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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)

“It isn’t cheating,” Jordie had snorted. “It’s just good business. And how are ordinary people supposed to move up in the world without a little extra help?”

Mister Hertzoon had Jordie and Filip place the orders with three separate offices to make sure such a large purchase didn’t garner unwanted attention. News of the failed crop came in, and sitting in the coffeehouse, the boys had watched the prices on the chalkboard rise, trying to contain their glee.

When Mister Hertzoon thought the shares had gone as high as they could go, he sent Jordie and Filip to sell out and collect. They’d returned to the coffeehouse, and Mister Hertzoon had handed both of them their profits straight from his safe.

“What did I tell you?” Jordie said to Kaz as they headed out into the Ketterdam night. “Luck and good friends!”

Only a few days later, Mister Hertzoon told them of another tip he’d received from his friend the captain, who’d gotten similar word on the next crop of jurda. “The rains are hitting everyone hard this year,” Mister Hertzoon said. “But this time, not only the fields were destroyed, but the warehouses down by the docks in Eames. This is going to be big money, and I intend to go in heavy.”

“Then we should, too,” said Filip.

Mister Hertzoon had frowned. “I’m afraid this isn’t a deal for you, boys. The minimum investment is far too high for either of you. But there will be more trades to come!”

Filip had been furious. He’d yelled at Mister Hertzoon, told him it wasn’t fair. He said Mister Hertzoon was just like the merchants at the Exchange, hoarding all the riches for himself, and called Mister Hertzoon names that had made Kaz cringe. When he’d stormed out, everyone at the coffeehouse had stared at Mister Hertzoon’s red, embarrassed face.

He’d gone back to his office and slouched down in his chair. “I … I can’t help the way business is done. The men running the trade want only big investors, people who can support the risk.”

Jordie and Kaz had stood there, unsure of what to do.

“Are you angry with me, too?” asked Mister Hertzoon.

Of course not, they assured him. Filip was the one who was being unfair.

“I understand why he’s angry,” said Mister Hertzoon. “Opportunities like this one don’t come along often, but there’s nothing to be done.”

“I have money,” said Jordie.

Mister Hertzoon had smiled indulgently. “Jordie, you’re a good lad, and someday I have no doubt you’ll be a king of the Exchange, but you don’t have the kind of funds these investors require.”

Jordie’s chin had gone up. “I do. From the sale of my father’s farm.”

“And I expect it’s all you and Kaz have to live on. That’s not something to be risked on a trade, no matter how certain the outcome. A child your age has no business—”

“I’m not a child. If it’s a good opportunity, I want to take it.”