“You have to understand,” said Marie, “it was all just me trying to get these wild kids under control. I told them that if they brought me peaches that I’d make them peach cobbler.”

“Middle school kids can be a little nuts, it’s true,” said Officer Carruthers, clucking his tongue softly. “So they brought you peaches?”

“Yeah, a whole sack,” said Marie. “They ate the cobbler just fine, but then they asked if I could make more if they brought more peaches. They said they wanted to take the cobbler home to their folks.”

The officer raised an eyebrow. “How many did you make?”

“Abut fifty,” Marie said helplessly. “By the end I was teaching them how to make it themselves.”

“And it never occurred to you to ask where the peaches were coming from? You never saw the news stories about Abbott Orchards being repeatedly robbed by unknown perpetrators? About the suddenly thriving trade in petty drug dealers being paid in cobbler?”

“I swear, officer, I had no idea the kids were using me to launder their peaches,” Marie cried. “I thought they were calling me ‘the peach cobbler fence’ as a term of endearment!”

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