It was a journalist from a local paper who, late one night, managed to do what no one else in the world so far had managed, which was to strike up a brief intelligible conversation with one of the service robots guarding the perimeter.
“I think there’s a story in it,” confided the journalist over a cigarette shared through the steel-link fence, “but it needs a good local angle. I’ve got a little list of questions here,” he went on, rummaging awkwardly in an inner pocket. “Perhaps you could get him, it, whatever you call him, to run through them quickly.”
(The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams)
Does the part in bold mean that the journalist shared a cigarette with whomever he was talking with (and in this case it seems that he was talking with a 'little flying ratchet screwdriver')?
Student or Learner