They had gathered at Eastcheap to wait. At this time of day, the marketplace ought to have been thronged with people looking for bargains, moving from stall to stall, examining the fresh fish, choosing the plumpest hens, buying candles and pepper and needles. The stalls were open, but the fishmongers and cordwainers and butchers were doing no business, despite the growing crowd. The sun was hot, flies were thick, and the odors pungent; no one complained, though. They talked and gossiped among themselves, strangers soon becoming friends, for the normally fractious and outspoken Londoners had forgotten their differences, at least for a day, united in a common purpose and determined to revel in their triumph, for they were pragmatic enough to understand this might be their only one. Now they joked and swapped rumors and waited with uncommon patience, and at last they heard a cry, swiftly picked up and echoed across the marketplace: “She is coming!