the smuggler’s bible


The jewellers—those who buy and sell without asking too many questions—are clustered along Chestnut Street. Barraclough and Pontchartrain trudge through slush, rattling shop bells and asking about suspicious transactions. They realize quickly they must be more specific.

“Anyone looking for a handful of rings,” Barraclough says. “All gold.”

Finally, one tired old toy elf checks his receipt book and nods. “Last week. A small batch, sizes seven to nine-five. Not too picky, except for the metal.”

“Do you take names?”

“We aren’t all crooked, you know,” he says, turning the book to show a hasty signature. George Bailey.