And that was when Auntie Cristo did it! moving with the swiftness of a cobra, she reached forward with both hands, grabbed and hauled, and the two headdresses flew into the air, leaving the two Muslim women just ahead of her exposed to the world as – two Muslim women! "why, Zulaykha Youssef," cried Auntie Maude at the sight of the proprietor of the Premier Express in the High Street: "and this is?" and the older woman, recovering from her shock, said: "why, Miss Lyttleton, this is my daughter, Phoebe, surely you. . . . ." and Cristo, quickly, said: "of course, Phoebe! what a surprise, I had no idea that you wear the Burkha," at which Zulaykha laughed: "we have come as two of the nuns, and our friend here, you surely know Sister Charlotte Russe, is a real nun, she is a Poor Clare," and this time it was Daphne who spoke: "my goodness! yes, Charlotte, you don't usually wear your habit, certainly not at the BGH," and the young nun smiled, and said: "at the hospital I am a charge nurse and always wear the uniform, but for the Pilgrimage, I felt that I should dress the part," and the ice broken, the six women, my three aunts and their three friends embraced and continued walking, while Cristo confessed that she had been conducting an indagate of her own, and was looking for two particular people believed to be in disguise and the sight of the Muslim dress, which showed only the eyes, had drawn her attention: "not that I have anything against National or Religious dress – although you all know what my own beliefs are. . . . ." and the three younger women acknowledged that they were well aware that Cristo is a Humanist, "and a truly Good Person," said Phoebe with conviction, being a firm believer that Good People were few on the ground in Melrose and those few she encountered should be treasured as much – and maybe even more than – others who professed a firm Faith but, she often found, were more likely to disappoint, once she got to know them better; and her mother asked: "the two you seek, would their names possibly be Prestonpans MacFarlane and Dennistoun Doubleday?" which made my aunts exchange glances, but not quite confirming Mrs Youssef's supposition, so she went on to say: "they are the two Head Office Managers of the Bank, who had poor Archibald Auchinleck sacked – we could not help but overhear your conversation," she admitted, "but Madame Oyzell Zegan is who you should ask," she turned to Phoebe: "didn't she mention them just after brunch at the Kirk?" and young Phoebe nodded: "yes Mamma, she said that she overheard them in the Kirkyaird, saying something about Jedburgh Abbey being a good place to lose people, with an emphasis on the word lose which seemed to attach to it a degree of permanence that gave her, Madam Oyzell, a shiver down her back-bone – she has a great acuity about her, Madame Oyzell, and I always pay particular attention to what she says: I remember her mentioning a jockey last year, speaking of his determination to rise to Special Occasions, and just a few weeks later he rode the winner of the Grand National! not that I often bet, but I did that day and won £500," and Auntie Maude made a mental note to consult Oyzell Zegan before any big race, for her own luck with the horses seemed to have taken a nose-dive lately and someone with that kind of acuity could be well worth a coffee-and in Marmions Brasserie as the small price for improving the security of Daphne and Maude's common weal! when, of a sudden a cry of "Basta!" interrupted her reverie and she looked round to see that she had wandered away from the path and another step would have pitched her into one of the burns which rise among the Eildons and make their several ways down to join the Tweed, and as with the others, recent rains had swollen this one gey mightily, so Maude called out a thank-you to whoever had saved her but then realized that she was quite alone, the others so engrossed in their conversation that they had missed her wandering – but if it wasn't one of them who had roused her by shouting, who on earth was it?