Lucius stopped a few paces away from the woman stooping over the pavement; he didn't really care to run into any of the locals, here - helpful as they sometimes were, they did have a certain flavor. But the glint of gold in her hand when she stood had him striding up to meet her with a polite, if rather cold, smile.
"I beg your pardon," he said, extending his hand, half to block her way and half to invite an easy return. "I've just been looking for that. Thank you for picking it up - I wouldn't have liked to see it scratched too badly." It was always better to begin by granting the benefit of the doubt, wasn't it? No need to provoke a confrontation.