Krim Cross

25. Angel with a jewel

Why would Rodge hire someone to steal a blank notebook? Ellison stopped under a streetlight and pulled it out of his pocket. He felt the pages. There was still nothing hidden in them or between them. He put the notebook away and continued down Leadenhall back to the Barley Mow Inn. Maybe Harmen Chapman stole …

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24. A spider in the corner

Quimby Plummer, owner of the Barley Mow Inn, refused to tell Ellison where Donna lived. “I know you’re working for that Rodge guy,” Quimby said. “After you two dragged my customer right out of here, I’m seriously considering kicking you out. Next time, drag them out after they’ve paid for their meal.” Ellison sighed, then …

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22. Fork full of skirrets

“Wait at the entrance,” Matilda told Ellison as she walked into the inn. “Don’t let him go upstairs or into the kitchen.” She pantomimed a knife across her throat. “You want me to slit his throat?” he whispered. “No. If he gets to the kitchen he might slice his own throat and we’d lose him …

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21. Pretzels, fur coats and trash chutes

The city hall was, in theory, a great place for secret meetings. Krim administrators didn’t allow any hanky panky inside the building. They had no problems with their residents being subject to grotesque acts of violence, but didn’t want to become victims themselves. Any user who violated the rules could be permanently banned from the …

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20. Send for the fishmonger

Rodge Bannister didn’t want to offer a reward for the return of the Jewel of Rhotar. They’d recovered everything except a dozen or so of the smaller, less valuable previous stones and historic artifacts. The Gang of Four had either hidden them somewhere where Rodge and his mercenaries couldn’t find them, had already sold them, …

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16. A steaming pile

“I suspect that Gervis has been finding opportunities to climb that back watch tower and drop the stolen goods down to one of his accomplices standing outside the wall,” Ellison said. “It’s hard to see who’s going up and down because the guild house and the stables are in the way.” “Well, now that’s all …

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14. As the bowl turns

“Don’t look now, but there’s a table at the back with four guys at it,” Matilda told Ellison in a low voice. “I know. My guy is there,” he said. “The one who just walked in?” “No, the one he kissed when he sat down.” “That’s Trozganoth the Anointed,” she said. “He knits scarves and …

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12. Around the corner

Ellison stepped out through the front gate of the Armforge guild, onto Knots Hollow Way, and debated about whether to head straight back to the Barley Mow for some dinner, ale, and a good night’s sleep, or to try to catch up with Matilda. On the one hand, Matilda could be just about anywhere. On …

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10. Horse sense

“They’re the Gang of Four,” said Matilda. “They’re famous. They case their targets, figure out who has access but doesn’t interact with other people much, and steal their identities while the commit the crime. They usually knock their victims out and tie them up somewhere, but getting Hellcut, Gorehair, and Rainbow Squirtle passed-out drunk was …

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7. Time to see the wenches

Before leaving, Ellison and Matilda had a chat with some of Rodge’s security team. They weren’t happy that Rodge had brought in outsiders to deal with the problem. “It’s almost like he doesn’t trust us to do our jobs,” said Two Teeth Tom, newly back from the dead. “Just because someone got the drop on …

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6. The list of suspects

“Well, I’ll leave you to do whatever it is you need to do. Let me know when we can move the body.” Rodge frowned at the corpse. The flies had found it, and were beginning to buzz around it. “Hold on, what do you expect us to do?” Ellison asked. “Well, you know,” Rodge waved …

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4. The oldest artifact

“The man had me kidnapped and tortured.” Ellison tried to dig his heels in but Matilda easily dragged him out of the Barley Mow Inn and onto Leadenhall Street.

2. Mayhaps a petty chare

Ellison walked away, not glancing back. If Usman was going to stab him in the back, Ellison wanted it to be a surprise. He didn’t want to see it coming. It was the anticipation that was the worst.

1. Perchance a missive

“World of Battle doth have much to be admired.” The speaker raised his flagon of ale, spilling some on the bar patrons around him. “To the World of Battle!” Someone tossed a fried skirret at his head.