After supper Mac, Gilly and Iseult sat talking by candlelight. Washed and trimmed, Mac was back to something like his old self and whilst his friends were thrilled to see his return they both still felt that something was not quite right.

‘We need to make a bed for Inteachán somewhere,’ Mac continued. ‘I want her to feel really welcome when she gets here.’ Mac sighed. ‘She has been away for a good while now and I don’t want anything to make her regret her returning.’

‘Other than the messianic pressure that keeps being piled upon her?’ asked Iseult.

‘She is only nine, you know. Doesn’t she deserve something more normal for a girl her age?’ said Gilly.

‘Normal?’ replied Mac. ‘When was that ever a consideration?’

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