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Authors: Jacqueline Winspear

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BOOK: The Mapping of Love and Death
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“You took quite a turn there. The viscount carried you up the stairs—he’s down in the drawing room. Lady Rowan was very worried, and will want to know you’ve come around.”

“I—I think I’ve been imagining things.”

The housekeeper shook her head. “No, you haven’t, Miss Dobbs. Dr. Blanche was a dark horse—you of all people knew that. But he loved you as if you were his own, and I know he told you as much. So he left you what he would leave to a daughter—and he’s done right by you.”

Maisie sat up on the bed and took the glass of water offered. “I’d better go downstairs and show my face. I’m so embarrassed at having fainted.”

Mrs. Bromley took an envelope from her pocket. “Mr. Klein gave me strict instructions to give this to you straightaway, as soon as you were well enough. He said he would telephone tomorrow to make an appointment to come to the house again—he said there’s a lot of things to talk about.”

“It’s a letter from Maurice.”

Mrs. Bromley stood up and opened the door to leave. “You take your time, Miss Dobbs. I’ll make tea for everyone downstairs. I baked some Eccles cakes for you this morning—I know they’re your favorites.”

Maisie smiled and expressed thanks at such thoughtfulness, and when the door closed and she was on her own, she slipped her finger under the flap of the envelope, and removed Maurice’s letter. It was a letter she would read time and again in the weeks and months that followed.

aisie sat on the floor in The Dower House conservatory with sun streaming through the glass panes. She was surrounded by a series of boxes, each clearly marked in Maurice’s flowing script, with the year cataloged and a description of the contents, be it letters, reports, or case files. Several weeks had passed since the funeral, weeks in which she had felt as if she might flounder. It was clear to her, now, why Lady Rowan had shown such concern, and why she had intimated that Maisie’s life would change, though Maisie herself was pleased with the many ways it had not changed, thus far.

Knowing she needed time to absorb all that had come to pass, she had taken a week of leave from work and instructed Billy to come into the office only to gather the post and be in touch with potential new clients, though otherwise he should consider the time his own. She did not bring him into her confidence regarding the bequest from Maurice, for she considered the matter to be one that required utmost privacy on her part, at least until she had assimilated all that it meant to her life. She had yet to spend a night at The Dower House, preferring to sleep in
her father’s cottage, or if there were meetings with Maurice’s solicitors—who now acted on her behalf—she welcomed the spartan surroundings of her own flat. In any case, The Dower House was being prepared for the arrival of Edward and Martha Clifton, who would spend four or five weeks at the country home so that Mrs. Clifton might convalesce before returning to Boston.

She had begun to read, again, the letter written by Maurice and lodged with his solicitors before he died. He wrote of his recollections of their early days together as teacher and pupil, days when she supped eagerly from the table of learning he laid out before her. He spoke of his pride at her acceptance to Girton, and his deep respect for her when she gave up her studies to enlist for nursing service in the war. He confided that he had always known she would become his assistant, that they would work together, for he could think of no other student who would best take on the legacy of his life’s calling. His reflections became more serious when he looked to the future.

We have spoken on many an occasion, you and I, of the darkness I fear will envelop Europe once again. You will find in my archive of papers much that will help you in the years to come, for you will be called to service as I was prior to and during the last war. My work in this realm continued until recent months, as you learned when we were in Paris together not two years ago. I believe you are ready and suited to any challenges that come your way, and I predict that they will be the making of you. I have observed your work in recent years and, in my estimation, it does not claim the full measure of your skill or intellect. In time there will be a new path for you to follow. It will not be an easy one, but one for which you are supremely suited. I will say no more on this subject, save that you have received my highest commendations and I have great faith in your ability to assume challenges that stand between you and the quest for what is right and true.

The letter continued with advice regarding her communications with Bernard Klein, and his recollections of each of his properties and their individual significance in his life.

I leave my estate in your good hands, Maisie, not only because I know you will comport yourself with excellence in the face of such a change in circumstance, but because you deserve all that I have to leave to you.

Now, having come to the end of the letter, Maisie folded the pages and placed the envelope in her cardigan pocket. She remembered Maurice’s words regarding his letter, that if her personal situation should change, she must not feel beholden to follow his hopes for her to their conclusion. Now at least part of the riddle had been made clear, and in going through each box with care, she was slowly but surely preparing herself for what might come.

