The study below was uncovered through research for the following Doctorial dissertation:
Light to the shadows of their mind:
Criminal tactics and strategies
Criminology Department Dept.
Case Study 14 :
Name: Seth circa 192…
Subject: A rather unprincipled & deviously unscrupulous scoundrel
From Seth’s Journal:
October 11, 192
It is truly amazing what people will talk about on a train. And I could not say the number of times I had collected a tidy sum by just keeping my ears open to such talk. The following remarkable account centered on a couple named Caboyt is my case in point.
I was traveling between cities, after finishing a weeks’ worth of “business”, successfully making a handsome “little” profit on the jewels I collected from several unsuspecting wealthy women.
I had spotted a young couple sitting alone at small table in the dining car. Taking a seat in the nearby bar I had taken the opportunity to observe them. They were newlyweds. I could tell by the way they had acted, and by the shiny new gold rings they sported. She was a very attractive long haired brunette, wearing a long flowing skirt and a high-necked satiny blouse with long sleeves. He was wearing a fitted suit, and by his expression, was ignorant of anything else but his bride’s existence. I too noticed her existence. Especially the existence of the solid gold necklace set with tiny rubies and diamonds she wearing, loosely hanging down from around her throat. When she talked, her hands made little motions, and it was a pleasure to watch her rings sparkle from fingers as she did so. When they left the dining car I stayed at the bar, quickly forgetting about the pair. I enjoyed a few drinks while anticipating the new opportunities that should be plentiful at my next stop.
Late that evening the newlyweds were abruptly placed back into my thoughts. As I made my way back to my car I saw them in their seats, sleeping soundly. Her head was on his shoulders, an arm curled around him. The head of her husband was back on the seat snoring. I noticed her necklace hanging provokingly down, flickering in the passing lights that lit up the car in ten second intervals. The back two rows of seats were vacant, so I slipped into the seat directly behind them. I slowly moved my fingers up behind her seat, dipping down I felt through her ultra-soft hair until my fingers felt the cold hardness of her necklace. I could feel the slippery sleekness of her blouse, and I will admit I did perk up in doing so. Ever so slowly I pulled it out, exposing its gold chain. Then I slipped it around, silently thanking her for the slickness of the high necked pretty blouse that made my attempt so easy. Finally I expose the clasp, and leaving it hanging sat back for a minute to let them settle. I watched it there, as the flicking lights lit it up, my hunger increasing in a prickling sensation I knew and loved so well, the thrill of the hunt. When I could contain myself no longer I reached up again and undid the clasp, then I began the delicate operation of slipping it from her throat. It took almost fifteen exhilarating minutes as I worked it free, exposing it’s; length over the seat ever longer. Then it came loose, and with a swish curled up into my palm. As the last of it slipped away my victim stirred a little, sighing in her sleep, she cuddled in even more. I waited a few more minutes, all was calm around me.
I eyed the sleeping couple. Following her arm that lay around her husband’s shoulder I could see her hand. A glittery ruby ring sparkled merrily in the passing lights. The ring was definitely not as valuable as the necklace in hand, but the allure of acquiring it overwhelmed me. Now slipping a ring from a ladies finger is of course, no great trick. If she happens to be sleeping soundly, like this one, its rather as easy as taking it from a baby.
(Which for the record I have never done, preferring my victims to be of a mature age. A mantra from which I have only strayed from once, for every rule commands an exception!
The exception for this rule was a matching set of sparklers; dangling cascading earrings, wide “lace” style necklace, bracelet and a brace of rings, all of it small and dainty, all of it quality diamond ,and best of all, invitingly obtainable.
Because the young miss laden down with those petite diamonds was all of fourteen years of age. And, as for the glossy taffeta gown that clung charmingly to her girlish figure? It cried out to even the most novice of us pickpockets to use its sleekness to execute a nimble “slip up and flick” maneuver to relieve this little squirming princess of some piece of her jewelry.
It had definitely been worth the Crown I had expended to the well-dressed young lad with a solid gold pocket watch hanging from his vest, to spend at the penny arcade, located in the bazaar across the street…. It successfully lured him temporarily away from the richly attired kid sister wearing the diamonds in question. He had been keeping an eye over her, a job for which I could tell he had been grudgingly delegated with, and which he happily abandoned; leaving the diamond laden impish young sister vulnerably exposed to the harsher realities of life.
