Rich fondled redwood deep in shadow gleamed with blue. A form was outlined against the green sward whose further trees were smeared by glass so worn at 1 side of the window seat as Esme(e) entered and without pausing took the chair, the wing chair near the hearth.
        She stretched out her legs, rubbed a hand down over her face. She felt the weighted timepiece in her vest pocket.
        On the window seat Violet saw the watch chain wink once in reflected light. "You found those children." She made it sound like accusation.
        "Foundlings require no finding. They are, essentially."
        "Don't try to be clever."
        "Yes. A waste of energy."
        "With me."
        "With you."
        "You found those children."
        "I didn't."
        "Fencing with words, you ought to be as shamed as fencing for children. You gathered them, then, if you did not discover them, which I'm not so sure you didn't."
        "I'm not sure you're sure of what you speak. I'm sure I'm not."
        "No, you're not. Speaking with any worth. You did, didn't you?"
        Esme(e) turned her head, loosened her collar. "Did what?"
        "You gathered those children. For Carrie. To get her out of Paris."
        "Her life was an unholy penance."
        "Answer directly, please," Violet spoke as to a student.