Katrina knew little of Richard and wished to know more. She took it upon herself as a small project . How she missed the company of her customers. Even though she was isolated in the confinement of her shop, she took it upon herself to carry on working and darn some of her own clothing. She picked up a pair of stockings which were wearing dreadfully thin at the heel.
There was something sinister about Richard, she thought. Katrina recalled his unfocused eyes the day he accused her, there was more to his past than one cold explain. Katrina decided to visit to Zsofkia . She pulled on her winter gloves and hand knitted scarf, draping her shawl around herself. Katrina traipsed across the frost-frozen grass which crunched beneath her boots. Zsofkia was perched upon the caravan step and sensed her presence looking up.
“Back so soon lady?”
“Do you know anything of Richard?”
“I do not”
“Why was it so important that he is to be taken off the scene”
“It is not your busness to pry”
“It is when you ask such a wicked thing of me!”
Zsofkia narrowed her dark eyes and turned the costume jewelry ring on her middle finger. She appeared to be nervous.
“I knew that man some time ago, that’s all I shall tell you. Find out for yourself if you must curious woman! You will hear no more. Good Day!”
She stomped inside and slammed her caravan door with great force. The whole structure shook. How interesting, Katrina thought. Richard and Zsofkia knew each other?! Katrina questioned. She needed detail.
Days passed with little progress. One day Katrina gazed out of her bedroom window one morning and spotted a small boy standing alone. He was casually dressed in an adult size dark blue shirt . The child had somber green eyes which were filled with tears. Katrina placed down her needle work and ventured outside.
“Hello my dear. What ever’s the matter?”
His bottom lip trembled. “‘I’ve lost Mamma. I can’t find my way back.”
“Do you know what the place you came from looks like?”
“There’s a group of us. We live in caravans, your village people don’t like us.”
He was a traveler. Katrina visualized where Zsofkia had been stationed. She remembered seeing 3 other caravans placed in a neighbouring field.
“Were there 3 caravans in one field?”
“Don’t worry anymore. I may be able to help you.”
She took his small hand in his and exited the village by a different route so not to be seen. Katrina led the boy to his destination a short trek down a steep country lane and into the lush field A young woman with dark chocolate-brown hair, poorly clad in a worn green dress and apron was frantically circling the field and calling a name. She saw the pair hand in hand and a relived smile spread across her face.
“Tomas of you naughty boy! Where did you venture off to? Your Papa has gone searching for you. We were so worried. Did this lady bring you back?”
“How many times have I told you never to play near the town. We are not welcome there.”
“Sorry” he bowed his head in shame and stared at his muddy boots.
“you’re safe now. Thank the helpful lady”
“Thanks” he said coyly.
“I must give you something for your troubles, I’m Rosetta.”
Katrina, feeling she could trust her shook Rosetta’s hand.
“Don’t worry about that. I do have a question you may be able to help with. Are you from Romania?”
“Do you happen to know Zsofkia Lomenati? Does she travel with you?”
“No and not exactly. I know of her, she does more harm than good and is not to be trusted.”
“Curses and such she’s tricky”
Katrina nodded. “I’m in a frightful mess. She gave me some fabric.”
“NEVER trust her. I know little of her curses but they are dangerous!”
“She told me that to reverse this one I had to commit a serious crime”
“Popy cock! Zsofkia once had a lover you know.”
“Who was he?”
“He was a tall man, local here. It was many years ago. I think his name began with R. I forget.”
“Yes that’s right. Why do you look so shocked and all of a tremble? He jilted her on her wedding day, he left her at the altar. She was from a well to do family, upper class. She ran away with an Aunt who had been cast off from that family and joined us. She couldn’t face the shame any longer.”
“Oh god! Thank you for your time. You have been of much help! God bless you both!”
With that Katrina ran as fast as her legs could carry her,taking great care to stay in the shadows as the evening darkened. She arrived at Zsofkia’s caravan and banged angrily on the door.
To be continued…..