Mara leaned forward and took each of them by the hand.  ‘Each of you is right, in her own way.  The lady Saranna’s wisdom is right, though it may seem madness to others.  The lady Tamnet’s fear of the desert is right, it is what all should feel at the thought of that dry waste.  I feel in my heart that we must separate, some of us to the desert and some to the south. Take the children south and they may be safe for a while.  Let Saranna find what she seeks in the desert, and the whole land may be safe for a long time to come.’

‘Thank you Mara – I am glad you understand me. Tamnet, I do not ask anyone to turn aside and follow me – of course you have the children and the old lady to care for.  But I must go.’