The two girls walk into the dimly lit hall, huddling together as they whisper.
"That must be it."
"Let's have a closer look."
Breathlessly, they move toward the clear globe in the room's center, raised on a dais and illuminated by lights from above. Their faces reflected in the glass behind which the sphere sits, the girls read the placard: Crystal Ball.
her wand gripped
over the neighbors' lawn
"So, that's not it."
"Yeah, I guess we should've known it wouldn't be in the first room," the older girl says pragmatically. "Let's keep going."
They move silently along, somber with the magnitude of the gem they seek. The description their father had read to them rings in their ears, especially the passages about its impressive size.
They enter the cool darkness of the final room.
"This must be the place."
They move in.
"That can't be it! It's tiny."
Their crestfallen eyes turn to the placard: The Hope Diamond, 45.52-carat (9.10 g), deep-blue diamond, first documented in the inventory of jewel merchant Daniel Eliason in 1812.
a future glimpsed