“You’re missing the point,” Ethel said to Topsy.

“Oh, am I?” Topsy squawked. “Well, perhaps you’d care to enlighten me.” Beyond the bird’s usual squawky register, Ethel definitely detected a note of anger and sarcasm.

“If we steal the jewels from Agnes Oxtoby, we’re doing her a favor, and Colonel Oxtoby as well,” said Ethel. “We owe it to them–to ourselves–to try.”

Topsy cocked his head. “That’s the worst excuse for petty larceny I’ve ever heard. We owe it to them to steal from them? And I suppose we owed it to Lord Chatham to clean out his account, as well?”

“No, he deserved that. But think about it. That jewel is insured, so Agnes Oxtoby won’t be put out by it. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll stop wearing it out for her little trysts. Or the Colonel will catch her. Either way it will strengthen their marriage.”

“Or ruin it,” drawled Topsy.

“Like I said, we owe it to them,” said Ethel. “Now, are you going to help me steal and fence this jewel, or am I going to sell you to the circus for an equivalent amount?”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!