Dodging into the alleyway to the rear of the property, she shed the raincoat that covered the black jeans and sweater that constituted her burglary costume. A back balaclava, more functional than elegant, completed the ensemble. She scaled the wall gracefully, shinned up a drainpipe, and entered the house through an upstairs window. As she had been told, it was destered. Her rubber soled pumps made no sound, as she crept downstairs, following the map of the ground floor that she had memorised.
The safe was in what had once been the library of a Victorian Member of Parliament. It was of the same vintage as the house. Nothing fancy. Which would probably make opening it a lot harder.
As she entered the room, however, Ms. Madison saw the safe open. She drew back cautiously, wondering whether her information has been defective. No-one moved, however, so the burglarious blonde hurried forward stealthily once more.
A movement behind her causedher to turn. She was only just able to keep the blow aimed at her from knocking her out. Even so, it sent her staggering into the desk. She turned, adopting a fighting stance, ready to face whatever Stannard had planned for intruders.
Instead, two young women gave exclamations of surprise.
"Sparrowhawk..." Ms. Madison looked into the wide eyes of the girl the Green Man had once loved.