While in Butte, Montana, conducting research for a book I’m writing, Mary MacLane: Butte’s Wild Woman and Her Wooden Heart, I came upon an article about The Queen of Palmistry, Madame Belmont. She had been visiting Butte for the last month and had aroused interest and suspicion in the mining community.

When she first advertised her ability to read the hands as a phrenologist would read the head, the cry went out that there must be a catch. She must be working an edge of some sort. A skeptic called on her for a test reading. He would prove her a charlatan.

The Queen of Palmistry didn’t blink. The brave skeptic quivered at the information she provided to him about his past and present. The truth of what she revealed turned him into a believer and he spread the word. As a result, many doubters then called on her and came away pleased with what they heard, gaining insight into their future joys and troubles.

Her room at The Argyle, 68 West Broadway, was crowded morning till night, “by the very best people in the city.”

The writer concluded that there was something interesting and mysterious in the way that Madame Belmont, The Queen of Palmistry, knew the past and predicted the future. “In every case it was true.” She stayed on another two weeks and moved on to parts unknown.

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Idaho Madams by Milana Marsenich
Copper Sky cover
Beautiful Ghost Cover Art - Revised - Small
The Swan Keeper Cover Medium

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