Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 454
The novel again takes up the characters in Laura’s story. The unnamed man telephones the woman with whom he is having an affair. She answers but tells him he should not be calling her there. He ignores her comment and says he wants to see her. He will be waiting for her at the park. She is reluctant, but she goes. When she meets him, she tells him she cannot stay long. While they sit on a park bench, he continues his story.
Sakiel-Norn, he tells her, was once a thriving city of trade known for its handicrafts, especially those that were woven. The materials they created were very special and could not be duplicated by anyone outside the city. The dyes and treatment were secret. The rugs that were created in Sakiel-Norn were woven by children because their small fingers were capable of more intricate work than were the hands of adults. The intense work eventually blinds the young slaves. Once blinded, the children are sold to someone else.
Another news story interrupts the story. This one, dated 1998, announces the death of Winifred Prior, Iris’s sister-in-law. The woman was ninety-two years old. She is referred to as a noted philanthropist who lived in Toronto. According to the article, Winifred is survived by her great-niece, Sabrina, who is currently traveling in India. There is no mention of Iris.
The story then switches back to the next time the man and the woman meet. The man takes the woman to a spot under a bridge. The site is strewn with rubbish. She is afraid a policeman or a tramp might see them. He insists they are safe. They make love. Then the man continues his story.
(The entire section contains 454 words.)
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