“The stone itself isn’t worth that much,” said the man with the pony tail, “but it was my grandmother’s and has great sentimental value. It’s a pretty thing: blue as the summer sky. Gran used to wear it on a necklace. She called it her cerulean gem. Never heard anyone else use the word before.”
“It means blue,” said Renthrette.
“Well, rather more than that,” I interjected. “It’s more of an azure with a hint of cyan. It’s a vivid, fresh…”
“It means blue,” said Renthrette again, giving me a level stare.
I shrugged and gave Pony Tail an encouraging nod.
He pulled a locket from inside his shirt and cracked it open. Inside was a passable miniature painting of an elderly lady with long, iron gray hair and a nose that looked like the prow of a ship: huge and sharp as an axe. But one look at those steely eyes and you guessed no one made fun of her nose much.
The gem hung on a silver chain around her neck, and she was toying with it in one strong hand.
“I don’t mind telling you,” he said, “that I also want it back to get one over on that crooked estate manager.”
“You have plans of the house?” asked Mithos.