the smuggler’s bible


Aufidius and Varro get into the city on the last day of summer. The road down the coast is hot. There are storms. Still, they’re only an hour late to the party.

“We sure are glad you fellas could make it,” the grinning mayor says. “There’s somebody I want you to meet. Had a lot of interest in your side during the war.”

They slide sideways into the crowd and he drags them against the current into a tiny pool of light in the back. A senator is there waiting. He’s friendly and political—and forty-eight hours later, he’s dead.