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Abigail reached out her hand without thinking. “What – oh.” It was an amulet, bronze-like in color, the script swirling around it looking similar to that on the awning.
“What is it?” Liv crowded in close. “What – hunh. What is it?” she repeated.
“I’m not sure,” Abigail admitted.
“It is,” the old woman interjected, “a key and a shield, a sword and a lock. It will do what you need it to. And for you two, it is free. Now, should you want something else, do come in and look around.”
Oh, a freebie. Abigail slid the amulet on its cord around her neck and stepped into the old woman’s shop.
Inside seemed like a tent more than a shop, with blankets layering the walls until you couldn’t see the shape of the room it was in, shelves stacked here and there and hangers dangling from ropes criss-crossing the ceiling. The skirts and dresses hanging from the hangers were the prettiest things Abigail had ever seen.
Liv, on the other hand, seemed drawn to the cases of jewelry and strange things arranged in a back corner. Abigail found her digging in her pocket. “I’m down to five dollars,” she moaned. “I never should have gotten that stupid necklace from Spencer’s.”
“I will trade,” the old woman suggested. “The ‘stupid necklace’ for this piece you want.”
The piece looked like scrimshaw, a twist of bone carved with an elaborate pattern.
“Is that even legal to own?” Abigail wondered.
The old woman smiled. “The animal it comes from is not endangered. A trade? The piece you regret for this piece? It will look lovely with that blue dress in your bag.”
Liv looked down at the piece, sighed, and nodded. “A trade, thank you. That’s very nice of you.”
“I deal in trades,” the woman told her, “and regrets. Thank you for your custom, young ladies.”
Without seeming as if they were leaving, they were outside her shop again.
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