A slick grin slopped across Muntz’s face. “I can’t write,” he said. “Can’t read, either. I’m just a natural.”

“Make your mark with an X, then, same as everybody else,” said Missy. “Right there on the line.”

Muntz shrugged. “Supposing I don’t?” he said airily. “Supposing I decide to make whatever cantrips I want wherever I please?”

“Then you’ll do them whenever you want and wherever you please,” said Missy. “Excepting Smokewood and its environs. Nobody comes into town without surrendering their tools of mayhem.”

“I am a tool of mayhem,” said Muntz. “Am I to surrender myself to you, little girl? I doubt you could handle it.”

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