"Hi, I'm Alan. I believe I'll be staying in the rooms upstairs...?" (Eye contact, get right to the point!)
"Ahh yes, well I'm Adrian Graham. Glad to meet you. So you must be the chap they told me about, the depictor fellow who will be working for the guv'ment, right? "
"Umm, yes, they asked me to come here and make pictures for a tourism guidebook..."
They shook hands, Alan immediately felt something strange and electric - a not unpleasant sensation, but very curious. He looked at Adrian, then away, and they let their hands fall. Both stood there while the cat sniffed at Alan's loafers.
"So, aah, are you thirsty? Hungry? Would you like to see your lodgings?"
"Well, actually, I wouldn't mind having a glass of water."
"Oh, let's have tea...it is four o'clock you know...allow me to make us a pot." Here, have a seat, and I hope you don't mind cat hair...Osborne is shedding."
As soon as Alan sat down, Osborne, a sleek, all-black tabby, jumped onto his lap and continued to sniff at Alan, then curled and flopped down. Alan was pleased the cat accepted him. He stroked its flank, and looked around some more while he heard Adrian filling a kettle and rattling cups.
The gallery was quite full of paintings and drawings, framed or loose on tables; mostly landscapes of what Alan figured were local places. At least they didn't look like anywhere else he knew of. The work looked pretty good, which caused to Alan to ask himself, "Why didn't they hire this guy for my job?
And this place, this island, is so big - much larger than I imagined it. Where will I even begin?"