Grand Guginol

“So why’s the gun pointed at me head?”

Because you had the stupidity to not let the matter go. Phillips showed similar stubbornness in his inquiries into the Qanya music. Because he wasn’t a direct threat to me, I thought that I could persuade him to hand over the music the now-deceased manager found as part of an ongoing investigation. I wasn’t lying, but I neglected to mention that it was a private search for the Harmonicum Versisum.”

“How do ya know that was what he had?”

“Informants are useful for street level knowledge, particularly when you’re being pursued by the Mithraic Inquisition and are having a hard time acquiring the pieces of an ancient song cycle that said Inquisition would like back. One particular informant told me about a wife of a high-ranking Mithraic priest who had a lover on the side, a composer. He also mentioned that they both happened to have printings of music sheets made by an Inquisitor I buried in a potter’s field thirty years ago.”

“So Phillips had the new copy an’ the mistress the one in Qanya?”

“In one,” Bart said. “My guess, judging from the three hundred gold I pocketed at the shanty, was that Phillips was able to secure the Qanya sheets and a loan from his mistress and that both were to be delivered to you that night.”

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