TO CATCH A THIEF
Skif was an orphan. For as long as he could remember he had worked as a drudge in his Uncle Londer's dreary inn_: in the slums of Haven. Sleeping on a pile of rags under, the stairs, wakened before dawn to do the lowliest and filthiest of tasks, Skif would have died from malnutrition and exposure if he had never met Deke.
Deke was a pickpocket. The oldest member of a group of young boys who, with the guidance of their teacher and leader, a crippled man named Bazie, survived by their wits and their nimble fingers. But Bazie was more than just the head of a band of young thieves--Bazie cared about the boys. Uncle Londer barely cared whether Skif was alive or dead. It was an easy decision for Skif to abandon his former life and throw in his lot with Bazie's crew.
By the time Skif was twelve, he was an accomplished cat burglar and one of the leaders of Bazie's gang. Light on his feet, silent as a ghost, small enough to slide between protective window bars, his "take" had evolved from silk hankies slipped from laundries and pockets to gold and silver jewelry stolen from "hidden" cupboards in affluent houses.
But it wasn't until Skif decided to steal a finely tacked-out white horse, which was, oddly enough, standing unattended in the street, that this young thief discovered that the tables could be turned on him....