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June 29, 2004
She was seated at the little round table left of the coffee shop's entrance. Paper cups were scattered across her table. She was arranging them into a pyramid. He approached. "Mind if I sit?" "Sure." She smiled as she added a cup to the pyramid. He upended a palm, pointing to the stack. "What's all this?" "A shell game." She wrote on the bottom of the final cup, then placed it. "Where are the shells?" She grinned, hoisted her purse and left. He reached for the uppermost cup and saw penciled on it seven question marks and a phone number.