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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Rosie has lunch at the Astro Diner

Rosie settled in at the Astro's counter and gave Mabel her order. Mabel beeped politely when Rosie inquired after the new wheels Rosie had machined for her feet. Rosie knew whose wheels to grease, all right: she got a high standard of service at the Astro. While she waited for her lunch a little girl sat on the stool next to her and asked Mabel for a milkshake.

Rosie tried to strike up a conversation with the girl, but that just didn't seem to work: in fact the girl was spending her time looking anyplace at all except for the stool next to her and the invisible Rosie who seemed not to be sitting there. Who knew that the menu could be that interesting? Or the coffeepot? Rosie gave it up.

By the time Rosie had finished with lunch, the little girl was already gone. But she'd left a handbill on the counter.

'When All Else Has Failed: Try the Clockwork Book! Unknown Technologies! Mysteries Explained! The Inscrutable Made Clear!'

Rosie looked thoughtfully at the handbill as Mabel, beeping angrily, swept it away. All right, Rosie said to herself. I'm listening.
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