Chapter OneBedfordshire, England
Water dripped in a steady cadence from birch leaves, soaking Lucinda Drakewyck as she walked through the Bedfordshire woodlands. The rain had stopped some time ago. But like miniature pitchers, the newly unfurled leaves had gathered water and emptied on her as she passed beneath.
Warm and dry beneath her velvet hood, Lucinda smiled. She was up to her ankles in mud and enjoying every moment of it. The winter, coldly persistent in its bid to ruin her days, had blanketed the town of Somerton with two surprise snowstorms well past the first of April. Rain hardly seemed dreary after months of...