I like the way Watt creates an atmosphere from very few, relatively simple phrases, drawing a clear contrast between the characters and implying that some great scheme is being played out. I won't indulge in spoilers but experts on M.R. James will know the story to which this is a sequel from the title. It's one of the Provost's lesser known tales but also one of his most enigmatic.
Well, this running review of the book is approaching its end. I hope you're enjoying it, and that you feel moved to get your hands on a copy. Here's a reminder of that excellent Paul Lowe cover.