Owl-Chymist: Such is Life. Even your petty Fate, beggar-child, is crafted by the Universal Mason and built into the stars.
Clever (looks up to a sun-filled sky): How do stars cast their influence by daylight?
Owl-Chymist (ignores her): Question A, addressed to my patchwork creature, ‘Who owns that man's body on whom the Dog-Head is fixed?’
Clever: I am suspicious.
Owl-Chymist: That man, while endowed with his own head, was a wretch of lowest regard, a Fool born under failed stars. Minus the head, I repurposed him.
Clever: Did the poor fellow's horoscope predict his resurrection?
Owl-Chymist: You, little girl, watched him swing from the gallows for a grievous crime. He was a drunken Tailor of no value.
Clever (her breath stills … her heart falters, then quickens):
Owl-Chymist: His children go as beggars. No one buried the corpse. I removed it to my laboratory. He was a drunken Tailor of no use.
Clever: Of no use at all? Beloved by not a single upright person in the Wide World?
Owl-Chymist (ignores her question, chortles): To think my Hound believes us randomly pulled into the same story. You, a beggar. Me, a learned Philosopher. He, a Chymical Experiment. How could such disparate Particles link into one sequence unless it had been predetermined, orchestrated, tightly plotted.
Clever (stoutly): Your hanged man cannot be my hanged man. My father was dearly beloved by his old mother.
Owl-Chymist: Mother-love is incidental to Philosophy. Of no significance. You are here in this covert place to act your minor but necessary role in the Great Conspiracy.