Mary Peace Finley
Award-winning author of books for young people
Duncan Fisher slipped a piece of smoked salmon and a barley bannock into the leather bag at
his waist. Smiling, he looked through he open window of his house, past the town of Stirling,
towards Stirling Castle. For fourteen years, since three years before Duncan's birth, Stirling
Castle has stood empty on a black stone crag above the town, waiting for the King's promised
return. Today the King was coming home.
The people of Stirling had long prepared for the King. They passed laws to stop poaching in the
King's Park. They repaired the city gate and the road. They gathered tapestries and robes and
silver vessels from all over Scotland. They gilded His Majesty's coat of arms and the cross at the
Tollbooth with gold.
With the King's return, the people of Stirling once again dared to dream of riches and fame.
On this early summer day in the year 1617, that dream flickered from one to another like
© Mary Peace Finley 2012
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The King has come to town, and if young Duncan Fisher and his father
can't catch the impossibly high numbers of fish the King keeps ordering,
they'll be ruined. Even worse, the furrier wants to make Duncan's favorite
family of otters into a fur cloak for the Queen. Can Duncan save the
trusting otters and his family's livelihood?