We progress, it seems, to the heart of the matter. We are a little late: Graham Greene and Russell Hoban, at least, are there before us, and although we evince the utmost respect for their prior engagements they do not seem inclined to respond with offers of, for example, camp-fire hospitality. And so we must fend for ourselves, but that requires a fresh assessment of how many we are. Fabor strewn across some endless mountain-top; Bruna the victim of her own peculiar and derisive desires. So who have we?

Well, Celestina is with me. She is not yet fully-grown, which is, on the whole, reassuring, for although se is yet small, she has a wide mouth full of teeth, and her utterances, although frequently urgent, are unclear. And we have a mysterious trio of killers who come, they tell me, from a film called ‘McCabe and `Mrs Miller’. It seems they were all slain, one after another, by Warren Beatty but they keep claiming their deaths were unfair and they want to try again. Beaver the hunter; Creed the tracker; Kid the punk. Yes indeed, I remember them well, very well indeed. In the end, as I recall, they were condemned by their own silence; they knew not what or where they were and thus the only sound to record their present absence was the report – in their case, the report of their own poorly aimed guns.

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