I used the procured opening to cross the young sister’s path and with a perfectly timed ploy caught her in mid stride, the fingers of my right hand grabbing her by the gown’s sleek midriff causing her to totter over my arm. The fingers of my left moved in at the same moment.
The gown had indeed tingled quite pleasantly underneath my left hands fingers as they glided up along her taffeta slick back to lift up and break open the clasp of the silver chain, from which hung the dangling diamonds dripping down along her gown’s full neckline; As I gently plucked and straighten her gown with my right hand, my Left hand delicately began to pull away the necklace. I asked the young miss her where she was off to in such a hurry. She told me, in quick nervous breaths, that she was looking for her brother. As I listened intently, my left hand tugged, then slipped free her necklace, spiriting it away from her heaving chest with a muted swish. I watched it disappear, flickering its protest, as I held its pretty mistress’s attention. I pocketed it as she followed my pointing finger to the bazaar across the street where I explained her brother had gone.
I watched as she happily scurried away from me, blissfully naive that her necklace no longer was merrily bouncing along her chest as she moved. It was just then a rather full bosomed lady passed me by, nose in the air, a ruby brooch precariously perched in the cleavage of her low cut rustling gown. I followed, my mind calculating the risk.
As the train gently rocked back and forth I kept my eyes focused on the sleeping woman’s ring, first I licked my lips, then my fingers. Reaching up I gently slipped my fingers along hers, moistening them. Then I felt for her ring, and slightly lifter her finger, carefully worked the jewel off by rocking it back and forth between my fingertips. Once I had it over her knuckle, I stopped to catch my breath and look around, all was still quiet. I easily pulled it off the rest of the way, than lay back and closed my eyes. Soon both of them were snoring regularly. I than arose, stowing away the necklace securely, and walked silently amongst the other sleeping passengers. Unnoticed by anyone, I regained my car, took my seat, and laying back I closed my eyes, and happy with myself, fell into a deep sleep.
October 12, 192
The next morning I awoke to a bright sunrise, refreshed and satisfied with the previous evening’s effort. I now settled back comfortably and watched the scenery. There appeared to be no noticeable commotion at my end of the train over my nighttime activities. But it is the reason I stayed glued to my seat for the rest of my journey, and the reason I would make a rather informal acquaintance with Sophia and Arthur Caboyt.
The seat in front of me was occupied by a priest traveling with his rather ancient mother. Nothing that they were discussing had captured my interest the day before. The priest was spending the morning reading his bible, his mother snoozing, so it appeared neither would be saying anything to peak my interest this morning. So I closed my eyes, placed a thought in my head, and started dozing…….
She was a beauty, a ravishing brunette clad in a long purple satiny number. Her jewels were all sapphires, sparkling as she walked somewhat unsteadily up the path leading her away from the sanctity of the castle keep. I was following with curiosity, having seen her slip out the back way, looking for the entire world like a child sneaking out on her parents. She reached the top of the hill where it opened into a small glen. Off to the side lay a dark lake of calm water. As she stood by a cement bench on the bank of the lake the moon peeked out through the clouds, placing her in a pool of light. A pair of white swans swam over in curiosity. She bent down and lifted out her gloved hand to them, her rings and bracelet glistening radiantly.
She was not yet aware of being followed……
I must have fallen asleep, for next thing I knew I was rudely awakened as the train was ratcheting to a stop, whistle blowing. When the train finely halted, The priest and his mother departed. I still was going on for a distance so I kept my seat. I bid them a silent adieu; nothing about them had held my interest in any shape or form.
But the newcomers who took their seat turned out to be a whole other story.
A rather stern faced husband had escorted his chattering wife and basically maneuvered her into the seat. She was clad in a long silky, rather form fitting dress. She was wearing a nice display of glistening white pearls, and her fingers were home to several sparkly rings. By the way the pair carried themselves; I had no doubts the fair maidens jewels were the real McCoy. As I watched the diamond clasp of her pearl necklace from behind I again closed my eyes, once more reminiscing about the train ride on my first leg of the journey.
