Had Mac been down beneath the hill with Inteachán he would have been thrilled to point out that the presence of vegetation in such a hypogean environment would have indicated an entrance and therefore exit somewhere.

‘Biospeleology,’ he would told Inteachán, ‘is the scientific study of cave organisms and the ecosystems that support them.’ Inteachán would have smiled in silent admiration.

But Mac wasn’t here and Inteachán didn’t feel much like smiling right now. The impressive height of the weeds she had gathered in a pile now taunted her with its looming presence as she struggled to keep a barely flame alive.

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