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==Part One: The Vulgar Lyre ==

* 1550 *

* The Fork Is Chosen (prologue) *



Mary of Guise instructs Tom Erskine to engage Lymond.

about 4 Sep

Thady Boy Ballagh joins O’LiamRoe’s retinue. Thady tells Robin Stewart he has been with the prince “three weeks” (Vp7).Thady spent one week at O’LiamRoe’s castle (Vp27, 46).

6 Sep (Sat)

Mary of Guise leaves Scotland (historical). “Mary of Guise,” Wikipedia, citing "C'est la Deduction du Sumpteaux Spectacles, ... Rouen (1551)", p. 8; and see dispatch by James Mason, No. 237, 10 Sep 1550 (reportedly “she did not embark until last Saturday”).

12 Sep

Robin Stewart, O’LiamRoe, and company depart Dalkey, Ireland, on board La Sauvée. “The last Thursday in September [was] the fourteenth day out of Ireland” (Vp5). Robin Stewart “had had two weeks of” O’LiamRoe’s company (Vp7).

20 Sep?

Mary of Guise arrives in Dieppe and is met by her daughter. “Last week,” Tom Erskine says on 25 Sep (Vp13). 27 Sep “was only a week since” her re-entry (Vp44).

* Ch. I: Silent in the Boat *


25 Sep (Thu)

La Sauvée, with O’LiamRoe and his party on board, approaches Dieppe and is almost sunk. “The last Thursday in September” (Vp5).

* Ch. II: Dieppe: The Pitfalls and the Deer *


25 Sep (Thu)

Lymond surreptitiously meets Tom Erskine. Lymond arrived in Dieppe “five hours” earlier, “today” (Vp15).


25 Sep (Thu)

Fire at the inn. “Later that same night” (Vp16).


26 Sep (Fri)

The Irish party meet Lord d’Aubigny, then Mistress Boyle and Oonagh O’Dwyer. “The next day” (Vp19).

* Ch. III: Rouen: The Nut Without Fruit *


26 Sep (Fri)

The Irish party travels toward Rouen. Vp19: the trip is planned for that day.


27 Sep (Sat)

Sighting of the plaster whale; invitation to tennis with the King.

* Ch. IV: Rouen: Fine, Scientific Works Without Warning *


27 Sep (Sat-early Sun)

Mary of Guise summons Lymond. Robin Stewart takes Thady to Michel Hérisson’s.


28-30 Sep (Sun-Tue)

The Irish are confined to their lodgings in the Croix d’Or. “Sunday morning … Monday … Tuesday afternoon” (Vp59).

* Ch. V: Rouen: Fast Drivings for the Purpose of Killing *


1 Oct (Wed)

Royal Entry into Rouen, including the Chariot of Happy Fortune and elephants out of control. Lymond seeks out Abernaci. “Wednesday, October first, 1550 [was] the day of the Royal Entry” (Vp61). “Four days” after meeting Abernaci at Michel Hérisson’s (Vp70).

* Ch. VI: Rouen: The Difficult and the Impossible *


1 Oct (Wed)

Thady Boy attends the royal banquet, receives a late-night visit from Margaret Erskine.

1 Oct (Wed-early Thu?)

Thady Boy was dicing all night with d’Enghien and others (Vp101). Was this after seeing Margaret Erskine?

==Part Two: Dangerous Juggles ==

* 1550 *

* Ch. I: Rouen to St. Germain: The Inexpugnable Drone *


2 Oct (Thu)

Everyone reviews Thady Boy’s success of the night before.

3 Oct (Fri)

Tom Erskine to leave for Flanders “on Friday” (Vp45).


2-11? Oct

The royal court spends “ten days … in Rouen” (Vp102).

12? Oct

Court leaves Rouen for Mantes (Vp104).

24 Oct

Louis, son of King Henri, died at Mantes (Vp104; historical date from

late Oct

The Irish and part of the royal court travel from Mantes to St. Germain-en-Laye


late Oct

The prank with the quintain, at the St. Germain tilting ground. “A mild grey afternoon in October” (Vp105).


early Nov?

