"You're kidding me!"
"No. I wouldn't feel right about it. Take the check back."
Fanshawe chuckled, amazed. You sure don't see this everyday. He was impressed, yes, but also...
"You really walk it like you talk it, Lett. Thanks for your time. And keep the check." He turned and began to head down the sidewalk.
"Hey!" she called out.
He turned to see her fuming.
She pointed a finger right at him. "You asked, so don't blame me! It's black!" and then she ran across the street, check in hand, to the bank.
Black, he thought.
Black aura. Black heart.
Go thither, if thou dost have the heart, to the bridle- A heart so black as to be stygian, sir, a black blacker, too, than the very abyss...
Fanshawe's reaction to Let.i.tia's parting words was nothing like what he'd expect. He felt neutral about it, not confused, not scared or foreboded. A psychic just told me I have a black heart-that's not much of an endors.e.m.e.nt, is it? The color black brought negative connotations: corruption, dishonesty, greed...
He scoffed as he moved leisurely down the sun-lit sidewalk, then he laughed aloud to himself. I'm not any of those things, and I'm certainly not EVIL. However, as he thought more on it, the more irresistibly he found himself reflecting back on the entire meeting. She'd mentioned something revelatory, hadn't she?
There'd certainly been revelations in her parlor.
The Gazing Ball was also called a bridle, something akin to a magic circle. It evolved from the times of the Druids, a very occult bunch. Last night he'd found a second and more secure diary of Wraxall's, while today he'd seen a corroborating diary: Callister Rood's. Rood himself had committed suicide, by hanging, while Fanshawe had seen the man's image hanging by the neck last night. And Wraxall probably hadn't been executed after all. He'd been butchered by Rood, his own apprentice.
Now, all that he'd learned began to swirl about consciousness, and when his elbow brushed his jacket pocket, he felt the tubular bulk of the looking-gla.s.s. The gla.s.s worked last night-I KNOW it did...
And if that were the case, everything else was real too, not superst.i.tious invention.
It was real.
The acknowledgment of that brought the drone back to his head. I'm NOT crazy, so that can only mean...
But how could this be?
"Well, 'ow'd your session go at the palmist's, sir?" greeted the enthused, elderly voice.
Fanshawe had been too wound up over his thoughts to even see that he'd just pa.s.sed Mrs. Anstruther's information kiosk. It took a moment for him to snap out of the daze.
"Ah, Mrs. Anstruther-yes, it was very en
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