Richard or Dickon, frail and angelic® Duke of Gloucester, youngest brother of the rapidly becoming ex-King of England stood at the railing of the ship staring alternately at England (behind him) and France (somewhere ahead). He was lonely, miserable, hurting, pining for his one true love, heartbroken and in deep deep pain. But mostly, he was frail and angelic®.
Hope was lost. England was lost. Love was lost. That glorious summer he’d been banging on about in Act One was also lost. He heaved a heavy sigh, of pain and misery. “Why me?” he thought, painfully and miserably. “Why must I love so deeply and so true? One who is lost to me forever! Married to another who is neither frail nor angelic® but harsh and fierce and bloodthirsty.”
His brother saw him with tears in his eyes but there was nothing he could do to ease his pain. He too knew of loves lost, secret marriages kept secret and secret marriages revealed. He hoped that none of them would cause his brother more pain that he felt this day, for he was truly suffering.
William, Lord Hastings, all round reprobate and whoremonger, was sitting in his cabin, drinking wine and bemoaning the lack of whores aboard this tiny ship that carried them all into gloomy, lonely, hopeless exile. Burgundy! He thought gloomily.
On a ship crossing the channel in the opposite direction, young Anne Nevill, now bogus Princess of Wales due to the fact that she was pretending to be married to her own half brother, was leaning on the railing also pining for lost love. Ah, Richard or Dickon, she pined. Why can we not be together? Now I must live my life in this counterfeit marriage and one day become ersatz Queen of England. Rather to be the wife of a swineherd if only I could muck out the sties with you, my lost and lonely love.
Richard or Dickon felt a hand clap on his frail and angelic® shoulder and jumped.
“How goes it, brother?” the almost ex-King of England his brother said.
“Badly,” Richard or Dickon sighed. “What are we going to do in Burgundy?”
Edward’s eyes twinkled, for he had a pretty good idea what he and his friend Lord Hastings would be doing. But he shook the thought from his great blonde head, for Richard or Dickon was pious and good. And in love with a decent girl, which Edward had never experienced before. Might be nice, he mused, for a change.
“We are going to lay…. um plans,” Edward said hastily. “We will return, my brother! And reclaim our kingdom!”
But will I find my lost love? Richard or Dickon languished. He did not like to gainsay his brother, but he could feel one coming on. “It will be difficult,” he said. “There are but three of us.”
“You’ve forgotten my dear brother-in-law Anthony Woodville,” Edward gainsaid his brother.
But Richard or Dickon scowled into the ocean. He hadn’t! He just didn’t like him very much and tried hard to pretend he wasn’t there. One day, he thought. One day I shall forget I am frail and angelic® and hadn’t he better watch out then!
Anthony Woodville lay on his back in the sun soaking up the sun. He had a smile on his lips for he had had word secretly from a secret contact in Burgundy that his old nemesis, the girl who would not give in to his blandishments, who gainsaid his love and adoration, was somewhere in Burgundy. Ah, Dakota, he thought. You shall spurn me no more, for I shall have you! You shall be on your knees begging, amongst other things. And he closed his eyes the better to imagine the taste of her sweet lips, which were made for love for she was not only beautiful and courageous but had said “No!” to him one time too many and that made him really want her quite badly. That every other man who crossed her path felt the same he cared not a jot for. She was his, Anthony Woodville brother of the queen of England currently in sanctuary’s. And he would find her.
“Everything will be all right, Antsiepants,” Edward the Prince of Wales said brotherly to his sister. “You’ll see. You’ll make a very good pretend queen! And we can find an orphaned baby somewhere and sneak it into your bedroom and then you can be the pretend mother to the pretend heir to the throne as well! Our father’s got it all worked out. He’s very clever, you know.”
Edward left his brother by the railing and went in search of either of his two friends who were with him. He really didn’t mind which, they were both his friends and he enjoyed doing different things to them. Secretly, he missed his wife and all his mistresses, but he’d never let that thought escape his lips. They must never know, he thought. He considered spending some time cursing his old friend and cousin the Earl of Warwick, who was now his enemy but stils his cousin, but he’d done that a lot lately and he was running out of nasty things to think about him. He hoped his wife, the ex-Queen of England and a witch, was working hard on that spell she’d mentioned that she knew how to do. That would be good, he sighed, to turn him into something nasty. Only trouble was, he kept changing his mind whenever he thought of something even nastier. So he left his brother at the railing of the ship and went down the companion way where he found Lord Hastings in his cabin, asleep and dreaming of love. So he thought he’d join him because Anthony was lying in the sun and the now quite firmly ex-King of England didn’t want to risk it, what with his fair complexion and tendency to freckle.
Anne knew. She knew her father was clever. She’d spent her whole life being a pawn on the chessboard of his life and had always admired his moves. But that didn’t help to lift her misery. She must forget him! Put him out of her mind and not think about him anymore. Remembering him, fondly, pathetically, sadly, was something she must not do! But his frail and angelic® face wafted in front of her very eyes and she felt a cold black steel eternal binding chain of grief that caught around her heart and threatened to drag her down. She tried to smile at her brother, but it didn’t work.
Then, whispered on the wind, a voice. “We shall be together,” it said and Anne perked up a bit. She could almost feel his hot body pressing against her.
“We shall be together,” Richard or Dickon whispered into the wind at the railing of the ship he was on. “We shall!”