And now, an excerpt from John Grisham's best-selling legal thriller, "A Time to Rub":
Attorney Thomas Troy's office was nothing more than a cramped, decrepid shotgun house, crouched on the shore of the biggest mudhole in Rickets County. Most of the windows had been busted out years ago. In the spring Troy's clients would wordlessly sidestep the thousands of tiny frogs that bustled over the rotting floorboards. But by late summer the Mississippi sun would boil all the water out of the air, and so Troy and his penniless -- yet saintly -- customers would conduct their business while covered in swarms of mosquitoes and fire ants.
On a Saturday afternoon in September, Troy sat alone in his office, resting his feet on the back of an alligator that had wandered in. The weatherbeaten old radio on his desk crackled intermittently. The announcer's sleepy drawl abruptly shifted from his reading of the latest on hog futures into an announcement of a jailbreak. Troy sensed something horrible. Huge gobs of sweat dripped from his forehead. The moisture sizzled into vapor when it plopped onto his desk. His eyes throbbed. "Am I gonna do it?" he asked himself. "Hell yeah," he answered. He remembered the old man who had given him the ring. "The Fly Man", the kids had called him. A dirty, bent vagrant who always appeared in town in time for the Sugar Beet Festival and who always disappeared again before the Halloween Parade. The other children stayed far away the Fly Man. Troy had always been more curious than most. One day he had followed the Fly Man for the better part of an afternoon, from the tire fire on the north edge of town, all the way down the railroad tracks to an abandoned piano crate in the middle of the woods. It was in the crate that the old man gave him the ring.
"Rub it," Troy said to nobody. "Rubbing it will make things better." After taking one last look through the window, Troy slumped down in his chair and thrust his hand down his pants...