Fortuitously enough, Miss Howard had not really left her spot; instead she had stationed herself over by an empty table, some bit of detritus that a market-seller wasn't using, and as the balding man and Joseph detached themselves from each other she waited there with her book; she seemed to be flipping through it again, meandering even more fortuitously forward in Joseph's direction, as though having dreamily gotten there by chance or accident.
Except then she said, quite levelly, and her eyes had flicked up at Joseph's: "I won't scream for the police," she said, quite quiet and reasonable too, "I know full well they don't care. Have you been following me for my purse? There's very little in it. And if it's something else you want, I am not without friends who would be very interested in making your life a living hell, sir. I won't go down without a fight."