When next she opened her eyes, Christiane found herself in a small, neat, bed-chamber, with one of the younger women seated near her: "you are well!" cried she, with some concern, "yes, I think so," replied Christiane, "I don't know what came over me," have I been asleep long?" the young woman placed a cool hand on Christiane's head, "about an hour, I found you quite insensible, and your dress was wet, so we laid you here and changed your clothes, my mother thinks the injury to your head had concussed you, my father is a physician and he was brought to examine you, he said the bruise on your neck looked to have been enough to knock you out, he has seen many such caused by the side of a hand chopping so," and she demonstrated, "but the crack on your head would have been enough to insensibilate even a soldier with a hard skull; he examined you fully and thinks that a day's rest should be sufficient to restore your strength – we were all agog with your tale of the fight with those slaves, but the officer who brought you in believes that they will be long gone and may never be found, especially as they have your mounts and if they have hidden your husband's body; were you married long, have you any children?" at which Christiane felt almost whimsical and wanted to laugh, for that would have been impossible, but she shook her head, and immediately felt a sickening, giddy sensation wash over her, "we were married ten years," she said, for she and Larry had indeed been together that time, and she wanted to keep as close to the truth as possible, for she knew that too many lies have the likely effect of coming back to bite you on the bum, or at least, trip you up: "but I cannot say we were very attached, perhaps at first, but less so lately, there was too much bobbery between us, and I had begun to feel like an unpaid servant," and the girl stared: "he used you as a slave?" at which Christiane paused for a moment's consideration, then nodded, "exactly! also I did not approve of things he did, but this is no time to speak ill of the dead; enough of me, what is your name?" and the girl answered "Claudia, for my mother is a Claudian," which she seemed to think was self-explanatory and Christiane didn't want to display her woeful ignorance, so she smiled and said: "well, my dear, your name is most appropriate and suits you perfectly," which seemed to delight the girl, who blushed and said: "with good esperance, my Lady, the Paladin intends to call on you in the evening and has hopes of showing you the fine river, just below the Camp, it is said to rise almost in the middle of this Island, on the highest moor, divide instantly and flow both West and East, thus dividing it into two parts, though for much of it's length even a child can paddle across, but down in the valley there, it is broad and sparkling; my friends and I often swim in the deeper stretches, and children can safely play by the banks," and Christiane divined instantly that Claudia would love nothing better than to tag along, providing local knowledge, which the Paladin did not have and she, Christiane, dare not admit to, for that would be too complicated a tangle to safely unravel!