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It was the same facenot a similar face, the same face, the same man. Identical. There was no confusing it, nor those green, cat-slitted eyes.
Inhuman eyes; eyes that had never been human.
Sam fell back across the decades, to his childhood, and his home, and one moonlit, Irish night.
Sam stumbled along beside his father, miserable right down to his socks, and wanting to be home with all his five-year-old heart.
"Dame tum hurts," Sam whined.
The full moon above them gave a clear, clean light, shining down on the dirt path that led between the pub and John Kelly's little cottage. A month ago, they wouldn't have been on this path. A month ago, Sam's mummy, Moira, would have made them a good supper, one that wouldn't have hurt Sam's tummy the way the greasy sausage-and-potato mix the pub served up did. In fact, a month ago, John wouldn't have been anywhere near the pub, and the pint of whiskey he had in his back pocket would have lasted him the month, not the night. He would've had tea with his good dinner, not washed bad roast down with more whiskey.
But that was a month and more ago, before Moira took a cough that became worse, and then turned into something awful, something called "new-moan-yuh." Something the doctor couldn't cure, nor all the prayers Sam and his Da had offered up to the Virgin.
She'd taken sick on a Monday. By the following Monday, they were putting her under the sod, and the priest told him she was with Jesus. Sam didn't understand any of it; he kept thinking it was all a bad dream, and when he woke up, his Mummy would comfort him and everything would be all right again.
But he went to sleep at night, and woke up in the morning, and it wasn't all right. His Da was drinking his breakfast, and leaving Sam to make whatever breakfast he could on cold bread-and-butter and go off to stay with Mrs. Gilhoolie, since he was too young for school. John Kelly was going to work smelling like a bottle, coming home smelling like a bottle, and taking Sam to the pub every night for a bad supper and more bottles.
It was cold out, and Sam had forgotten his coat "Da," he whined again, knowing that he sounded nasty but not knowing what else to do to get his Da's attention. "Da, me tum hurts, an' I'm cold." The wind whistled past them, coming around the Mound, and cutting right through Sam's thin shirt and short pants. The Mound was an uncanny place, and Sam didn't like to go there. The Fair Folk were supposed to live there, and they weren't the pretty little fairies in the children's books and the cartoons at the cinema; Sam's granny had told him about the Fair Folk, and she had never, ever lied to him. They were terrible, wonderful creatures, taller than humans, handsome beyond belief, and many were utterly unpredictable. The best a human could do was steer clear of them, for no human could tell whether a man or woman of the Folk was kindly inclined towards humans or dangerous to them. Even when they seemed to be doing you favors, sometimes they were doing you harm, the bad ones. And the good ones sometimes did harm with the idea of doing good.
But right now Sam had more immediate troubles than running into one of the Fair Folk. His tummy hurt, he was so cold his teeth chattered, his head hurt, his Da was acting in peculiar ways
And oh, but he missed his Mummy
"Daaaaa," he whined, holding back tears of grief. When his Da said anything about Mummy, it was to tell him to be a man, and not cry. But it was hard not to cry. The only way he could keep from crying, sometimes, was to whine. Like now. "Daaaaaa."
There was no warning, none at all. One moment he was stumbling along beside his Da, the next, he was sprawled on the cold ground beside the path, looking up at his Da in shock, his face and teeth aching from the blow his Da had just landed on him. The moonlight showed the murderous look on his Da's face clearly. Too clearly. Whimpering, with sudden terror, he tried to scramble away.
He wasn't fast enough.
His Da grabbed the front of his shirt and hauled him to his feet, then off his feet, and backhanded him. Sam was in too much shock to even react to the first two slaps, but at the third, he cried out.
There was no fourth.
John had his hand pulled back, ready to deliver another blow. Sam struggled fruitlessly in his father's iron grip, crying
Then there was a tremendous flash of light; Sam was blinded, and felt himself falling. He flailed his arms wildly, and landed on his back, hard enough to drive the breath out of him.
He wheezed and rubbed his eyes, trying to force them to clear. The sound of someone choking made him look up, squinting through watering eyes, still trying to catch his breath.
What he saw made him forget to breathe.
