the smuggler’s bible

Barraclough

They wait in the dark, cradling styrofoam cups of hot chocolate. Finally, Drosselmeyer leaves—a spindly shadow against the bricks.

“Call it in. We’ll search the shop.”

“No warrant,” Pontchartrain says. “The judge is at a party.”

“He’ll sign it tomorrow when his hangover wears off. Until then, let’s see if the clockmaker left cookies on the mantle.”

Flashlights. Creaking boards. A cabinet in the basement labeled ‘Clara.’ They force the lock and spools of thread clatter onto the floor. The thing on the shelf has glass eyes.

“Take him,” Barraclough says into the radio. “Jesus Christ, do it now.”