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Chapter 1

"I want to go home!" Even as the thought struck him, Clifford felt embarrassed. He sounded like a schoolboy being sent to boarding school for the first time. He felt his stomach muscles tighten and felt slightly sick.

The reality of the situation struck home in a way it never had before. Up till then there had always been the vague possibility that this had been some ghastly mistake. Any time soon an official would appear, apologising profusely, and let him return to the life he had before this nightmare began.

Now all hope had gone. This he realised, with an increasing sense of shock, was strictly a one-way trip.

He took a deep breath, and gazed around him. The scene was so breathtakingly beautiful, with the sun glinting on the sparkling blue water. How could such a lovely place hold such terror?

Beside him the child leant her thin, frail body against his leg and looked around in wide-eyed amazement. She had been so frightened when he'd lifted her gently into the boat, and gave a little cry as the floor moved beneath her feet. Obviously she had never had such an experience before and, Clifford thought bitterly, would never have again.

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