She was everything, and most of all she was the earth's most tempting woman in a way that was peculiarly her own . . . but I could hear her rich, provocative voice saying softly that everything would be so very simple if only the man named Kirby would die . . . and as that summer grew, in desire and in terror, my world no longer had the familiar features of a fine and comforting thing, but the strange remnants of an ugly, threatened place . . . . . . and the root of it all lay hidden in the secret of The Brass Bed.