After Tamsin saved an ill friend by sneaking into the hospital and dissolving the magical cloud marble in a glass of water, life returned to normal. Until now…
During a family trip to Paris she meets a pickpocket on the Eiffel Tower. He points out a plain rivet, one of millions, but when Tamsin looks at it carefully it seems to rattle in its place. It wants to escape!
Thus begins Tamsin’s second adventure, one that finds her able to measure love on the bridge of padlocks, recreate paintings with the touch of a finger, and risk all by taking the source of these powers from its rightful place…
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- Don’t touch!
Tamsin held Jake’s hand and walked with him through the gallery. They played games, mainly hide and seek, around the benches. Their parents looked at every picture. So many! Some they liked, some they did not. Occasionally one of them would come over and take Tamsin to see a special one. They would talk about it. Tamsin had been given a little notebook and a set of coloured pencils to copy the ones she liked most. This kept her busy, but Jake soon fell asleep when he was put in his pushchair.
“Look at this one!” said Lucy, “It’s so colourful!”
Tamsin agreed. She loved it. The picture showed a circus ring, with a fearless lady standing on a galloping white horse. An acrobat was somersaulting behind her, the ring master was directing it all with a long whip, and the audience stared with awe from their seats in the background. So much speed, and so beautiful!
Tamsin stood as close as she could to the canvas, but a thin wire some inches above the ground ensured that people did not get near enough to touch the paint itself. A guard sat by the door, keeping an eye on the visitors.
“I really like this one.” said Tamsin.
“Stay and draw it if you like.” said Lucy. “We’ll be in the next room. You’ll be fine here.”
So Tamsin settled down on the floor in front of the picture and began to copy it. Because the artist had used thousands of tiny dots to create the picture Tamsin used the same method. Her pencil tap-tap-tapped on the paper.
A few minutes later she noticed that the guard had left. And, for once, there were only a handful of tourists in the room. Tamsin stood up, leaned forward, and touched the corner of the painting. Her ears were filled with noisy applause. Her nostrils twitched with the smell of horse, sweat and sawdust (which covered the floor of the circus). She felt dizzy and disorientated. The floor beneath her was moving violently. She looked down and saw that her shoes had changed to cracked leather slippers, and that the floor was nothing of the sort…it was a pale horse’s back! Tamsin was in the circus, standing one-legged on the swift, eager beast. The ring master called out, in French,
“Vite! Vite!” (meaning ‘Faster! Faster!”) Tamsin lost her balance and began to fall to the ground. She saw a look of concern on the ring master’s face.
Just before she landed on the ground the scene changed…back to the calm of the museum. Her finger was no longer touching the canvas. She looked for the guard, and saw a new one taking her place on the chair. Tamsin collected her notebook and pencils and hurried to join her parents.