A tall, terrible blond stranger, dressed in odd clothing, like something out of the pantomimes of King Arthur, was holding his father by the throat. John Kelly was white-faced and shaking, but was not trying to move or fight the stranger. This was no one Sam had seen in or near the village, and anyway, most of the people around here were small and dark, or small and red-haired. Not tall and silver-blond. The man looked down at Sam for a moment, and even though the only light came from the moon overhead, he sawclearlythat the man had bright, emerald green eyes; eyes that looked just like a cat's. And long, pointed ears.
This was no man. This could only be one of the Fair Folk, the Sidhe; and the fairy-man's eyes caught Sam like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a motorcar.
Sam couldn't move.
John Kelly made another choking noise, and the stranger turned those mesmerizing eyes back towards his captive.
"John Kelly," the terrifying man saidwith a gentleness made all the more terrible by his obvious strength. "John Kelly, you're a good man, but you're on the way to a bad end. 'Tis the luck of your God that brought you here tonight, within my reach and my ken, for if you hadn't struck your lad just now, I wouldn't have known of your troubles and your falling into the grip of pain and whiskey. Now get hold of yourself and get your life straight againfor if you don't, I swear to you that we'll steal this lovely boy of yours, and you'll never see him again, this side of paradise. Remember what your mother told you, John Kelly. Remember it well, and believe it. We did it once within your family, and we can and will do it again, if the need comes to it."
There was another flash of light. When Sam could see, the man was gone, and his father was sinking slowly to his knees. Sam still couldn't move, numb with shock and awe, and feelings he couldn't put a name to.
For a long, long time, John Kelly lay in the dirt, his shoulders shaking. Then, after a while, John looked up, and Sam saw tears running down his Da's face, glistening in the moonlight.
"Da?" he whispered, tentatively. "Da?"
"Son" John chokedand gathered Sam into his arms, holding him closely, just the way he used to. Sobbing. Somehow that made Sam feel both good and bad. Good, that his Da was the man he loved again. Bad, that his Da was crying.
Sam said again. "Da, what's the matter? Da?"
"Samson" John Kelly wept unashamed. "Son, I've been wicked, I've been blind with pain, and I've been wicked. Forgive me, son. Oh, please, forgive me"
Sam hadn't been sure what to say or do, but he'd given his father what he asked for: Forgiveness, and all the love and comfort he had.
Eventually, John Kelly had gathered his son up in his arms, and taken him home. And from that day until the day he died, he never touched another drop of alcohol.
It can't be he thought dazedly, from the perspective of half a century away. It can't be
Despite the Sight, he'd assumed for decades that the whole incident had been a dream, something his childish imagination had conjured up to explain his father's brief, alcoholic binge and his recovery.
He'd only been five, after all. But this, this tall, blond man striding toward them was the same, the very same person as that long-ago stranger. No matter that the long hair was pulled back into a thick pony-tail, not flowing free beneath a circling band of silver about the brow. No matter that the clothing was a form-fitting black coverall, incongruously embroidered with "Kevin" over the breast pocket, and not the tunic and trews of a man of the ancient Celts. There was no mistake.
Sam knew then that he must be going mad. It was an easier explanation than the one that fit the situation.
The man strode towards them with all the power and grace of a lean, black panther in its prime. As he neared them, he smiled; a warm smile that reached even into those emerald eyes and made them shine. "You've grown into a fine man, Sam Kelly," he said, stopping just short of them, and resting his fists on his hips. "A fine man, like your father John, and smarter than your father, to wash your hands of a dying land and seek your life on this side of the water. Now you know why we chose you, and no other."
"I see you've met," Tannim said, with an ironic lift of an eyebrow.
This man, this "Kevin"he hadn't aged a day since Sam saw him fifty years ago. He'd looked thirty or forty then, which would make him what? Ninety? A hundred?
Either he had discovered the fountain of youth, or
"You" Sam said, finally getting his mouth to work. "You're"
"One of the Fair Folk?" Keighvin said, with a lop-sided smile, and a lifted brow that echoed Tannim's. "The Lords of Underhill? The Kindly Ones? The Old People? The Elves, the Fairies, the Sidhe?" He chuckled. "I'm glad to see you still remember the old ways, the old tales, Sam. And, despite all your university learning, you believe them too, or at least, you're willing to believe them, if I read your heart aright."
In the face of a living breathing tale out of his own childhood, how could he not believe? Even when it was impossible? He had to believe in the Sidhe, or believe that someone had read his mind, picked that incident out of his childhood, and constructed someone who looked exactly like the Sidhe-warrior, and fed him all the pertinent details.
