"Sarah clasped my hands. 'It's only to bring us the power we need. We will bind the spirit to us, make it do our bidding. Don't worry so, Mary. We will be its masters, not the other way around, and once the Order sees what we can do, what power we hold by ourselves, they'll have to let me stay. We'll be together forever.'
"This next part I shuddered to speak aloud. 'What will it require?'
"Sarah stroked my cheek lovingly. 'A small sacrifice, nothing
more. A grass snake or a sparrow, perhaps. She will tell us. Sleep now, Mary. And tomorrow, we shall make our plans.'
"Oh, diary, my heart feels much misgiving about this endeavor. But what can I do? Sarah is my dearest friend in all the world. I cannot go on without her. And perhaps she is right. Perhaps, if we keep our hearts strong and pure, we can bend the creature to our will, using it only for the best intentions."
Pippa is nearly breathless. "Well, there's a fine place to leave off."
"Yes, the plot thickens," Felicity says. "In fact, it may be congealing."
Everyone shares a giggle except me. The passage has left me uneasy. Or it could be the heat. It's unseasonably warm for September. The air inside the caves is sticky, and I've begun to sweat beneath my corset.
"Do you suppose Mother Elena could tell us our futures?" Ann muses.
I can't help it. At the thought of Gypsies, my eyes find Felicity's. She gives me a piercing glare as if I'm betraying her with this quick look.
"I'm not sure that Mother Elena could tell us the day of the week," Felicity says.
"I have the most marvelous idea," Pippa trills, and suddenly, I know we're in for it. "Let's see if we can make our own magic."
"I'm game," Felicity says. "Who else wants to commune with the other world?"
Pippa sits on Felicity's right, their gloved hands intertwined. Ann plops down next to Pippa. The hair on the back of my neck stands up.
"I don't think this is a good idea," I begin, realizing at once that it sounds cowardly.
"Are you afraid we'll turn you into a frog?" Felicity pats the ground beside her. There's no getting around it. I'm going to have to join the circle. Reluctantly, I take my seat and join hands with Ann and Felicity.
Pippa has the giggles again. "What do we say to get started?"