“Bod,” said Silas. “This is Miss Lupescu.”
Miss Lupescu was not pretty. Her face was pinched and her expression was disapproving. Her hair was grey, although her face seemed too young for grey hair. Her front teeth were slightly crooked. She wore a bulky mackintosh, and a man’s tie around her neck.
“How do you do, Miss Lupescu?” said Bod.
Miss Lupescu said nothing. She sniffed. Then she looked at Silas and said, “So. This is the boy.” She got up from her seat and walked all around Bod, nostrils flared, as if she were sniffing him. When she had made a complete circuit, she said, “You will report to me on waking, and before you go to sleep. I have rented a room in a house over there.” She pointed to a roof just visible from where they stood. “However, I shall spend my time in this graveyard. I am here as a historian, researching the history of old graves. You understand, boy? Da?”
“Bod,” said Bod. “It’s Bod. Not boy.”
“Short for Nobody,” she said. “A foolish name. Also, Bod is a pet name. A nickname. I do not approve. I will call you ‘boy’. You will call me ‘Miss Lupescu’.”
Bod looked up at Silas, pleadingly, but there was no sympathy on Silas’s face. He picked up his bag and said, “You will be in good hands with Miss Lupescu, Bod. I am sure that the two of you will get on.”
“We won’t!” said Bod. “She’s horrible!”
“That,” said Silas, “Was a very rude thing to say. I think you should apologise, don’t you?”
Bod didn’t, but Silas was looking at him and he was carrying his black bag, and about to leave for no-one knew how long, so he said, “I’m sorry Miss Lupescu.”
At first she said nothing in reply. She merely sniffed. Then she said, “I have come a long way to look after you, boy. I hope you are worth it.”
Animalic musk, with amber, patchouli, ho wood, cypress, almond blossom, golden sandalwood, and strange spices.