“It was entirely reasonable behavior.”
He blinked. “You climbed out onto a tree trunk,” he paused, irritation flaring again with the words.
She was unable to keep her gaze from the tree trunk in question. “It seemed perfectly sturdy.”
“You fell into a lake.” He heard the fury in his voice.
“I didn’t expect it to be so deep!”
“No, I don’t imagine you did.”
She clung to her defense. “I mean, it did not seem to be like any lake I’ve ever encountered.”
“That’s because it’s not like any lake you’ve ever encountered.”
She looked back at him. “It’s not?”
“No.” He said, barely able to contain his irritation. “It isn’t a real lake. It is man-made.”
Her eyes widened. “Why?”
Did it matter?
“As I was not alive for the event, I could not hazard a guess.”
“Leave it to the English to fabricate a lake,” she tossed over her shoulder to Carla, who snickered.
“And leave it to the Italians to fall into it!”
“I was retrieving my hat!”
“Ah…that makes it all much more logical. Do you even know how to swim?”
“Do I know how to swim?” she asked, and he took more than a little pleasure in her offense. “I was raised on the banks of the Adige! Which happens to be a real river.”
“Impressive,” he said, not at all impressed. “And tell me, did you ever swim in said river?”
“Of course! But I wasn’t wearing”—she waved a hand to indicate her dress—”sixteen layers of fabric!”
“Because you don’t swim in sixteen layers of fabric!”
“Why not?” He had her now.
“Because you will drown!”
“Ah,” he said, rocking back on his heels. “Well at least we’ve learned something today.”