By Margaret Frazer. In Shakespearean Whodunnits, ed. Mike Ashley.
That was easy enough to answer. “Because everything and everyone HAD turned against him.”
“No! They hadn’t! Bolingbroke is not so universally beloved as he likes to think he is. Among the things that I found out before …” He gestured to the walls he’d earned by plotting Bolingbroke’s death. “… was that not everyone dispersed in despair when they heard the rumors, the way the Welsh did. There were men held on to hope. For one, hardly two days’ ride away from us at Flint there was a small army of Cheshire archers who would have come if they’d heard where King Richard was. But they never heard. Why not? We sent out scouts and messengers enough!”
I didn’t answer him. What was there to say? One of my duties from our last days in Ireland had been the royal messengers and messages.
“And come to that,” Carlisle said, with the passion in him suddenly gone cold, turned measured and deliberate, “how did Bolingbroke’s men come down on us so straight? There are half a dozen castles, at the least, in striking distance along that piece of coast. Why did damn Percy come to Flint first of all?”