She stood up and walked to the windows to look out across the land. Her land. Though she had visited Maurice many times over the years, she realized that she had never really spent time looking out of the conservatory windows—her attention had always been on Maurice, on his counsel, his opinions, news, and ideas. Now she could see why he loved the room so much, for as he had described to her, from this vantage point he could see for miles. To the right the carriage sweep snaked past the boundary of The Dower House gardens, and she could follow it with her eyes along to the main entrance of Chelstone Manor. The lane that branched off to her father’s cottage was in clear view, as was the cottage itself and gardens to the rear, which adjoined the bottom edge of Maurice’s rose garden. She could see—as Maurice could in his day—the gate that led from her father’s garden up towards the conservatory, and another gate at the bottom of her father’s garden opening out into one of several fields that surrounded both their homes. Her gaze followed the
path down to the woods, and across to the land rising up on the other side, where sheep were grazing in the late morning light.

And as she closed her eyes, allowing the warmth of sunshine on glass to envelop her, she thought of Michael Clifton and how he yearned to return to his land, how he ached to rid himself of dark, cold days on the battlefields of France, so far from home. She realized that, in his letters over the years, in his teachings, and in the many pages she would read in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, Maurice would continue to be her guide as she negotiated new terrain. He would not be lost to her forever, and in his own way he had left her with a compass, octant, waywiser, and theodolite, the tools she would need to face a new horizon.

A cawing of rooks giving chase to a predatory kestrel caused Maisie to open her eyes. She smiled as a whole parliament of the black crows rose up from the trees and gave chase, and as she followed them, her attention was drawn to James Compton, making his way across the field towards the Groom’s Cottage. She watched as he came through the gate at the end of the garden, where he stopped to talk to Frankie, who was tending his vegetables. Frankie turned and pointed to The Dower House, and they exchanged a few more words before James walked on, up the path towards the conservatory. He saw Maisie watching him and raised his hand. She waved in return.

Love, when, so, you’re loved again.

o this day, the remains of those listed as missing in the Great War are being unearthed across France and Belgium. For David Bartlett—a former police superintendent in the United Kingdom and an expert on the battlefields—the task of identifying those remains, and ensuring the fallen are laid to rest with honor, has become his life’s work. It was a letter sent by David to the
Santa Barbara Independent
in 2005, in a quest to identify the newly discovered remains of a young soldier—who might have been an American serving with a British regiment—that inspired this novel. The soldier now rests in peace at the Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium. He has not been identified, and his headstone bears the inscription:
A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God

hanks must go to Holly Rose for once again being my trusted first reader—what would I do without your highlighter, Hol?

Maureen Murdock kindly allowed me to use the term “wound agape” from her wonderful book
The Heroine’s Journey
. Thank you so much, Maureen.

For the term “artillery’s astrologers,” I must acknowledge Peter Chasseaud’s definitive book on the subject of cartographers in the Great War,
Artillery’s Astrologers: A History of British Survey and Mapping on the Western Front, 1914–1918.
The book represents extraordinary scholarship in a field crucial to understanding the war, and greatly increased my knowledge of the work of the cartography units.

The California Oil Museum, based in the original headquarters of the Union Oil Company in Santa Paula, California, proved to be a wonderful resource in my research into early exploitation of the state’s black gold.

Deepest gratitude to my editor, Jennifer Barth at Harper Collins. Thank you, Jennifer, working with you is such a joy. You always manage to raise the bar while trusting the author’s judgment—it’s a gift.

To my agent, Amy Rennert—thank you, as always, Amy, for your sound counsel, your integrity, and your support. Most of all, thank you so much for these years of friendship.

And to John Morell—thanks for putting up with me, and those books and maps all over the floor.

is the author of the
New York Times
Among the Mad
An Incomplete Revenge,
as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series,
Maisie Dobbs
. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Visit for exclusive information on your favorite HarperCollins author.


Maisie Dobbs

Birds of a Feather

Pardonable Lies

Messenger of Truth

An Incomplete Revenge

Among the Mad

Jacket illustration by Andrew Davidson

Jacket design by Archie Ferguson

. Copyright © 2010 by Jacqueline Winspear. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.

EPub Edition © February 2010 ISBN: 978-0-06-198787-8

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BOOK: The Mapping of Love and Death
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