"How do you spell her surname?" I asked and Aggie laughed: "not the way you pronounce it, Teri, i's O Y Z E L L but that's her given name, her family name was Glickstein, married is Zegan," and I burst out: "she's married?" but Aggie corrected me: "was, you must remember old Mod Zegan, had a bespoke tailors beside the Corn Exchange, that was her husband, but he died, oh 25 years ago, come now, you're not so young you won't remember Mod!" and I conceded that yes, "I do remember the old Jewish tailor who's nimble stitches dressed generations of Melrosians, but I never noticed his wife, was she very morigerous?" at which Aggie snorted: "no, Teri, absolutely not! that lollapalooza was the coryphée o the Young Moderns School of Archaeologists, who wanted to awaken people to the real lives of their forebears, they were the Social Archaeologists whose discoveries and interpretations brought the past to life – she didn't hang around Old Mod's back shop and pass him his chalk and pins, they were devoted to each other, but each had their own work and he was delighted to tell customers of her latest finds and all the permutations and implications of strata and cross-stratum distinctions," and I had to ask: "did they have any children?" and Aggie nodded: "two girls, fine strong lasses too, like their mother," then she was silent, so I said: "and?" and she shook herself and I felt the goosebumps rise on my skin: "they were with her at a site in Wester Ross, when a plague pit was opened, and they were both infected and died, it was a tragic accident, but Oyzell blamed herself, said the girls should never have been there, it was all her fault – she went into a flat spin and disappeared, I don't think even Mod knew where she was for weeks and months, and when she came back she was changed, she'd lost her drive, her confidence and her passion; I think that was when she started to erase herself and when Mod died, she seemed to become a shadow, and she moved house a lot, oh, she still spoke if you met her in the street, or sat beside her at a concert, but she never gave anything away, it was as if she was just another anonymous, unknown resident of an old settlement, whose objects still exist after several thousand years or more, but whose names and identities have been lost – a bit like the negatives of Pompeii, yes?" and I understood.