Chapter 10, Part 2:
Crystal Ball Gazing
The Shielding Marsh
Walpurga placed the silk on the glass and trembled. “The future is harsh and we scarcely desire to know it.!”
“That isn’t so!” the prince gasped. Clutching her arm tightly he implored “You must show me more. My heart shall otherwise break in two.”
“As you wish,” the abbess closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Soon it seemed as if she panted, then croaked, then rasped and finally made no sound at all. Even though her eyes were closed, the lids trembled in their sockets and her lips tightened. All color had fadedl from her cheeks when the silk fell from the crystal ball once more.
Inside the glass tiny figures could be seen running through a forest. They ran and ran past mighty oaks. Down, down they ran into a swamp, through marsh and muck until finally, pushing forward they reached a mound on which more fat oaks stood. Now they pushed upward, up up through tall thick grasses following a well-trodden damp and dewy way. The prince gazed intently at the tiny figures fleeing and then noticed one, a maid. His maid! His intended one! Running through the mud and leading her trusted steed through the sheltering sump.