I departed the White Tower for Beauchamp Tower. En route was captured artillery, set out on display. Before the display was a small chained-off area with a placard hanging from the chain. The area is the former execution ground. One held underground in the darkness, away from the light of day, for two, three, or even ten years, is one day suddenly pulled up into the light, only to find that this frightful place awaits them. Their joyful reunion with the blue sky is, as their dazzled eyes work to resolve surrounding color, cut short by the swift blade of a white axe. The blood that spills from the victim is cold from the start.
A single raven descends. It draws in its wings and thrusts its black beak forward as it regards one. The resentment of a hundred years' cold blood has congealed, it seems, into the form of these strange birds that have guarded this ominous ground through the ages. An elm tree rustles in the breeze. I see a raven in its branches. Shortly, another arrives. I can't say whence it came. At my side is a young woman with a seven-year-old boy. She stands there and watches the ravens. Her Grecian nose, her lovely eyes like soft jewels, and the gentle undulations that shape her pure white neck, stir my heart in no small measure. The child looks up at her and points out the ravens with great interest. "The ravens look cold. I want to give them some bread," he entreats her. "Those ravens aren't hungry," she answers quietly. "Why?" asks the child. The woman's eyes, floating beneath her long lashes, are fixed on the ravens. "There are five of them," she says, disregarding the child's question. From her detached air, it's clear that she's lost in her own thoughts. I begin to suspect some curious connection between this woman and these ravens. She speaks of their feelings as though of her own, and she asserts that three ravens are five. Leaving the mysterious woman behind, I enter Beauchamp Tower alone.