Thady Boy visits the royal menagerie, entertains the young Queen Mary, “on the last day at St. Germain” (Vp106).

early Nov?

Travel to Fontainebleau (Vp112). “They all stayed five days at St. Germain.” (Vp106)


Travel to Corbeil, Melun, Gien, Châteauneuf, Orléans, Amboise, Blois (Vpp104, 112)

* Ch. II: Blois: Red Tracks in the Wood *



Arrival at Blois.


late Nov

Jenny Fleming visits Thady, “some days later” (Vp114). O’LiamRoe purchases the deerhound Luadhas, “that same afternoon” (Vp115). Robin Stewart informs Oonagh and her aunt.


late Nov

The rabbit hunt and the cheetah. “Next morning” (Vp117). Less than “a week” before King Henri’s arrival (Vp128).

* Ch. III: Aubigny: Boldness of Denial *


Margaret Erskine writes to Tom. “That autumn” (Vp128).


late Nov

Mary Queen of Scots calls on O’LiamRoe to thank him for Luadhas’ heroism. After “two days’ agony” (Vp128).

28 Nov

King Henri arrives at Blois (Vp128; historical date from dispatch by James Mason, No. 264).



Thady Boy and Robin Stewart talk, each advising the other to quit his current employment. “On the eve of … a two-day visit” to Aubigny.



First day of visit to Aubigny, including Lymond as Quetzalcoatl.



Second day of visit to Aubigny. Rope Dancing by Tosh. The Irish spend the night in Neuvy, return to Blois the next day.

* Ch. IV: Blois: All the Mean Arts *


Tosh arrives in Blois, about “a week before” the rooftop race (Vp157).


early Dec

O’LiamRoe attends Queen Catherine’s afternoon entertainment. “Afterwards” (same day?) he meets with Mary of Guise in her chambers.


early Dec

King Henri returns to Blois the “next day” (Vp140). Serenade at the Hôtel Moûtier. The rooftop race begins. “That December night when Thady had roused all Blois with his race.” (Vp201)

early Dec

The wrestlers attack O’LiamRoe (Vp169).

* Ch. V: Blois: Wickedness Is the Rule *


early Dec

The rooftop race. The same night, after midnight.

early morning, as rooftop race is concluding

Diane discovers King Henri’s affair with Jenny Fleming (Vpp164-65), after the King was “out the whole night” (Vp163).

day after rooftop race

Oonagh returns to Neuvy, with O’LiamRoe (Vpp141, 169).

* Ch. VI: Blois: The Forfeited Feast *



Tom Erskine returns to the French Court. King Henri invites Richard, Lord Culter, to his Court. Near Christmas (Vp171). “Three weeks” (Vp173) before Robin Stewart’s argument with Aubigny would be roughly 19 Dec. Richard’s invitation was “a month old” on/by 16 Jan (Vp181).

* 1551 *


about 9? Jan (Fri)

Robin Stewart argues with d’Aubigny. “Three weeks after” the previous scene. Same day, Tosh tells Robin Stewart that Thady had been a galley slave. There were “six days [excluding today?] before he was due to leave with George Paris for Ireland.” (Vp176)


10 or 11? Jan (Sat/Sun)

At Neuvy, O’LiamRoe and Oonagh go riding, talk, and kiss. Oonagh: “Robin Stewart leaves for Ireland on Friday,” (Vp177) sounds like less than a week.


11 or 12? Jan (Sun/Mon)

Next day, O’LiamRoe returns to Blois. A “few days” intervene before his invitation (Vp180).


15 Jan (Thu)

O’LiamRoe is invited to a royal banquet. Robin Stewart returns to Blois.


16 Jan (Fri)

Robin Stewart argues with Thady Boy, poisons him with belladonna (nightshade). O’LiamRoe attends the banquet, sees Thady at his most unrestrained. O’LiamRoe leaves for Ireland with Robin Stewart and George Paris. Margaret Erskine nurses Lymond through the poisoning. “Friday the 16th of January” (Vp181).

