The short journey home was pursued in chilly silence. Lucy determined to take no notice; it was not the first time she had seen her husband in a pet at her social frivolity. Perhaps he was really angry this time; perhaps he believed he had cause. She leant against the comfortable upholstery, yawning behind her fan. Seveny writhed at her indifference. As for Caroline, who had seen so many people in their varying moods, any sulk was best escaped as fast as possible. Her dream world was never far away, and always a place of refuge. She saw the mural on the chimney breast at Dunalla, the maiden in her high tower, the rocky shore, the wide turbulent sea stretching away to the edge of the world. This small town was not the whole world. A week ago she would not have known or cared if Gerard Seveny sulked; nor did it matter now.

Once in bed, she fell fast asleep; but she was not allowed to dream for long. Through her dreams, she heard footsteps. Someone was moving about the stable yard, whistling softly. She listened, recognised the Shan Van Vocht. The little twirls in the melody were familiar. Hugh Ro stood below her window. She lowered the sash and leaned out.

“I'm going, Miss Caroline, “he said softly, “I must leave tonight. It is better so.”

“I'm sorry, Hugh Ro; but, indeed, it is better. Where will you go?”

“West to Kerry ..... to my own mountains. I sense danger here, for me, and maybe for you, if I stay.”

“Will you be safe where you are going?”

“I'll be safe. They may brand me as a vagabond rebel; you know that is not true. But I'll be safer where the King's writ never properly ran, in the wilds of Kerry.”

“You have committed no crime.”

“I have not, but, in these times, to be suspect is to be condemned near enough.”

“You are my only link with Fergal, Hugh Ro. You said he would come again. How shall I know?”

“I'll let you know, have no fear, if it is the last thing I do. Please do not question me further. I must be on my way. We shall meet again.”

“Then God go with you, Hugh Ro.”

“God stay with you, Miss Caroline.”

He moved away, treading soundlessly over the cobbled yard. The shadows swallowed him. Out of the midnight he had come; into the midnight he went, and he might have never been except that his coming had changed the whole course of her life.