It was easier and simpler to believe in the Sidhethe Wise Ones who had stolen away his granny's brother, because great-grandfather had beaten him once too often, for things he could not help. He remembered his granny's tales of that, too, for Patrick had been granny's favorite brother, and she'd told the story over and over. Poor Patrick; from the vantage point of near seventy-five years Sam knew what Patrick's problem had been, and it hadn't been willfulness or clumsiness. They'd have called him "dyslexic," these days, and given him special teaching to compensate. . . .
"We helped him," Keighvin said, as if reading his mind again. "We helped him, and sent him over the sea to this new land, and our kin here in Elfhame Fairgrove. He prospered, married a mortal girl, raised a family. Remind me to introduce you to your cousins, one day."
"Cousins?" Sam said, faintly. "I think I need to sit down."
". . . so, that was when the Fairgrove elvenkin got interested in racing," Tannim said, as Sam held tight to his cup of coffee, and Keighvin nodded from time to time. Sam sat on an overturned bucket, Tannim perched like a gargoyle on top of an aluminum cabinet, and Keighvin leaned against one of the sleek, sensuous racecars. Now that there was no need to counterfeit the noise of a real metal shop, things were much quieter, though there was no less activity. "Now roughly a fourth of the SERRA members are either elves or human mages. At first it was mostly for enjoyment. The Fairgrove elves in particular got interested in the idea of using racing to get some of their members out into the human world, the way things used to be in the old days."
"Aye," Keighvin seconded, leaning back against a shining, black fender, and patting it absent-mindedly, as if it was a horse. "In the old days, it could be you'd have met one of the Sidhe at any crossroads, looking for a challenge. You'd have found a kelpie at every fordand on moonlit nights, the woods and meadows would be thick with dancing parties. Plenty of the Sidhe like humans, Sam; you give us a stimulus we sorely need. It was Cold Iron that drove us Underhill, Sam, and Cold Iron that drove us away, across the sea. It's deadly to us, as your granny doubtless told you."
"But" Sam protested, gesturing with his coffee cup. "What aboutthat? You're leaning against Cold Iron."
Keighvin grinned, white teeth gleaming in a way that reminded Sam sharply that the man was no human. "That I'm not." He moved away from the car, and the cartwisted.
It writhed like something out of a drug-dream. Sam had to close his eyes for a moment; when he opened them, there was no car there at all, but a sleek, black horse, with wicked silver eyes. It winked at him, and stamped a delicate hoof on the concrete. Sparks struck and died.
"An elvensteed," Tannim said, with a chuckle. "That's how the pointy-eared smartasses got into racing in the first place. They transformed the elvensteeds into things that looked like cars, at least on the outside. But once club racing started having inspections"
"I'd have found it damned difficult to explain a racecar with no motor," Keighvin supplied, as the elvensteed nuzzled his shoulder. "Rosaleen Dhu can counterfeit most things, including all the right noises for an engine to make, but not the engine itself. Only something that looks superficially like an engine."
Black Rose. She's beautiful. . . .
Tannim gestured at the lovely creature with his chin. "And that's how Fairgrove is setting the pace in aerodynamics, too. Put an elvensteed in a wind-tunnel, and alter the design by telling it what you want. No weeks of making body-bucks and laying fiberglass." Tannim gloated, and Sam didn't blame him. This was better even than computer modeling.
"Butyou're still racing now, with a real team" Sam protested. "With real carsreal engines"
"With every part we can manage being replaced with nonferrous materials," Tannim told him. "That's what we started doing even before the inspections. It was no challenge to race an elvensteed that can reach half the speed of sound against Tin Lizzies. It was a challenge to try and improve on human technology."
Keighvin held up his hands, and only then did Sam notice he was wearing thin leather gloves, black to match his coverall. Sam also noted a black web belt and a delicate silver-and-silk-sheathed knife, more decorative than a tool. "And for those things that can't be replaced by something other than iron and steel, well, some of us have built up a kind of tolerance to Death Metal. Enough that we can handle it if we're protectedand we try not to work much magic about it." He patted the horse's neck. "I'll explain the Laws of it all to you laterand how we're breaking them."
