As she watches, she listens. Her Arabic isn’t perfect, but it’s better than most people’s who didn’t grow up with the language and thanks to Hassan, she’s well aware of some of the more emphatic expressions.
People around here are on edge, mostly because the Christians are on edge and jumping to conclusions. Some mutter over whether they should leave while they still can, while others vow to fight if trouble comes. Still more just hope it will all blow over. Every now and then, someone drops a coin in her cup: perhaps out of habit, perhaps in fear of his soul. Allah, after all, is said to be pleased with charity; maybe if they are kind He’ll do the same.
That’s something, at least. When gossip reveals so little, it says more than most people know. When Émile worked, for example, even merchants who never dared venture near the dens of thieves muttered about business losses and money owed. There’s none of that here, only fear. That makes this arsonist worse than Émile, she decides. Cruel as he was, it was targeted. These fires seem like they are aimed at everybody with the sole purpose of stoking fear and unrest.
She mutters something under her breath, one of Hassan’s favourite expressions when an experiment went wrong rather spectacularly. This bâtard had best hope she never gets her hands on him.