Rupert wiped his hands down the front of his trousers, and then took a chipped mug containing strong, sweet tea from the collection arranged on the back step of one Land Rover. He looked around for Papa, and spotted him standing to the far side of the dipping alley, talking to Brigit St Fleur.
As Rupert drew closer, he came to the conclusion that the two weren't so much having a conversation, as Papa was talking and then leaving occasional breaks in which Brigit could either nod or shake her head – or make some other gesture that demonstrated how she felt about his opinions. When he was within a few feet of them, Rupert saw Brigit place her hand on Papa's arm.
Papa made a comment that Rupert couldn't catch, but which seemed unnecessarily sharp.
Brigit turned on her heel and walked away. She gestured to her massive deerhound, which had been lying in the shade of the other Land Rover all morning. It stood, stretched, and then trotted ahead of her towards a small tumbled-down building.
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