It was only a short walk along the higgledy-piggledy footpath, taking care to dodge some of the lower branches – after first cracking his nut on one that seemed to materialise too quickly for him to avoid it – that he found himself entering the village street, somewhat about the middle, although it's curve made it difficult to be certain, and when he looked back to judge where he had come from, there seemed to be no opening wide enough to have been his access-point; he was standing beside what he took to be the village pub, or inn, and it was already growing dark, so the glow from the small leaded windows, and the sound of a drinking-song, carried on male voices, made him acutely aware of how alone he felt, so pushing the door open – although the crush inside made it necessary for him to sidle in – and squeezed himself past bodies of all ages till he reached the bar, where he found himself face-to-face with the landlord, who was already pulling him a pint of beer in a pewter tankard and deep in conversation with him: "so I asked him what his occupation was, an what d'yer reckon he said?" and the newcomer guessed: "a student of ethology?" at which the face opposite him broke into a beaming grin: "spot on, Ezekiel, you have a wonderful memory," and the foaming tankard was set before him as the landlord moved along to serve another: "it might," said a voice at his right shoulder, "be a shade akratic to drink that one, after what you've had already, Ezekiel, but on the other hand, it won't have much effect on the aggregate, d'ye suppose?" and he turned to find the sexton raising a tankard of his own to lips around which traces of foam still lingered: "have I been here that long already?" he asked and the sexton laughed: "maybe, maybe not, or could be it just seems that way, but you may be a better judge of character than me, bein as how it's only after they're dead that I have much to do with them!" and they clinked their tankards together as it seemed likely they had done countless times before.