The two priests of Harla unrolled the canvas: a stretcher, a red silk tassel tied in black thread dangling from the ends of its black poles. They spread it on the hearth rug as the priestess manipulated the corpse's arm back and forth at the elbow. "Still somewhat bendable, but not for long," she said.
The priests positioned Pawl's Mistress on the canvas as best they could, and the priestess spread the white sheet over her; all four Friends raised their hoods and the two junior priests picked up the stretcher poles. Somehow the tassels' sway and the lump under the sheet broke free the whimper Pawl had been holding back for two hours. Mistress was dead, and he was responsible. If he hadn't helped Mr Adrikov and Miss--but how was he to know this would happen?