Tannim jumped down off the cabinet, catching Sam's eye, and began pacing. Sam suspected he needed to ease an ache in that bad leg. "Racing and building cars was what lured the elvenkin out from Underhill," he said. "But racing wasn't the real reason that some of the elves wanted more of their company out in the human world, and to be more active in it."
"Some didn't approve" Keighvin said.
"But most of Fairgrove did," Tannim interjected. "And now we have to get into some old history. That's Keighvin's subject."
The horse had turned back into a car again while Sam had been watching Tannim; Keighvin leaned back against its fender (flank?) and folded his arms.
"Do you have any idea why I confronted your father that night, Sam Kelly?" Keighvin asked. "Or what I was talking about, with your great-uncle and all?"
Sam blurted the first thing that came into his head. "The Fair Folk steal childreneverybody knows that"
A moment later he wanted to go hit his head against a wall. Now you're for it, Sam Kelly. Why not go into a gay gym and tell the boys there that you've heard they seduce six-year-olds?
But strangely, Keighvin didn't look the least bit angry "Aye, Sam, we steal children. The Seleighe Court does, at any rate. To save them. Children bein' beaten within an inch of their lives, children bein' left cold and hungry and tied t' the bedpost all day, children bein' sold and slaved. . . . Oh aye, we steal children. Whenever we can, whenever we know of one in danger of losing life or soul, or heart, and we can get at them, aye, we steal them." Keighvin's expression was dark, brooding. "We used to do other things, too. There are some problems, Sam, that can be fixed by throwing money at them, as you yourself were thinking earlier. Not all of those problems are technical, either. Do you mind some of the other stories your granny used to tell? About the leprechauns, or the mysterious strangers who gave gold where it was most needed?"
"Aye," Sam replied, again falling into the brogue of his childhood, to match the lilt of Keighvin's speech. "But those strangers were the holy saints, or angels in disguise, sent from the Virgin, she said"
Keighvin snorted. "Holy saints? Is that what you mortal folk decided? Nay, Sam, 'twas us. At least, it was us when there were hungry children to feed, and naught to feed them with; when there was no fuel in the house, and children freezing. When some mortal fool sires children, but won't be a father to them, leaving the mother to struggle alone. Our kindwe don't bear as easily or often as you. Children are rare and precious things to us. We're impelled to protect and care for them, even when they aren't our own."
Suddenly a great many of the old stories took on a whole new set of meanings. . . . But Keighvin was continuing.
"This isn't the old days, though, when a stranger could give a poor lass a handful of silver and gold in return for a kindness. For one thing, the girl would be thought a thief, like as not, when she tried to trade it for paper money. For another, someone would want to track down whoever gave it to her. We have to truly, legitimately, earn money before we can give it away."
Tannim shook his head in mock sadness. "Oh, now that's a real pity, isn't ityou elves having to work for a living. What's the world coming to?"
Keighvin cast the young man a sharp glance. "One of these days, my lad, that tongue of yours is going to cast you into grief."
Tannin chuckled, uncowed by the fire in Keighvin's eye. "You're too late, it already has." He turned to Sam. "These boys can literally create anything, if they've studied it long enough beforehand. We've been making foamed aluminum engine blocks ever since Keighvin here got his hands on a sample from a Space Shuttle experiment." He hopped back up onto his cabinet, crossing his legs like a Red Indian. "I'm not even going into how we got that. But, we've been using the stuff in our carsnow, can you imagine what we could charge some of the big boys to duplicate their designs in foamed cast aluminum?"
Indeed, Sam could. And the major racing teams had a great deal of money to play with. "So that's why you set up this shop, Fairgrove Industriesbut what do you need me for?"
"We need a front-man," Tannim said, leaning forward in his eagerness to explain himself. "We need someone who can give a convincing explanation of how we're doing all this, and show us how to create a setup that will at least look like we're making the things by some esoteric process and not by magic."
"But there isn't any process" Sam began. "There isn't a firm in the world that could duplicate"
Tannim waved a negatory hand in the air.
"It doesn't matter if no one else can duplicate what we do," he said blithely. "They'll expect us to have trade secrets. We just need someone who knows all the right techno-babble, and can make it sound convincing. As long as you can come up with something that's possible in theory, that's all we need. We'll keep on buying machines that go bing, and you leak tech reports to the curious."