But this couple did not appear to be of the snatch and slip into the shadows type of prey to me. I opened my eyes, wide awake, my interest peaking as the wife’s shrill voice penetrated into me. No, I smelled real opportunity being handed to me by fate. Let me explain. In my line of business I had become a quick study of a person’s character. His was obviously that of an important ( in his mind) president( probably a bank) used to controlling all aspects of his life, including his wife. She was a quarrelsome chatterbox who was as opinionated as they come. My guess is that that he only had married her for her money, why else would he have put up with her? His name was Arthur, Hers was Sophia, and the last name was Caboyt, which perked my interest even more. Caboyt being a well-known name of a wealthy family from the large city where I had grew up as a child. The couple was attending a Charity Ball at some rather ritzy sounding establishment in a City four stops before mine. The more I heard, the more I smelled money to be made. So it was without a thought that I rose a minute after they did, and got off on the same stop, forgoing the rest of my travel plans. I quickly stashed my luggage in a locker and got out onto the street in time to see them getting into a hotel taxi.
I went in, collected my bags and hired a taxi to take me to an inexpensive hotel that he recommended. I checked in, prepaying for three nights to cover my tracks, threw my luggage on the bed. I looked in my stage case, and selected a reddish wig and matching moustache, trying them on for effect. Adding a pair of black, horn rimmed eye glasses completed the disguise
I grabbed another taxi had him drive me to the hotel they were staying at. Paying him off ,I crossed the street and positioned myself in a park. It was now early evening, the sun just dipping below the tall buildings.
I studied the situation from the park while sitting on a bench. It was older, with balconies extending outside each of the rooms. The balconies were cement rimmed, with low rails. If I could get a room above or below theirs, It would be a short, easy rope climb to their balcony. I went inside and inquired about available rooms for the next evening, the evening of the ball. As the clerk leafed through his book I studied the registry and soon located Sarah and Henry Caboyt’s listing. It was better than I had hoped. They couple were in room 311. 313, 413 and 213 were taken for the weekend but 315, right next door was available. Containing my excitement I took it, prepaying for two nights, giving the clerk a false ID . I explained that my luggage had been delayed, and that when it came I would just take it up myself.
I returned to the other hotel, and dressed and went out for dinner, forming my plans as I ate. Returning I packed a small valise, put on evening attire, and snuck out via a back stairway that led to a now shadowed alley.
Walking out I went up the street bus stop and hailed a taxi. He gave me a suspicious look as I gave him the name of a fancy hotel that was a couple of blocks away from where the Cabot’s, and I, were staying: but I put on my bigwig demeanor and ignored him. He let me off and as I made sure he drove off, went up the block and entered my new hotel, heading straight for the elevator, not even gaining a second glance from the well trained operator. I went into my room, whistling at the fancy digs, before setting up the groundwork for my little operation.
That evening I sleep soundly, almost falling deeply again into a dream.
I found myself in her room once again. There were two of them. Identical twin sisters who occupied adjoining rooms in the old keep of the ancient stronghold that had been turned into a posh resort for the ultra-rich.
They had both been attending the extravagant ball being held in the old main chamber of the castle. But one had been ill and left early, planning to take a strong sleeping draught to fight her ailment.
Making sure the remaining sister was still going strong at the ball, I melted away into the shadows, breaking into her room before the twelve strokes of midnight had sounded in the large grandfather clock at the end of the hall. It took no effort on my part; she had conveniently left her velvet jewel pouch on the nightstand. I quickly scooped out its contents in a couple of shimmering handfuls. It was going to be a good night I told myself happily.
I went to the door that joined the room where her twin was sleeping. I cautiously opened it, and then slipped inside.
She looked so beautifully innocent as she slept, her brown satin pajamas shimmering in the light of the full moon streaming through an open stone cased window. After a bit of searching I found her jewel case tucked under the pillow she was laying on. I had discovered it while sliding my hand underneath, and I now began to work the calfskin leather case free. As I did I saw something glimmer faintly in the moonlight? Looking closer I realized she had no removed the pendent she had been wearing around her neck. It was on a gold chain, a ruby surrounded by small diamonds. I freed her jewel case and quickly emptied its contents, only one brightly glistening handful, which joined her sister’s collection in my satchel. I then pulled back her hair and felt for the clasp of her necklace. Locating it I slid it into my view and unclasped it. Picking up one end I lifted it from her throat, and gently pulled the other end from beneath her. It went perfectly; she never stirred as I took it from her. One a whim I peeled back ever so gently the long sleeves of her pajamas, . One her left wrist she still wore a ruby and diamond bracelet. Lifting her wrist up enough so my fingers could reach I undid the clasp and pulled it free, hanging like a wide sparkling snake.
