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A picaresque novel about the adventures of a 19th-century circus, from the embittered post-Civil War South to the glittering and decadent capitals and courts of Europe. From the bestselling author of Aztec and The Journeyer.
reached for the door. "Come on. You can even satisfy your cavalryman's curiosity. About whether this filly's tail matches her mane." "Wait a minute. I want to ask—are you Florian's woman?" She tossed off the dregs in her cup. "When he needs one." "And when he needs somebody persuaded of something, he uses you for that, too?" "That's not very flattering, Zachary. To yourself or to me, either one." "I just wouldn't want you to do something under duress, and find out afterward it went for
at her, finally. "Nay, instead I'll tell ye an old tale the tinkers do tell. This jackeen comes to Biddy Early, d'ye see, and he asks the witchwoman for a talisman that will keep his pretty wife faithful to him. Biddy tells him he already has such a thing. Jackeen says what? She says 'tis a magic ring, boyo. Jackeen says where is it, then? Old Biddy says 'tis 'twixt your woman's legs. As long as ye keep your finger in that ring, never cuckolded can ye be." "Oh, Pepper, dearest one, I've not been
a damn. At the seventh or eighth stop, when Florian got out, the train was in the middle of a featureless immensity of grass extending to the circle of the horizon all around—no water tank, no coal bunker, no signalman's izboushka, nothing. Clearly something had gone wrong with the train itself, for most of the crew were squatting beside one bogie wheel at the end of one of the goods wagons. The moon was rising just then, full and huge and amber, laying a long, golden, shimmering reflection
packed up their belongings, their clocks and other acquisitions, shouldered arms, formed up in parade and marched out again. It may have been unfortunate for the French Republic that the unusually fine weather did not depart with them. If the month of March had turned to its usual blustery chill, the ensuing events might not have occurred. But no sooner had the Germans cleared the city limits than the red-sashed militiamen flocked from their outlying districts into the city's center to punish
come, Fitz, you bought me full jugs and yourself only empty bottles?" "They won't be empty long. They're for my tonic. And I'd like to ask a favor, Abner. Can I pour just a dab of your whiskey into each bottle? It'll give some authority to the other contents." "I reckon. Just a dab, mind. What else is going in?" "Mag says she's got some tincture of ipecac I can have. That's pretty authoritative, too, in its way. And Clover Lee says she's just washed out some red tights, so the wash water is a