Christmas Eve came, slowly and thickly on the tails of a freezing wet December. Sarah awoke early in the morning to see the dream of so many children: a thin veil of snow covered the land, and more was falling in a robe-like swathe. She ran on cold, bare feet to Giles’ room and they both went downstairs to a breakfast of sausages and eggs, which were the last things left in the cupboards. The meager amount of money left by the departing Ashers had not been supplemented by their weekly shop, and the children had merely one £20 note, which is not much use when there is nowhere from which to buy food. Their isolation was total and complete, and they had no idea in the world what was going to happen to them next.
“Who on earth decided to build a cottage this far out in the wilderness?” said Sarah. “We’re going to have to walk a very long way if we want to get anywhere…you realize that, don’t you?” Giles stared at her in blank recognition, then merely shrugged. “What if the snow cuts us off?”, he said. “We’ll have to take that risk,” Sarah replied, “because I simply have nothing else to make us to eat. Come on, wrap up as much as you can, and we’ll make tracks.” “I just hope we can make tracks back as well,” the ever-optimistic Giles grumbled disconsolately.