I listened at her door, all was quite. I stole away, sneaking down the old servants back stairway. It was as I was edging around the building to make a bolt for the woods and my escape, that I saw her. The twin, who had stayed at the ball while her sister slept, was now lurking outside. She had no idea she was being watched. I eyed her sapphire jewelry sparkling along her pretty satin gown. I could tell she was up to something, as she hesitated, then assuming no one was around, headed off onto the path leading to a small lake. I followed without a second’s hesitation……..
October 13, 192
The next morning I arose late, refreshed and ready for whatever exploits the day would hold for me.
After checking out my surroundings, including the balcony, I took a long hot shower and stretched out, waiting like a lion in the brush. Late afternoon I made my way down to the lobby with a book and nestled in a shadowy corner to wait. My plan was to watch them leave, follow them to gauge how long it would take them to return, head back, enter their room via the balcony and pilfer the room of its valuables and exit stage right, before they returned. I was banking on a fat jewel case. The rooms had no safes.
I sat, I observing my fellow guests coming and going about their personal business. Soon I noticed more and more of them in evening dress, heading out for a night on the town, which was a treat in and of its self. I did perk up when a lady clad in a long black velvet dress, matching gloves and pearls, walked down the stairs. As a pearl hanger, she would have been a tempting target. Pearls were always easy to pawn, and hers were a rather nice set. She seemed to be the easily distractible type, and easily distractible types who wore expensive jewels had always been my specialty. But I already had my mind set on Sophia Caboyt’s jewels that evening, So I let her slip away, watching her long gown swish about her pleasant figure.. Bird in the hand I thought, wistfully hoping that would prove to be the case.
An hour later I was rewarded as Sophia and Arthur came down. The couple was dressed to the nines for the evening, he was in a tux, she was in a long flowing glossy gown and gloves. She was dripping in diamonds, a full set. My heart sank, I wanted those diamonds, Quickly as I watched them I revised my plan. She was wearing a small fortune. I was sure that whatever was left in their room was probably not worth nearly as much, even the pearls.
I than sat and pretended to read my book for about another two hours while my mind went over several new plans of action. Accepting one of them as feasible, I rose and headed back up to my room. Lost my disguise, packed my valise for a hasty exit, put on my mask and gloves, turned out the lights, carefully opened my balcony door, and from a vantage point where I could see their room, I waited for their return. Breaking into a room with sleeping occupants was something I would rather not do, but oh, well, I would have to creep a little more carefully. Hopefully they would return home tipsy and sleep deeply.
Three and one half hours later the lights went on in their room. The balcony door was opened and Sophia came sweeping out, her jewelry blazing in the street lamps light from below. I watched with growing anticipation as she leaned out and looked onto the view below, her necklace and long earrings swaying out over the void, careful I thought, don’t let the pretty things fall. Her husband voice came out of the room inside, calling to her in an angry tone. “Sophia, I don’t believe it, they gave me the wrong top coat.” She sighed, gathering air, Are you sure she snapped, yes he said, my gloves are not in the pocket. She turned and went to the door, Go back tomorrow she decreed. I am going back now, he rebelled, and giving them a piece of my mind, I tipped that idiot 5 shillings. I heard the door slam. As it did, she had continued telling him not to go.
He had left and my mind started buzzing. What is he up to? He had no real reason not to wait, unless he was really that much of a hot head. If that was the case, He would easily be gone for an hour, which would give me at least 45 minutes to work with. They didn’t appear to have been drinking, If I stuck with my original plan, when he returned, things would be a lot more sticky, especially if he was in a foul mood and couldn’t sleep.
My window of opportunity, small already, began to shrink even more. I could have just let it go, but no I scolded myself, I would forever be berating myself for letting the chance to make a major coup slip through my fingers. I decided to risk it. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice and see how things lay and hope, luck will travel with it. I quickly reformulated my plan.
I went back and pulled a small derringer and some rope from my valise. She had been wearing a satin sash encircling her waist, held with a brooch. Once she handed me the brooch, I would use the sash to gag her; and my rope to tie her securely to a chair freeing me to search her and her room for valuables. I smiled in wicked anticipation; I have always liked a good old fashioned hold-up. I looked at my watch, still a good 32 minutes to obtain her jewels.
