• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 08
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London Bridge Station

Slave of an impoverished labour market and political advocacy, she went to work every day in pinstripes and an immaculately pressed shirt, her only real rebellions the colour of her cardigans, handkerchiefs and the engagement ring legend on the breast pocket of the bespoke jacket.

She’d majored in botany at university and had grown to love hiking through its pursuit, travelling abroad in her student years to see, touch and experience the true aroma of exotic plants in their natural habitat. Asia in particular had been a revelation. And New Zealand — she mustn’t forget … couldn’t imagine forgetting … New Zealand.

But trees were her real passion — great expansive trees which defied time and gravity and human interlopers to reach through epochs and make them insignificant.

When she had hiked the Himalayan Triangle the rest of the adventurers had revelled in the majesty of the peaks, the grace of the Dzongs and the indescribability of the temples — but her focus had been on the trees which spread like an immense blanket in the valleys and foothills.

She leaned against the steadying pole of the carriage and imagined she could smell the luxuriant perfume of the path to Bhutan.

There was an ugly crackle followed by an announcement.


She followed the fellow slaves off the tube and up the ramp, pleasant memories replaced by visions of Hebrews sweating under the Egyptian sun.