As it happened, Monteagle had immediately taken the letter to Cecil who took it to the King and some hastily assembled members of the court.4
What did the letter mean?
The King, with his special god-given powers of insight, immediately got the message (his acuity might have been aided by the memory that his father had been assassinated by a gunpowder bomb). Whoever wrote the letter, the veil obscuring its meaning was rather transparent.
Was the vagueness of the letter just an amateur attempt at being enigmatic, or a deliberate attempt to appear conspiratorial?
Was it all a set-up? Was the letter designed to abort a plot that was never intended to be successful anyway? Had the ringleaders been working as agents provocateurs to draw other, more devout, Catholics into the conspiracy so that they could be exposed as treasonous and then exterminated? If so, then the ringleaders were to find themselves trapped as well. Any ideas they might have had that they would be spared for their secret efforts on behalf of the crown against their fellow Catholics were lost as they in turn were double-crossed.
Who could have been that devious and evil?