the smuggler’s bible


Loup Roger employs professionals, and their systems are layered. The first is garbage, absolutely worthless, designed to make this obvious. Lowen hauls drawers from desks and drops them, scattering papers while he feels for hidden compartments.

He finds some, too. This is the second stratum, sprinkled lightly with gold dust. Let a man believe he has found what he’s looking for and he’ll stop searching.

“Three or four minutes,” Malkin says. “Pale’s men are starting to get some pushback.”

Lowen reaches farther, finds a carved notch, and, grinning, draws forth a small silver key. The secret beyond the secret. Jackpot.