Chapter Nine: Jewelled SkullMature

The man, quite young, not much older than thirty, was on his knees in front of the marble fireplace, the light from the fire reflected in his pale brown eyes. He was holding a human skull and a pair of silver tweezers, that glinted in the firelight. There was a pale green bowl, a plate of glue, a couple of different sized paintbrushes and a rag lying on the fireside rug next to him. He picked up the largest paintbrush, brushed glue over one patch of the skull and picked a small ruby out of the bowl. He placed it carefully on the skull using the tweezers, and repeated for several hours, using emeralds, rubies, amethysts, ambers, sapphires and pearls. His patience was amazing, the jewels sparkling with flames reflected in their facetted surfaces...

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