You're alone, driving along an empty road somewhere in the vast plains of North America. Fog curls around your car. Suddenly, between the shifting folds of mist, you see a boy standing by the side of the road, one thumb up. He looks as if he's been in a few fights, and lost more than one of them. In short, he looks like trouble. Feeling a pang of guilt you keep driving. Once you've passed him, you glance back in your rear view mirror. He's still there, hands now thrust deep into his pockets and rucksack trailing off his shoulder. Only now - and you're sure you didn't see it before - a little girl is standing next to him.
Oh yes. When Topaz returns from his gypsy adventures, he'll have a girl with him. A dirty little girl in faded jeans, who talks in 1940s slang. Now, who could that be?