the smuggler’s bible


Edouard smiles out at the crowd gathering on the station platform in the shadow of the big locomotive and quickly finishes stuffing his shirt tails into pressed blue trousers, then adjusts his crisp conductor’s cap. Glancing down, he notices the name tag on his jacket says “Spencer,” so he plucks it off and makes a spectacular over-the-shoulder toss into the waste bin.

“Good morning, everybody,” he says, pushing through the throng toward the engine, beaming and winking as he goes. “Who’s ready to set off for beautiful and verdant … uhm.”

“Chicago?” somebody says.

“That’s right, Chicago. Probably. With any luck.”