Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
“Saints,” grumbled Nina. “I’ve probably done that.”
“Everyone does,” said Inej.
Jesper lifted a brow. “Not everyone.”
“That’s only because you never have anything in your wallet,” Nina shot back.
“Facts are for the unimaginative,” Jesper said with a dismissive wave.
“Now, a bad thief,” continued Kaz, “one who doesn’t know his way around, just makes the grab and tries to run for it. Good way to get pinched by the stadwatch. But a proper thief—like myself—nabs the wallet and puts something else in its place.”
“Bunk biscuit is just a name. It can be a rock, a bar of soap, even an old roll if it’s the right size. A proper thief can tell the weight of a wallet just by the way it changes the hang of a man’s coat. He makes the switch, and the poor mark keeps tapping his pocket, happy as can be. It’s not until he tries to pay for an omelet or lay his stake at a table that he realizes he’s been done for a sucker. By then the thief is someplace safe, counting up his scrub.”
Wylan shifted unhappily in his chair. “Duping innocent people isn’t something to be proud of.”
“It is if you do it well.” Kaz gave a nod to the prison wagon, now rumbling its way up the road toward the Ice Court and the second checkpoint. “We’re going to be the biscuit.”
“Hold on,” said Nina. “The door locks on the outside. How do we get in and get the door locked again?”
“That’s only a problem if you don’t know a proper thief. Leave the locks to me.”
Jesper stretched out his long legs. “So we have to unlock, unchain, and incapacitate six prisoners, take their places, and somehow get the wagon sealed tight again without the guards or the other prisoners being the wiser?”
“Any other impossible feats you’d like us to accomplish?”
The barest smile flickered over Kaz’s lips. “I’ll make you a list.”
* * *
Proper thievery aside, Inej would have liked a proper night’s sleep in a proper bed, but there would be no comfortable stay at an inn, not if they were going to find their way onto a prison wagon and into the Ice Court before Hringkälla began. There was too much to do.
Nina was sent out to chat up the locals and try to discover the best place to lay their ambush for the wagon. After the horrors of Gestinge’s herring, they’d demanded Kaz provide something edible, and were waiting for Nina in a crowded bakery, nursing hot cups of coffee mixed with chocolate, the wreckage of demolished rolls and cookies spread out over their table in little piles of buttery crumbs. Inej noted that Matthias’ mug sat untouched before him, slowly cooling as he stared out the window.
“This must be hard for you,” she said quietly. “To be here but not really be home.”
He looked down at his cup. “You have no idea.”