Meeting the Line Reader

JoRR asked another favor. Bobber would have to Read with his daughter Windrock to clear passageway to New Galveston.
Huh? Bobber was quizzed by the second favor. Clear passageway? Why not get on the cartage and change coaches until you were going the right direction?
Laughing politely to display his uncertainty, Bobber agreed. He had to find out.

After thinking for a moment, Bobber added his own requirement.
Bobber would travel with JoRR and Windrock to New Galveston.
In exchange, Bobber would incur half of JoRR’s debt for cartage.
Agreement was reached. JoRR would return with Windrock.

Sale of the crystal could bring real advantage. But it was a risky time to leave the Trade Box.

Passage was going to be scarce.
Everybody wanted to go to New Galveston to gain information about missing family and see the Queen.

Bobber pulled favors to get sponsorship.
He needed local sponsors for two reasons: to reassure people about his plans, and pay for cartage. He gave away most his worth after the fire struck.
Bobber spread word that he would seek trade contacts for each person willing to sponsor his trip to New Galveston.
People knew Bobber was true to his word. But rumor passed that Bobber was necessary to keep peace, and someone else should go instead.

Things were undecided.
First Bobber had to meet with Windrock. And then learn about Line Reading.

Windrock was a beautiful girl about 18 years old.

Windrock and Bobber meet

Unknown was that everything would be done at once.

JoRR brought Windrock to the Box and waited outside. 
Trade was done for the day.
It was nighttime.
Bobber saw her face. But her face was covered. Just like when he saw the Queen.
She had the gift. Bobber could feel it.

Windrock sat opposite Bobber and uncovered her face. Bobber could see her eyes were different. Not vacant, but quiet. She seemed huge, yet physically smaller than Bobber.

Bobber asked if they were going to Line Read. She said they would. But she wanted to sit with him.
Her manner of speaking was plain. Her words carried command and certainly, without demand. It was calm and the air was cool.
Bobber asked about her mother, the same as he started each conversation with strangers. Asking about family was revealing. Windrock said, you already know.
Of course Bobber didn’t know, but he nodded. Whatever it took.

Windrock reached out and touched hands. They looked at one another.
Immediately Bobber saw the mother, and great peace surrounded him. She was alive but left for another man. Bobber blinked not wanted to know more. Finish it he thought.
Windrock pushed against his hands and said RobbieB and Cheneen will take the Trade Box.
She said sponsors will be ready soon, and they will provide full passageway.

She said Bobber would to go to New Galveston, but her father JoRR would stay behind because he was weak.
Then Windrock said, the Queen sent you a gift, but it doesn’t belong to you. It was a humming sound. Did Bobber hear that? And then it happened again.
The Queen sent you a gift, but it doesn’t belong to you.
Bobbers mind backed away and he released hands. The GE crystal. She knows?

It was finished. Windrock covered her face. JoRR came inside to get his daughter.
He said we’ll be back in a few days, and then left.
Bobber was stunned.

Did Windrock discover the crystal?
Bobber felt terror.
Forget it all.
The agreement was quilled. He would not travel to New Galveston.
Throw away the Line Readers. The daughter was guessing…. It was just astrologers playing games. They pretend to see everything and know nothing.

The temporary instanty soon vanished. Thoughts of Windrock made him smile.