Which broke the ice – and Bernie found that her 'carers' – for want of a better term, and she wasn't perhaps ready to admit the truth of what she already suspected, in some dark recess of her mind, a truth which her conscious mind wanted to keep shut away lest, in discovering it too soon, the shock might undo the good that her 'carers' had been doing – did speak; they were neither deaf nor dumb, but their speech – such as it was, and it was very rudimentary – did not contain recognisable words which carried any meaning for Bernie, but she was content with this as being in some way caused by the trauma she was only now just beginning to come to terms with and recover from; she did not doubt that at some time, her memories would return, but not yet; for now, she was content to rest, accept drink from the cave dwellers and reflect on the damage which had been done to her body and mind, despite having no memory of what had happened; she knew that hydration, at this stage, was more important to her body than solid food, even the thought of which made her nauseous; and strangely, even though the vocal sounds uttered by this family – for she began to perceive that they were indeed a family, with several generations present – were simple gibberish in her ears, at some deeper level she could understand them as if they were speaking in English; and in the telling of her tale, she expressed their communications in her own, English tongue, while attempting to retain something of the simplicity of their utterances; but first, she had to satisfy herself that there was nothing sinister here: like the good convent schoolgirl she had been, along with her cousins, The O'Hooligan Twins, Bernie had acquired that perplexing amalgam of History, Legend, and Religious Divide, which has characterised the centuries since Scotland emerged from the mists of antiquity as a proud land, with it's own customs and laws, quite separate from those of her Southern neighbour, England; and one of the historical legends which cannot be categorically proved to be either true of false, is the story of Sawney Bean who, with his wife and many children and grandchildren, is said to have hidden themselves away from the Law-givers and takers, in the wilds of Ayrshire, there to prey upon unwary and careless travellers going to and from Dumfries, whom they waylaid, robbed, murdered and, in many cases, ate – the infamous Mrs Bean's Cookbook has some recipes for such things as Eyeball Soup, Genital Junket and Finger Food which used both fingers and toes to produce 10 little succulents from each body; and so it cannot be denied that she did wonder if this group, this family or clan, was of a similar nature and disposition, then dismissed the thought as uncharitable, for they seemed to regard her with kindness and concern, rather than sizing her up for dinner – then she wondered if they might be vegetarian, or eat anything they can find, like beetles and earthworms and in one of those synapses that she had no control over, it crossed her mind that Americans call them angleworms for no good reason that she could think of, and she wondered what her 'carers' called them and she knew that as time passed, though she had no proper means of measuring it, at the same time and pro rata to that passage, she would become weaker without sustenance and she resolved that the next time they gathered to gaze at her – and fleetingly wondered what it was about her they seemed to find so fascinating – probably just because I'm a stranger, they probably don't get many visitors here, wherever here is, it feels far away from home and she wondered what form their etiquette might take and ticked of the different kinds she could think of, with strangers, with the elderly, with the aristocracy, in letters, at mealtimes, on escalators, oh and don't forget netiquette, though that probably wouldn't apply here inside this strange building for these walls must be soooo thick there won't be any signal and that made her feel about herself and her temporary bed for her phone and she wondered if the 'carers' have it and would they know the mnemonic ICE meaning In Case of Emergency and call the number under that word which would mean they'd get through to Dixie in which case . . . . . where is this place, somewhere in the Pentlands probably, there are plenty of old farm buildings around and even lime kilns, but how did they get me here and who stitched my neck – and why – to hell with etiquette, I’ll just have to ask them – but what is that language, maybe they're Romany, do they have their own language, oh shit I feel like crap, and as she was closing her eyes again she was just aware of the child coming close and looking deep into them before the image faded and she slept.