It happens like this. He sets out in the afternoon on the track that has been shown to him and soon he leaves the little town behind. In an hour or so he is among low hills covered by olive trees and grey stones, from which there is a view out over a plain that gradually descends to the sea. He is intensely happy, which is possible for him when he is walking and alone.

As the road rises and falls there are moments when he can see far ahead and other moments when he can see nothing at all. He keeps looking out for other people, but the huge landscape seems to be completely deserted. The only sign of human beings is the occasional house, tiny and distant, and the fact of the road itself.

Then at some point, as he comes to the crest of a hill, he becomes aware of another figure far away. It could be male or female, it could be any age, it could be traveling in either direction, towards him or away. He watches until the road dips out of sight, and when he comes to the top of the next ris…