the smuggler’s bible


Thornquist watches until the warehouse is entirely demolished. His clothes are filthy with ashes and one of the firemen mistakes him for a comrade. The man offers him a shovel to help scrape the embers for valuables. Any little trinket will do, and it is amazing the sorts of things which can survive the inferno.

Cremuel is waiting for him in the alley. He stands from a squat, tucks something carefully into his shirt.

“Scoundrel,” Thornquist says. “You allowed yourself to be bribed.”

“Of course I did. Great men, sir, consider it a terrible insult if you refuse their money.”