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"A tragedy from the past that will not die."
Reverend Renner's quiet, well-ordered Michigan life is turned upside down after he purchases a pair of nineteenth-century ice skates at a yard sale. First an enormous black dog takes to following him all over town, and then the skates attach themselves to his feet in the middle of the night. Frightened but curious, Renner seeks help from the one man he d most like to avoid, ex-linebacker Dale Quist. Together, Renner and Quist work to unravel the mystery of the skates, a potentially fatal task that will lead them to England, and one of London s greatest historical disasters.
telling the truth,” Chico said when they reached it. “Must be a first.” Williams glared at him as Billy Marshall pointed his flashlight into the dark depths of the cave. “Well?” Williams said. “Look at the earth around here,” Billy said. “It’s fresh. The blasting must have taken away the side of the slope enough to open the cave.” “See anything?” Chico said. Billy shook his head. “Too dark.” Chico edged past him and peered into the blackness. “Wonder what’s down there.” “Probably bats,
tree farm. Even setting aside my ministerial duties, it has been, by any standard, an unusual couple of years. So thinking, I muttered a prayer and reached for my wallet. Fifty dollars, on my salary, would assure me another month’s worth of macaroni and cheese. On my walk home, with the skates clutched to my chest, I spotted a large black mutt watching me from behind a shaded clump of burning bush. Its tongue lolled over its wide pink jowls, and it panted just like a normal overheated dog, but
liking. “I didn’t have a choice.” “Oh, come on. You couldn’t just walk away?” “I tried. Twice.” Maybe it was the fact that his ridiculous round glasses did not, for once, slip down his nose, but whatever it was, I believed him. I didn’t want to, but I did. “Well,” I said, “my view is, we research the hell out of these, and then once we know how, we destroy them.” “What, like Lord of the Rings?” “Reverend, be serious.” Renner gave me one of his condescending sighs. He’s a real marksman with
trying to find it in the pitch darkness—see, I read once where real dark is the only thing that truly rests the eyes, so I’ve got blackout drapes and aluminum foil over the windows—but I finally got hold of the receiver. It was Renner—of course—and boy, was he having some kind of red-eyed conniption. “The dog!” he kept shouting. “The dog, the dog!” At that hour, I swear I’d forgotten all about the dog, the skates, everything. “Reverend!” I yelled into the phone—shouting so loud I made myself
that we honor an entire spectrum of faith traditions, paganism included. I just never thought that people like that would be using those same rituals.” “‘People like that,’” I reminded him, “happen to be my friends.” “Of course.” He nodded, adjusted his glasses and shifted his whole body behind the mesh strap of the seatbelt to better face me. “What do we do now?” “I take you home. And I keep the skates locked up—with a lock where you don’t know the combo.” “And then?” “Don’t know. Looks