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"We are," Fanshawe told her in dull monotone, "But we have to go somewhere else first." More unbroken blackness flowed past the windows. "It won't take long, but I'll need your help, and what you need to know is..."

The headlights reached out into still more blackness.

"Is what?" Abbie asked, partly suspicious, partly amused.

"It's f.u.c.ked up," Fanshawe said baldy. "If you're not up to it, then I'll take you back to the inn. But the way I see it is"-he shrugged, and glanced at her cocaine-"what have you got to lose?"

Abbie laughed. "How can I argue with that?"

"You're kidding me?" she said, frowning. "You're stealing this?"

"Yeah," Fanshawe said, and without hesitating, he began to unscrew the tarnished globe off the Gazing Ball's bizarrely inscribed pedestal. "I'll explain later."

"But-"

Fanshawe paused, irritated. "You in or out? Make up your mind."

"Stew! I don't know what's going on!"

"Keep your voice down. I think your father's at the tavern with his friends, but I can't be positive."

"What's my father got to do with-"

Fanshawe glared at her in the moonlight.

"Like you said, what have a got to lose?" She chuckled to herself. "Okay."

Fanshawe finally detached the ball from the pedestal. He handed it to Abbie. "Take that back to the car...carefully."

By now Abbie didn't even challenge her confusion, but when she took the globe... "Hey, this feels like it's got something in it."

"It does. Take it to the car." Fanshawe leaned against the pedestal, then began to rock it back and forth until it dislodged from the ground. With a grunt, he hoisted it up.

Abbie stared at Fanshawe. "Come on, Stew. What's in the globe?"

Fanshawe huffed, dragging the pedestal. "The ashes of Jacob Wraxall's heart," he replied and then trudged down the hill back toward the car.

Abbie, with her mouth hanging open, stood there for a while holding the ball.

Eventually, she followed Fanshawe.

You will give to and take from the same, Fanshawe recited Let.i.tia Rhodes' strange prophesy as his shovel bit down into earth. He wondered if it was really true that they buried people six feet deep.

If so, he was in for some work.

When Abbie had seen what he was doing, she scurried away, either back to the car, or as far away from him as she could get.

Oh, well.

This was the second stop before his return to New York: the cemetery behind the community church. He dug at a gravestone which read GEORGE JEFFREYS RHODES.

"I will give to and take from the same," he whispered aloud, digging. "Yeah, I guess I will..."

As it turned out, the coffin lid was uncovered beneath less than two feet of earth. It didn't take very long for Fanshawe to unseat the tiny casket and take it back to the car.

All in a day's work, he thought, thunking closed the Audi's trunk. He wiped his hands off on torn, urine-damp Dolce & Gabbana slacks, then got back behind the wheel. Somehow, he wasn't surpris

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