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The siege of the city goes on, and while Gran'ma Ben and Thorn are busy dealing with the invading Rat Creatures, Phoncible P. Bone is preparing his newest money-making scheme: making money! But is he going too far this time? Could this be the greedy little Bone cousin's last money-grubbing scam?
Later, while lurking around the Atheian marketplace, Phoney and Fone Bone get into a tussle with a ferocious giant bee. The merchants thank the Bones for chasing the bee off, explaining how he frequently terrorizes the marketplace (in anger at the merchants selling water rations to the bees at hugely inflated prices). They offer the Bones gold to keep the bees away, and Phoney concocts a plan to gouge the merchants and the bees for his own profit.
Meanwhile, Gran'ma Ben and the Teacher have kept Thorn awake all night to prevent Briar and the Locust getting to her through her dreams. The Teacher explains who is behind the movement against the Dragons; Tarsil, commander of the Royal Guard, has blamed them for the appearance of the Ghost Circles and ordered his soldiers to destroy any Dragon shrines. Tarsil, who was injured by the Dragons in his youth while leading an expedition into Tanen Gard, and who resents them still, is on the lookout for any allies of the Dragons, including Thorn.