Fortune's Folly

Deva Fagan

Henry Holt and Co.

“Never mind,” Allessandra murmured, helping me guide Father to the rear of the blue wagon. “I will see to your father. A bit of my tonic, and he’ll be better by next Saint’s day. And,” she added, “we can begin your training.”

            “Training? To do what?”

            “Why, to be a fortune-teller. To prognosticate. To consult the spirit voices and part the veil that guards the future.”

            “But I told you, I don’t believe in that. It’s all just a bunch of tricks,” I said, as we settled Father onto a narrow padded cot along one side of the covered wagon. The interior was a jumble of shimmering cloth and jangling bells, with a great wardrobe filling one corner and a huge chest in the other. Beside the cot sat a set of movable steps, painted the same bright blue as the wagon itself. Allessandra perched herself on these as we started to roll forward.

            She was grinning. “Yes, it is a bunch of tricks. And you are going to learn every one.”