Climbing between the two ledges I slipped onto their balcony, ducking below the side and waited. Nothing stirred. I slinked over to the window and peered inside. No movement. Waiting another eternal minute I decided to enter, Carefully opening the glass door so it let out only the slightest of clicks I entered. I saw a door on the opposite side of the room, slightly ajar I could hear the sound of water running. Sophia was drawing a bath. I couldn’t believe my luck. I wedged myself in a corner and waited. I could see her shadow in the crack of light emitting from the door, and then I heard her slide into the tub. Immediately I was on the move.
I had seen a glistening pile on top of a small table by the bathroom door. I went there first. On the table were spread out in a sparkling array the diamonds she had been wearing earlier. I carefully lifted each magnificent piece and secreted them into my small satchel, one eye on the outer door, and one ear on the occupant of the bath tub. As I made a complete sweep of the table I saw her silvery, shiny jeweled purse off to one side, lying on her satin gloves. I went through it and found a the wad of notes and a heavy gold compact and matching cigarette holder. Putting the items back inside, along with her gloves, I pocketed the shiny purse. Then I noticed her jewel case when I had come in laying on the vanity. I went over and opened it, my eyes rewarded by a satisfying collection of glittery jewels, gold and pearls. I and quickly emptied it of its valuable contents, a set of emerald with diamonds( necklace, earrings, ring and bracelets), several gold chains, two pairs of gold earrings, one set with small diamonds, a thick solid gold bracelet, and a rather nice 3 strand pearl choker, as well as the pearls she had been wearing on the train. I hadn’t seen this much ice lately outside a jewelry store. Closing the case, I slipped it into a drawer out of sight..
I did not see her gown with its sash and brooch. I snuck a peak into the bathroom; I saw a long flowing satin bathrobe, but no red gown visible. I hesitated, for I could see her outline in the tub, she was laying back with her eyes closed, a hand hung down, from which glittered a pair of rings. No, I thought, letting them go. I went to her closet; there was a gold gown, but not the gown she had been wearing. I looked at my watch, 9 minutes left; I was running out of time. I went back to the bed and circled it, keeping a close eye on the two doors. Looking over on the opposite side by the wall I saw something glossy on the floor.. There it was, the little darling had slid off and was hiding on the floor. Lifting it up, I let the smooth material run through my hands, feeling it through the thin gloves I was wearing. I felt nothing hard, laying it across the chair I looked under the bed, saw something silky and pulled at it. It came out like a shiny snake, with a large diamond studded head. There was the prize. I took the sash and the brooch and stuffed them in my pocket. 3 minutes left by my watch.. I went back to the closet and felt along a couple of her things hanging there, hoping to find a clip , or possibly another brooch, one a silky jacket I felt something hard, it turned out to be a gold pin of a humming bird with jeweled wings. I pulled it free. My time was up, and I had plenty,
Turning out the lights I Heading to the door of the balcony fortunately I heard them just as I opened the glass door. I peeked to the balcony next door, on the opposite side of mine. A couple was in the middle of an argument. A quite pretty lady was giving a tuxedo shirted male a piece of her mind. She was a long haired brunette clad in a long silk sheath, gold and black descending stripes. She was lecturing a harried thin gentleman in a white tux shirt, chewing him out in rapid Italian. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I stepped out in the shadows, closing the door behind me. I did not want to chance having the dejewelled princess or her husband walk into the bedroom and find me there. The minutes ticked by. I was mesmerized by the hand the Italian woman was shaking under his nose. The ladies’ Jeweled rings and bracelets flashing extravagantly in and out of the light. I will admit that after 6 excoriatingly long minutes I started to sweat a little. The show was quite fascinating, but I was expecting company at any time. And three would definitely be a crowd. She was not running out of steam, I felt sorry for the little guy.
Finally the Italian banshee ended her tirade. She ran into the room sobbing, he meekly followed. Just Than I about jumped out of my skin when I head Sophia calling out her husband’s name. Arthur she screeched, are you there yet, I have soap in my eyes. Do I dare, I thought to myself, those magnificent rings flashing back into my mind.
