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Peter is the 14-year-old protagonist and narrator of the story. He's a spirited youth who finds himself in trouble a lot. He's a dynamic character, however, who quickly learns to take responsibility for his mistakes. He has a warrant out for his arrest by Sir Phillip Morton because of whom he left Cumberland. In the end, however, Peter learns that Morton is no more trustworthy of a prosecutor than he is of a farmer. Peter, along with help from a few friends, sets out on an adventure to prevent Morton and his colleagues from assassinating the Queen of England. Peter makes amends for his wrongdoings and turns his attention to helping others.
Originally born Katharine, this spunky 13-year-old is trying to make her way in the world alone. She's also running from Morton who is trying to marry her in order to gain her estate for himself. Kit joins a theater troupe and quickly endears herself to all. Quick-witted and resourceful, she proves a valuable ally and good friend to Peter when she agrees to help him prevent the assassination plot.
Sir Philip Morton
Morton is a landowner in Cumberland. With no real moral qualms, he's not eager to be made a fool of by Peter. He becomes a dramatic antagonist in the story when he attempts to marry Kit and sets a price on Peter's head for his arrest. As the plot evolves, readers learn that Morton is much more devious and corrupt than he seems on the surface. He's a part of a scheme to assassinate the Queen of England and will stop at nothing to try and gain the upper hand in life by becoming wealthy.
The Yellow Gentleman
This mysterious man steals the scrip of the play from Kit. He's pursued by the teens because of the theft, but in the process he turns out to be a much greater villain than anticipated. Instead of being a petty thief, he's part of a grand scheme, working for Morton. His real name is Sir David Vicars.
He is a minor character also involved in Morton's assassination plot. He's basically a hired thug.
He's an actor in the troupe who takes a liking to Peter. Desmond looks out for the kids as best he can, and is a passionate actor.
No story is complete without the mother figure, who in this case is Mrs. Desmond. She travels with the thespians in order to remain close to her husband. She seriously takes care of the entire troupe, looking especially well after the kids.
He is an actor in the troupe as well, but he's not a good guy. He's the assassin secretly hired to kill the queen. His only goal is to accomplish his mission and get paid which makes him dangerous to the teens.
Boyd is a secret agent assigned to protecting the queen. When he catches wind of a potential assassination plot, he weasels his way into the troupe asking questions. He rewards Peter and Kit for preventing the evil deed.
He's the leader of the acting troupe. Although based upon the historical figure, this Shakespeare is fictional. He imbues the production with life and meaning, believing in the importance of the art of theater and having made it his life mission.
Sir Robert Cecil
He's the head of the Queen's Secret Service. He runs into the teens with the acquaintance of Tom Boyd.
Sir Francis Bacon
Bacon is a historical figure as well but also fictional in this novel. He's a philosopher and scientist, a man of reason, who ends up helping the teens on their quest. He's actually a cousin of Cecil's, which is loosely speaking how he becomes involved.
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