TO BE CONTINUED (Part 1, page 3 of 17)


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Part 1

As I held it up into the afternoon sunlight, now setting over the mountain crest, it did seem to move internally as expected. Light was refracting through the layers of packed crystals, like slow smoke. Lovely. And I was also thinking, at mind's backside, that technically this was on National Wilderness ground and so the gem was Federal property. Technically. But, I was a retired State agent who had worked with the Feds more than once...that had to count for something...correct? Yet I stomped my sudden and distasteful greed quickly. I had upheld the law too long to become thief and cheat now. Still...I could do a lot of good with the fortune from selling this--gee, maybe even MORE good than the Federal Government. Surely. Principal is more important than Loyalty. Well, first I had to sell the thing. Best to consider all my options tomorrow, after a good night's rest and with my entire body not aching as if I'd been run over by a steam roller, but just thoroughly beaten by a sand bag.

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