He shook his head, dismissing the issue. "I've no company, preferring instead the art of soliloquy and monologue. Joyung there is my only companion. We travel from town to town, up and down the banks of the River Dire, he making his music and I pacing the planks of whatever makeshift stage the sale of my baubles allows me to commission. When the performance is done, I send Joyung into the crowd with my hat, which, as you can see, has ample space for coins."
His dark eyes dropped to where my hand rested on Rosethorn's pommel. Only the flowery hilt was exposed, the rest of the weapon remained hidden within the folds of my cloak. His eyes flashed and then he shrugged as if in disinterest.
"Ah, but how rude it is to talk only of one's self when in the company of a stranger as fascinating as you, boatman. You must tell me what it is that brings you to our Tinsel Forest, and without even your scythe to defend yourself."
"You know me to be a ferryman," I said, pushing the circlet up and over my forehead. "How?"
"Why, by taking one look at you, that's how! You've no mask, that much is true, nor have you a scythe, as I've said … you've the cloak, all right, but that can be purchased at even the lowliest of costume shops; I've one just like it in my wagon here, in fact. No, this is something in the face itself. It's an aura." He paused, appraising me coldly. "You've the heart of a ferryman."
After a moment I replied, "I knew a woman once who said the very opposite."
"A woman, eh? She must have feared you very much."