“My, but you are a sticky fellow.”


Dzhugashvili handed Galashnikov a moist towelette.  “It comes with the work.  Now pray tell, to whom in there were you speaking?”


“A spider.”


“Preposterous!” bellowed the Georgian, but soon his brow furrowed.  “I wonder, was he industrious and artistic?”


“On the contrary, he is a creature of habit.  Mechanically he works, and idle days are his ideal.  He is as tranquil as the Caspian when its waters are calm.” 


“Preposterous indeed, this spider sounds like a homebody,” laughed the Georgian. “And as we all know, spiders are adventurers and masters of industry, not mere grannies knitting silk.  But hear this Galashnikov,” said the Georgian, now serious.  “Misha Temkin’s death weighs heavily upon my heart, and spider or no spider, memories of him will traipse across my mind if this mystery remains unsolved.  Find me the cause of his death, good doctor, and I promise you a lifetime supply of honey and biscuits!”





Mama Temkin’s dacha was several versts north of town, if one followed the Volga.  And if one did not follow the Volga, Mama Temkin’s dacha remained several versts north of town, but one would probably not arrive there anytime soon.