Toby Bennet, a ten year-old orphan boy from the back streets of Black Friars, London, saves the life of the Prince of Wales by preventing an attack from a knife wielding madman. As a reward for saving his life, the Prince brings the boy into the royal household, educates him, and promises him the life of a courtier in the Royal House of Stuart.
But these are troubled times in England, with Oliver Cromwell causing destruction and chaos throughout the land; and when the king is arrested and put on trial for treason, the prince is forced to flee the country… Spending the next twelve years of his life in exile with his mother in Paris, or his sister Princess Mary of Orange in The Hague.
While in Holland, Toby befriends one of Princess Mary’s young lady’s-in-waiting – a relationship which over the years develops into a full-on romance, but a romance which was fraught with problems, not least by the girl’s father. Following a number of attempts on his life, Toby discovers that he is also being pursued by another, unknown adversary, someone who seems determined to see him dead at all costs.
It all comes to a head when years later he meets his nemesis, face to face. Each with a sword in hand, Toby eventually triumphs, unaware that the man who lies dead at his feet shares a devastating secret…
Leslie Hatton lives in Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire and is retired after running his own retail business for thirty years.