Sam couldn't help himself; he started to laugh. Tannim and Keighvin both looked confused and surprised. "What's so funny?" Tannim asked.
"Do you know much science fiction?" he asked, through his chuckles. Keighvin shook his head. Tannim shrugged. "A little. Why?"
"Because a very famous author, Arthur C. Clarkewho also happens to be one of the world's finest scientists and engineerssaid once that technology that's complicated enough can't be told from magic."
"So?" Tannim replied.
Sam started laughing again. "Sosufficiently complex magic is indistinguishable from technology!"
Keighvin looked at Tannim for an explanation; the latter shrugged. "Beats me," the young man said with a lopsided smile, as Sam wheezed with laughter. "Sometimes I don't understand us either."
It was nearly midnight when they'd gotten the basic shape of a plan hammered out. By then, they'd moved into Keighvin's officea wonderful place with a huge, plate-glass window that looked out into what seemed to be an absolutely virgin glade. The office itself was designed to be an extension of the landscape outside, with plants standing and hanging everywhere, and even a tiny fountain with goldfish swimming in it.
"Well, I'm going to have to go home and sleep on this," Sam said, finally. "Then get into some of the journals and see what kind of a convincing fake I can concoct before I can definitely say I'll take the job."
He started to get up, but Keighvin waved him down again. "Not quite yet, Sam," he said, his expression grave. "There's just one thing more we need to tell you about. And you may decide not to throw in your lot with us after you've heard it."
"Why?" he asked, a little surprised.
"Because Fairgrove has enemies," Tannim supplied, from his own nook, surrounded by ferns. "Not `Fairgrove Industries.' I mean Elfhame Fairgrove, the Underhill Seleighe community here." He leaned back a little. "Keighvin, I think the ball's in yourah`court.' So to speak."
Keighvin didn't smile. "Sam, how much did your granny ever tell you about the Seleighe and Unseleighe Court elves?"
Sam had to think hard about that. Granny had died when he was barely ten; fifty-five years was a long time. And yet, her stories had been extraordinarily vivid, and had left him with lasting impressions.
"Mostly, she told stories withI guess you'd saygood elves and bad elves. Elves who wanted to help humans, at least, and elves who wanted only to hurt them. She said you really couldn't tell them apart, if you were a human childthat even human adults could be easily misled, and that sometimes even the good elves didn't know who was good and who was bad. She said the Unseleighe Court even had agents in the Seleighe Court. She just warned me to steer clear of both if I ever met either kind, until I was old enough to defend myself, and could tell a glib lie from the truth."
Keighvin nodded, his hair beginning to escape from the pony-tail. "Good enough. And that fairly sums it up. There's the Seleighe Courtthat's us, and things like elvensteeds and dryads, selkies, pukas, owls, things that can pass as humans and things that never could. Oh, and there's creatures native to this side of the water that have allied themselves with the Seleighe Court as well. And for the most part, the very worst one of us wishes is that the humans would go away." The Sidhe looked out into the forest beyond the glass, but Sam had the feeling he was seeing something else entirely. "For the most part, we're interested in coexisting with your kind, even if it forces us to have to change. Many of us are interested in helping your kind. We have the power of magic, but you have the twin powers of technology and numbers. One on oneyou humans are no match for us. But population against populationwe've lost before we even start."
"All right," Sam agreed. "I can see that. What about the Unseleighe Court?"
"They hate you, one and all," Keighvin replied, somberly. "There are elves among them; and many, many things straight out of your worst childhood nightmares: bane-sidhe, boggles, trolls, things you've never heard of. The Morrigan is their Queen, and a terrible creature she is; she hates all things living, even her own people." His eyes darkened with what looked to Sam like a distant echo of pain. "They hate us, too, for wanting to coexist with you; they're constantly at war with us. They want you gone, and they're active in fostering anything that kills you off. If you run across a human conflict that seems senseless, often as not, they have a hand in it. Not that you humans aren't adept at creating misery for yourselves, but the Unseleighe Court has a vested interest in fostering that misery, and in propagating it. And they don't like the idea that Fairgrove is a little further along the path of easing some of it."
"All right so far," Sam said, a little puzzled, "but what's that got to do with me?"
"We have agents in their ranks, just as they have agents in ours," Keighvin told him. "We've gotten word that some of their lot that can pass as human have found out what we're planning, and are going to try to expose us as frauds."
