The letter was folded and sealed, and pressed into Fen's hands early the next day at the train station. "Give this to my groom, Alvo Nollson--only him, d'you understand? You can trust him. He will help you," said Temmin. "He's my best friend."
"Must be some groom if he's your best friend, sir," said Fen.
"Friend and groom, the best of both. Crokker should be expecting you. He's fierce, but don't let him frighten you."
"Never worry, sir, we worked for Mr Affton," said Arta; she smiled, though her pale face and trembling hands betrayed her.
For appearance's sake, Temmin kissed Arta on the forehead and Fen on one cheek. Though the kisses were innocent, he'd grown increasingly fond of both of them, he thought absently as they waved from their compartment window through the steam of the train's departure. He was responsible for them now, the first time he'd felt responsible for someone else's well-being, and it frightened him somewhat.