"All right," said John once he'd recovered from his shock, "you've convinced me you're a great shot and a great wielder with access to some pretty fancy hardware. Now convince me you're Treasury and tell me why you're here."
"Only Treasury would care about the reason," she answered as she stowed her etheric pistols in their case. "Someone is corrupting ore coming out of Scryer's Gulch."
Icy prickles came over John's skin. "Corrupting--you mean like that nugget you found on Jamie? Someone did that on purpose? It's not natural?"
Annabelle shook her head. "Engineered. The best, our men tell me. Like nothing they've ever seen before."
John's temper rose hand in hand with fear for his son. "And you didn't see fit to take this to local authorities why, exactly?"
"I didn't know who was involved. I still don't. I don't know who the spellcaster is, and I don't know who if anyone is running him."
"Meaning," she said as if explaining to one of her slower students, "that you could have been in on it for all I knew. I'm taking a risk as it is that you don't turn that rifle on me and leave me in some gully for the coyotes."