I moved swiftly back into the room, stealthily going to the bathroom door, looked around the door and stole a peak. She was holding her eyes closed, searching in vain for a towel, which had fallen just below her searching hand. The hand where the expensively jeweled rings she had worn into her bath resided. I moved swiftly, rapping on the door. About time she said as I handed her a towel. I took her hand, and kissed her soapy wet fingers. She smirked; don’t try to make up with me Arthur. I let go of her now ring less fingers. Turning I walked out swiftly, closing the door behind me before she had a chance to clear her eyes. Swiftly going back out the balcony door, I flew over the rail into my own balcony, and into the door. I waited for a minute without moving. The coast seemed clear.
I felt safe to turn the lights on. I hid her sash, brooch, jewels, and the silvery jeweled purse in the false bottom of my small valise. I put back on the red wig moustache and glasses and evening clothes. Then snatching up my case, I went to the door after a final inspection of the room. 65 minutes now had ticked by since the husband had left the apartment, leaving his wife and her jewels behind unprotected. It was time to make a hasty exit. As my white gloved hand touched the knob I heard voices in the hall. Damn I thought, she had taking the argument out of the room. Thankfully I heard the door slam. This was becoming a circus I thought, opening door a crack. The hall way was clear. I moved quickly down the corridor turning into another , down with lay my exit down a rear stairwell. I froze in my tracks. Now what I thought!
At the far end of the corridor, just passed my exit, was a wall where a full length painting of the battle of waterloo hung. The lady in velvet and pearls that I had been scrutinizing earlier in the evening sashaying through the lobby, was standing with her back to me mesmerized by the painting, her hands clasped behind her while she swayed to and fro studying it.. She was so enthralled by it that I probably could have walked right up to her and slipped the pearls from her throat and wrist without her even noticing me. Why not, I asked myself rhetorically. Setting the valise by the exit, I began removing my gloves as I walked up to her on the balls of my feet, silent as a cat. Pretty is it not I asked in her ear, she started, backing into me. I caught her as she twittered nervously. Sorry I said, steadying her. She blushed as she turned to me, giving me full view of the pearls around her throat. I kissed her hand, asking for her apologies as I turned and left her standing there. I heard the swish of her dress. I had been right about her being vulnerably captivated by the painting. The proof was in the pudding, or in this case the triple string pearl bracelet I had slipped away from her gloved wrist as she had bumped against me
I started down the stairs leading down to the lobby silently thanking whatever distraction it was that was holding Arthur up from returning home. Then, I saw him. I was coming down to the bottom of stairs I saw Arthur cutting through the lobby. I walked past him nodding as he passed raising my valise in salutation. He nodded back passing me without another look. He had a smile on his face, so he had received satisfaction from something. I too had a smirk on mine, garnering some satisfaction that he was totally unaware that a small fortune in his wife’s jewels was walking out the door right under his nose.
I left, holding my valise and headed down the street. I hailed a taxi, had him drop me off at the bus station, then went into my hotel and packed, before falling again into sound , pleasantly dream filled , sleep.
October 14, 192
I arose early the next day, leaving by the same back door to the alleyway.
Flagging a taxi I had him drive me to the shopping area by the train station.
I meandered around a bit and then, sure I was not being watched, made my way to the train station.
I than caught the next train heading to my original destination. After a long, leisurely meal, and a couple well-earned drinks at the bar I headed back to my seat. This time there were no brides with shiny necklaces, or Caboyt’s with their pompous arrogance and fancy jewels to entertain me. So I found one of my own making. As the train rumbled into the night I snuggled down and replayed the whole adventure, savoring every aspect until I fell into dream filled sleep.
She must have imbibed more than I thought, for she walked to the bench, and taken a careful look around, began to undress. Watching the swans, she started by removing her jewelry, placing them in a pile that glistened in the moon’s light. She then stepped behind some bushes, and I observed her laying her gloves, gown and some silky nickers over a tree limb. I began to move back and cut along the woods to where she had undressed. A soft, subtle splash of water let me know she had entered the pool. Reaching her things hanging on the tree limb I looked out, she was in up to her chest, back to me, still watching the swans that had moved off a small distance when she had entered. I carefully pulled her clothes off the limb, then hid them behind a tree, , feeling the hardness of her broach, I unfastened from her gown. Then on all fours, keeping below the bench, I carefully crawled forward, inching ever closer to the glistening pile of rich jewels that beckoned me…..
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