I have received another letter from Minglemist, stuck to the clothesline with a very large, wicked thorn. One wonders what sort of tree or shrub it was once attached to. The letter got a bit damp, but I was able to salvage it, and the sketch looks fairly good after I ironed it. Anyway, here is what Madeline has to say about Madame Rosina:
I met her on Tinkers' Lane. It was a drizzly day and it seemed appropriate, somehow, that the mist should suddenly reveal such an enchanted sight. Coming toward me was a tiny house on wheels, painted red, green and purple with gold trim, pulled by two spotted ponies with bells and feathered plumes on their bridles. On the seat in front of the house sat a short, stout woman with dark hair trailing out of a red scarf, wearing a patched green dress, a purple velvet shawl and red pointed slipper-shoes. Her skin was wrinkled but her dark eyes were sharp and clear.
"Hoo hoo," she called in a bird-like voice. A fluttering wave of her fingers sent bracelets shimmying up her arm. As the house on wheels grew closer I could read the curling letters arching over the doorway: Madame Rosina, Fortuneteller.
She halted the ponies and hopped spryly down from her perch. Though stout around the middle, her legs were thin, her feet small and dainty.
"Heavens, what weather we're having," she said, shaking water droplets out of her shawl.
I wound up having a reading with her, though I don't take much stock in such things. But the tiny creatures that came bubbling up out of her crystal ball flabbergasted me, and, I have a feeling, even surprised Rosina herself. A tiny unicorn, a flock of birds, several sinuous dragons and a mermaid with a jeweled tail rose out of the ball in Rosina's hand and flew around my head. Fairies of all shapes and kinds tumbled out, followed by swirling scenes of castles, pictures of dark caves with moss and spider webs drooping over the openings, and ancient, musty books, their fluttering pages filled with strange runes and markings. Trolls, gnomes, evil-faced hobgoblins and drooling monsters, flute-playing elves, mountains and silver waterfalls spilling into opalescent pools crowded Rosina's tiny house. Pandora's box had sprung open, releasing a never-ending stream of images crowding one upon another, until Rosina, with a shriek, threw a handkerchief over the globe, holding it tightly while a few last little hump-backed dwarves struggled out, chuckling like helium-breathing chipmunks before dissolving into a shower of dust. Cautiously Rosina lifted the handkerchief. One last dragon roared upwards, then the show was over. Rosina's mouth was working like a catfish taking bait. She struggled a moment to regain her composure, then tried to act as if she'd been in charge all along. But I know different. What did the vision mean? Another mystery. Minglemist is full of them, and it seems like they are all tangled up together like a snarled skein of yarn. Why am I here? Where am I going? What is going to happen? Something is, that's all I know!