It has occurred to me that some of my readers might not know exactly what a pawnbroker is. Bearing in mind that one plays a major role in Marvin's Curse, it might be a good idea to have it explained.
From the Pawnbroker Association website:
Like a bank a pawnbroker earns income on the interest that is
charged on the loan secured by a pledged item. In order to accept goods
into pawn a pawnbroker makes an on-the-spot valuation of the goods. The
customer and the pawnbroker will agree the sum to be advanced...When the loan and the interest are paid, the goods are returned to the customer.
If the customer does not renew the loan, the pawnbroker may take steps to dispose of the goods.
So basically, you take something to the pawnbrokers of value. They make you an offer of a loan for it and quote you interest depending on how long you want the loan for, If you pay the loan back with the interest, you get your goods back. If not, the pawnbroker is entitled to sell your goods.
In Marvin's Curse, Stella has 'pawned' her memories with Old Kedigan, a pawnbroker in Moghador. These were her 'items' of value, but why did she pawn them?