==Part Three: London: The Excitement of Being Hunted ==

* 1551 *

* Ch. I: Blois: The Mill in Motion *


26 Jan (Mon)

Richard arrives in Blois. Thady Boy wrestles the Cornishman. “Much less than a month” after 15 Jan (Vp197); Richard and Lymond’s talk is the “next morning” (Vp207).


27 Jan (Tue)

Richard and Lymond talk. “Two weeks” before Mardi Gras, 10 Feb (Vp212). (Is this the same occurrence as described at Vp217: “They met once, on the eve of Richard’s departure for Amboise ….”?)

28 Jan (Wed)

Mary of Guise and her court depart for Amboise. “Next day” (Vp212).


late Jan?

Lymond speaks with Oonagh, while playing the organ at Neuvy. “Shortly afterwards,” relative to the Scottish court’s departure (Vp212).


O’LiamRoe, Robin Stewart, and George Paris land at Dalkey. O’LiamRoe and Stewart separately take ship for London (Vpp 221-22, 244).

* Ch. II: Amboise: An Accident Happens *



The Scottish Court in Amboise while the French Court remains in Blois.


7 Feb (Sat)

Lymond gets a message from George Paris. The tragedy at the Tour des Minimes. “The Saturday before Shrove” (Vp219).


8 Feb (Sun)

Richard and Tom Erskine find no trace of Thady Boy.

* Ch. III: Blois: Distress Is Not Released *


11 Feb (Wed)

Lymond wakes for the first time, in the Hôtel Moutier, in Blois. Unconscious “for five days” (Vp229).


12 Feb (Thu)

Lymond wakes again, on “a different day” (Vp229). Fire at the Hôtel Moutier. Lymond is taken to the house called Doubtance.


12 Feb (Thu)

[Ch. II: Amboise: An Accident Happens]

Tosh finds Thady Boy’s Aztec mask “that morning” (Vp226) at the burning Hôtel Moutier and brings it to Richard in Amboise. “Five days after the disaster” (Vp226).


12 or 13 Feb

Lymond wakes in the Dame’s bedroom.


13 Feb (Fri)

Abernaci arrives at Doubtance and takes Lymond to Sevigny. Word reaches Richard and the Scottish Court “a day and a half” after they hear of the fire (Vp237).



“Richard rode past Sevigny”



Richard calls at Doubtance. “The next day” (Vp238).



Richard and Tom Erskine go to Neuvy.



“Lent passed … and ended” (Vp239). (Easter is 29 Mar.)

* Ch. IV: London: Wolves All Around Him *


Feb or Mar?

In London, the Earl and Countess of Lennox invite O’LiamRoe to stay with them.


Robin Stewart approaches the Earl of Warwick on a boat in the Thames (Vpp245). Must be shortly before he reports this to Brice Harrison.



O’LiamRoe calls on Brice Harrison, discovers that Robin Stewart is there, sends Piedar Dooly to France.


Brice Harrison approaches Ambassador de Chémault, offering to sell information (Vp249).

early-mid Apr?

Tom Erskine arrives in London, soon after Harrison’s first meeting with de Chémault. “Within a matter of days,” Lymond arrives as well (Vp252).


Brice Harrison meets with Warwick’s representative, at the Red Lion bookseller’s, observed by O’LiamRoe. “The previous day” to O’LiamRoe’s meeting with de Chémault (Vp248).



O’LiamRoe reports Robin Stewart’s plot to Ambassador de Chémault. “Three weeks” after discovering Robin Stewart at Harrison’s (Vp247). Piedar Dooly returns from France “that afternoon” (Vp249).


19 Apr (Sun)

Harrison meets with de Chémault and Vervassal, agrees to deliver his information “by midnight tomorrow” (Vp251).


20 Apr (Mon)

The English arrest Harrison. He misses his appointment with de Chémault and Vervassal. “Monday the 19th of April” should be Monday the 20th.

