As soon as she saw the richly caparisoned camels, she knew their brief respite was over.
Even as she gifted the old men her serene smile, Magdala knew what must happen now. Yusuf knew it too, and he began the well-rehearsed process of packing while the venerable ones pontificated.
The moment the bright cavalcade was out of sight, she tied the babe in his sling at her breast, and turned her blue cloak inside out to show the plain brown of its lining.
They walked out into the frozen night, leaving the unsuitable gifts glittering in the warm straw.