"In the middle of the street, on my left, was a towering chapel, dark and glowering. It looked almost derelict, the black noticeboard peeling, white letters proclaiming 'Y Tabernacl.' There was a monument within railing to one side of the chapel's portico, while a dropped gun lay in the gutter.
"This had to be a sign that Sparrowhawk had been there. I looked for another trace of her, my heart sinking. I looked for the lady I loved, praying that she should not be dead.
"A glimpse of brown leather out of the corner of my eye told me that I had found her. She lay within one set of railings, her lovely form bearing the traces of a terrible assault. Her hard-wearing costume was scored with knife-thrusts, while a pool of blod was forming under her. Blood trickled from her mouth. Only the slow movement of her chest showed she was alive. And her mask was off. I recognised the woman behind the mask, and knew why she had been so careful to hide her identity.
"I was able to hide her identity, as a local doctor treated her. I took her to an isolated house by the sea, outside Aberystwyth. For eight months I did nothing more than look after her. Of course it was without my mask. I knew now who this courageous young woman was, and I could not hide myself from her.
"Although her body healed, her mind remained broken, hopelessly lost. She didn't seem to recognise me. I once found her standing out on the beach, looking out so sea. At last I had to bow to the inevitable. She's still living, at a private nursing home in the countryside. And I still hope that she will recover one day."
"And what does that have to do with me?" Sian asked breathlessly.