Snow crocuses sentinelled a grave where a child had been laid to rest. He was aged three, according to the hoarfrosted inscription on the headstone, which was presently being read by a shabbily clad stranger.
But the glint of gold in a patch of virginal snow distracted the reader. It was discovered to be a handsome pocket watch, which the stranger now cradled in the palm of his gelid hand. It had stopped at fourteen minutes past three. Was this the precise moment the child had died?
Later, having gone somewhither, a squalid tenement, the stranger bowed his head and cried.