Unburdened, Sir Parlane MacFarlane and Dominic Doubleday reached La Coste first, their wives, carrying all their luggage, being half a mile behind, which their husbands fervently hoped would cause them to take that wrong turning on the left which would lead them past the village and on into a different future; the door was opened by a young woman, who introduced herself as: "Mlle Eunice Eglantine, of Longformacus, I am the Marquis's biographer and fortune-teller, I read palms and divine the future, would you like me to do yours?" she said brightly: "not for the nonce, Mistress Eglantine," said MacFarlane, taken aback both by her presence and her suggestion, "do you have rooms for us?" at which she bawled: "Maree, Maree, come hither," which produced a lumpy girl of about thirteen who scowled at Eglantine and the two new arrivals: "show the gentlemen to their chambers and come back here." said the Scotchwoman: "are your bags coming by carrier?" she asked, but MacFarlane informed her that their new brides were following on, which caused her to smirk: "honeymooners are you?" she asked, which MacFarlane resented – his affairs were none of her business, but he forced himself to smile and agree, then turned to the servant-girl and asked her to take him and his, manservant quickly as they were both tired; then Miss Eglantine told them that the Marquis was out on business, but was expected home for dinner, which would be served promptly at 7pm; considering the half-built house they had seen outside, most of the interior seemed to have been completed and their rooms, adjacent to each other, were both clean and fresh and each had a large four-poster so, leaving the connecting door open – that they could easily converse without having to shout, they lay down on their respective beds and were soon asleep, having barely exchanged a dozen words; although not normally a dreamer – which is to say, he rarely recalled his dreams – on this occasion, MacFarlane found himself in a cave, rather like the Great Cavern in the Eildon Hills, where so mane Worm Holes meet and cross, over, under, sideways, even vertically, a veritable Spaghetti Junction, except that this dream cave was empty, save for an old Greek sitting, cross-legged on the rocky floor, talking to himself, and MacFarlane felt himself to be ensorcelled, as if this place were, indeed, Plato's Cave and he began to circle the old man, much as one of the planets appeared to orbit the Earth, until the old man caught sight of him and beckoned him over; so it came to be that MacFarlane sat quietly by the old man, attempting to find some sort of sense in his words, but they seemed nonsensical, for he had taken MacFarlane for a hastate, of the Roman army – had he returned to the times when the Roam Camp was named Trimontium after the three hills? pooh! that was nonsensical, for it was much later than Plato, whom he had met in Athens on a particularly hot day in 333BC (not, of course the date known at the time, and he laughed at his absurdity) and the thought came into his addled head that this was all something foolish to do with the Scotch wench who had greeted them on their arrival – a fortune teller – he and Dominic knew more about the future of any person alive or dead, for hadn't they travelled thousands of years ahead, as well as thousands of years behind? perhaps for amusement he should let her study his hand, but which one? and suddenly he woke, alarmed by a strange howl that seemed to echo through the château – did this herald the return of de Sade?