the smuggler’s bible


Ossian Thornquist’s plan is simple: He stands in the dusty gloom of the gear-and-plywood nave and cuts up gibbering cult members in an attempt to bait out somebody who qualifies as leadership. The red-robed parson who emerges at length from a side chamber is seven feet tall and lumbers forward swinging an enormous, knotted shillelagh.

“Finally,” Thornquist says. “Do you at least know enough to answer a few questions before I kill you?”

The giant man roars and pounds the metal floor with great, clanging heaves of the club.

“Yes, well, I suppose that’s what they all say at first.”