the smuggler’s bible


Bloodtooth wakes up amid the splinters of his raft with the sun on his face and the toe of somebody’s boot tapping against the side of his head. He cracks his eyelids and sees a willowy man in brown leather.

“Brother, you got a sturdy noggin,” the man says.

“Oh, yeah? Who thinks so?” Bloodtooth gurgles, turning and spitting up river water.

“I think so. Saw the way you handled that S-curve,” the man says, squatting. “Now, first off: are you the law?”

Bloodtooth shakes his head.

“Well, then, I’m Snake-in-the-Grass,” Snake-in-the-Grass says. “And, boy, do I like your style.”