Disclaimer: Amelia Peabody and associates are the creations of Elizabeth Peters.

Note: Timeline? What timeline?

A Thief in the Night

By Lucidscreamer

Emerson was bellowing at the crowd of gawkers to do something useful and find a policeman or, failing that, a hot cup of tea to soothe my rattled nerves (nevermind that it was Emerson's nerves in need of soothing), and living up to his sobriquet as the Father of Curses. Pistol in hand, Ramses hovered nearby in the unlikely event I should require further assistance.

Scattered across the sand, delicate beads, a handful of gold rings, and a thick gold bracelet - all taken from the boxes we had so carefully packed them into earlier in the day - glittered in the torch-light. The would-be thief lay in a pathetic heap at my feet, his head and shoulders vague lumps beneath the fabric of the parasol with which I had encaged him, and his legs tangled 'round with the rope I always kept handy on my belt of tools (which, naturally, I had kept near to hand even after retiring into my tent for the night).

I myself was little the worse for wear, despite Emerson's endearing histrionics to the contrary. Sadly, one could not say the same for my beloved parasol. The miscreant shifted as though trying to regain his feet, and I took the opportunity to tug the ropes binding him a bit tighter. He subsided with a most gratifying yelp.

I allowed myself a small, satisfied smile. It had, after all, been my favorite parasol.