Abd so Twistine and myself try to pick our way back through the people. Twisty grabs my arm a moment and directs me to a stand. There with a crowd standing around it is a table with a mirror over it pointed out so the onlookers could see what was on the table.
"Isn’t that the Appraising Fool?" Twisty asks me.
I nod affirmatively.
The Appraising Fool is speaking to a Woman with a kercheif tied about her hair, "And you’re telling me that his here is an priceless family heirloom?"
"Why Yes," the Kercheif woman answers, "It’s been our family for generations and we love it."
The Appraising Fool arches his brows a little bit, "And I suppose you’d like me to run an appraisel on this pricelss familyu heirloom for you?"
"Of course," the kercheif woman replies, "I wouldn’t have brought it otherwise."
The Appraising Fool looks knowingly out to the gathering, "Of course we often get family heirlooms that the appraisel doesn’t turn out like they had hoped for, you understand that I hope."
A murmur goes through the throng of onlookers.
The kercheif woman smiles innocently, "Well yes, I understand that, but do you mean," her voice trails off.
"Well," the Appraising fool says sympathetically as he turns the heirloom over, "What we have here is a compact wooden frame with rows of piano wire stretched over it, and a wooden slide."
The Appraising Fool examines the box more closely, "Obviously it is some sort of home-built musical instrumentation, a crude attempt at a form of dulcimer," the Appraising Fool plinks a string on it to produce a tinny note," the Appraising Fool denotes, "And obviously, this instrument has entertained your family on many a winters-night."
"Well we used it often in winter too," the kercheifed woman says with a certain astonishment.
"And probably it saw entertainment at weddings and birthdays too<‘ the Appraising Fool speaks to the onlookers.
But then the Appraising Fool looks back to the kercheifed woman with sympathy, "And sometimes such rustical fabrications do have residual value on the folk art market," the Appraising Fool looks to the lady, "I’m glad this heirloom is priceless to your family."
The crowd draws a breath as they wait for the Appraising Fool to deliver his verdict.
"I’m sorry," the Appraising Fool looks again to the kercheifed lady, "But due to its crude construction, and dubious musical merit, I ams sorry to have to tellyou that in most antique shops, on a good day, your priceless family heirloom would only bring a couple of dollars."