The phone rang and clicked almost immediately.

“Hello?” a gruff voice answered. He sounded as though he was chewing gravel.

“Hi,” I replied awkwardly. “I understand you’re looking for an apprentice.”

“I am, indeed, Mr. Hennesy,” the gravelly voice responded.

My own voice caught in my throat as I attempted to speak. “I’m sorry, how do you know my name?”

“It’s very simple, Mr. Hennesy,” the voice said flatly. “I don’t need an apprentice hardly as much as you need a master.”

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