the smuggler’s bible


Felicitas drops her cigarette and grinds it with her heel. Behind her, the hotel manager scoffs indignantly. Felicitas doesn’t notice. Her attention is on the man in front of her.

“You’re thinking, ‘he’s soft,’” the man says softly. “’Long coat, smooth palms—greenhorn, or near enough that it won’t matter.’ You’re thinking you’ll have time to blast me and order a coffee before I clear leather. Well, now is when you ought to start worrying.”

“Uh huh.” Felicitas shrugs. “But a new thought springs to mind. Someone quick enough to draw down on me wouldn’t get caught cheating at cards.”