We’d seen it a million times before, since girls on the Tracks rarely knew of loyalty. She’d be gone when the breeze got under her skin. “You can’t trust Vagabond hearts. They are already so broken that they think nothing of breaking yours,” he had explained once. I wondered who was the first to break his heart-where he’d gained that knowledge the first time around.

When the love-led man had ceased from his labours Bathsheba came and looked him in the face.

‘Gabriel, will you you stay on with me?’ she said, smiling winningly, and not troubling to bring her lips quite together again at the end, because there was going to be another smile soon.

‘I will,’ said Gabriel.

And she smiled on him again.

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