A tall man with glinting eyes stepped meaningfully from the ship’s gangplank and surveyed the dock.
‘Where is she?’ he demanded, gesturing at a stooped and subservient man beside him.
‘Sorry, sir?’ the servile man asked. The tall man with the smooth black walking stick clicked his tongue impatiently.
‘You know who,’ he said. ‘The demure woman with the scarf.’
‘I’ll make enquiries, sir,’ the balding, diminutive man replied (the same man who had been talking a moment before).
‘Well make them quickly,’ interrupted a tall man with shining eyes. This was not the same tall man with glinting eyes who had so far been conducting the conversation, but a new, even taller man with eyes that shone rather than glinted, who had just disembarked behind the two figures already standing on the dock.
‘You!’ hissed the tall (merely tall – not taller) man with glinting rather than shining eyes. ‘I should have known you would try to interfere.’
‘Interfere?’ queried the tallest available man with the really quite unsettlingly shiny eyes. ‘I would never interfere. I am merely concerned for our mutual acquaintance’s wellbeing.’
‘The demure woman?’ asked the second-tallest man.
‘I would describe her as more reserved than demure.’
‘Ah.’ The still-actually-quite-tall-though-short-comparatively-speaking man said. ‘I’m not entirely convinced we’re talking about the same woman.’