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.It was empty.Then he opened the red cupboard doors in the old-fashioned kitchen one by one, but he still couldn’t find what he was looking for.‘There’s been a leak at my flat.Can I stay in your guest room for a couple of nights?’ Benedikte asked.‘That won’t be a problem,’ answered Steinar.He was craning his neck to see into the last of the cupboards, so Benedikte couldn’t see the expression on his face.‘How are things going with your case?’ asked Benedikte.‘Taribo’s run off.’‘So I heard.What does that mean?’‘I’ve got no idea.’‘What happened?’‘He just legged it.Sunday morning.’Taribo could have been at Ullevaal while she was there.Had the person who answered the entry phone had an accent? And had the iPhone recording been used to hide that very accent?‘I spoke with a source of mine in the police,’ said Benedike.‘They said that they thought the murder weapon was a morning star, a kind of African club, and that Taribo had several of these at home.’Benedikte hadn’t seen what her attacker looked like.It could have been Taribo, but it could have been anybody.Steinar went quiet for a few seconds, then yawned.He looked exhausted.She couldn’t give him any more worries.She would wait to tell him about the attack.‘I’ve got to go out and buy coffee,’ said Steinar.‘Can you keep an eye on Junior for a few minutes?’‘Of course.’Benedikte locked the door as soon as Steinar left.Deep in the ForestSteinar’s client had run off, Junior had chickenpox, and at the back of his head, Vlad Vidić was repeating those words: ‘You were never doped.’ Over and over again.As if that wasn’t enough, now he had Benedikte staying for a platonic sleepover, not long after she’d said they should sleep together.Steinar looked back on their kissing episode with perspective now.He analysed his own behaviour and yet again concluded: Yes, he was an idiot.He slowly rolled his bike down towards the supermarket, Rema 1000.He stopped outside the shop on Kjelsåsveien, parked his bike, went round the uneven corner to the entrance and took the three steps in a single leap.He took some coffee and a packet of sweet lefser, a sugar-filled flatbread.He glanced at VG and Dagbladet on the newspaper stand next to the till, they each had a large picture of Taribo on the front page, with a smaller photo of Steinar himself.The headlines were ‘Fugitive’ and ‘On the run’.Steinar’s back pocket was constantly lit up by his mobile, in silent mode.He paid, went out to his bike and put in the combination for the lock, then heard somebody shouting.He turned round and saw an old, white Volkswagen van.Sitting in the van was a dark-skinned man gesturing to him, leaning out the window.It was the man from the picture on the fridge.‘I have important information for you,’ he said.‘My name is Yakubu, I’m Taribo’s brother.He said a whole lot of other things too, but Steinar couldn’t understand everything.The man was speaking in African English at a furious speed, so Steinar asked him to slow down.‘Sorry.Jeg snakker ikke norsk.I don’t speak Norwegian.I can understand a bit, but I prefer to English.’‘That’s fine, just speak more slowly.’‘You’ve got to come with me to see Taribo.He wants to talk with you.’He bore a striking resemblance to Taribo, they were cast in the same enormous mould.Steinar sighed.‘Open the back so I can put in my bike.’They spent the next few minutes chatting as Steinar managed to get to grips with Yakubu’s English.Steinar had some experience of African players’ pronunciation from the time he’d spent in the Netherlands.It was like when a Norwegian tried to understand Danish, if you tuned out the less clear parts and focused on the words that were stressed, you could work out the rest of the context.Now and then, Yakubu also pronounced the occasional word in a characteristically Norwegian accent.Steinar found himself having to interrupt less and less, while Yakubu went on speaking at pace.‘I was in Stanley’s room while you were visiting him and his mum,’ he said.‘I liked what I heard.I liked the fact that you were so open.It sounded like you meant it, not like that bastard Arild Golden.Did you know that he employed Taribo as a workman? Got him to redecorate his apartments.I’m paying attention more now, keeping an eye out.Both for Taribo and Stanley.’They came to the Ryen junction, turned off south along Enebakkveien, drove past the Esso garage and through the neighbourhood of Abildsø.Steinar sent Benedikte a text message explaining the situation and asking if she could keep an eye on Junior a little longer.‘Be careful,’ came the reply.Yakubu continued.‘They’re all bastards in Norwegian football.You know that guy from UDI, the Directorate of Immigration? The one who works with footballers?’Steinar had no idea what Yakubu was talking about, let alone that there was somebody in the Directorate of Immigration dealing with footballers.He shook his head.Yakubu had used the Norwegian abbreviation for the Directorate of Immigration.UDI stood for Utlendingsdirektoratet, and he’d pronounced it in an especially Norwegian way: ‘Oo-deh-ee.’‘Taribo and I know all the African footballers in southeast Norway.Whether they play for Lillestrøm, Pors, Stabæk or Ullern, we know them.We meet at African tournaments, both top players and cast-offs like us, and they’ve all run into that guy from UDI.He was Golden’s inside man.He did whatever Golden told him to.If he wanted a player cleared, all he had to do was ask.Or he could have them stopped.If a club didn’t want to pay, he’d get the UDI man to write that the player was “ikke nødvendig for klubbens virksomhet”; surplus to requirements.If the club paid, the player would be cleared within a few days [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]