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that go in his memoirs? Maybe, but it might be better, more delicious, to never let them know, to never tell anyone.

For now he was tired. He would think about it in the morning. He sighed and closed his eyes, and felt an odd softness in his arm, his left arm. A sort of warmth. And movement, like something unfolding.

And he dreamed-maybe it was dream-that his left hand opened like the petals of a flower, and the fingers wriggled, and he laughed in muted delight.

When James found him the next day, it was the first thing he noticed, the hand. Palm up, fingers only lightly curled, free of the fist that had trapped them for so long.

Bester was free, too, a faint weird smile on his lips, his face looking somehow younger. He really did look like he was just sleeping.


Girard wondered again what, exactly, had brought him to the graveyard. It was raining lightly, not a nice day even if you were somewhere pleasant, somewhere that didn't remind you that you were shuffling ever faster toward the off-ramp of the mortal coil.

He looked out over the garden of marble headstones and shrugged. Well, he had been in the neighborhood, and he rarely got to Geneva. That he should be here when his most famous case died-it seemed, somehow, that he was fated to watch them put Bester in the ground. And he didn't like to argue with fate too much.

Few others seemed to have felt so compelled. Some thirty people accompanied the body to the graveside, but of those, most were clearly with the press, come for photographic Grendel-heads to assure the world that the monster was dead at last. There were four or five people who might have been family members of Bester's victims, here to find that assurance in person. Another four or five simply looked curious.

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