And then Qoorog was there, coming up the path, along the edge of it, plodding forward, his head down, his hair hanging down, knees up high, one after the other, like he was sleepwalking. The hill was steep and the steam thick. I waited for him. He was a heavy guy, thick jowls and stomach, but he wasn’t out of breath; he didn’t look at her as he approached.
“You smoke?” His voice wasn’t like she imagined; it was normal, like she was talking to someone in the park.
“Yes.” He had a big head, round and impressive, high heavy cheek bones, a wide jaw, a silvery walrus neatly trimmed mustache, large ears and a thick neck; his eyes were bright behind his wire-framed glasses, almost stern. “I don’t.”
“I’ve seen your cat.”
“Yes.” He was already moving past, his walking cadence the same, slow and hard, his feet shooting out ahead and then almost gliding, like a mute spirit-walker supreme.