Behind the door, when she flings it wide under power of wine, are faces. Bodies, really, stiff from cold, but all Sally sees are the faces – a dozen or more, pale, eyes expectantly upwards, mouths slightly open. She sways in the door frame. Her mind fumbles for an explanation. One body stamps its feet; the corpus shifts impatiently. She sees an arm outstretched, green fingers in animal skin.

“Sally,” cries someone. “Give the poor chaps a coin!” And Douglas and Jane push past and press hot pies and cider into the carollers’ gloved hands, and fourteen voices rise in song.

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