“Of course, friend,” the shopkeeper said obsequiously. “There is just one last matter to attend to.”

“Which is?”

With calloused hands, the old man spread what looked like ten additional keys on the table. “Do you wish to buy…all the keys to your new domicile?”


“I understand, friend, if you prefer not to. But I’ve my investment in having them made for all rooms, surely you can understand if I rent or sell them to any other interested parties if you decline.”

Eyes narrowed. “How much for the set?”

“Oh, a considerable amount, I assure you.”

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