From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Preston & Child, an all-new short story featuring Agent Pendergast, available only as an ebook and audio download. In New Orleans' French Quarter, the Tooth Fairy isn't a benevolent sprite who slips money under your pillow at night....he's a mysterious old recluse who must be appeased with teeth--lest he extract retribution. When young Diogenes Pendergast loses a tooth, however, his skeptical older brother Aloysius is determined to put the legend to the test...with dire consequences.
October 16, 2012
Grand Central Publishing
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Three people occupied the large, dimly lit library within the mansion that stood alone and aloof at 891 Riverside Drive, New York City. Two of them sat in armchairs before a crackling fire. One, Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast, was paging listlessly through a catalog of Bordeaux wine futures. Across from him, his ward Constance was absorbed in a treatise titled Medieval Trephination: Tools and Techniques.
The third occupant of the room was not seated, but instead paced irritably up and down. He was a strange, comical figure: small of stature, dressed in a swallowtail coat, with all manner of odd charms and relics dangling from his neck on silver chains, which clanked and jingled with his movements. As he walked, he supported himself upon a cudgel-like cane whose handle was carved into the semblance of a grinning skull. Now and then his stomach could be heard to growl in empty complaint. This was Monsieur Bertin, Pendergast’s old childhood tutor in natural history, zoology, and more outré subjects. He was currently in New York City, visiting his old protégé.
“This is outrageous!” he called across the library. “Fou, très fou! Why, in New Orleans I would have finished dinner hours ago. Look—it’s practically midnight!”
“It’s not yet half past eight, maître,” Pendergast said with a faint smile.
A form appeared in the doorway of the library, and Pendergast glanced over. “Yes, Mrs. Trask?”
“It’s Cook,” the housekeeper replied. “She’s asked me to tell you that dinner will be half an hour late.”
Bertin gave an expostulation of disgust.
“I’m afraid she overboiled the pasta,” Mrs. Trask went on, “and will have to make another batch.”
“Tell her not to concern herself about it,” Pendergast replied. “We’re in no rush.”
Mrs. Trask nodded, turned, and vanished from sight.
“No rush!” Bertin said. “Speak for yourself. Here I am, a guest in your house—starved like a prisoner in the Bastille. After tonight, my digestion will . . .
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