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By Rita Mae Brown

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He reached into his breast coat pocket and pulled out a sullied handkerchief. She spit on it and vigorously rubbed the inside of the ring. A faint glow of interior gold rewarded her. She put the ring almost to her eyeball. ” Jeep stood up and Mags helped her out of the three-foot-deep area. “Let’s go back to the house and I’ll show you. When the storm’s over I’ll get Pete out here. ” Mags’s green eyes questioned her great-aunt. “Tomorrow after the chores, the three of us are going to free what remains of this body from its prison.

She was only trying to be helpful, but it reminded Mags that her great-aunt didn’t welcome interruption or personal opinion when riveted by a problem or political exchange. The blackened ring caught Jeep’s eye as it had drawn Enrique’s. She handed the flashlight to her son. He held it steady. Mags and the dogs watched intently. Jeep slid off the ring—the distal and middle phalanxes came off with it, but did not disintegrate. She replaced the finger bones. Jeep looked down before studying the ring.

I’d flown a plane to our base in Montana. He always kept on his gloves except once, inside the base’s makeshift bar, he took them off. ” She paused. “Sometimes the Russians would come to Montana to pick up planes. They were our allies. Given that he was a colonel, I knew he was here for more than a plane. ” Mags, a good student of history, held out her palm. Jeep dropped the ring into it. “But Aunt Jeep, if this is the ring of an elite Russian school, wouldn’t the Soviet colonel have hidden it?

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