“Well, man, what’ll happen now the king’s dead? And nought but a wee lass to come to the throne?” Master Spens’s laughter had died quite away. “You don’t think the great lords’ll accept a wee bairn as queen? There’s not one o’ them that’s like to take it peaceable-like. And which would the Provost o’ Dunfermline support, eh? And what would happen to him if he picked the wrong one?”
“They swore loyalty to the lass not a year since,” Dad argued, but Master Spens just sniffed.
“Swore? Of course they swore. They’d have had hard words and maybe harder blows from the king if they hadn’t. They’d swear on their mother’s hope o’ heaven, but would that keep their fingers to themselves if they’ve the chance o’ a crown? Never.”
Quest for a Maid, Frances Mary Hendry, 1988