She didn't really make a lasting impression. Just someone drifting by inquiring what there was to do. I am paid in folding paper and jingling coins to tell people where to go and suggest what they do when they get there. It is more rewarding an interesting than you might think. Next to dancing with the dead for money, it's been my coolest form of bankrolling my adventures and paying my mortgage.
She mentioned an interest in history, which is auspicious, what with being a in a funky-gotta have the funk!-mining town. I mentioned the couple hundred Victorian-era structures, a large concentration for the region. Much later, I would mention my town, two miles and six-hundred vertical away, and how both municipalities have hosted summer home tours over the years.
When she returned, she thanked me for my suggestions and set about looking at bobbles and gee-gaws. Part of the dance. Her attention became focused on some pieces with turquoise.
"This one has a tree, and, this one, a butterfly. There's something deeper in this one." She then looked up at me. "I only get rocks if they have a story in them."
I smiled slightly and courteously. Perhaps a Voodoo mask of understanding. Although, I believe there's a story in everything. I watched with predatory fascination as her fingers cautiously stroke the stones, teasing out the whispers in esoteric tongues borne deep from within the belly of the earth.
"I'll take this one," she said finally, pointing at the one she said held a tree.
"Life's short, get them all," I said with equal parts flippancy and truth.
"I can't," she said with quiet reverence. "Those stories are for other people. You can't steal other people's stories."
"Of course," I wondered if she could read the thievery I was engaging in within my smirk.
We finished our dance with the exchange of paper and coins for piece of polished turquoise on a leather cord. The necessary civilities were traded. She promised to return in the summer, to see the museums and perhaps catch a home tour.
"And the other people will be here for their stories soon enough," she said over her shoulder as she left.
"Of course, Mademoiselle," I said with a slight inclination of my head, wondering if she knew of the story I'd collected, if not outright stolen, from her.