant about. Later in his letter, he suggests a plan to overthrow, and possibly kill, Elizabeth. Would this be right? She certainly has showed no caring nature toward me. But would not escape be enough? I only desire to get out of this little tower. But perhaps she deserves death. It would certainly stop her before she does this to another. Or worse, finds me out. Yes, her rule must come to an end.
Friday Evening: I am now quite confused. The guards, whom I have made friends of, advise me not to respond to this gentleman. They think him quite suspicious. I know they do not side with Queen Elizabeth and their objections are simply that he is an unknown person. I have never met him in the whole course of my life and know not if he is even a respectable gentleman. They even suggested that he could be a spy, sent from Elizabeth herself in an attempt to trap me. Should I take this chance at freedom? If he is truly honorable, it would be a misfortune indeed if I passed this opportunity up. But suppose he is a spy. Or worse, perhaps it is Queen Elizabeth herself, in disguise, of course. With her I would have no chance, but if this man proves a spy, sweet words may win his heart over to me, therefore setting me free. I must try him. It is my only hope.
Monday Morning: He has responded. And with such enthusiasm that I dare reject the plan. I believe I shall accept his proposal. He is now devising a plan and I dare say, it will not fall through. The guards continue advising me not to respond, but I cannot reject this offer. I must escape. It is the only way. They will help me. Though they do not advise I go through with it, they will not turn a cold shoulder. I will write back today, letting him know that I am for the plan. I am so excited! For, by this time next week I should be comfortably settled into a small cottage by the woods. A small fire will burn brightly in the sitting room and I shall read a book. In the mornings I shall take walks in the garden and before bed I will simply breathe in the cool night air, listen to crickets, and watch the glowing bugs. It will be so good to be free of this tower at last.
Sunday Evening: Tomorrow it shall happen. I have had another letter from him. The guards, though loyal to Queen Elizabeth, will gladly help me escape. They know me too well to let me suffer here. Here is his plan. A large trunk now sits in my room – empty. I shall not pack anything, but get in it myself. Such a plan is very unladylike, I know full well, but it is completely necessary. I dare say I will be very uncomfortable, but it is only for a short while. You see, if I were to escape through the front door and with all my things, Queen Elizabeth would execute the guards without a second thought. However, I care too much about them for this to take place. So, the young man will come to pick up the trunk, full of objects that I wish to give away. I will leave it outside my room. You see, Elizabeth’s punishments are being used to my advantage and against her. She ordered that I may see no one. Therefore, by leaving the trunk outside my room, I am obeying her, so she cannot blame the guards. It will work out perfectly. He shall load the trunk into his carriage and we shall be on our way. As soon as we are out of sight, I shall crawl out and make myself very comfortable in the back, hidden from the world. I am so happy! Freedom at last.
Wednesday Afternoon: Here I sit. This cold stone of the dungeon floor gives me shivers and I wish I could just die here. No doubt, she will execute me tomorrow. Why. Why did I not listen to my friends? I should have trusted their judgment. But of course not. I was too desperate for freedom that I did not value anything but a chance at it. My cousin is keener than I expected, and much more devious than I could ever imagine for her old age. She was testing me – to see if my rebellious nature had died. But it had not. And instead of concealing it, I embraced the chance. And now I fear death. What will it bring? I always imagined it as a large dark cloud of black smoke, lurking over a person the moment before their soul left the earth. What will my last thoughts be? I little know whether I should reflect on the happy memories and try to hold on to them for as long as possible, or scorn every thought and action of Elizabeth. How cruel she is. Could I not just live my days here, if not in the tower? Could she not permit me to see my children one last time before I am gone forever? The unexpected, I think, is what I fear the most. I know not what is to come and it frightens me dreadfully. What will she do? How soon will I perish? I know nothing – only that I have been a fool to myself and my friends. I have no second chance now. I do not know how to say goodbye. These are the last thoughts of Mary, once queen of Scotland.