Cold and wet didn’t really begin to describe the weather that had descended over Auld Reekie; it was almost biblical. The rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was forcing itself into his very pores. Walking the length of the Grassmarket, having already travelled up from the Canongate was not a wise move but it was a move that had to be made on a walk he had to take.

He had to reach Surgeons Hall before those two scoundrels. It was imperative his mission did not fail or the consequences didn’t bear thinking about. Having ascended the Vennel, he stopped to draw breath and in doing so, took in the flames burning high in the torch holders around the castle – it was truly a magnificent sight.

Pausing only momentarily he about turned and walked on. The cobbles were wet, nae treacherous underfoot and the wind continued to hammer him like a metalsmith on the forge. The Moon was visible as he took for the lane. He paused long enough to confirm his suspicions but not long enough to alert his assailant that he had been tracking him from the foot of Victoria Street.

The unknown assailant had better be fully armed and ready to use his weapon. He had no idea what was in store for him, who he was dealing with and just who he was following. He reached inside his jacket and made sure it was still there. No problem. He would prevail, he walked on. The footsteps got closer…