Rose went to the Oakland hills. Once.
        The warm sweet air before her spun like a speculum and shattered all as if it, too, had broken with the bird's cry white and washed clean in the waters of the sea.
        The cold made the grass glisten.
But it was May, or summer, when he died.
Rose had gone, had gone, why?
Belgian Ringa, spirit drawn fine as dried cobweb, watching her marzipan harden and wither, knew that the Countess was dead, now dead.
Rose rode the sorrel steed to the top of the grassy knoll where spreading oaks coiled tortured by winds from cutting sea and darkening pass. They grew thick-trunked, deeply etched by the battle. Their acorns fell silently into the grass.
        Rose rode seeking the poet's stone cabin and the novelist's resting place.
        How strange, she marveled, that such intelligence, sentiment, humor and barb as the novelist possessed should come suddenly to this on an Oakland slope.
        As if she had no knowledge of death. Or of the love which so led him to treat the messenger with assuaging humor.
Marigolds, marigolds, nodded their bright full heads at the crest. Blood and gold, demons, pursuers, shamans, priestesses of murder to save the soul of bleeding Earth or so it was pretended by all. Gnawing on the bones of enemies and bloom they did pretend and could not stop themselves.
        Nor could Rose.
        She rode until she found it, the gravestone, and wondered what had Charlotte done;
she had a wealthy father; she had a baby daughter; she had 50 years of life yet.
        What had Charlotte done?
        Forsaken the mountain home?
        Rose rode until she faced only marigolds; sat upon a winded horse.