the smuggler’s bible


The villagers are very clear, if not exactly intelligible, on the issue of the crumbling castle on the mountain. They elect the dumpy local priest and his smattering of English to explain the finer points.

“It is built with blocks of black basalt, hewn from Hell’s quarry, and which shine darkly in the no-light of the new moon!”

“Sounds like nonsense,” Harper says.

“No, it’s a valuable clue.”

“So you aren’t going to sell me an amulet or something?”

“Ah, wise traveler, I have one here which—”

“Ugh, spare me the hustle,” Harper says, still totally planning to buy one.