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Eran, Judah’s half-brother, had a pair of priceless antique water jars similar to the one pictured here. His, about forty inches high, flanked a set of carved ebony doors. Miriam reaches inside one of them as she searches for the key to sneak into Eran’s study.

I lifted the lid and thrust my arm inside one of them. My hand stirred something dry, scaly, reptilian. Yikes! I sprang back as if I’d touched Vulcan’s forge. Maybe the other. I looked inside. Too dim. Biting my lip, taking a deep breath, reaching inside, this time gingerly, my fingers inched to the cool bottom. And there it was. Something hard. Metal. An L-shaped shaft with a hook on the end, a key attached to a ring sized for a man. A moment later, I had the key in my hand and was poking the shaft through the hole in one of the doors to lift the latch.

Now I am not going to defend Miriam’s invasion of her host’s privacy, but what on Earth does he keep in that hydria? Judah may have gotten a clue when he saw his brother drop in a toad, kicking and squirming. After that, he heard a rustle, a few thumps, and the hydria shifted on the polished floor.

As Miriam finds out, Eran is a man who guards his privacy. To be with her when she finds out why, Click here.

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