Tim walked up the street towards the centre of town, moving slowly, from window to shop window, still hesitant to go to the baths. A craft shop packed with bric-à-brac and old curiosities caught his attention. The shop held an irresistible sense of mystery and he tried to look in but couldn’t see much through the dust and cobwebs. He opened the door and copper goat bells jangled. An old man, dressed in an artist’s smock, emerged from a room behind the counter.
“Are you looking for anything in particular?”
“I’m not sure. May I look around?”
“Of course you may.”
The old man’s eyes followed Tim as he walked from shelf to shelf and examined the dusty objects. A figure of the Spanish knight, Don Quixote, built from scrap metal sat on the reinforced toe of a workman’s boot. Tim marveled at the artist’s innovative use of recycled materials: valves soldered together with nuts and bolts and springs.
“Did you make this?”
The artisan nodded and smile. Tim took the medallion out of his shirt where he had hidden it next to his skin and showed it to the shop keeper.
“Have you ever seen anything like this before?”
The artisan’s eyes narrowed and he shook his head.
“I’m looking for the other half. Could you make one for me?”
“Why?” Tim offered it to him for closer inspection, but the artisan threw up his hands and backed away.
“I don’t need to look closer. I can’t help you.”
“I need to repair the medallion.”
“I can do nothing for you.”
“Then what do you suggest?”
“Go to El Brujo. He’s the only one who can help you.”
Door bells jangled and the shop door opened.
“Speak of the devil ….” the artisan looked relieved. “It’s the man himself.”
“My ears were burning,” El Brujo‘s eyes held a mischievous twinkle.
“Here he is,” the artisan turned to Tim. “You can ask him yourself now.”
“Ask me what?” El Brujo stared at Tim who turned red in the face as he pushed the medallion back under his shirt.
“It’s nothing,” Tim readjusted the buttons.
“You won’t find it here.”
“The other half of your medallion; have patience, my friend. It knows that you are searching for it. It will be drawn to you, never fear. The baths are across the road, incidentally. Alonso told me you might go there this morning. I’ll go with you.”
“But I thought you were going to Yalalag; I saw you on the bus this morning. You spoke to me.”
“Indeed I was and indeed I did. But I got off the bus, didn’t I? And you didn’t understand me when I spoke to you, did you? So I’m here, now; where I’m needed. Come along. Let’s go.”
He nodded to the artisan.
“Adiós, Pepito. Thanks for calling me. By the way, have you thought about that offer I made you?”
“I have indeed.”
“And your answer?”
“I think you know what I will say.”
“I do. But you must make up your mind quickly. The circle is broken and we must rebuild it.”
“When I am needed, I will be there.”
“You will be needed tonight.”
“Then I’ll be there.”
El Brujo and Tim exited the shop together, crossed the street, and walked towards the baths …