I have Les Oliviers all to myself: Jan and Jeremy and Godfather Chris and the children have gone to the market in Lézignan-Corbières. I am curled on the beautiful, cozy toile sofa in the sitting room. It’s absurdly warm with a brisk breeze making the lavender nod and cicadas singing endless songs in the trees.

The cicadas take me back to the Long Trail. I can see a burnt-black trunk of a Banksia tree, and Alfie’s iridescent chestnut shoulder twitching under a fly, and the leather and canvas rein in my hand, and the red clay of the trail. Little horse, where did you go? I miss you.

Les Oliviers is full of Richard, too. I can’t stop expecting to run into him on the stairs. All my dear dead. Stay close.

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