3child he might have had with Katherine. But that thought isalways shadowed with the memory o the dead baby, thedamned inant that was made when the Catholic rebels ran-sacked Snape. He cannot bear to imagine how that baby came about, athered by, o all people, Murgatroyd, whomhe used to take out hunting hares as a boy. He was a sweet lad, showed no sign o the brute he would become. Latymercurses the day he let his young wie alone with his childrento go to court and seek pardon rom the King, curses the weakness that got him involved with the rebels in the rst place. Six years have passed since, but the events o that timeare carved into his amily like words on a gravestone.Katherine is straightening the bedcovers, humming a tune;it’s one he doesn’t recognize, or can’t remember. A surge o love rises in him. His marriage to her was a love match – orhim, anyway. But he hadn’t done what husbands are supposedto do; he hadn’t protected her. Katherine had never spoken o it. He’d wanted her to scream and rage at him – to hate him,blame him. But she remained poised and contained, as i noth-ing had changed. And her belly grew large, taunting him. Only when that baby came, and died within the hour, did he see thesmudge o tears on her ace. Yet still, nothing was ever said. This tumour, eating away at him slowly, is his punishment,and all he can do to atone is make her rich. How can he ask onemore thing o her? I she could inhabit his racked body evenor an instant she would do his bidding without question. It would be an act o mercy, and there is no sin in that, surely.She is by the door, seeing the notary out, then she oatsback to sit beside him, pulling her hood o and discarding it at the oot o the bed, rubbing her temples with the tips o herngers and shaking out her Titian hair. Its dried-ower scent drits over and he longs to bury his ace in it as he used to do.