It was winter’s end in the valley, the nearly vernal sun warm in a pale blue sky, rays shining unbolted through the leafless trees, and the enceinte buds, with receptacles swelling, lending forethoughtful hope that spring was soon to arrive.
The connubial bliss of the newly married Caroline became her remora, shrouding her view of the overall picture, which included her bewildered husband and his bacchanal attempts to drown out and numb the overwhelming sense of weltschmerz into which he had been plunged.
Three men knelt before three elephant mazards, laving the bloody bones, the only remains of a maladroitly handled koomkie: the female decoys dead, the wild males gone, and the unexpected lionesses still prowling through the forest.
Upon discovering that her invitation to Mr. Grove’s party had been rescinded, Isobel found herself feeling only relief, as she had not been looking forward to traipsing through the damp and nettle-infested copse between his estate and hers, nor spending four hours surrounded by Mr. Grove’s eccentric collection of taxidermied wallaroos and flacons filled with questionable substances.
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