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The Smugglers
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The Smugglers

Written by Iain LawrenceAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Iain Lawrence


· Yearling
· eBook · March 12, 2009 · $5.99 · 978-0-307-54672-2 (0-307-54672-1)
Also available as a trade paperback.

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I fetched a lantern and went right to the depths of the ship, where water, brown and fetid, slurped among the timbers. I went through the darkness in a circle of light, frightening cockroaches into shelter, hearing the groans and creaks of the hull as it worked. The places where I had to go were small and cramped, and I slithered through them as the lantern made the shadows zoom and tilt.

And someone came behind me.

When I stopped, he was silent. When I moved, so did he. I heard a faint creaking of wood as he crept up, closing the distance. He was quiet as a cat. And suddenly I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I cried out, startled, as he pushed me down against the hull.

"You're in danger, boy," said he.

I tried to lift myself, to turn and see him, but the sailor held me down.

"Watch yourself," he said. "There's one aboard who'll kill you."

"Who?"

For a moment I only heard him breathing. He said, "The one who seems least likely."

"But who?" I asked again.

He pressed harder on my shoulder. "He'll want the dead man's secrets. See you keep them safe."

"Who are you?" I asked.

"A man you never saw." And then the hand was gone.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from The Smugglers by Iain Lawrence. Excerpted by permission of Yearling, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.