The old Bentley purred through the Nottinghamshire countryside, Ms. Madison at the wheel. Beside her, the masked figure of Sparowhawk looked out at the green of the land, washed by rain. She shook her head, sighing, as she looked out over the land. Ms. Madison listened to the radio, still not sure what to make of the strange girl. Was what Sir Richard had said bout her true? - could it be? Was this girl really over fifty years old, doomed to a life of endless youth? And how could that be a doom? But here she was, apparently deeply affected by a brave new world.
"They say it's going to be another wet summer," Ms. Madison tried to make polite conversation.
"It was blazing sunshine last August," Sparrowhawk shook her head. "At least the last August that I remember. Of course, for the rest of the world that was ten years ago..." there was a wistfulness about Sparrowhawk, as she looked out at the rain.
"The English countryside's lovely in every climate," Ms. Madison went on, "and the summer rain ... it reminds me of strawberries and village fetes - look at that." She indicated a rainbow, visible over the trees.
"...I trace the rainbow through the rain..." Sparrowhawk sighed again, looking away.
"What was that?" Ms. Madison looked away from the road to the pensive figure in brown leather.
"Nothing" Sparrowhawk looked down at her lap. "I was just wondering who else has died while I was in that nursing home. And who could have visited me while I didn't know it."
"You'll never know, I suppose," Ms. Madison shook her head. "Why worry, Hawkie?"
"Stop here." Sparrowhawk reached for the wheel.
Ms. Madison did exactly as she was told, worried that Sparrowhawk might cause her to crash otherwise. She would have asked the strange adventuress exactly what was going on, only the way that Sparrowhawk looked at the gaunt ruins that showed at the edge of a ploughed field told her everything she needed to know.