27 iv) “Where?” Shyan asks. “We’re ready to get this deal done,”

“Where?” Shyan asks. “We’re ready to get this deal done, but doesn’t seem like that’ll be happening here.”

“No,” says the flutist. She shakes her head as though to clear the cobwebs from within it, sending her mass of curly hair fluttering. “Our client favours a particular tea room in the Quiet Quarter. Of course, you can’t go dressed like that.”

“Huh?” Fassn asks. He jerks his head up from his fingers, sending the chimes woven into his beard tinkling. “Why not? Hey, can I have some of your hair? I just wanna touch it.” He begins reaching for the curly mass with his bitten-down fingers, but the flutist slaps him away.

“Ridiculous boor,” she snaps.

“Well said,” adds Cang.

The musicians stand, staring down their noses at the gang. “Clean yourselves up and present yourselves on the morrow. We shall go together once you’ve been properly groomed.”