“Jesepi, how long have ghosts been haunting this island?”

“I can’t say for sure, but about the same time my mother’s mummy returned from Egypt.”

“Where did her power come from?”

She was a gypsy who abandoned my father to study the black arts. Her life’s ambition was to transcend death, and, in a way, she has.

“How do you get the mannequins into the stores?”

“We have a contract with a local fisherman, but Steven takes care of that.”

“I bet he does. It sounds like you depend on him. Would you be able to take me to the wharf?”

“But of course; it’s quite a distance, so we’ll need to take horses.”

As they rode in silence, Gregson looked at the ocean. It was magic. It was power. It was all those things that exist beyond the world.

The fisherman’s hut was nothing more than rotting planks and a dock you couldn’t trust to walk on. Rectangular boxes were stacked in perfect rows, accept one; it was splintered open, like a resurrected body got tired of lying there.

“We’d better chart your helicopter out of here and I need to call Jeff Bezos.”

“What for?”

He manufactured 40,000 flamethrowers and I’m told they’re very effective.”

Back at the castle, Gregson looked at Jesepi’s mother. “Has the hem of her dress always been unraveling?”


“And this glass has recently been removed.”


“I think you’d better talk with your butler.”

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