As they supped in the tavern, about the middle of The High Street which leads from The Convent of Holyrude at the bottom, in the lee of Arthur's Seat, to the Castle at the top, on the great rock which towers over the Nor Loch, a street lined by houses of all sizes, shapes and types, from the mansions of the city's zaikai, the men (and women) with the ear of the King, the Lawyers, Financiers, great Merchants, Clan Chiefs – many of whom rarely spent winters in the company of their clansmen) all cheek by jowl with the tenements of the ragtag of lesser merchants, tradesmen, craftsmen, labourers, washerwomen, midwives and harlots, the lower in the pecking order, the further down the closes which ribboned to north and south, like ribs spreading out from the spine; but stand anywhere on The High and turn 360 degrees and you would see every class of man or woman pause and look back at you, wondering what you were buying or selling, for everything and anything could be bought or sold here: intelligence, gossip, fine woollen cloth, silk stockings, sacks of oatmeal, or coal, barrels of French brandy, or wine, kegs of gunpowder or moonshine, a woman, a child, nothing was too outlandish, and the wealthy, be they of noble birth or from the midden, observing the conventions of noblesse oblige, would yet expect a return for whatever small favour they gave you; Tavish scanned the strained faces of his small party: Tammy, his daughter's was drawn and tight; Bernie, her lover, was thinner than before, her hair tangled and unruly; Lolly, (her real name being Licinda Antonescu) the Rumanian girl, who had been trafficked to Scotland, used and abused by the members of The Ring of Gold, had filled out, though still looked small and tired; Sister Evadne Eglantine was in a state of shock after the sudden disappearance a few days earlier of her sister, Griselda of Longformacus, and only Tavish knew that she had probably climbed through the rent in his cloak and was now only God knew where' and wee Wullie, the kitchen boy from the Duke of Albany's Palace, ate greedily, grease dripping down his chin – his understanding of who they all were, or where, secondary to his survival instinct; Tavish had no plan, only a vague intent to track down the remnants of The Ring who had not been killed by his bomb in the Palace and add them to his tally; he felt some guilt for the lives of this small group, he felt responsibility for their plight and resolved that whatever became of him, he must do his utmost to ensure their safety; stuck in this world which was not his own, which skewed his personal weltanschauung, forcing him to view things, not from the standpoint of the 21st century, but rather of the 13th, which constantly challenged his beliefs and assumptions, he remembered Immanuel Kant's discussion of abderitism, the theory that the human race's morality would never advance beyond it's then state (in 1804) and found himself wondering if Kant had in fact been quite right; Tavish has written an extensive criticism of Kant, in his Philosophy course, based on the opposing gifts of foresight and hindsight, although accepting that the Industrial Revolution had, as so many revolutions have, seemed to offer Utopia but instead produced wage slavery for the masses, and he wondered whether Kant himself, had he lived 450 years earlier, as Tavish now did, and looked around the world he was in then (well, the Scotland which Tavish was now in) would he consider that abderitism might apply to that society? certainly since 1804 the world had been turned upside down and inside out and Tavish really was not so sure if, had he any say in the matter, 1804 might not be a preferable time to the twentieth or twenty-first centuries; true, beggars can't be choosers, but anyone who has once experienced Time Travel will probably find themselves torn between Home and Away! Tavish forced his eyes open, his knowledge of Edinburgh in 1267 was passable in general terms, but not in the micro-detail he needed: he could think of only two possibilities for the safety of his young friends, and they both centred on Sister Evadne: her Order, based at the Convent of Holyrude, or her family at Longformacus, could either of them provide shelter and sanctuary? but whether they would want to or be able to, depended on how they were approached, and that depended on Sister Evadne coming out of her grieving state sooner than the natural course of healing, but he did not want to push her yet; he still had a purse full of money that he had purloined before they left Albany Palace, in the confused aftermath of his Gunpowder Plot, but it would come to an end eventually, and he had no idea of how to get more; if he was honest with himself, he was fast running out of ideas; the last resort being that they would all attempt to pass through the rent in his cloak and hope they didn't disappear into the Universe; but with no knowledge of how the whole network of Worm-holes were linked, they might be going from the frying pan into oblivion; first then, he had to identify the two people here whose names he knew: they were both connected to The Ring of Gold and once he found them, he would eliminate them, after learning any other names he might be able to extract from them; this was not the way he liked to work, it was messy and went against all his beliefs, but the normal Rules of Engagement didn't operate here, in 1267AD; all bets were off, there were no rules other than survival, and unless a miracle happened, no way home! which was when the doorway was filled by a shadow and a gargantua entered, slowly, deliberately, as befitted his size, and reaching their table, held out a hand the size of a collier's shovel and said: "ah'm Harry, wha's Tavish?" and little Milly' who was sitting with her back to the door and had not observed the Giant's entrance, just at that moment looked up and saw him towering over her, her calliopean scream filled the small tavern, and the stranger mumbled an apology for startling her, his own voice, soft and gentle, belied his size; "Harry Magog, sur, ah dae believe ye're spectin me?"