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Jack Maynard fastened his seatbelt at the request of the stewardess as the plane began the descent into London. He began to bundle up all the papers he’d spread around to look at during the journey. He was irritable and worried about his forthcoming meetings, knowing that a lot of difficult questions would be asked. He wished that Jem Russell was easily available to ask for advice. He knew that if he did write, Madge would tell Joey everything, and he wasn’t prepared for that to happen just yet. Luckily she was caught up in her new novel, otherwise she might have decided to accompany him on this trip and then the fat would be in the fire!

Thinking of Madge and Jem reminded him of David and he decided to visit his nephew while he was in London. He wondered if David was aware of the current situation and how far it affected the San in Armishire. It would be interesting – no, necessary – to hear what his plans were, if he had any. Jack rather had his doubts.

He sighed for the days when his two nephews had been in their teens and had confided all their plans and ideas to him as a matter of course, it was strange to think now of how much they had looked up to him. The row with Rix had been monumental, and Jack regretted his handling of the situation. And then there was Margot – while Jack had been pleased when she had decided to join her Order, he would be glad of her services at the San now.

“What is the point of having five sons if none of them wants to go into medicine?” he’d raged at Jo that Christmas, after their ignominious departure from the Quadrant to a nearby hotel.

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