And when Tavish managed to sit up, he looked across at Tammy and Bernie, still unconscious but breathing regularly and he smiled when he saw that their hands were still clasped as they'd been before – the lightning strike! suddenly he remembered the thing he'd been trying to grasp but which had kept slithering out of reach in his mind, it had come so quickly, out of the black sky, not long after they'd watched the Aurora Borealis and he'd explained to Thomas what the lights in the sky were, and now hoped that he hadn't been too bumptious and professorial in his manner – for all Thomas may now look like a Caveman, he is in truth well educated by the standards of the 13th century, so it was presumptuous and patronising to lecture him; the position of the sun, now, still low in the winter sky, was advanced enough for him to guess the time as about 10am and he looked around, but there was no sign of Thomas, so hopefully he's gone back to his Home-Time; and he tried to stand, but his legs were like jelly, and it took him a while to get to his feet – the immediate surroundings didn't look much different from before the lightning, but that wasn't surprising, they were in a little dip, with the mass of the hillside rising above them on one side, and thick broom on the other, the entrance to the Cavern was round the shoulder, facing towards the Mid Hill; once he was standing he worked his way by grasping the bushes until he was looking down on the Abbey, and his jaw dropped, for the sight that greeted him was unlike any he had seen before; yes, Melrose Abbey was there, all right, but where was the town? there seemed to be only a huddle of small buildings and little else, it was hardly even a village – no Parish Church, no Station buildings, no Prior's Walk Housing, no Bypass, no road climbing up Dingleton Hill, no Dingleton Hospital (now sadly turned into flats – 'now'? there is no 'now' any more) and he looked back at the Abbey and for the first time realised how new it looked, how complete, it even had a roof! something had gone wrong – this was more like the way it would have looked in Thomas's time; feverishly he began to scout around for signs of their friend, but always checking on the girls, for he didn't want them to wake and think he had deserted them; Thomas must be nearby, or maybe he had gone down to the Abbey for help, perhaps to meet with the Father Abbot to seek advice and assistance to get word to his wife and children, who must have thought him dead and buried somewhere long-since; if he was worried about the girls and Tavish himself, it seemed likely that Thomas, having recovered first, and being a fit and healthy young man, would have sought some help for them – didn't Monasteries have an Almoner who would give money to the needy? this wasn't something Tavish had ever studied and his knowledge was that of a layman who had read some of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael books, but clearly having no Coin of the Realm would be a hindrance, being dressed like Cave People wouldn't help, not being fluent in Old English or Lowland Scots could result in them being treated as Outlanders, having nothing they could exchange for food and clothing would present difficulties, if they managed to borrow money the interest would be usurious as they had no security, and although Tavish as a young man had been dropped in hostile environments and been able to beg, steal or borrow what he needed, being a fairly competent scrounger when needs must, and survive on the run from pursuers who always seemed just a few steps behind him and breathing hotly down his neck, with their dogs snapping at his heels, but he was now considerably older, less fit, unsure of the lingo and despite the pooling of information for the Predictions they had compiled for Thomas, he doubted if he would know who was King or Queen, or the name of the local Landowner, which were essentials if he wanted to pass as someone who knew their place in this mediaeval Quandary, and he was also weighed down by two girls who, no matter what personal qualities they possessed, had no experience of surviving in enemy territory with only a Swiss Army Penknife and a packet of fags and here he was without either of those two essential aids: begging was out of the question, it would only draw attention to them, borrowing, as he had already worked out, was infeasible, so stealing was probably their only recourse until – for Christ's sake! how long is a piece of string? oh, he cursed himself for letting his mind whirl round in circles and achieve nothing, normally a disciplined and logical person, Tavish felt completely out of his depth here: surely Thomas would be back soon to check on them; the events of the past few weeks crowded in on Tavish, the whole adventure was so unreal, so inexplicable – if he tried to tell anyone about it they would think him either a liar or a lunatic, it sounded more like an Alien Abduction story than anything, and now it had got even worse! and he wondered if it might not be advisable to move the girls to somewhere affording more cover, an apatetic approach to their appearance might be required, for he could not simply assume that whoever they encountered would be sympathetic to their plight, wasn't it near here that Thomas was brutally attacked and thus sent into the Time of the Cave People? they had to err on the side of caution – no “take me to your Leader, for I am a visitor from the Future!” oh, no! that would certainly not wash, not here, not now – and he had a sudden thought: they could be taken for sorcerers or witches and they probably burned such at the stake – this was a very different world from their own, or even from the Cave People's and it could be full of danger unless they were very, very careful!