She mutters busily.
She is in her shop. Haggling, bargaining, cajoling, the cadences give the cue, the words are barely audible.
Oh, ofcourse I was wrong. The arguments were not conducted with a customer but with a fellow shopkeeper. His father is in court* and he wants her to go and attend the trial, and she says she has to mind her shop and he should go because its his father.
The story gets longer and more longwinded, it curves and topples over a minefield of practical problems and logical decisions. No leaps of imagination to erase the mundane. Instead a dogged detailing of the pragmatics.
A genre I am unaccustomed to.
I sit in a corner, I dare not suggest that she, disguised as the shopkeeper for now, should rewind the time machine put on some wings and fly into court, ensure that the trial is just, and fly back just in time for the second hand to tick to the moment she had flown off. A practical way of dealing with my bizarre suggestions might be simple enough, "Off with her head!"
*We were reading Alice in Wonderland - "Off with her head", the Queen cried. "Let the Trial begin" shouted the courtier.We had to get into a long explanation of courts, trials and justice.