Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 56

Cannon scrambled up to the cab, leaning over the crate, and rapped on the window. “They’ll be coming after us now!”

Masaracchia leaned sideways in the cab, feeling around on the floor. he looked down, and then, before Cannon could shout a warning, glanced up and wrenched the wheel hard over. The truck swerved wildly, barely missing a battered old car coming the other direction, but sideswiping a wooden stall on the other side of the street. The jolt threw Cannon to the floorboards. He regained his knees, looking back to see an angry crowd drawn along in their wake, before spinning toward the cab. “What the—”

The cab’s rear window shattered as Masaracchia swung a short prybar through it. He waved the prybar around until Cannon took it.

“The crate,” Masaracchia said, exasperated. A heartbeat later, he stuck his head out the side window and bellowed something in Arabic. Cannon caught a glimpse of a man pressed against a wall as the truck flew past. From the alley behind him, a camel watched indifferently.

Cannon jammed the prybar under the crate’s lid and put his weight on it. The lid lifted free, and a strong scent of machine oil came from within.

For a moment, nobody could find a word to say. Burr blinked, and eventually di Giacomo managed, “Cousin, what is this?”

“I told you, we aren’t monks.” Masaracchia stomped on the brakes and spun the wheel. The truck slid around a corner. “That should be enough if we’re pursued?”

Cannon lifted a German-made machine pistol from the crate, slid the wire stock all the way out, and put it against his shoulder. “I’ll say.” Eleven more of the compact guns nestled in the crate, along with dozens of loaded magazines. Cannon took one, slapped it into place, and pulled the charging handle. Burr and di Giacomo each grabbed a gun.

Iseabail said, “Tha’s nae a grenade, is it?”

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