astard with the tricksy eyes was in the apple tree again. “Psst! Deirdre!” How did he know my name, this Seamus. Like I knew his. Rumour and gossip in Clonakilty. He’d watched me prepare the khus grass delivered by Guriben Singh. The dark sweet earth fragrance rose around me. How could this boy talk so much? He was studying how compounds from roots could be leached into oil. He dropped to the ground. I put some on my tongue to check the quality. “Can I taste it?” He put a pinch of root quickly in his pocket. He leaned forward.