Desperation was the worst thing you could bring to the Emporium, but there was nowhere else to go. The Emporium was the only place that would have what I was looking for. It always had what I was looking for. So I brought my desperation with me, like an albatross around my neck, like a black spot.
You could get it all at the Emporium. But not for money; Mr. Handlesropes didn’t operate that way. Sometimes, one of the art addicts who dealt in the alley would come in and offer huge sums of stolen cash for one of his items — a piece of cured human skin bearing a rare tattoo, or the shell of a dodo egg hand-painted by a prisoner on the day before his execution — but Mr. Handlesropes would just laugh.