I have not visited Mr. Johnathan Goffe is quite some time. I’d like to see what he’s up to this morning. Last I recall he was headed to some part of town to get some film for his camera.
Grandma followed a different magic than my sister. Grandma’s enchantments harnessed a deeper power, but they were fickle and often [unspecific]. Jennetta may stalk the hereditary manse[?] presiding over friend and foe alike while Nonni putters in the Old-old Conservatory, but give me the least of Nonni’s spells over the best of Netti’s—I’ll be happy. I left the leaves in their packet and returned to the lane under my own direction.
:?camera requires film,: I ask the camera.
:.camera requires film,: it replies.
:?list film shops, sort by proximity, with directions relative to the Book Gate:
:.danforth Road Photography (0.26 miles, 11.5°)
:,[something that sounds like a mini-mall] (0.84 miles, 85.5°)
:,bonar Balfour: Haberdasher & Milliner (2.67 miles, 127.3°):
:?haberdasher: I’m trying to imagine a shop that sells clothing, woman’s hats, and photography supplies. As well as decide if I want to go that far out of my way.
:.public inventory all known stock sizes and custom cutting services:
:?stocking men’s hats also: I could really use a new hat.
:.map it; call in the quickest order to fill; shut-down:
I stop listening before the camera acknowledges my requests. I need to think.
Bonar Balfour’s resides in a narrow alleyway off Bent Street. Bent is already a subsidiary outlet of the main circle of shops in Surland Wood, so Balfour’s nicely secluded and separate. Mr. Goffe is glad to have come the extra distance. Even before he swings the wood and crystal paned door inward he’s thinking this is his new camera shop—providing they actually have what he needs. The pleasant trinkle of the bell as the door glides open on well oiled brass hinges and the top edge strikes the clapper confirms his tentative decision.
“Excuse me a moment please Mrs. Xenoworth. I need to greet the gentleman.” A younger tinker smiles brightly as further apology for the conflicting requirements of politeness. Mrs. Xenoworth pats him on the shoulder pushing him in the direction of the door.
“Go. I’ll be here deciding a bit yet anyway.” The boy thanks her in a whisper then departs.
“Good afternoon, sir. I am Ben Balfour. My father is still preparing your order and will be out front shortly. Can I offer you a cup of tea while you wait mister…?” Ben waits for me to fill in my name. My camera certainly relayed that information when placing the order and it’s unlikely anyone in this town does not know me by appearance. It’s polite to pretend. I ignore him as is also polite, instead addressing the older woman.
“Madam, my apologies for the intrusion on your shopping. I won’t keep Ben long.” I clasp my hands and make a short bow.
:,arrange for her purchases today: I command Camera. My predilection for going among the people like a commoner often result in these sorts of disruptions. Camera runs a routine that negotiates with the shop’s system to pay for Mrs. Xenoworth’s good. I’m guessing Balfour’s will smooth over that audacity of my presumption by making the offer to her themselves without my appearing to be involved at all. This will likely result in my order for film being gratis. Blah blah blah.