I.

I met her for the last time on the promenade. It had snowed. I kept telling her—Tilde, they know. Tilde, it's over. Tilde, let's go home. I love you, Tilde. I love you so much. But she shook her head, gently deaf to my pleas. Two people out there were trying to fly a kite, and it was going up and down, up and down like a big, black bird.

"Some people call Charles de Gaulle our Sword, and Pétain our Shield. Well, we too lived a dream."

She raised her head and smiled. And once again I was reminded of Jeanne d'Arc. Jeanne in a beam of light. Jeanne and her demon crew.

"I will be our Mirror, Jardie," she whispered. "This is the end!"