Mallory - no, she reminded herself firmly, it was Carpenter now - had been trawling the town for days in search of someone she might lure in, and was just about ready to throw in the towel. Everyone was either travelling in too large a group, making it suspicious for her to approach them and try to get them alone, or clearly uninterested in being approached at all.
If she were to be completely honest with herself, Carpenter might admit that part of her failure was the result of reluctance to succeed. Nana Glass' sacrifices had always been her least favourite part of the faith, growing up. But she wasn't a child now, and she had a task to complete. She could only imagine Mason's disappointment if she returned empty-handed.
The heavy, bitter feeling of failure was just beginning to settle in her stomach when, as if by miracle, her gaze landed on a young man tucked away in the corner of the coffeehouse. Well, thank the Trawlerman. He couldn't be much older than her, with the look of a tourist about him - probably the kind of backpacker who could easily get lost in these parts, and no one would think twice of it - and, most blessedly, travelling alone. If she didn't take this shot, she'd never find another as good.
Now resolved, Carpenter slid into a seat across from the man. "Mind if I join you?" She prayed he couldn't sense her discomfort; Carpenter didn't particularly enjoy having to approach strangers, and her intentions for him certainly didn't ease the awkwardness. "I've heard great things about their cappuccinos here."