the smuggler’s bible


The people in charge send the new guy first thing in the morning. He gets off the train and picks his way through town toward the hill, carrying a calf-skin valise. He’s careful not to smile at anyone. Better to form impressions first and wait to decide upon the proper tack.

He finds Gül in the nave, leaning on the shovel.

“Did they fill you in?”

“Most of it, I think.”

“Get someone else to fix the floor. It’s better that way.”

“Of course.”

“Well, then,” Gül says, pulling on his coat and heading for the door. “Good luck, preacher.”