“This will not do,” a voice called from the doorway. August entered shortly after, regarding the man in his study with something of a bewildered smile. Horace Granville was a stranger and friend; he was an endearing sort, despite his Council affiliations, but the absence had made him a stranger in recent years. "You enter my home and stand and pilfer through my study. You should be ashamed of yourself, Granville.” The host looked quite the contrary, if slightly amused with his guest. "Something you've learned in India?" He motioned for Horace to take a seat.
“Coffee or tea?” Checkley plopped into the nearest spoonback chair in the study with a sigh, next to one of the many bookshelves. Remembering the map Granville held, he cleared his throat, “oh, I nearly forgot, that’s a map of some design from Egypt. I had been looking for a copy to possess of Spells of Coming. Unfortunately no one in England seems to care about Egypt, except Vyse and a few others I can’t bother to force on an expedition. Speaking of...how was your trip?” He tried not to tirelessly scrutinise Horace, but could not help but notice the weight loss and tan.
“Nasty rumours mentioned that you had gone native!” He snorted and pulled a book from the shelf closest to him. “’What a silly speculation,’ I said. But now you are back, and you certainly must have quite a few stories to tell.” August would love to hear anything exciting or new. London had been quite a bore for much of the year, despite the murder and Granville's return.