“Yeah, he stopped slamming his tools around after that.” Neal lowered his voice confidentially. “I think he thought you were trying to break them up or something.”
“Well,” I said with a sniff, “I do actually have better things to do than worry about his affairs de coeur.”
“He made a production about setting up the unit very precisely,” Neal said, “and then began digging like a champ after lunch.” He paused, frowning. “He took his sweatshirt off. I warned him that he’d be covered in mosquito bites but—“
“But it’s such a small price to pay for showing off one’s brawny shoulders to two potentially adoring females,” I observed dryly. “Besides, he’s such a little gorilla that nothing could bite through all that hair. Did you explain that I think, judging by the lay of the land, that in addition to being an extension of the test pit near where Pauline found those first potsherds, he has a good chance of finding a defensive wall or ditch over there? If there’s anything still left, that is.” The ditch might not have looked like much of anything, just a shallow trench that eventually filled up with dirt over time. Nothing might remain of a masonry wall, if the stones were taken and reused by later generations. It was incredibly important to the project to determine what kind of defenses the English built and was a vote of confidence on my part to stick Rob there, despite his raging hormones.
“Yep, he very carefully explained that to Meg,” Neal said. “You know, to bring her up to speed.” He leaned against his washer and grinned knowingly. “Dian is in good shape—she thinks she might be hitting a seventeenth-century living surface; the soil’s got that dark, greasy feel to it. She and Meg are getting on okay, and she thinks Meg is catching on just fine.” Another small frown suddenly replaced his grin.
I hazarded a guess. “What about Meg?”
He shook his head, puzzled. “I don’t know. She’s going awfully fast, for someone who just started with us. She seems to talk a lot. She’s not the easiest person to get along with.” He fell silent suddenly.