Ruby paused under a street-light and blew out smoke through her nostrils, seeming to be sizing Phelim up, weighing the various possibilities, and he waited, not wanting to distract her from her deliberations, until at last she spoke: "when did you meet him?" and after the briefest hesitation, MacFarlane replied: "first in the 1920s, a couple of times, then through the thirties, about a dozen, and during World War 2, and the lead up to Independence, four or five I think," and she asked: "why?" but this time he looked away and she thought, his whole life is a scamander, it's a wonder he can remember anything, then he spoke: "did you hear much of what Alec and Connor were saying? about Ireland?" and she nodded: "you were going to steal 20th century armaments and give them to both Catholic and Protestant groups in the 1790s?" and he laughed, "not give them," he admitted, and she said: "sell them, for a healthy profit?" and it was his turn to nod, "but it never worked out, probably for the best, look I'm not trying to enhance my reputation, probably that would be a waste of time, but I've been doing this for most of my adult life, and it's been spread over almost 800 years, well, to be more precise, I think the furthest back I went was about 32,000 BC and the furthest into the future, your future, 20,000 Modern Era, they don't hold much of a candle for Jesus, or any of the Gods there, and I admit I've done a lot of bad things, no point in denying them, and I met Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, other Indian Holy Men, as well as Nero and Caligula, and Adolf Hitler—now him, I didn't like—but Gandhi had something special about him—he knew all about me, never told me how, or why—but the first time I met him, on a street, he just said, 'ah, Sir Parlane MacFarlane, they seek you here, they seek you there, come walk with me,' and we talked for a couple of hours—I should explain that all of this was in the last six months or so, so pretty intensive—and he had an effect on me, I even compiled a sort of Festschrift, everything he said to me, and interviews I conducted with other people whose lives had been changed after meeting him, which is why I came here, I intended to spend a couple of weeks, or however long it took, closeted in the Motel at Four Bridges, preparing it for publication, you know, fill in the gaps, join the dots, get it adimplete. . . . .but something happened, I don't know what, a woman went missing, seems to have been abducted and Dominic—my friend, well, associate—and I have been trying to find out what and find her, alive if possible!"