This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner

Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait. They kept pace easily, not touching. They covered miles each night in the dark, sometimes heading east along the creek across the parklands to where it joined the Yarra River, sometimes north-west as far as the huge upturned saucer of Royal Park where the wild dogs in the zoo howled at the moon and monkeys gibbered behind the wall. Dexter pursed his lips and whistled a curly tune.

Dose the sentence "Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait." mean "Dexter had bandy legs and walked quickly"?

Does "They kept pace easily, not touching." mean "their walking speed did not changed and they walked with regular speed and this was not difficult for them"?

Is "touching" an adjective that means "difficult"?

And about the sentence "huge upturned saucer of Royal Park". Is something like a huge upturned saucer in Royal park? I searched but I found nothing. Or is the writer describing Melbourne's Royal park as a huge upturned saucer?

  • Royal Park is a very gently curving hill, more than a kilometre accross. The slope is gentle enough that you can cycle over most of it sitting down. The other picture is of the new hill made a few years ago when the Children's hospital was rebuilt. Jul 22, 2021 at 13:31

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes, it means Dexter was walking quickly, albeit in a bandy or bow-legged fashion.
  2. To keep pace means not to fall behind or go ahead of someone you're walking or running with, so it means that they easily were able to keep up with each other without either of them going too quickly or too slowly for the other.
  3. I think touching simply means that they walked without bumping/brushing against each other, holding hands, or touching in any other way.
  4. The writer is describing the park as an upturned saucer. It's probably a wide, low mound that looks like a big, upside-down saucer. Here are some pictures from Melbourne's Royal Park that look like that.

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