Hillthorpe was seated on the edge of the knoll, and the eroded remains of a stone fence. Janet approached him from behind.

“Watching the demolition crews at work?” she said. “We used to do that in the city sometimes. Made us feel better.”

“Really?” Hillthorpe said, without moving his eyes from what was left of the house below. “Why’s that?”

“No matter how bad things got at home, at least they weren’t tearing it down,” said Janet.

“Fair enough. Have a seat?”

Janet took a perch beside him and watched the crews at work. The mansion had been reduced to a disembodied facade and two chimneys, like a bombed-out ruin, and even those remnants were soon to vanish. “I take it this one doesn’t make you feel better.”

“You’d be right,” Hillthorpe sighed. “It’s a piece of history. Built by robber barons, inspired Hemingway, inspired Fitzgerald, hosted everyone from Einstein to Roosevelt. A piece of history, for better or worse. and they’re murdering it so the land can be parceled up for $20 million McMansions.”