the smuggler’s bible

Pontchartrain

The traffic on the interstate is merciless, so she drives the two-lane until Boughbury then swerves onto the county road, making for Port Advent with all possible speed.

She parks at the top of the drive and raps at the broad wooden door. A butler leads her through frigid halls into a back room where the man himself sits beside a fire.

“Someone is threatening my life,” the old man says, watching her with flinty eyes. “Even so, don’t think I can be bullied into overpayment.”

Pontchartrain shrugs. “I work for the city, Mister Scrooge. I’m used to miserly compensation.”