The others spoke less to each other than he'd expected, and answered his own questions about their work and his comments on the weather in monosyllables. The Land Rover's interior smelled strongly of tobacco: pipes and cigarettes rather than Papa's cigars, although Rupert thought at least one man had a partiality for vanilla-flavoured rather than the harsher blends the others obviously favoured. There was also an all-pervading odour of sheep, and hints of something metallic – blood, Rupert suspected. At least the dogs were dry; he wasn't sure he could have coped with wet dog smell on top of their vaguely meaty, panting breaths.
They arrived at their destination with one last bump over a hillock, and Rupert tumbled out, opening the passenger door almost before the vehicle had stopped moving. He took a deep breath of cold, fresh air, thankful that the rain of the previous day had abated. He looked around for Papa, spotting him after a moment or two over by the big pen of sheep, where he was talking to Young Fred and some other men whom Rupert didn't recognise.
Papa raised a hand and beckoned Rupert over.
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