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The Purloined Pearl.

The mahogany hull creaked and groaned under the weight of it. A glimmering orange glow seeped down through the long slits in the timbers of the deck above, affording glimpses of such wonders that lay below. The sacks filled with tea, the barrels of spices, the bags stuffed with soft silks. Riches brought from exotic far off shores. They made their way across the salted sea; their destination the parlours of the privileged, the dressing rooms of duchesses. The structure swayed gently as the dust settled on the air. Little footsteps sneaked soundlessly through the treasures. A pearl slipped into a pocket here, a silken scarf squirreled up the sleeve there. A thief! A small one in yellowed shirt and embroidered waistcoat, with glinting eyes and scruffy hair. The thief expertly worked its way through the hoard, little hands nimbly selecting the desirables before swiftly disappearing off into the night.

By Amy Jones.

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