Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
Kaz exited Haskell’s room, and Inej left her perch to wait for him as he limped his way up the stairs.
“Rojakke?” he asked as he passed her and started up the second flight.
“Gone,” she said, falling in behind him.
“He put up much of a fight?”
“Nothing I couldn’t handle.”
“Not what I asked.”
“He was angry. He may come back around looking for trouble.”
“Never a shortage of that to hand out,” Kaz said as they reached the top floor. The attic rooms had been converted into his office and bedroom. She knew all those flights of stairs were brutal on his bad leg, but he seemed to like having the whole floor to himself.
He entered the office and without looking back at her said, “Shut the door.”
The room was mostly taken up by a makeshift desk—an old warehouse door atop stacked fruit crates—piled high with papers. Some of the floor bosses had started using adding machines, clanking things crowded with stiff brass buttons and spools of paper, but Kaz did the Crow Club tallies in his head. He kept books, but only for the sake of the old man and so that he had something to point to when he called someone out for cheating or when he was looking for new investors.
That was one of the big changes Kaz had brought to the gang. He’d given ordinary shopkeepers and legitimate businessmen the chance to buy shares in the Crow Club. At first they’d been skeptical, sure it was some kind of swindle, but he’d brought them in with tiny stakes and managed to gather enough capital to purchase the dilapidated old building, spruce it up, and get it running. It had paid back big for those early investors. Or so the story went. Inej could never be sure which stories about Kaz were true and which were rumors he’d planted to serve his own ends. For all she knew, he’d conned some poor honest trader out of his life savings to make the Crow Club thrive.
“I’ve got a job for you,” Kaz said as he flipped through the previous day’s figures. Each sheet would go into his memory with barely a glance. “What would you say to four million kruge?”
“Money like that is more curse than gift.”
“My little Suli idealist. All you need is a full belly and an open road?” he said, the mockery clear in his voice.
“And an easy heart, Kaz.” That was the difficult part.
Now he laughed outright as he walked through the door to his tiny bedroom. “No hopes of that. I’d rather have the cash. Do you want the money or not?”
“You’re not in the business of giving gifts. What’s the job?”
“An impossible job, near certain death, terrible odds, but should we scrape it…” He paused, fingers on the buttons of his waistcoat, his look distant, almost dreamy. It was rare that she heard such excitement in his raspy voice.