"It'll be Preston Tucker all over again," Tannim put in, his own expression grim. "Without someone with a spotless reputation fronting for us, they can do it, too. They can claim we've stolen our samples, that the engine blocks aren't what we say they are, and that we have no real intention of manufacturing the products. It's happened enough times in this industry that people are likely to believe itespecially with a bit of glamorie behind their words and a strong publicity campaign. Your actions will be the saving of usas Keighvin's was of you and your father."
"No one's ever heard of us, except as a racing team," Keighvin said, leaning forward in his chair; giving Sam all of his attention. "But they know you. Your reputation can give us the time we need to actually build a few customers. Once we have that, it won't matter what they say. They'll have to come after us some other way. But there's the danger. They will. And not only us, but you."
Oddly enough, the threat to himself didn't bother Sam. In fact, if anything, it added a little spice to the prospect. Terrorists and fanatics who threatened folk just because they were American frightened him; there was no predicting people like that, and there was something cold and impersonal about their enmity. Give him a real, honest enemy every time. You knew where you stood with a real enemy; you knew whose side you were on. After all, hating a country takes away its faces, but hating someone because of what he did was something he could get a grip on.
"To tell you the truth," Tannim put in, "I'd have been a lot more worried before I saw how you've got your home defenses rigged. Even a creature with magic is going to have trouble passing them. And once I add my two cents' worth, I think you'll be in fairly good shape to hold them off if you have to."
"Your two cents' worth?" Sam asked quizzically. Tannim grinned and shruggedand Sam remembered the odd protections around the car. This Tannim might not be one of the Fair Folk, but there was no doubt he held his own in their company.
More of Sam's granny's lore was coming back to him. There was, surprisingly, a lot of it. And the things he remembered about the Unseleighe Court were unpleasant indeed, especially when it occurred to him that she had undoubtedly toned things down for his young ears. Now he wondered how much she hadn't told him, and how important that information was.
And where she had gotten it from. The "missing" brother, perhaps? He made a mental note to ask Keighvin about that some time.
Stillhere was a chance to see things very few other humans had seen. A chance to be useful again. He'd retired only because he'd had no choice. He had enjoyed the first few weeks of his vacation, but truth to tell, he was getting bored. There were only so many things he could do to improve the house. He hated fishing. He could only watch so much television before feeling the urge to throw something at the tube.
"All right," he said. "I'll do it Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes. You've got your man."
The little that remained of the evening passed in a blur. Tannim took him home againand this time did not treat him to a mini-race on the driveway. Neither of them said much, except to set a dinner meeting for that eveningsince it was already "tomorrow," being well past midnight.
Tannim waited until he was safely sealed inside his little fortress before driving off; he wasn't certain if that was a wise precaution, or real paranoia. Surely the Unseleighe Court denizens wouldn't already know he'd agreed to help Fairgrove?
Then again, this was magic he was dealing with; as unknown in its potentials as a new technology. Maybe they could know.
Thoreau was lying beside the door, patiently but obviously waiting for his promised treat. Sam headed for the kitchen and dished out a tiny portion of canned food. Thoreau didn't need extra pounds any more than a human did, and these late-night snacks were the only time he got canned food. The rest of the time, he had to make do with dry.
Thoreau was one of the more interesting dogs Sam had ever owned. Instead of greedily gobbling down his treat, he ate it slowly, licking it like a child trying to make an ice-cream cone last. Sam left him to it and went to his library in the office, but didn't immediately pull down some of the reference materials he'd mentally selected.
Instead, he sat with hands idly clasped on the desk for a long moment, wondering if, when he did go to bed, he'd wake up in the morning to find that all this had been a dream.
Something crackled in his jacket pocket as he took it off, and he found the envelope with the check in it still in his breast pocket.
"All right," he said to Thoreau, as the dog padded into the study, licking his chops with satisfaction. "Maybe it is a dream. Maybe there are fairy checks as well as fairy gold. But it's here now." He planted the envelope under his favorite paperweight, a bronze replica of the Space Shuttle Challenger. "If it's gone in the morning, I'll know it was a dream. But for now, all we can do is try. Eh, Thoreau?"
Thoreau wagged his stub of a tail in agreement, and put his head down on his paws as Sam got up and began pulling books and bound magazines down off the shelf. He'd seen this before. He knew it was going to be a long night.
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