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Chapter 5 - Ruined Finery

Enter Infinity Freeman (Catfish’s knight in shining armor—if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times). Petite. New Kenneth Cole briefcase. Smart footwear. About Catfish’s age and twice as calm as he is hyper at his most manic. The Chartres Street shop, which is long and not wide enough for its purpose, is still unmistakably Ruthie Rush: country French antiques with a heart-wrenching edge of adoring wear. But Catfish’s weakness for local pickers in need of a few quick bucks is already beginning to manifest. To accommodate the cartons of “smalls” pedaled by on a daily basis, new pine display shelves now encase the inner brick wall while a clutter of rustic items stands united inside the front door like strangers who have discovered much in common while waiting for a downpour to stop: a coat rack fashioned from saplings partially covered with bark, a ceramic-topped wash stand with a wobbly iron base, several rusty farm implements with warped wooden handles, two or three crooked chairs with frayed cane seats.

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