Finally, we'd almost reached the top of the stairs. Despite his words and foreboding demeanour, I couldn't help but think Raven was being overly cautious during that long climb. Though it had probably seemed longer to me, each step accompanied by a pause, because my view ahead was blocked by his broad shoulders.
One stair short of the top he came to a dead stop, looking straight ahead. He made a noise, a kind of “Humph,” but I thought he's said something important.
“Pardon?” I asked, “What did you say?”
“Stay behind me,” he replied sternly, “And don't move until I say.”
As he took the final step, I saw what had caused him such alarm. There, in the middle of the landing, very neatly folded, sat a tiny pair of trousers. Raven stepped forward, brandishing a pencil he'd retrieved from his pocket. I moved to follow him, receiving a stern look for my trouble.
“No,” he said, wagging an admonishing finger, “Just stay where you are.” I did as he commanded, watching as he carefully bent forward to poke at the discarded garment.