When the soldiers find their messiah they fall to their knees and sob. It’s not how they expected, prophesying between the back slappery and lewd jokery of the steamer ship. There is no great feast, no slew of doe-eyed virgins, no choir of angels. Not even a round of applause. There’s just a sort of feeling of great peace, a certain hang to the air, a quiet settling of the dust motes. They realise, all at once, that it’s the feeling of folding one’s head into the arms of a sun-warmed mother at the end of a long day, and they all feel it, even those who never had one, even those who never even dreamed of one. All the lost boys and late entrants and end-of-the-line orphan scrappers fold into that sort of bosomy love there at the end of everything, and they cry. Just cry for themselves and each other and the whole stinking world.