Byzantia Rider 1

Byzantia’s first birthday falls on a Sunday. Driven by anger, rather than by family feeling, Scarlet takes her child and once again visits Kim and Susan. She does not telephone first. She wants it to be a nice surprise.

Kim is not at home, and in her heart she is glad. But Susan and Simeon are there, suitably unprotected.

Byzantia is dark, grubby and bright. Scarlet has dressed her in her shabbiest, most-washed clothes. Byzantia dribbles constantly – she is teething – and her nose runs a lot so that there is one sore reddish patch around her mouth, but in spite of all, Byzantia is beautiful. She is walking well, too.