I detached myself, smiled, held out my hand to be shaken and greeted them warmly, fulsomely, even. I asked them how they were, remarked how good it was to see so many people at the market, asked how the family was. They shook not only my hand, but J.'s and the Hectors', as courtesy demands. We wished each other good day, and they strolled on.
'Who was that?' Hector asked.
'But you must know them! Why, that was Mme Martin, the secretary at the Mairie,' I said. 'And her husband. He's a chauffeur to senior members of the regional council.'
'That wasn't Mme Martin,' Hector said. 'Nor was it M. Martin either.'
'She might have looked something like Mme Martin, but that certainly wasn't her,' J. said with great firmness.
Abashed, I said: 'Who were they, then?'
'No idea,' J. said. 'I've think I've seen her before. She might be something to do with the village drama club.'
So I've spent the rest of the day in a squirm of embarrassment.
Am I going the same way?