Claudine, whose third birth had been an unfortunate one, arrived in winter after a difficult autumn. The baby had been the color and formlessness of a bruise. Her fever rose high as heaven. So hot the silver shot right out the glass, that bad. Yes. Took the blue from her eyes it did. Took her hair out. Most of what made her a woman just backed up, fractured, or shied away. After the burial she raised her head again and went about her life but her husband saw a great sorrow spreading out inside her—the way he’d seen in dogs he knew were watching him but couldn’t be stirred to raise their heads or wag their tails. There were many causes for it, but none of the effects were good.