* Ch. V: London: The Intentional Betrayal *


21 Apr (Tue)

Harrison, under arrest, refuses to give a confession to Lymond. “Two days” before his confession (Vp258).


23 Apr (Thu)

Harrison confesses, summons Robin Stewart, who is arrested. “Thursday” (Vp264).

* Ch. VI: London: The Nettle and the Venom *


23 Apr (Thu)

O’LiamRoe hears of Robin Stewart’s arrest. “Arrested today at Cheapside” (Vp267).

24 Apr (Fri)

Robin Stewart, in the Tower of London, had slashed his wrists “on Friday” (Vp281). Lymond: “He won’t see me.” (Vp277)


25? Apr (Sat?)

Lymond calls on the Lennoxes, leaves with O’LiamRoe for the Swan. “One sunlit afternoon after that” (Vp269). “A dull Saturday afternoon,” sarcastically – does this refer to today?

* Ch. VII: London: Pledge to Fasting *


26? Apr (Sun?)

O’LiamRoe visits Robin Stewart at the Tower of London. Only “a night” intervening since the Swan (Vp283). “Three weeks” before his summons in the middle of May (Vp285).

7 May

Instructions for Chémault and Lymond arrive from France (Vp285).



O’LiamRoe summoned to the French embassy. “In the middle of May,” “three weeks” after his visit to Robin Stewart (Vp285).

==Part Four: The Loan and the Limit ==

* 1551 *

* Ch. I: Dieppe: Illegal After Screaming *


14 May

Lymond and O’LiamRoe take ship in Portsmouth for Dieppe. “On Friday the 14th of May” (Vp291).



Lymond visits Martine, “la Belle Veuve,” in Dieppe.



Lymond calls on Michel Hérisson in Rouen. About “three days” later (Vp295).



Lymond meets Richard in Orléans, gives him a present for Kevin.

* Ch. II: Angers: Boarshead and Apple *



At Chinon, Lymond reports to Constable Montmorency and to King Henri.



Royal Court travels from Chinon to Champigny, Saumur, then Angers


6 Jun (Sat)

Court arrives at Angers. Robin Stewart faces a wild boar in the moat. At night, Lymond meets O’LiamRoe and Abernaci.


7 Jun (Sun)

Royal Court travels to Plessis-Macé. Robin Stewart’s escape is discovered.

* Ch. III: Châteaubriant: A Bed-Tick Full of Harpstrings *


about 5 Jun

English delegation, including the Lennoxes, is in Orléans. “A fortnight” (Vp318), “Two long, slow weeks” (Vp319), before they are due in Châteaubriant (19 Jun, see Vpp286, 303).


early Jun

Robin Stewart attacks Lymond at Candé.


early Jun

O’LiamRoe speaks to Lymond outside young Queen Mary’s room. Day after Robin Stewart’s attack, “yesterday” (Vp330).

about 10 Jun

Robin Stewart arrives at Béré, near Châteaubriant, stays there “ten days” (Vp350).


19 Jun (Fri)

The English delegation arrives at Châteaubriant and is formally received. Lymond removes Oonagh from the ball and spends the night with her. Next morning, they visit young Queen Mary.

* Ch. IV: Châteaubriant: The Price of Satire *


20 Jun (Sat)

Robin Stewart gives his message about the planned assassination to Piedar Dooly. At court, Lymond wrestles the Englishman John Perrott. At supper, Lymond sings and is exposed as Thady Boy Ballagh.

* Ch. V: Châteaubriant: Proof, Without Love or Hatred *


21 Jun (Sun)

O’LiamRoe confronts Oonagh, fights Cormac O’Connor. The Garter investiture ceremony. Fireworks and gunpowder detonated on the lake. (Note: “Sunday the 20th of June” (at Vp369) should be “21st”.

* Ch. VI: Châteaubriant: Satin and Scarlet *


21 Jun (Sun)

Lymond is arrested again, freed, then goes to meet Robin Stewart. Lymond and d’Aubigny to joust before the King.