over a light, silent and grim. Here even at midnight you could occasionally hear theclopping of horseshoes on the cobbles, a baby’s wail, sometimes the off-tune and bawdysinging of men who’d drunk too much. And here, in this town, lived at least one other immortal.The streets twisted and turned, and more than once I had to backtrack and take a differentroute. I walked as fast as I could, mostly to keep warm, but the damp, misty chill slippedunder my cloak and through my ankle-high boots. By the time I found the correct housenumber, I was chilled down to my fingernails and shaking with cold.The house was large and fine, made of brown brick with other colored bricks set into a pattern, and it had a false front with ziggurats. It was four stories high, with the entranceup a tall flight of stairs. I struck the lion’s-head heavy brass knocker several times. The black enameled door was opened almost immediately by a big, round woman wearing aspotless white apron. She had the reddened, work-roughened hands of a servant but alsoan unmistakable sense of importance. So the head housekeeper, maybe.“I’m from Master Svenson’s shop?” I said. “With fabric samples for the mistress.” I heldout the package for her to take, but she opened the door wider.“She’s waitin’ on you in the front drawing room.”“Me? I’m just the shopgirl.”“Go on then.” The housekeeper nodded toward a double set of tall, paneled doors painteddove gray.Inside, a woman sat before a white marble fireplace carved with fruit and garlands. Blueand white tiles with ships on them surrounded the firebox, and I wanted to kneel downand look at each tile, enjoying the fire’s delicious warmth. Instead I stood uncertainly inthe doorway, and then the woman moved and I saw her face. My heart sped up: It was thewoman from the shop the afternoon before. The immortal.“Oh, good—the samples from Master Svenson,” said the woman, her voice smooth andmodulated, the accent refined. “I need you to wait, girl, while I look at them. Then youcan directly return my choice to your master.”“Yes, mistress,” I said, bewildered.“Thank you, Singe,” she said to the housekeeper, and the woman reluctantly backed out,clearly curious and disapproving of a shopgirl in the fine drawing room.When the door had quietly clicked shut, Mistress Henstrom beckoned me closer.“Forgive the deceit, but I couldn’t call on a shopgirl,” she said in a low voice, and Inodded. “You said you were from Noregr?”I nodded again. “And you, mistress—where are you from?” I asked boldly.“France,” she said. I knew so little about immortals then that I was shocked. Were thereimmortals all over? In every other country?