The Isle of Wight and Charles I's imprisonment in Carisbrooke Castle is the setting for the exciting conspiracies that Mary Floyd, 17, daughter of the garrison's sergeant and piece of the housekeeper, knew during his stay. For Governor Hammond's treachery to the new prisoner and the King's own gentleness united his followers against the edicts of Cromwell and Parliament; young Firebrace won Mary's heart and her willingness to help in attempts to free the King -- and broke her heart when she learned he was married; her grief was greater when her father was killed in another escape plot and she was left to care for the castle after the King was beheaded, knowing that Richard Osborne would try to come back for her. Charles' daughter, Elizabeth, and son, Henry, were the next prisoners, and Elizabeth's death prompted Mary to flee with Richard -- to Holland and the banner of the young Charles. The short pause in a doomed monarch's life is alive as the young laundress plays her part in the hotly royalist plots and as life under the new Puritan rule pits islander against overner, Roundhead against Cavalier. Satisfactory history- fictionizing.