Sir Willoughby believes the Clan to be under a curse, and
that a family member must die in tragic circumstances once
every thirteen years.

Willoughby’s mother, Lady Isabel, drowned the summer he
turned four. Thirteen years later his brother, Deighton, got
thrown from a horse and killed. Finally, old Sir Lyall Austin
Thyme was swept away by an avalanche whilst mountaineering,
exactly one month before Justin was born.

According to Sir Willoughby’s calculations, one of them will
fall victim to the Thyme Curse this very year - but who will
it be?

“ ‘Have you forgotten the Thyme Curse?’
groaned Sir Willoughby. ‘One of us is certain
to die this year. What ... what if it’s Henny?
Aaarrghhhhhh! That’s it, isn’t it? The same
hideous pattern; you’ll lose your mother
just like I lost mine.’ ”