June 10, 1900
Morag lay back on the long meadow grass. "I love the night sky. It is such a comforting black velvet blanket to cover me.
He sat beside her. "And the stars, do they decorate your blanket?"
"Some do but only the small ones. They are pretty diamonds sown in a haphazard way. The others, the big, brilliant stars are my dreams. They fall from the sky and light my sleep with so many possibilities!"
He smiled. "Sometimes like now, I see the true woman that hides in you. Why do you insist on acting the willful child?"
She sat and pushed her mass of blond curls from her face. "Don't we all act? Maybe that is how we survive when the daylight and reality come." She glanced over her shoulder to the large Tudor cottage silhouetted against the forest. "I think you have planted the cottage far too early. You have yet to find the dagger. Daniel and Charlotte do not even know each other. How can you be sure they will be so willing to help you?"
"They will because it is in their charts. It is their destiny. I may have to give them a push but they will help."
"So you say."
She sighed, lay back on the grass, made a fist with her hand and pushed it into her belly.
"What's wrong, Morag? Are you in pain?"
"No, not pain. It is just a feeling and more like a cold knot, prickling and disturbing me."
"And that means?"
She locked dark eyes into his. "Danger! It is a strong warning. You say we must do this for my future happiness. My happiness is not worth anyone suffering."
"I am not a novice. Danger has not stopped me before. You should know by now that your happiness is all that is important to me." He stood, took her hand and pulled her to her feet. "Come along! We have a long ride back to Oxford."
She climbed up onto the clip and watched as he fastened two lanterns to the harness. "Tell me a story. I love to hear your tales." She said as the horse pulled them onto the dirt road way.
"What do you want to hear? I have so many tales."
"Tell me about Cadbury Castle! I picture it as a huge fortress with a hundred turrets, a thousand spires and a million mighty and so very handsome soldiers standing fiercely on guard."
The rising sun was making its first break through the fading night clouds when Jean stopped on the pavement outside number 9 Chelsea Crescent. It was a small house in comparison to the brownstone mansions that stood on either side but it was no less impressive. How could a dancer have that kind of money? Nervous but determined she moved to the door and listened. Jean took a key from her purse, opened the door a crack and listened a while longer. Hearing nothing but the ticking of a wall clock she stepped into still dark entrance way, moved quietly up the stairs and along a short hall until she came to a small, well furnished sitting room.
From where she stood, she could see into the bedroom. A naked woman lay asleep on the bed. Her black skin and the tattoo of red spider wrapped around her thigh created a powerful contrast to the white satin sheets. She sat and waited. As she waited, she steadied her nerves and rehearsed again what she had to say.